Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa Review

 

We hadn't been to , one of our favorite Texas resorts, for awhile so we packed the bags and golf clubs and set off on a 7 hour drive from Austin to Lajitas. It's long but the "destination is well worth the journey" and here's why we keep coming back to Lajitas Golf Resort::
  • Lajitas Golf Resortthe Resort is fantastic with a variety of unique and upscale lodging options, good food, and great friendly west Texas service
  • the golf course has been voted one of the best in Texas and it alone is worth the drive - stunning views, great conditions, and an excellent layout that you'll never tire of playing
  • the Resort is home to lots of fun activities
  • the surrounding area (Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Terlingua) offer lots to see and do from hiking to biking to kayaking down the Rio Grande River - and the scenery is truly majestic
  • there are some fun bars, good restaurants, and lots of live music in the area with the colorful, friendly, and eccentric locals

Main street at Lajitas ResortLajitas Golf Resort sits on 27,000 acres about 20 miles west of Big Bend National Park, 12 miles from Terlingua, and borders the Rio Grande River. Imagine a place where the Comanche Indians once roamed, Poncho Villa led raids across the Rio Grande, cowboys sat around an open campfire, and miners drank whiskey at the Trading Post - all among dramatic Chisos mountain vistas and the borderland majesty of the Rio Grande River. Also imagine a revived ghost town converted into a classy, Old West-style resort community alongside the Rio Grande which has old west charm blended with modern day luxury; gourmet dining; championship golf; plenty of outdoor activities; and a range of spa treatments! That's some of what it's like when you stay at Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa, which is unquestionably one of the best resorts in Texas.

Lajitas has grown from a small luxurious cowboy hotel with a nine-hole golf course to a flourishing world class Resort & Spa facility. It is the first resort in Texas to be named a Leading Hotel of the World and named as a AAA Five Diamond Award Winner for Quality and Service! Lajitas is now a mixed use development that includes the 103 room Lajitas Golf Resort, an 18 hole championship golf course, an equestrian center, an airport, an RV Park, and real estate development.

Golf at Lajitas Golf Resort

Golf Hole at Black Jack's Crossing

All of that is outstanding but the hallmark of the Resort is Black Jack's Crossing Golf Course. In 2009 record Rio Grande floods overtook and damaged most of the course - the irrigation system was washed out and mud 3 feet deep covered several holes. Shortly after the flooding, the Resort hired professional golfer Lanny Wadkins to begin a complete redesign of the course, which reopened in 2010 as Black Jack's Crossing Golf Course. Wow, what an impressive 18 holes of golf. You won't believe you're in Texas and during your round you'll encounter:

  • dramatic elevation changes that require one to two club changes
  • scenic panoramic vistas that are awe inspiring with the mountains, desert, valley, Rio Grande River, and views deep into Mexico - bring a camera and plan on some extra time just enjoying the views
  • risk reward opportunities, blind shots, intimidating carries over deep ravines, huge strategically placed bunkers, water, and more
  • unique and very different holes that require excellent course management and club selection skills

Golf hole at Black Jack's CrossingScenic views at Golf hole at Black Jack's CrossingWow - Golf hole at Black Jack's Crossing

It's not surprising that Black Jack's Crossing jumped to the top of our Best of Texas Resort Courses List and the Best Courses in Texas List. - from our perspective it just doesn't get any better. Not only that but Black Jack's Crossing has been voted:

  • #1 Course You Can Play in Texas by The Dallas Morning News
  • Most Beautiful Golf Course in Texas by Golf Magazine
  • #4 Course You Can Play in Texas by Golfweek Magazine

You need to add this course to your Texas Golf Course Bucket List. Read our review of Black Jack's Crossing Golf Course to learn more about this outstanding golf course.

Lajitas Golf Resort Accommodations

Laitas Resort BoardwalkThere is so much to see and do at the Resort as well as the surrounding area you probably won't spend much time in your room even though the lodging options at Lajitas Golf Resort are as unique and impressive as the golf course. They offer 103 distinct and unique rooms located throughout the resort - from the cowboy chic of the Cavalry Post or Officers Quarters to the elegance of the Boardwalk Suites or to the Cowboy bordello interiors of the Badlands Hotel. The four unique buildings offer several lodging choices and a range of prices. All of the lodging combines old west charm with all of the modern conveniences that you would expect and each room has a look and feel all it's own. Most of the Resort is centered around or adjoining the Resort boardwalk which includes the Badlands Hotel, Boardwalk Suites, Candelilla Cafe, shops, the fitness center, an outdoor activities outfitter, the bakery, meeting rooms, the Agave Spa, Thirsty Goat Saloon, Flat Rock Theater Company, an open air amphitheater for movies/weddings/music/special events, and the medical clinic.

The Badlands Hotel is located in the center of the resort above the boardwalk and has 15 rooms which are reminders of the old west cowboy days with iron beds, red velvet comforters, Mexican-tile bathrooms, and fabulous views of the valley and mountains. Across the courtyard from the Hotel are the luxury Boardwalk suites. There are both two bedroom and one bedroom suites that feature charming Southwestern decor, a large living room, complete kitchen, and a patio or balcony - perfect for couples or small families. On this trip we stayed in one of the suites and loved it. We had a huge bedroom with a soft king bed with two end tables and lamps, a large closet, an armoire with a flat screen, a desk and chair, and a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and a tile shower, slate floors, a large balcony, plus slippers and a robe. The adjoining lock-out suit/living area had a bathroom with double sinks and slate shower, a huge living area (with hardwood floors, fireplace, large flat screen, coffee table and two end tables a comfortable couch) and a dining table with eight chairs.The kitchen was equipped with everything you need to cook and enjoy a gourmet meal plus a washer and dryer. The balcony out the front door overlooked the boardwalk and the balcony off the back door overlooked the mountains. A lockout room was on the other side of the living area making a two bedroom plus the suite - perfect for couples, golf buddies, or a family.

Boardwalk Suite at Lajitas Golf ResortBoardwalk Suite at Lajitas Golf ResortBoardwalk Suite at Lajitas Golf Resort

La Cuesta is across Highway 170 from the boardwalk and is also excellent for families. The one bedroom suites are adjacent to a fantastic swimming pool and flanked by a lovely courtyard. Several of the rooms can be made to adjoin a standard room with a double queen bed. Each room's unique decor was inspired by characters of Big Bend's past and present. Overlooking the golf course and a few steps from the Spa are the Officer's Quarters. These 16 junior suites have patios or balconies with French doors opening to beautiful views of the golf course, mountains, and Rio Grande River; elegant rustic bedrooms, artistically tiled bathrooms, and beautiful landscaping around the building.

Our other room at Calvery PostOn a previous visit we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in two of the twenty eight rooms in the Cavalry Post which is also across the street from the boardwalk. The rooms are situated on the site where General John J. “BlackJack” Pershing’s cavalry post was built at the turn of the 20th century. This section of the resort has the true feel of a cavalry post and all but two of the rooms surround a well landscaped and tranquil reflecting pool. Each of the rooms has a unique decor ranging from cowboy chic with cowhide rugs and rough-hewn saddles to victorian with softer accoutrements and claw foot tubs. One of our rooms was around the reflecting pool and included tile floors, comfortable unique western furniture, tile shower, large screen TV, and all the other conveniences you would expect like hair dryer, coffee maker, and more. Our Maverick Ranch RV Parkother room was outstanding - it was one of the two cottages with kitchenettes and private patios just behind the Cavalry Post. The room was over sized and had a log poster king bed, comfortable wood chairs, kitchenette, and more. For larger groups, there is a 3 bedroom house and 2 bedroom condos available for rent.

If are traveling by RV, then Maverick Ranch is just down the hill from the resort and it has full hook-ups, WiFi, satellite TV, luxurious bathrooms with private showers, laundromat, state of the art exercise room, and a great pool. Maverick Ranch also has indoor space for group gatherings and meetings. When you stay at Maverick Ranch, you can enjoy all of the resort amenities and activities at the then current rates. Read our review of Maverick Ranch RV Park.

Activities & Things To Do at Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa

If you don't golf, you will not be bored when you stay at Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. If you just want to relax and chill, you can lounge by the pool, spend time at the spa, or enjoy time sitting on the patio taking in the magnificent views, sunrises, and sunsets. But, we recommend that you get off your can and take advantage of all the fun things to see and do in and around the Resort. The Resort is loaded with lots of fun activities and things to do, some of which include: ATV tours, horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf, tours, hunting, miles of hiking and biking trails, and lots more.

We were amazed and surprised at all there is to see and do beside great golf that is associated with the Resort, some of which included:

  • Mountain Biking - we rode mountain bikes on some of the many rugged trails through the Lajitas desert on the 27,000 acres surrounding the Resort. There are a variety of trails of various lengths for a variety of skill levels and many are rough, strenuous, and technically difficult. The Resort rents mountain bikes.
  • Spa - nothing beats a great massage at the Agave Spa after biking, hiking, and golf. The Spa has a full range of services including facials, pedicures, body treatments, massages, and more
  • Equestrian Center - here you find a variety of horseback riding options from sunrise tours with breakfast and Mimosas to sunset tours with BBQ, one hour to half day rides, wine and cheese rides, and more
  • Zip Line - you can take a zip line tour through Quiet Canyon with steep elevation changes from upper canyon to canyon floor - a world class adrenaline producing zip line tour - unfortunately, we weren't able to zip because it was closed for maintenance
  • Dinner and Stargazing - it doesn't get any better or any darker than some good food, music, s'mores, and a sky full of stars on a mesa in Lajitas

  • Flat Rock Theatre Company - the Flat Rock Theatre Company is open for movies and plays, plus the Resort sponsors a number of seasonal events like concerts, 4th of July festivities, wine tasting, putting classes, Texas hold-em, cooking classes, and lots more - check out the Resort Events Calendar and plan your trip accordingly.
  • Swimming Pool - it can get a tad warm in the summer and the pool at Lajitas is a great way to cool off and relax
  • Shooting Activities - if you like shooting you'll love the shooting options at Lajitas Golf Resort - 5 stand clay shoot, Cowboy shoot, and a combat course - read about our shooting activities during our recent visit
  • Jeep Tours - you can rent a Jeep and explore the area at your leisure and don't miss "River Road" which parallels the gorgeous Rio Grande and is full of twists and turns, majestic mountains, and the guiding waters of the river
  • Thirsty Goat Saloon - one of our favorites for food, live music, and drinks - all with an upscale sports bar atmosphere - hard to beat a cool sports bar, cold drinks, good food, and live music (we heard two very good singer songwriters)
Pool at Lajitas Music at Thirsty Goat

  • Rent a Golf Cart - if you're not a golfer you should rent a golf cart and drive the course... it's fun riding up and down some steep hills, stopping to watch some golfers drive the ball out of bounds, and enjoying the scenery - make sure you bring a camera because no one will believe you when you describe the majestic views
  • Lajitas Trading Post - within the well stocked Pro Shop is the world's largest Texas Longhorns exhibit.
  • Much More - visit the Long Horn Museum, work out in the fitness center, view the birds, or dine under the stars

 

Dining at Lajitas Golf Resort

With all that activity you're going to need some fuel so you can do it again the next day. The Candelilla Café is very good and serves an interesting twist on Tex Mex cuisine. You can dine inside or on a fantastic patio with a fountain and majestic views of the golf course, Rio Grande, and mountains. During each of our stays at Lajitas, the service was great, the prices were reasonable, and the food was good. .

Eggs Benedict at Lajitas Golf ResortBreakfast at the Candelilla Cafe is a loaded buffet (two types of eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, fruit, biscuits and gravy and lots more. Or you can order off the menu and I can enthusiastically recommend the Eggs Benedict - one of the best I've had!

Steak at Lajitas ResortFor dinner you can dine indoors or on the patio at Candelilla Cafe but we enjoyed the same menu in The Thirsty Goat which is next door to the Candelilla and it has more of a sports bar atmosphere. Some of what we enjoyed included: ia huge wedge salad, grilled salmon, fall off the bone BBQ ribs, and for lunch a huge burger, chicken salad sandwich, and some excellent wings. When I saw the size of the steak, I had to take a picture of it! Huge. But the highlight was the dessert. Several people had recommended the bread pudding (a cinnamon roll in a rich pecan praline sauce topped with ice cream with a fudge and carmel sauce. Couple that with several drinks and we were wobbling off to bed! Thirsty Goat is also the place to go to listen to some great music by some talented local folks.

For something a little lighter and quicker, you can stop by the bakery for cinnamon rolls, kolache, roll, coffee or espresso, and more. Or The Trading Post on the square has basic staples and some gift items.

Agave Spa at Lajitas Golf Resort

After biking, hiking, shooting, and golfing, it's impossible to beat a treatment at the Agave Spa. The Agave Spa at Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa has three massage rooms, a facial room, and salon. They offer a variety of treatments ranging from Swedish Massages to manicures and pedicures. Aromatic and healing elements of the Chihuahuan Desert are the foundation for their treatments which are "designed to nourish both your body and soul."

Big Bend and the Surrounding Area

Speaking of sore muscles and some kinks from enjoying the Resort activities, make sure that you stay a few extra days to enjoy everything there is to do in and around Lajitas Golf Resort. Here is just some of the fun things to see and do:

lf you run out things to do at Lajitas Resort, you should consider these nearby activities:

  • Another spectacular viewView from Route 170 driveTake Scenic Drive - don't miss the 49 mile roller coaster ride on Route 170 out of Lajitas leading to Presidio which was chosen by Automobile Magazine in the April 2006 edition as one of the 20 most outstanding drives in America. National Geographic Magazine rated it as one of the most scenic roads in the country as well.  Perhaps it is because of the many sheer precipitous drops to the Rio Grande, the majestic views of the mountains, or maybe just the raw desert landscape. A great trip and make sure you take your time and stop at all of the scenic overviews, take a short hike in Closed Canyon Slot (loved this easy hike) and at the Hoodoos. Stop in Presidio for lunch and slip across the border in Mexico for shopping, restaurants, and more.

Closed Canyon SlotScenic tour on hwy 170Scenic tour on hwy 170

  • End of the Windows TrailDown the dunes at Boquilas Canyon Go Hiking - in and around Lajitas there are plenty of good hiking opportunities, but Big Bend National Park offers some of the best hiking in Texas. It's an easy 20 mile drive to the entrance of Big Bend National Park which has miles of hiking trails for all skill levels and treks from one hour to multi-day. We particularly enjoyed these trails: Windows (you won't believe the view at the end of this trail), Boquillas Canyon (easy hike to the entrance to the canyon and a tall sand dune), Lost Mine (beautiful hike with majestic panoramic views), and Santa Elena Canyon (easy hike to the entrance of the majestic Santa Elena Canyon). To view some pictures and more of some of our hikes, check our Exploring Big Bend Adventure Article.
  • Enjoy the Terlingua Chili Cook Off - part of the reason that we picked this time of the year to visit Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa was to attend the 42nd annual Terlingua Chili Cook Off - what a blast: lots of great people watching, good chili, excellent music, and lots of laughs.
  • In Santa Elena Canyon - 1500 sheer wallsRafting the Rio GrandeRaft the mighty Rio Grande River - you can't visit this area without taking a rafting/canoeing/kayaking trip down the Rio Grande. There are a variety of trips available that are primarily dependent upon river flow. On one trip, we were lucky because the Rio Grande was flowing much faster than normal due to the flood and we had an outstanding full day of rafting half of which was the 1500' sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon and the notorious Rockslide rapids - a fantastic trip which you can read more about by clicking on Rafting the Rio Grande.. One of the put in spots is just west of Lajitas and the Resort can schedule trips or Far Flung Outdoor Center in Terlingua has several options for river trips.
  • Ride through the desert on an ATV - several outfitters in Terlingua offer a variety of ATV tour with Far Flungtours ranging from bird watching to biking, hiking, and river rafting. One tour that we really enjoyed was the ATV tour with Far Flung Outdoor Center. Read our article on this ATV tour to learn why we liked it.
  • Hang With The Locals In Terlingua - although there is no need to leave the Resort, we wanted to get out and find out why people live in the desert hundreds of miles away from major shopping, heavy traffic, WalMart, high prices, and, in most cases, off the grid with no water or electricity - maybe those are the reasons! We enjoyed a meal at the Starlight Theater, drinks and music at the unique La Kiva, hob knobbing with the locals at the Boathouse, music and drinks at High Sierra, and lots more - a mix of outdoor men, artists, mystics, and end-of-the-liners. Check out the cemetery, sit on the porch and drink a beer with the locals, and visit the unique Passing Wind homestead..

Terlingua grave yardPassing Wind HomesiteMusic in Terlingua

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Check out our Top Ten Things to See and Do in the Big Bend, Lajitas, and Terlingua area and here is a link to our Big Bend, Lajitas, and Terlingua Map to find some fun things to do in the Big Bend Area

Corporate Meetings, Retreats, Reunions, and Weddings at Lajitas Golf Resort

Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa is perfect for corporate meetings, executive retreats, family or social reunions, or destination weddings. In addition to great lodging, good dining, fantastic golf, plenty of activities, you'll find over 6000 square feet of meeting space, catering, state-of-the-art equipment, and services designed to meet your needs. For example, the Resort can arrange for unique group activities like a shootout on the boardwalk, a West Texas BBQ on an antique chuck wagon, or a horseback ride down to the Comanche Creek War Trail.

For special events, the Ocotillo is truly the place to be. The Ocotillo is in an old ranch house with an expansive bar, a third-level observatory with unmatched views of the Rio Grande and Mexico, multiple patios, and a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere.

OcotilloViews from the patio are fantasticVery cool building and interior

Courtyard at the Calvery PostFor weddings, there are several unique and beautiful ceremony sites including the Lajitas Chapel which is newly restored with saltillo tile, adobe walls, and hand-painted artistry. The chapel maintains its original 19th-century charm and has been designated a Historic Landmark. You also have excellent and unusual choices for the rehearsal dinner, reception, and honeymoon suite! Full catering and other wedding services are available. You could have your reception at the concert stage, at Ocotillo, by the pool, at the Calvary Post courtyard, the ballroom, or other choices.

Lajitas Condominiums

Good news for those of you who would like to own property in Lajitas. 12 new beautiful 2100 square feet condominiums are being built around the lake behind the pro shop. These condominiums will be fully furnished with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and have full kitchens, a fireplace and all of the comforts of home. Email Scott Beasley for more details and pricing.

Getting To Lajitas Golf Resort

Lajitas Golf Resort is not the easiest resort to get to but it's well worth the trip and most people will arrive by car. This year Lajitas Golf Resort is providing private air charter service from anywhere in the State of Texas on a 30 passenger Embraer 135 Jet! Fly private with valet parking next to the plane and no security lines are required to board the plane. The Lajitas airport is 5 minutes from the resort and a shuttle will be waiting for your arrival. Fly and you'll have lots more time for golf and the activities! Email Kathy Akers for more details and pricing. 

What Are You Waiting For!

Bottom line, Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa is clearly one of the best and most unique resorts in Texas. From cowboy chic rugged luxury lodging to tons of activities and things to do. Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa may be a little difficult to get to, but it is well worth the trip. We are already making plans to return next year with the kids and grandkids.

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