Resorts have all sorts of wonderful ways to make families feel at home. Teddy bears on beds, cookies and milk, and welcome baskets full of kid-friendly goodies, just to name a few. Those extra touches don’t go unnoticed. In fact they often turn visitors into repeat visitors. But every now and then you come across a resort that WOW’s you and turns a family vacation from ordinary to extraordinary. At the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa outside Austin, Texas, extraordinary is an everyday occurrence.
Crooked River Water Park
When I arrived with my 11 year-old daughter, all she could think about was the pool. We dropped our bags in our room and changed into swim suits in record time. The utter starvation that had seemed so dire on the drive from the airport evaporated the minute she hit the water.
Kids could spend every waking moment at the Crooked River Water Park and never get bored. There is a 1,000-foot lazy river tube ride, water slide mellow enough for little ones but entertaining enough for the tween and teen set. One end of the pool has a beach entry complete with sand for castle making enthusiasts. Add in a hot tub, fountain splash pad and kiddie pool, and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is having enough sunscreen. Splashing is expected and encouraged, so adults seeking silence can settle in at the adult pool.
The attention to detail and customer service is hard to miss, even when it’s focused on the Resort’s younger guests. I convinced my daughter to get out of the pool long enough to order something to eat from Old Buck’s Place, the pool side restaurant and bar. Within minutes, the bartender Matt, had her completely figured out. The Shirley Temple, the barbeque cheeseburger complete with a fried green tomato on top was just what she needed to keep her energy level going strong. She was just about to try Matt’s Kookie Monster milkshake when we had to leave to go on a Sunset Float down the Colorado River. Matt assured her he’d be ready and waiting for her tomorrow.
Horse Drawn Wagon Ride around the Resort
So Many Kid-Friendly Activities, Never Enough Time
Just about every hour a new family-friendly activity gets underway. Be sure to pick up the weekly Recreation Guide when you check it. It lists everything going throughout the Resort. Don’t miss the horse drawn wagon ride or the chance to get up close and personal with resident longhorn steers T-Bone and Ribeye.
Crafty kids will love all the options. During our stay my daughter painted a maraca, tie dyed a t-shirt and had her face painted. Most of the activities take place at picnic tables strategically placed under shady trees, within earshot of the pool. So it’s not uncommon to see budding artists, creating their works of art in the comfort of their damp swimsuit.
Oh and by the way, shortly after having her face painted my daughter headed straight to the pool to do some floating. Her friend Matt the bartender, whipped up and delivered a Kookie Monster shake before she had a chance to get her hair wet.
Camp Hyatt Fun!
Camp Hyatt at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines
The best family vacations include time for parents to rest and relax. Whether the perfect afternoon is a massage at spa django or a round of golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club, parents can head off knowing their kids will have a ball at Camp Hyatt. Kids in Camp Hyatt don’t go to the pool, but they do take advantage of many of the great activities going on around the resort. It’s designed for kids ages 3-12 (must be potty trained).
Food can be one of the biggest challenges when going on vacation with the kids. From food allergies to picky eaters to little ones who just don’t like to sit still that long. Having options and having a refrigerator in the room are essential. McDade’s Emporium and Ice Cream Saloon is a great take on an old-fashioned general store with all the modern day convenient perks. You can grab coffee and breakfast, a snack on the go or a sweet treat without breaking the budget. Try the fried pickles at Major Neighbors Grill or grab a pizza from Shellers Barrelhouse Bar. Leftovers are fine when you’ve got a fridge to keep them in.
If the family just isn’t in the mood to sit down, grab your food to go. Find a patch of warm dry grass out by the pool and enjoy. There’s a good chance by the time you finish, the fire pit will be glowing with all the s’mores fixins ready to go. You’ll probably smell popcorn too. The outdoor movie on the lawn usually starts at 8pm but no worries, your picnic dinner reservations guarantees you the best seats in the house.
Dana and her daughter received complimentary travel and accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own. Photos by Dana Rebmann
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