We've been to the Texas Hill Country before but this trip was a little bit different since it was a family vacation. We rallied the troops and made the 5 hour drive from Dallas to the secluded spot about 25 minutes outside of San Antonio, Texas. If you live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, the hill country is a beautiful area of Texas that's easy to get to and affordable for families or couples alike.
Sandals: DVF (On SALE!)
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. What I loved about this resort was that we really didn't want to leave the property grounds. It was a quick weekend trip for us, so staying put was the most relaxing option. The resort boasts that it's surrounded by 600 acres of beautiful rolling oak-covered hills. It really was so beautiful!
WHAT TO DO
Over the weekend, we never got bored because there is a ton to do.
HIT THE POOL
Photo: JW Marriott
Couples can visit the private adult pool while families can take advantage of one of the multiple pools + an 1,100-foot lazy river. If you need shade, many lounge chairs have umbrellas or you can rent a cabana. I'd recommend reserving a cabana at the time of booking the hotel. For the kiddos, there's a water park on site with multiple slides.
HAVE A GLASS OF WINE OR WHISKEY ON THE PATIO AT CROOKED BRANCH
The resort has two PGA-Certified, TPC golf courses that have quite a view of the hills!
· VISIT THE SPA
In addition to the hotel's state of the art fitness center, the property grounds are huge so put your sneaks on and go for a run (or walk in my case!).
HAVE A PICNIC
There was a ton of open lawn perfect for a picnic. Just be sure to venture away from the common areas and you'll find a quiet space. If you drive to the hotel, bring a bottle of wine to save some money.
Nearby, you'll find the San Antonio Zoo, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, Texas wineries and the San Antonio Riverwalk.
WHAT TO EAT
The resort has 5 restaurants on site for ultra convenience.
· CIBOLO MOON
A blend of Mexican and BBQ, the food was YUM. Don't forget the pitcher of margaritas or tequila flight. The pitcher of margs was a little pricey at $60 but is perfect for a group and is the more affordable option.
· 18 OAKS
Steakhouse featuring Texas Hill Country wines.
· HIGH VELOCITY
A fun sports bar with 120 feet of high definition TV walls. You won't miss the game! They serve traditional American fare for when you need a fried food fix.
· RIVERTOP GRILL
American food by the pool with a covered patio.
· CROOKED BRANCH
Lobby bar featuring an array of whiskeys and light bites such as hummus, chips & salsa, and salads.
· REPLENISH BISTRO
This was my favorite restaurant. It's tucked away in the spa, so you'll have to go looking for it but they have healthier options like soups, salad, and even gluten free French toast! - not that French toast is healthy but it was at least gluten free which I appreciate.
· ROOM SERVICE
After spending an afternoon at the pool, a hummus snack break in the room was necessary and it was delivered quickly! They even had gluten free bread.
I think we can all agree that having a full service Starbucks in a hotel is a luxury. Since it's a full service Starbucks, they had breakfast sandwiches and snacks. They even serve gluten free items. There was also a great patio space attached for those of us who need to get a little work in on vacation while sipping our favorite latte.
Bag: Gap (Doubles as a backpack or messenger bag)
The resort is beautiful and easy to get to from anywhere in Texas or surrounding states. The staff was maybe some of the nicest and most helpful employees I've ever encountered. The food was delicious at every restaurant we went to and there was plenty to keep us busy over a long weekend.
The rates are a little pricey starting around $370 but join the Marriott rewards program for free to save a little dough. You can book on Expedia, too, through Ebates and save even more. Also, if you're driving instead of flying, that can be a significant savings to justify the hotel cost. If you drive you can bring food, wine, etc. with you to save even more.
Before booking, be sure to call ahead and ask if the hotel is holding any conventions the weekend you plan to stay. We made the mistake of visiting on Mother's Day weekend + the hotel was hosting a triathlon and Tesla event. The resort was overcrowded to say the least. If you do visit during a busy time, be sure to make reservations for every meal.
Overall, it was a lovely weekend with family and I would definitely do it again. I'd love to do a weekend with just my husband, as well, and maybe visit some wineries!
UNTIL NEXT TIME,