Lake Austin Spa Resort
Destination spa, lake activities, warm and welcoming
1705 S Quinlan Park Rd (512) 372-7300 www.lakeaustin.com
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At a Glance
A gorgeous and intimate destination spa on the shores of Lake Austin with a relaxed vibe.
- The stunning 25,000-square-foot Lake House Spa
- The blackboard on the dock listing a daily roster of lake activities, like stand-up paddle boarding and wakeboarding
- Water features and beautifully landscaped gardens that create a tranquil oasis
- The pool barn with a lap pool under a beamed cathedral ceiling
Life at Lake Austin Spa revolves around the lake. While there are many lovely attributes of the property—the pretty flower gardens, the two outdoor pools, the gorgeous spa—the real coup de grace is the location right on Lake Austin. The property is arranged in a strip along the shoreline with views of hills shrouded in oaks, sycamores and maples on the far bank, left wild thanks to an adjacent nature preserve. With just 40 rooms, the resort feels very intimate, peaceful, secluded and immersed in the gentle landscape of Texas Hill Country. In the early morning, when the lake is still and silent and the first rays of sun are streaming through the clouds and sparkling on the water, you might start your day with group meditation on the dock or, for those seeking a challenge, a yoga class on stand-up paddle boards while floating. Later, perhaps, you may wish to venture out for a boat cruise, take a hike or maybe go waterskiing. A blackboard down at the main dock lists the activities of the day, but there are also abundant toys on hand, like kayaks and paddle boards, that you can grab at any time.
Owned since 1997 by Michael McAdams and William Rucks, the resort is clearly a passion project and reflects a lot of personal panache and attention to detail. The décor is stylish and cozy. The main building has two restaurants, a tricked-out test kitchen (a great spot for cooking classes), a gym and yoga studio. Down a winding pathway is the stunning 25,000-square-foot Lake House Spa, with hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas and multiple treatment rooms, and the Pool Barn, which houses a Junior Olympic-length lap pool beneath a beamed cathedral ceiling. Spa practitioners are excellent. Everything is lovingly thought through: water features around the property burble as you walk by; orange lilies and native grasses line pathways; public spaces like the spa’s Blue Room are lavish and grand. All of this lends the place a soothing atmosphere that is at once relaxed and refined.
While there are about 15-20 activity options per day (1-3 per hour), including everything from spin classes to Tai Chi, drumming and forest bathing, this is not a boot camp spa. Everything is optional. If you want to spend your day lounging by the lake and having spa treatments, there is no social pressure to do anything. In the evenings, there are often special speakers arranged to talk on subjects around wellness and finding balance. Or you might just wish to read a book on a hammock by the shore. The 40 guest rooms are done in warm colors–celadon, beige, blue–with stripes and floral prints. Go for a Luxury Lake View room, which has outdoor seating areas overlooking the water. Spacious bathrooms feature comfortable changing areas, double sinks and soaking tubs.
Room rates include three meals a day, along with access to a snack bar with coffee, tea and lemonade, so there are no chits to sign during your stay. Overseen by Executive Chef Stephane Beaucamp, the cuisine is American with a French accent. Dishes are healthy and flavorful, making good use of fresh local fruits and vegetables, including produce grown in the organic garden on site. Everything on the menus is listed with a calorie count and there are plenty of vegan options, like a Power Bowl with raw vegetables, chickpeas and pomegranate vinaigrette. Those looking for heartier comfort foods will also find flatbreads, sandwiches and indulgences such as avocado toast with bacon and a sunny-side up egg. With such a range of tempting options, it would take self-discipline to lose weight here.
When to Go
It’s best to go to Lake Austin when the weather is warm enough to take advantage of all the lake activities. Temperatures are the most pleasant in the spring and fall, particularly May and October, when it tends to be in the high 70s and 80s. Late July and August can be humid and sweltering, with highs above 90 degrees, but that also makes for very enjoyable and cooling swims in the lake, which maintains a brisk temperature year-round. The weather is generally dry, with a slightly higher chance of rain in May, June and September.
Who Should Stay
The property has a broader appeal than a typical destination spa and would work just as well for a group of couples looking for a fun lakeside escape as for a serious spa-goer in search of wellness and self-improvement.