Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa Review - San AntonioIf you're looking for a fun place to have a family vacation, a golf outing with some buds, a romantic getaway, a wedding, or a corporate or social function or just a place to get away from the house for a weekend, then you need to call the .
We've been to the Hyatt twice (and can't wait to get back again) and here's what we think makes it special and one of the best resorts in Texas:
- excellent Texas hospitality and service second to none
- very comfortable accommodations
- a variety of dining choices
- championship golf on some of the best 27 holes in Texas
- plenty of activities and amenities for kids and adults
- a top notch spa to work out the weekday stress and weekend kinks
- affordable rates
The Hyatt Hill Country is located about 25 minutes northwest of downtown San Antonio and was built to blend into, and take advantage of the original ranch land. The Hyatt has done an excellent job of landscaping and retaining all of the trees and natural landscaping on the 300 acres giving you the feel that you're in the country and far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The Hyatt offers a rustic yet elegant Texas motif with exposed wood beams, wood-trimmed porches, huge stone fireplaces, and country brown leather furniture - all of which give you that pure Texas look and feel. The halls are lined with fabulous art and pictures of the original ranch, Texas countryside, and Texas personalities.
Some of the art depicts the rich history of the area and acreage the Hyatt sits on. In 1887, D. G. Rogers and Colonel Frank P. Hord made a deal - for $75,000 in cash, 500 head of cattle, three ranch houses and a racehorse named Texas, D. G. traded his 150 room Townsend House Resort in Milwaukee for some beautiful hill country acreage and a ranch outside of San Antonio. In 1990, 300 acres of what was part of over 2,828 acres of the ranch was sold to the Hyatt. The ranch was always a place where families would gather for holidays and celebrations and today the Hyatt continues those traditions of family, hospitality, and belonging.
The Hyatt Hill Country Resort is focused on being very family friendly. Our grand kids and their parents were never even close to being bored (or wanting to play some electronics games) during our first visit to the Hyatt. They were always busy enjoying: the sandy beach, tubing the lazy river, riding around on the free bikes, playing in the swimming pool or playground, watching movies on the lawn, enjoying some of the fun planned activities and free s'mores each evening.
They were so busy they never had time for Camp Hyatt for kids 3 to 12. Kids are encouraged to play the golf courses and there are junior clinics as well as player development programs for all ages. Because of the above, the Hyatt was awarded the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. If, for some strange reason, our kids got bored we were planning to head to Sea World, just 3 minutes away, which has Shamu, thrilling rides, shows, and Aquatica which is Sea World's water park. We never made it on this trip because we were so busy .
Service is another factor that helps distinguish the Hyatt Hill Country from other resorts. From the minute we drove into the entrance, we were warmly greeted with a big smile and a helping hand. Everyone that we encountered at the Hyatt, from the doorman, to the waiters, to the golf staff, to the spa and grounds attendants were friendly, helpful, and seemed committed to making sure that our stay was enjoyable and memorable. We have stayed at a number of different resorts and we found the Hyatt Hill Country's service and hospitality to be heads and tails above most other resorts. All of the employees seemed to love their role of providing excellent service to each and every guest. Some examples of the excellent service we received included:
- a staff member (we couldn't figure out what his job function was) who consistently stopped by our area at the pool asking if everything was ok, if we needed a waitress, or if there was anything he could do for us
- the golf pro shop staff from the front desk to the guys who wiped your clubs clean and drove you to your car all knew and used our name and were focused on making our golf experience memorable
- the two doorman and all the bell hops who greeted us with a warm smile and a helpful hand
- the concierge who was able to make some perfect recommendations on dining and nightlife
- the security guard who saw us walking back from the parking lot late one night with four young kids and called an extra golf cart to help transport us back to the lobby and ten minutes later, there was a knock at our door and the same security guard was there with an ice cream and three large chocolate chip cookies for the kids - I was a little disappointed that he forgot me
The Hyatt Hill Country has a relaxed comfortable feeling about it and with the landscaping, flowing river, flowering plants, and trees you feel like you've got plenty of space and that you're part of a nature preserve. If you want to escape from the other guests and have some quiet peaceful relaxation, the Hyatt has done a great job of setting up benches, hammocks, and rocking chairs in remote isolated areas.
In addition, the wood trimmed porch overlooking the lawn, flowers, and rambling river has rocking chairs to relax with a cup of coffee and the paper or a refreshing cocktail and appetizer in the evening. The lobby is equally impressive and great place to relax by the fire in the comfortable couches or chairs.
The Hyatt Hill Country was recently named as one of the best hotels in the US for families and was recognized as having one of the best pools according to Trip Advisor's Travelers' Choice. And in 2014, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort was awarded Trip Advisor' "Certificate of Excellence Award." This accolade, which honors hospitality excellence is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor and it represents the upper echelon of businesses listed on the traveler review website.
The Hyatt Hill Country Resort Amenities & Activities
In addition to all of that, what keeps us coming back to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort are the wide variety of outdoor activities and fun things to do, some of which include:
All of the above is is outstanding an helps make the Hyatt unique and fun, but the two amenities that were close to the top of our list were the Wildflower Spa and the 27 holes of golf.
Golf at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
If you want to incorporate golf into your vacation or stay at the Hyatt, you're in heaven and the kids or spouse aren't going to miss your four hour absence with the fun things for them to do while you're golfing. The Hyatt offers three different Arthur Hill designed nine hole courses, each with their own unique character and challenges. All three nines are in excellent condition and very well maintained and landscaped. You can find a course and set of tee boxes that will challenge any skill level or a nine that is forgiving, relaxing, and fun to play.
Each of the courses leverages the terrain that it meanders through, for example, the Oaks Course is heavily treed with majestic oaks, the Lakes Course has 3 lakes that add beauty and challenge, and the Creeks Course is named after the creek bed that runs alongside and across a lot of the fairways. To learn more about the courses, read our review of each - here is a link to the reviews of the Oaks Course, Lakes Course, and the Creeks Course. Our favorite was the Lakes Course - very scenic, lots of variety, some fun yet very challenging holes, and nine holes that are fair but demand good club selection and course management.
The Pro Shop is very well stocked with everything that you'll need to play well and look good doing it! And adjoining the Pro Shop is a fine dining restaurant (Antlers Lodge) and an excellent 19th hole, Cactus Oak Tavern which has some very good food, great drinks, TVs, and a pool table - an excellent place to spend some time settling your bets, reminiscing about your round over a game of pool, and planning when you can come back for more.
Windflower Spa at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort
As good as the golf is, the Windflower Spa is it's equal. After 27 holes of golf, riding bikes, some volleyball, and a race in the Lazy River my old body was tired and sore, so I hobbled over to the Spa. As I walked to the Spa down the stone walkway landscaped with a variety of colorful plants, I got the sense that I was in for something special - and I wasn't disappointed. I signed up for the Windflower Signature 50 minute massage - a relaxing massage of the back, neck, shoulders, hands, feet and scalp with Windflower’s own signature scent of lavender and citrus oils.
I started with a dip in the hot tub and then my treatment - WOW! By the end of the 50 minutes I felt rejuvenated and ready for another 27 holes of golf. But first I tried the sauna and then the outdoor pool followed by a nap in the hammock! I could have stayed there all day but Mrs. Texas Outside, who got a manicure and pedicure and loved it, woke me from a blissful nap and drug me to the golf course!
Windflower Spa has 21 treatment rooms in two unique barns from Texas ranches that have been redone into an amazing and beautiful center housing the Spa. In addition to the treatment rooms, there is an outside patio with lounge chairs and a fabulous pool and hot tub for relaxing before or after your treatment. Windflower is the perfect place to get rid of the work stress, massage the sore muscles from all the activities during a stay at the Hyatt, or just rejuvenate the body.
Dining & Nightlife at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
After all of those activities we all needed some energy and the Hyatt's five restaurants gave us lots of choices which fit our budget and taste buds - from burgers or nachos at the pool to fine gourmet dining in Antlers Lodge. Before golf we had a couple fantastic lunches at the Cactus Oak Tavern - a huge Prime Rib Wrap (it was huge and I could only eat half of it!), a trio salad, and a delicious grilled tuna sandwich! After golf each day, we settled all our bets (I bought!) over a couple games of pool.
Before dinner, we enjoyed some excellent custom made drinks at Charlie's Long Bar - the bartender was excellent and made us some very delicious drinks with a concoction of stuff that I could never repeat or duplicate - delicious! Charlie's is a replication of an authentic western saloon with a 56 foot carved wood and copper topped bar, TV's, jukebox, shuffleboard, pool, darts, and video games. Needless to say, on our second visit without the grand kids we spent a few hours here sipping cold beer and trying to win a competitive game of pool and shuffleboard.
The Springhouse Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has an expansive breakfast buffet - the Eggs Benedict are excellent.
But the highlight of our dining experience at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort was dinner at Antlers Lodge. Antlers is very impressive with a spectacular chandelier created from 500 sets of naturally shed antlers, a large fireplace, elegant wood furnishings, an open kitchen area, and some delicious food and excellent service. The hardest part was deciding what to have off of the tantalizing menu filled with innovative twists on traditional Texas fare, some of which includes:
unique appetizers like pork belly and scallop spaghetti squash with cranberry relish and espresso glaze or chicken fried oysters with candied jalapeno smoked paprika aioli, chayote, and apple slaw - as good as those sounded, we choose the beef empanada with chile verde and loved it
a variety of soups and salads - the poblano tomatilo soup with roasted chicken, cilantro, and avocado and the Caesar salad with shaved parmesan and chipotle-chile dressing were delicious
as we were agonized over what to choose for the entree our friendly waitress recommended the elk tenderloin with a red pepper jelly and spicy tomato jam on the side and the pan seared Gulf Coast redfish - excellent recommendations
we were talked into dessert and there were 13 choices (all of which made my mouth water, even though I was stuffed) - the recommendation of the oreo cookie (vanilla vodka, godiva liqueur, creme de coacao, rimmed with oreo filling and finished with oreo crumbles) won
It didn't surprise me that Antlers was rated Four Diamonds by American Automobile Association (AAA) and won Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence and had a high Zagat's rating - here is part of what Zagat had to say: "all the little extras like expansive Hill Country views, attentive waiters, fine wines are what make a difference at this elegant dining room." After that great dinner, I had to loosen the belt a couple notches but we did find room for a couple nightcaps and a game of shuffleboard at Charlie's Long Bar before we wobbled up to our room and immediately fell asleep!
There are several other options for food and drink at the Hyatt - by the pool there is Papa Ed's Pool Bar & Grill with juicy burgers, home-made sandwiches, grilled food, and bountiful appetizers and ice cold drinks; at the FlowRider is Vince's Watering Hole for cold drinks; the General Store has a wide variety of souvenirs and staples and offers decadent coffee creations and freshly-prepared foods like piping hot pizza or crisp salads plus snacks; and caffeine lovers will enjoy the Starbucks coffee bar near the lobby.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort Accommodations
The Hyatt has 500 guestrooms and 58 suites. The rooms are upscale and very well appointed, having undergone a $13 million renovation in 2006. Our suite included: a large master bedroom with a king size bed, comfortable leather chair, and ottoman; a parlor with a refrig, TV, sleeper sofa, and table and chairs; and a large patio with chairs and a nice view. The adjoining room made the suite a perfect set-up to accommodate our group.
The best part of our room was the Hyatt's Grand Bed - soft, cushy, and great after a full day of eating, drinking, and activities and very hard to get out of the next morning! I thought about trying to take one of their beds home with me because they are so comfy, but I knew I'd never make it out the front door.
Hyatt Hill Country Corporate, Social, or Wedding Venue
The Hyatt Hill Country is renowned for its elegant indoor and outdoor meeting or wedding spaces, gourmet catering, Texas style hospitality and service, and group activities. With over 33,000 square feet of meeting space which can be tailored to fit any size group, the Hyatt is the perfect place for an elegant and memorable wedding, productive business function, or a fun social retreat.
The Hyatt can provide catering, planned activities, or team building exercises to fit your needs. The five meeting rooms and two elegant ballrooms plus the courtyard deck under the trees or the Luckenbach Pavilion overlooking the golf course are available for your functions.
Our Group's Feedback On The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
Our first visit to the Hyatt Hill Country included my two daughters, three grand kids, brother, son-in-law, and my lovely wife. To a tee, everyone in our party said that our time at the Hyatt was one of the best mini vacations ever! Here are just a few comments:
- "Loved it, incredible resort - warm and welcoming with down home Texas style hospitality. There is something for everyone and the rambling river and pool area were the best ever!"
- "Service is outstanding, everyone is friendly and helpful, the pool nachos and margaritas were fabulous, and the spa was unbelievable - soothing, relaxing, comfortable and someplace I was tempted to spend the whole day."
- "I really liked the playground, lazy river, the s'mores by the fire, the guy who brought me the ice cream and gave me a ride in his cart, and riding the tricycle wherever I wanted to!"
- "Fantastic family friendly resort with great employees. The cool refreshing pool and Charlie's Long Bar are outstanding - in fact, we got in trouble with the spouses because we spent so much time in Charlie's playing shuffleboard, pool, and video golf as we watched UT whip Arkansas 52 to 14 or something like that."
"You can't beat the 27 holes of golf - each nine is different and offers it's own set of unique, fun, and challenging holes."
"I really liked the wide variety of activities - ping pong tables, sand and water volleyball, outstanding golf course, jogging trails, tetherball, exercise room, free bikes, tennis courts, horseshoe pits - plus a great adult pool with a hot tub and a spa to work out the kinks after all this exercise. We needed more time to enjoy everything the Hyatt offers. "
Nearby Things To See & Do During You Stay at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort
If you're looking for some fun nightlife, then put on the cowboy hat and boots, and mosey 5 minutes down the road to 151 Saloon - they have a great dance floor, a couple bar areas, fun crowd, and live country music most nights of the week. Another of our San Antonio favorites is John T. Floores Country Store which is one of the original dance halls in Texas and every weekend has great live music with some of the best musicians in Texas.
If you need to leave the Resort for dinner, there are lots of nearby restaurants. Pericos is about 15 minutes away and has pretty good mexican food, a fantastic outdoor patio, and an outstanding band that had everybody dancing and singing. The Hyatt concierge can help you with some recommendations.
Downtown San Antonio is about 25 minutes away and they have everything you need from sports venues to the Alamo to the Riverwalk and good restaurants and shopping. We love to bike around downtown San Antonio - its the best way to explore the city from our perspective - and now you can use Bike Share to rent a bike and tour the city. You can find a lot of fun things to see and do on Texas Outside's San Antonio Page.
If you have kids and if for some strange reason they get tired with the lazy river, sandy beach, bikes, playground, kid's camp, lawn movies, and other planned Hyatt activities, then Sea World (read why we had a blast at Sea World) and Aquatica (here's a link to our fun day at Aquatica) are a couple minutes away and Fiesta Texas is about 15 minutes up the road. Both Sea World and Fiesta Texas have great water parks, thrilling amusement rides, live entertainment, and much more. Plan to spend a full day here. On the weekends the lines can be long.
Bottom line, you need to make sure that at least once a year you experience a fun and enjoyable stay at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa.