Journey of Many Friends to Lake Austin Spa Resort (Part I)

palm pool at lake austin

By Michele McIntyre–

When I’m not traveling or writing about travel, I can be found planning and orchestrating some sort of elaborate travel scheme. Girlfriend getaways? They’re my favorite trips to plan. I’ve been traveling with a group of girlfriends each year for nearly 10 years now. This year was to be no exception!What brought us to Austin is a friend’s relocation from Mississippi. (We visited her there too!) I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the plane tickets were bought before she had even crossed state lines and planted roots in Texas. Austin had been on my “list” of places to visit for some time now and this was exactly the nudge I needed to get there.

Some years we travel near; some years we travel far. Some years there are just two of us; other years there are more. This trip to Austin grew and grew, like carefully tended seeds in the garden. What started as a small group of friends transformed into a group that included friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends. By the time we descended on Lake Austin Spa Resort, we were a group of ten old and new friends.

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Guests come to Lake Austin Spa Resort for many reasons: The non-stop variety of fitness classes and workshops, detoxification and weight loss, the fabulous healthful food, the breathtaking scenery and to jump-start a healthy lifestyle program. For our group, this is the tail end of our busy sightseeing trip. We’ve two-stepped, had our fill of Tex-Mex food and a margarita or two and shopped till we dropped. Now we’ve come to Lake Austin Spa Resort to relax!

guest room at lake austinLake Austin Spa Resort is a bit more intimate but no less elaborate than some other notable destination spas: At any given time, there are no more than 60-65 overnight guests staying among the 40 guest rooms and suites, plus a few handfuls of guests who come to the Lake House Spa for the day. I have the best of both worlds: I get to experience the day spa with my friends followed by an overnight stay once they depart for home. They had no idea what they’d be missing. But we’ll get back to the overnight part of my visit in due time.

So why Lake Austin? We had to discover for ourselves why the resort has been named the only destination spa in the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Platinum Circle. Not a year goes by without Lake Austin receiving numerous awards and accolades from nearly every prominent list. How could we not go?

Our day spa visit goes something like this: Check-in for brief tour, soothing dip in the hot tub, luxurious spa treatment, a cat nap in the stunning blue room, a delicious lunch in the Aster Cafe, relax in the warm sunshine by the pool, more soaking in the hot tub, another pampering spa treatment and relax (again).

Wrapped in my spa robe, I luxuriate in the bright sunshine while sitting poolside. It feels much warmer than 54 degrees. The cloudless sky is a brilliant blue. I chuckle to myself as I think about the weather back home: a sharply cold 27 degrees. More than half of the country is blanketed in snow. But here in Austin? It’s perfect.

The spa menu is simply to die for. It’s hard to decide what treatment to get; the Tour of Texas sounds marvelous. I settle on an 80-minute Calming Detox Wrap and it is sheer perfection. My therapist, Megan, is brilliant. She is so technically accurate and yet so nurturing. She is observant, noticing that I’m dehydrated and have knots in exactly the places I always have knots. When we discover a shared passion for nutrition, Megan makes targeted and welcome suggestions about food choices. I absorb the information like a sponge. When I leave my treatment, I’m armed with a list of books to read, podcasts to listen to and diet suggestions to try. It was like having my own personal wellness mentor.guest room at lake austin spa resort

How can a day go by in what seems like an instant? Before long I’m saying good-bye to my friends new and old. This marks the end of our Austin journey together, but my journey at Lake Austin Spa Resort is only just beginning. Stay tuned for part II!


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Journey of Many Friends to Lake Austin Spa Resort (Part I)
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