Coddle the Inner Cowboy at Austin’s Travaasa Resort

  • Photo by Merrick Ales; Copyright Merrick Ales Photography
    The Western Sky treatment room at Travaasa Austin Photo by Merrick Ales; Copyright Merrick Ales Photography
  • Photo by Tina Thuell; © Tina Thuell Photography 2011
    Trail rides and an Equine Experience are highlights of the resort's programming. Photo by Tina Thuell; © Tina Thuell Photography 2011
  • Photo by Merrick Ales; Copyright Merrick Ales Photography
  • Photo by Tina Thuell; © Tina Thuell Photography 2011

While many resorts offer the occasional spa treatment for men, few curate an entire spa menu around their needs like Travaasa Experiential Resort in Austin, Texas—which dedicates an entire month to them. June is Man Month at this 70-room resort perched above live oaks blanketing the 210-acre Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

The custom spa menu, designed around the Organic Male OM4 line, includes a What Ales You package: an 80-minute Energetic Edge massage using refreshing oils, followed by a foot massage and a pint of organic Texas ale. Maggie Wagner, spa director at Travaasa, says that in addition to traditional spa activities such as yoga and meditation, most men there take advantage of some of the resort’s more distinctive and active offerings as a way to recharge. Fittingly for a Texas Hill Country retreat, on-site stables make excursions on horseback easily accessible, and an Equine Encounter experience hones nonverbal communication. Luxury spa going takes on a country edge with classes in chicken keeping and gardening at the property’s 3.25-acre farm. June reveals a new single-track mountain-biking experience, a beer-craft class, and lessons in grilling and smoking meats with the Travaasa culinary team. Other activities that tend to cowboy aspirations include archery, a mechanical bull-riding class, and a prickly-pear challenge course.

The 11-treatment-room spa is undergoing a full renovation to be unveiled in September, which will include new men’s and women’s steam rooms, vitality pools, and a couple’s suite enhanced with an outdoor lounge. The Western Sky room, a favorite among both male and female guests, will also reopen. Walls of loblolly pine reclaimed from an elementary school in Plano, steampunk-style brass fixtures, and a wooden deer head add touches of rustic warmth, while the fiber-optic display replicating the Texas night sky—an astronomical feat by Travaasa’s resident astronomer and the Austin firm Light Faktor—adds an element of wonder. The room’s massage table, embedded with six Bose speakers, lulls with sonic vibration and can be adjusted to a seated position with retractable arms for manicures in private, redefining the notion of “ranch hands.” (855.249.3004, www.travaasa.com)

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