Texas Forever: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort
When your kids are babies and toddlers, you can pretty much take a family vacation anywhere you can carry them. However, once they hit the tween and teen years, it gets a little trickier to find a family trip that works for everyone. Not all parents enjoy theme parks, and not all kids enjoy relaxing on a lounger and reading a novel. At least my kids don’t, which is why my copy of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” is currently on the bottom of a pool somewhere in Florida.
That’s why I’m always excited to visit Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, Texas with my husband Chris, and sons Sam (18) and Jack (16). The resort offers non-stop activities for all ages, and during our one-night stay, we were able to do some of them on our own, and some together. The perfect balance.
But before I get into that, here are the basics on the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines:
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is just a 20-minute drive from our house in Austin, and it’s also a quick trip from the Austin airport, making it an easy destination for those coming from “not Texas.” The AAA Four Diamond resort’s 405 scenic acres are located on the banks of the Lower Colorado River, adjacent to the huge McKinney Roughs Nature Park, and it’s laid out so you never feel crowded. There are 491 guest rooms, and amenities include the Wolfdancer Golf Club, Spa Django and Renegade Trailhead equestrian facility. This is the “wide, open spaces” view that greets you when you arrive:
And this is the Lost Pines lobby. It looks just like my living room (and if you believe that, well, bless your heart). It’s a lovely place to relax in a rocking chair by the fire, and even when it’s crowded, it doesn’t feel that way.
The vibe isn’t over-the-top-rhinestone-Texas, it’s the much more desirable Hill-Country-Outdoor-Kick-Back-Texas. You notice this in the decor, in the restaurant offerings, and in the full day’s schedule of activities that includes things like horseshoes, storytellin’ (no “g”), live music, falconry shows, kayaking and rafting, horseback riding, fly fishing, and so much more that I can’t even type it all or my fingers will get sore. The property is right next to the Colorado River and heavily treed, so you really feels like you’re out of the city.
We enjoyed the “Meet the Mascots” activity where we got up close and personal with pigs, alpacas, pygmy goats, mini horses and Longhorn cattle. Well, not too close to the cattle. Those horns are epic. You can see all of these guys via meet-and-greets and photo ops. Want to sit atop a longhorn? This is your chance!
Speaking of animals, we took advantage of Lost Pines’s pet policy and brought our dog Teddy along with us on our stay. It was hands down the best day of Teddy’s life. He loved going for walks throughout the property, and because there are a lot of toddler guests at the resort, he received a ton of attention. I honestly think he’d move into the resort if given the chance. Canine companions (up to 50 lbs.) are even provided complimentary dog beds, bowls, and treats upon request.
More Favorite Activities at Lost Pines
One of our favorite things to do during our stay was zoom above the trees at Zip Lost Pines. Once you make your reservation, a shuttle picks you up in the lobby and then it’s just a short drive to this zip line tour that features 6 side-by-side ziplines soaring over the shady Lost Pines forest, Colorado River and steep canyons. The main building is also a nice spot to unwind with corn hole games, hammocks, and snacks. Plan on spending at least 2-3 hours here to do all the lines. The staff is super friendly and professional, and both of my boys had a great time.
My kids are older, and because Lost Pines is pretty contained and they each have cell phones, we let them go off and do a lot of activities on their own during our stay. They loved the freedom of coming and going and kept busy playing basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, and both indoor and outdoor ping pong. I’d say age 12 and up is a great age to let your kids roam free here.
While the boys were busy with their fun, my husband I visited the cute general store in the lobby that sells Starbucks coffee and breakfast tacos and then just relaxed. In previous visits, I’ve used my free time to go to a yoga class, to the fitness center, and to a really fun activity where you drink wine and paint a picture while a nice teacher pretends you have artistic talent. I wasn’t that ambitious this time.
We didn’t get on horses this time, but here’s a picture of us on a past visit on a horseback trail ride. This is a fairly tame trip through the pretty forest surrounding the resort. Perfect for kids.
We always love spending time at the only-for-resort-guests Crooked River Water Park that includes a main pool, an adult-only pool (thank god), a waterslide, a splash pad, and a Lazy River. There are plenty of chaise lounge chairs and umbrellas for you to use, and if you’re extra fancy, you can even pay to reserve a private cabana. We spent a few hours relaxing and playing here, but not as long as we have in the warmer months.
Now, on to the dining…
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines has eight eating and drinking establishments, ranging in offerings from light snacks to fine dining, so you’re set for your entire stay (food prices are not included in room rate). There’s the AAA Four Diamond-rated Stories restaurant (one of only five restaurants in Austin with the designation) for farm-to-table, true to Texas treats like braised antelope flank and grilled Texas shrimp. We enjoyed the more casual restaurant options, Firewheel Cafe (that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner) and Shellers Barrelhouse Bar, where the food is also really fresh and local, but you don’t have to worry about being embarrassed if your kids spill water all over the table. Plus Shellers has TVs with sports, so the boys they loved hanging out there.
On a prior visit, the Hyatt held a BBQ event in one of their covered pavilions and we loved it. We had amazingly great steak, chicken, and all of the sides you could want for individual purchase. The boys still talk about it, and I think they’d go back just to eat cowboy-style again. Be sure to check their schedule for when they offer this.
… And, Lodging…
We stayed in a suite on this visit, which is perfect when you have older kids or more than two children with you. I also highly recommend adjoining rooms. It’s really nice not having a 12am kick fight and/or punch fight over on the other side of the room. Yes, it’s a larger expense, but a suite and/or two rooms really help make the stay relaxing.
So that’s it! If you’re looking for a quick weekend away, or if you really want to experience “Texas” in the best way possible, take a look at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines as a destination for a family vacation. It’s fun for even just one night, but I recommend staying a little longer so you can take advantage of everything they offer. Plus, more nights at Lost Pines = more s’mores.
Holiday Offer and Discount at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines
Also, right now they’re offering a lineup of holiday activities, like an on-site “Holiday Lights Stroll,” Santa riding a Texas Longhorn on his way to meet and greets at the North Pole Workshop, and festive parades featuring their animal mascots. The resort’s holiday festivities will conclude with the New Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday, December 31. Guests will be able to ring in 2020 with a holiday dinner buffet in the resort’s ballroom, a family DJ dance party, and the property’s signature fireworks display and champagne or apple cider toast at 9:00 p.m. Plus there are holiday special room rates right now starting at $149, so don’t miss that!
Thank you to Hyatt Regency Lost Pines for hosting my family for a weekend. We had a wonderful time. All opinions, experiences, and extra marshmallows are mine.