Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Travel Blogs from Lost Pines
I have been enjoying our down time and the company of my eldest son and his wife here in Austin and blogging has been put on the back burner. We travelled from Vegas to Austin on Thursday 22nd. It was an early start as we had to return the hire car and get through normal airport security before the two and half hour flight to Austin. The flight went quick as I shut my eyes for a few moments and the next thing we were nearly there. We lost two hours on ...
... Greenfields for almost 20 years and it was a great time getting to spend time together and meeting their many wonderful friends. They are quality people and have long time friendships they have built over the years. You can tell they are both well respected by their neighbors and friends. It has been a really wonderful time and I hate to see it end. We had a lot of good laughs and meals together. Thanks to them for a ...
... 3 weeks with just carry on? Well, you start by carefully selecting shirts, and blouses, socks and underwear that will be light to carry, reasonably warm, yet easy to dry in a hotel room.
Easier said than done. In preparation for the trip I washed many a thing at home with my hand, even though I have an automated washing machine and great tumble drier.
At least I did not have to walk down to the river with the laundry on my head, I did not have to ...
... llano a small town with some good history, we watched the highlights of Murray losing to Federer, always good to see a jock cry on tv! We headed to the shop to pick up some supplies, then a massive storm hit, shaking the motel. Thunder and lightning, was great to watch tho! Bed early Forgot to mention, in the morning we were using McDonald's wifi when a group of kids calling themselves the future farmers of America showed up, they started filming us and ...
... of intermission - we had another glass of wine to keep our buzz going. Then we sat back down for the rest of the show and enjoyed the remarkable music and singing. After the show, we met up with Kathy and another couple, and headed to a close bar for a night cap. It was a wonderful evening with marvelous people! We can't thank Henry and Kathy Leighton enough for all their wonderful generosity and great company while we got to experience a little bit of their town, ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Shuttle bus service
- Swimming pool
- Room service
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
As frequent visitors to the Hilll Country Hyatt, we were excited about a similar resort opening closer to home. We stayed at the Lost Pines resort for 2 nights in late July, when it had been open about 2 months, but quickly realized that the resort still had a lot of bugs to work out. On the positive side, the LCRA programs were interesting and informative, but some were overpriced. We particularly enjoyed the free stargazing and native animals presentations. We also appreciated the ready availability of complimentary bicycles and the friendly staff.
The deficiencies we encountered were in the areas of landscaping, construction completion and food service and, well, bugs. Our room on the 4th floor (which the bellman pointed out did not have a balcony to get locked out on) overlooked what will one day be a butterfly meadow, but is currently just sparsely covered with grass. Likewise, parts of the lazy river meander through nothing but overgrown weeds. The hotel had just planted some pine trees to go along with the "Lost Pines" theme, but they don't naturally grow on the property. A stroll along the pathway by the river revealed an unpleasant, sewer odor. We saw workers digging up the area, but it was not resolved during our stay. We also encountered numerous flying insects both indoors and outdoors. During an evening bike ride, my daughter got one in her eye and we all got some in our mouths!
We purchased a Family fun package which included an "activity" credit which we had hoped to use for my daughter at the youth spa. After we arrived, we learned that the youth spa was not open yet and the adult spa was fully booked for any services we were interested in.
Our biggest frustration was with the hallway lighting. There appeared to be some electrical problems during our first day there. For several hours, the hallway leading to our room was dimly lit and at times totally dark. It was a very long walk down a very dark hall to get to and from our room. When the lights were on, it was evident that there were numerous punch list items to complete, with areas needing paint and other elements of completion. Furthermore, the temperatures in the common areas of the hotel were extraordinarily cold, so we were appreciative of the temperature controls in our room.
While the staff was extremely friendly, their inexperience showed and many questions required consultations with other employees to answer. The biggest complaint involved the staff of the Firewheel restaurant. While we were there, the hotel occupancy was pretty low, but we always had to wait an extraordinary amount of time to be seated by the hostesses, even when it was obvious that there were plenty of tables available. The wait staff was slow as well. One morning we waited 15 minutes for a bagel and it arrived burnt! Waiting for the check was agonizingly slow. I had to take my daughter outside to warm up while my husband waited for the check.
Overall, we thought the resort was very overpriced. The horseback riding cost more than we paid in Maui for a ride 3 times longer. Because the hotel is so remote, they realize thay can get away with high prices for their food. Fortunately, breakfast was included in our package. Had it not been, I probably would have settled for Starbucks and baked goods sold in the ice cream parlor.
Until we get reliable reports that they've worked the bugs out at Lost Pines, we'll continue making the drive to San Antonio's Hill Country resort.
A lot of problems
This was not my first stay at a Hyatt resort. My family has stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country several times so I have some perspective from which to write this review. First, the niceties. The building facilities were beautiful. The rooms were large and nicely furnished. I didn't play golf but the course was beautiful. Very nicely groomed. It looks very tough though. Lots of elevation changes, narrow fairways and trees, trees and more trees.
Now for the problems. They have not completed all of the landscaping. I was awakened at 6:30 two mornings in a row by a bobcat moving pallets of grass right outside my patio door. That really made me mad. The waitstaff in the main Firewheel restaurant were very slow. I had to wait an excessive amount of time for everything, water refills, check etc. During our dinner meal I saw our server when we were seated and when she brought the check 15 minutes after we had finished our meal and none in between. My family had already left the table by the time I got the check. And this was at a time when the hotel was said to be about 60% occupancy. The food was marginal but very expensive. Breakfast for four, $50 and that's with the kids ordering off the kids menu. Lunch and dinner more than that. Cokes, iced tea $4.50. Margaritas at the pool $10+tip. The activities were also expensive. We had hoped to take our kids horseback riding but it was $100 per person for a one hour ride. I believe the green fees for the course are $140 per player. The pool was disappointing. The kids pool had a large beach area which caused the water to be very murky. It was also very shallow and very warm. The lazy river was OK. We decided to leave a day early. We were there 2 nights, from lunch on Monday to Wednesday morning. We stayed in a standard room, ate four meals on site, did two activities and our bill was $1200 at checkout. I will not be going back unless its on someone else's dime.
Loved Hyatt Lost Pines
We stayed at the Hyatt Lost Pines in late July, after the hotel had been open for about 6-7 weeks. The experience was great.
The place is set up much like Hyatt Hill Country, although the location on the Colorado River is distinctive. The area near the Colorado was not completed (disturbed dirt still around), but otherwise everything seemed to be working well. We arrived on a Saturday and swam while our room was prepared. Every time we walked to our car (not very far) a staff member in a golf cart or van stopped and asked us if we needed a ride. When we were walking to play tennis, we were offered a ride and then the driver returned to bring cold waters to us on the court! The tennis courts are quite nice, but you need to get out early or reserve because there are only two courts. The staff were uniformly pleasant and helpful. We did not really have to ask for anything, the staff seemed to anticipate our needs and offer help unbidden. There were bottled waters in the health club, lemonade in the lobby, ice water by the pools, all available without charge. The lazy river was quite nice, the slide was great for kids and the pools, one designated as adults only, were nice.
Our kids had lunch by the pool and thought the food was good and it was inexpensive (about $5 for chicken nuggets and fries). We had breakfast in the "bar" and it was good. Kids eat the breakfast buffet for $9 and adults are $16. Although not inexpensive, the breakfast was great. Lox, eggs, eggbeaters, many juices, etc. We had dinner in the Firewheel restaurant and, although the food was good, the restaurant was expensive. For two adults, one 14 year old and one 12 year old we spent about $100, with no beverages (soft drinks are $4.50) or cocktails. You can eat for less in the Firewheel, but you'd have a sandwich. Salads are not included with your meal, so if you want a salad add about $8 to your meal. After dinner we decided that, in the future, we'd have breakfast and lunch at the hotel and go to Bastrop for dinner (or bring dinner back). Rooms have a nice size regrigerator so you can easily store a few items in the room, but I'd recommend buying them in Bastrop or Austin rather than in the very expensive general store in the hotel.
When we were at Lost Pines the S'mores were free, although this appears to be a change, since earlier reviewers indicated there was a charge. It rained in the evening so the s'mores were done under a large outdoor pavilion by the pool. It was very nice and, surprisingly, there were no mosquitos.
There were approximately 15-20 bikes available to guests and they were very popular. Some bikes were very small with training wheels. In addition, one evening there were stagecoach rides around the property (no charge).
Lost Pines appears to have more activities for kids than Hyatt Hill Country and even outr teenager enjoyed the music, although not the sponge tag. There are many families with young children, but enough older kids that our kids enjoyed hanging out with a few other kids.
The hotel is located among some large Pecan trees and the five trees cut down to build the hotel were used in the floor of the main lobby, to construct a chandelier in the lobby, and to make trays used by room service. In addition, the root of the tree forms the base of a table in the lobby. In addition, the floor was milled in Bastrop and the hotel if full of photos and items from Texas' history. It is quite well done, not tacky at all.
The spa looks nice but we were unable to get in for services as they were booked. I recommend booking services in advance of your visit.
Overall, a great new hotel in the Austin area.
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING is all I can SAY!!!!!!
Lost Pines exceeded all of my expectations. It was very private, quiet, and relaxing and sat directly on the Colorado River. The resort itself, although it is still getting set up was stunning! There were so many activities to choose from and different venues to relax in. The restaurant had fantastic live music the whole evening and the STAFF was amazing, friendly, and went out of their way to make me happy. The feel for the whole resort was just breathtaking. The pool area--oh my gosh! It was amazing, catered to children as well as young spirited adults. There was a lazy river, a lagoon like pool, and a waterslide. The rooms--ONCE again, AMAZING....flat screen TVs, the most comfortable bed I have ever been on, and wonderful decor. Although I am not a golfer, I have seen my share of courses and this course at Lost Pines has out done any course I have ever seen with the views from each whole and the tranquility of it all. All and all-- I LOVED IT! Thanks Hyatt!
Great Get Away!
My Wife, 6 year old son and I stayed at the Lost Pines Resort July 8-12, 2006. We took advantage of the buy 3 get one night free deal. As several reviewers have noted, the resort is still working out minor details of a new property. These are minor and in no way hindered the enjoyment of our stay. Dont expect an established Ritz or Four Season's feel here. You get a great "Texas Lodge" experience at Hyatt Lost Pines Reort.
You enter on a 2+ mile private road that winds thru the hills and trees leading to the resort. We immediately began to decompress and get into "vacation" mode. Upon pulling up to check in, all the staff members were very polite and helpful. One unique aspect of the resort is that Hyatt recycled much of the trees cut down during construction and used the wood for floors and other features in the hotel. It seems that they have worked hard to be a good steward of the land and have joined up with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to provide educational tours on the area and Colorado River. There are wonderful trails running along the Colorado River and other parts of the property. The Resort has alot of information on the history of the area as well as Texas in it's paintings, displays, and plaques located througout the property.
The majority of the rooms have very nice views of courtyards, the river or the pool area. There is a wing however that provides minimal views or of the entrance drive, and some include a view of the self-park area. We had a great room with two double beds and it was very comfortable and included a 32" LCD TV. We were on the first floor and had a wonderful old pecan tree outside the porch and in the distance the pools.
We were told that the pool complex had the largest "lazy river" in the US at a resort and would not argue as it is 1200 feet long +-. The complex includes the river, a 95' long slide, sand beach & pool, and seperate adult pool accesible by river. We spent the majority of our time at the pool. Yes, the pool area is in need of additional umbrellas and shade, and we were told that they have been ordered. The pool staff works very hard to make sure that everyone has a good time. We were especially pleased with all the activities that they have for the kidsw. Special thanks to Lea and Jessica for all their hard work with the kids. We had no trouble getting service when needed. The pool was uncrowded, especially during the week. I am sure this will change as the word gets out about this fine resort. There are bikes available to check out, Tennis and a Spa. The s'mores are now free and while we were there ran from 8 until 9:45 at one of the fire pits on the property.
The golf course is beautiful and tough. I played twice and did not/would not get tired of this course. It is a little tough for a "resort" course, but with several tee options, you can find one that fits your game. The signature hole is #12, an elevated par 3 high on a ridge overlooking the resort. Bring a camera for a great picture.
The staff is very polite and helpful. We didnt encounter anyone who didnt go out of their way to be helpful. Very courteous and plenty of Texas Hospitality. Even the maids were great and help with my wayward spanish! You couldnt walk anywhere and pass a Hyatt employee who didnt ask how you were or saying hello.
Alot fo the people we talked to came from the Dallas area. Much shorter drive to Lost Pines than to Hyatt Hill Country. With a new property, the foliage is still growing in, the trees are new, the grass is still getting thicker etc., so with the exception of the very old pecan and oak trees, dont expect a place that looks like it has been there forever.
Go now before people discover Lost Pines Resort and the crowds come. We are already planning a return trip this summer.
The resort is approximately 25 minutes from Austin and 10 minutes from Bastrop with a wonderful old main street.
Quick recharge on the way home!
On our way home to El Paso from our daughter's wedding in Burton, TX and with no reservations, having seen the beautiful entry statement from Highway 71 into the Austin area, we wheeled into the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort on a whim. It was a great decision!
We are now in day two of a four-day (stay three nights and get a fourth free package) recharge of our batteries and between the fine accomodations, gracious staff, beautiful grounds and diverse activities my wife, two children (10 and 15) and I are about back to normal. The pool area can hold your attention all day, with its winding "river ride", slide, waterfalls, beach and splash/squirt garden...while Old Buck's serves up beverages and food at your station, and bike rides take you on winding trails through the woods. The golf course is challenging and beautifully laid out. Horseback riding was a thrill for our 10-year old boy!
Work is obviously still in progress as they finish the last touches on this retreat in the famous "Lost Pines" of central Texas. However, the staff makes up for any glitches with their great attitude and genuine smiles. Give it a few months and Hyatt will have this place hitting on all cylinders. For a Texas native, the keen attention to the history of the state (with a focus on its artists, musicians and writers) in the lobby and room decor is fascinating and presented with museum-like quality.
We'll be back!
Loved the pool!
We stayed at the Hyatt Lost Pines June 9-13. I will skip any minor inconveniences that can happen at any hotel. Since the hotel had only been open a week or so, some 'kinks' were to be expected. Aside from that, the majority of the staff was very friendly. The property was completed with a few exceptions. The rooms were fairly large and nicely decorated. Rooms on floors 1-3 have patios/balconies. Rooms on the fourth floor do not.
If you go with children and go for the pool, take note...The pool is located on one end of the property behind the rooms. It is not behind the lobby like it is at the Hyatt Hill Country. So if you happen to get a room at the opposite end of the property, like we did, it is a little trek to the pool and back with little ones in tow. Our room was on the fourth floor. It took five minutes to go through the hotel to take the elevator down to ground level and then to the pool. We could exit past five or so rooms to the exterior stairs and take them down if we wanted to cut a little time off the trek. Easier down those stairs than up, though, especially with tired little legs! On the flip side, our room was very quite!
Once you get to the pool you won't be disappointed. There is a sand volleyball court next to the sandy beach that goes into the large pool. You can check out sand toys at the towel hut. The crooked river or 'crazy river' as one kid called it, was fun. Since the landscaping hasn't grown in around it you get less of a 'jungle' feel than at the Hyatt Hill Country. There are two waterfalls along the river, too. We didn't try the adult pool or the wading pool. The splash pad was a nice way to cool off while waiting for the next kids activity at the towel hut. They had four activities that we tried. Frozen shirt contest, water gun tag, water balloon toss and Tonkawa Trail hunt. The towel hut is the place to go for info while at the pool, you can also check out bikes, free of charge, to ride around the sidewalks. We did have lunch twice by the pool. It was better than average and priced in the resort range.
Every night around 8:30 they light the fire pit for smores. They were not free when we were there. It was $16 for the smores kit in the snack shop. We stopped by the grocery store in Bastrop and picked up our smores supplies, as well as a few things for the fridge that is in the room.
We ordered room service twice. The service was excellent and quick. The food was good. The kids menu is fairly priced.
If you visit the concierge desk you can find out the activites for the week. I would have liked a newsletter in our room detailing all the activities, like the resorts in San Antonio have. For the price of the room, you definitely want to take advantage of everything the resort has to offer. Another thing I missed from the Hyatt Hill Country was the singing cowboy that greets you in the lobby. The Lost Pines does have plenty of rocking chairs to relax in. The surroundings are very natural. We saw butterfiles, waterfowl and a raccoon. You can hear the occasional owl at night.
While this hotel seems to be getting off the ground, the major reasons for going there are in place, the pool in particular. I was surprised by the lack of any crowds. Sometimes we had the pool to ourselves. Overall, I would rather deal with a few inconveniences than an overcrowded resort.
Still Working Out the Kinks
We stayed at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort from June 26-28, 2006. We selected a Mon/Tues/Wed time frame on purpose, hoping that the hotel would be the least crowded on those days. We were right -- the hotel was at about 1/3 occupancy. Whether this was due to its only having opened three weeks earlier, who knows -- but it was wonderful not to have to battle crowds at the pool, long waits at check-in or at the restaurant, etc.
Our party included myself, my husband, our two teenage daughters & one teenage friend. Because we basically had 5 adult-size people, we were willing to pay more for more spacious accommodations. So, two months earlier, we had reserved a Junior Suite -- which according to the Hyatt website (at that time) offered a king-size bed in a separate bedroom & a queen-size sofa sleeper in the living/dining room. The website also said: "Most Junior Suites open to a double/double room, allowing 770 square feet of living space." So -- we figured that for the $370.00 website rate for a Junior Suite, we'd be getting four beds (including the sofa sleeper).
But when I called to confirm all the details the week prior to our visit, they told me that the double/double room is NOT part of the Junior Suite -- and that to get those two extra double beds, you must pay the $299 minimum rate for an extra room (on top of the $370.00 rate for the Junior Suite). Also, they said that the bed in the Junior Suite bedroom is NOT a king, but a queen. So we were in a quandary -- either we'd reserve a rollaway as an addition and make the best of crowded conditions, or bite the bullet and rent the extra room. But because I felt the website description had been very misleading, a hotel manager finally agreed to give us a deal -- he booked the extra double/double room for us at the $299.00 rate, but he also gave us the Junior Suite for that same rate. And, he threw in a 4:00 PM checkout time for both rooms on our departing day, so we felt satisfied with this compromise. (Especially since now the rate for a Junior Suite has gone up to $495.00 per night, according to the website.)
When we got to the Hyatt at 3:45 PM, we were told that the double/double room was ready, but the Junior Suite was not. This seemed odd, since (a) check-in time is supposed to be at 3:00 PM, and (b) it was a Monday -- and as I said earlier, the place was virtually empty. We put all our stuff in the double/double room, but it was after 5:00 PM when they finally finished cleaning the Junior Suite & gave us our keys.
A check-in caveat -- when you make your reservations, either by phone or online, what you won't know in advance is that when you get to the hotel, they tell you they charge a $15.00 per day "use fee!" They explain that this is for use of the pool, tennis courts, etc. Jeez Louise! That just seems so tacky & sly. Why not just build the stupid "use fee" into the regular rates? We really felt like this is a bait-and-switch tactic. Also, Internet users beware -- there is a $10 daily fee for using their high-speed service. With three laptops among the five of us, that was a whopping $30 per day for Internet. Again, at the rates the Hyatt charges, their Internet shoud be free.
Dining -- as the Dallas review on this site mentioned, the upscale restaurant (Stories) does not open until 7/18/06 -- so we settled for the Firewheel Cafe, which is similar to the main restaurant at the Hill Country Hyatt (only smaller). The glass-walled restaurant is light, airy & beautiful, but the service was spotty & the prices were ridiculously high. The dinner buffet, for instance, was $23.00/pp and offered only four mediocre entrees, a salad bar with very few topping choices and a dessert selection that actually was pretty ample. My husband & I ordered the house white wine, which was still priced at $8.00 per glass. It is served in a tiny 2-ounce decanter that, when poured into a wine glass, laughably offers less than two inches of liquid. Even our server was embarassed at the meager amount. The food -- both at breakfast and at dinner -- was very bland. Not bad, just bland -- very institutionalized fare that lacked spice, seasoning and snap. I guess they're trying to appeal to a broad sampling of palates; thus it's safer to lean toward the conservative end of flavor. Hopefully, Stories (when it opens) will offer more variety & more daring tastes. As an interim alternative, downtown Bastrop has several restaurants -- including a couple of fine-dining establishments -- but the town is a 20-minute drive from the resort, when you include the seven minutes or so that it takes you just to get from the hotel itself (on the impressive two-mile private entrance drive) out to Highway 71.
Pool Activities -- as we do at the Hill Country Hyatt, we spent most of the day by the pool. The Lazy River at Lost Pines is just as wonderful as the one at the HCH -- and it will be even more so after the brand-new foliage around it grows up to provide steady shade. A bonus (not featured at the HCH) is the two-story spiral water slide, manned at the top by a lifeguard. The kids loved this. I agree with the Dallas review that there aren't nearly enough poolside umbrellas to accommodate a capacity crowd...but fortunately, we had no problem getting umbrellas since at most, there were probably less than 50 people by the pool when we were there. Poolside food/beverage service was quick & courteous, and the food was actually just fine for outdoor lunch fare. (There's also an adult pool -- and unlike the HCH adult pool, this one adjoins the Lazy River so if you want to ditch the kiddos for awhile, you just duck under a discreet swim rope down a short waterway alley.) Overall, the "water park" (as they call it) is currently this resort's best feature -- at every level.
Horseback riding -- my daughter & her friend, who are both horse-owners, booked a trail ride for the second day we were there. Being advanced riders, they reserved the "Adventure Ride" -- which promises a 2-1/2-hour ride over all kinds of terrain, with all kinds of scenery. On those elements, the ride delivered. They also enjoyed the wrangler who accompanied them, and the horses they were given. The Renegade Trailhead (stable area) was still partly under construction when we were there, but it's very charming -- and the animals seem to be well cared-for. The only glitch here: The girls' ride did not last for the promised 2-1/2 hours; instead, it ended at just under two hours. This was because when they were out on the trail, they encountered several routes that were impassable, due to fallen trees -- and the wrangler (being new, I'm sure) probably couldn't figure out any other way to add extra time to the ride. While these circumstances were understandable (you can't control Nature, after all), compensation should have been made. The Adventure Ride is not cheap -- it's $125/pp -- so perhaps it would have been fitting to discount each of the rides to $100/pp. I was not made aware of the shortened ride until much later that same day, or I might have asked for a compromise while they were still at the stable. Advice: discuss these kinds of potential circumstances before you go out on the trail.
The Spa -- I didn't go, but my husband had a very satisfactory 60-minute, deep-tissue massage for a very reasonable price of $110.00. He said the spa is very state-of-the-art, with full-scale offerings and a friendly, professional staff. His only criticism was that there was no drinking fountain or water cooler to be seen anywhere. When he mentioned this to the staff, they said they usually have bottled water available in obvious spots for guests -- and they were chagrined that no one had replenished the supply on that day. A minor flaw, anyway.
Night Life -- there currently are two bars at the Hyatt Lost Pines. One is a cozy, quiet one with a library-like atmosphere (I forget the name of it), and the other one is called Sheller's -- similar to its counterpart at the HC Hyatt (casual, loud, big, etc.). Only problem is, the smaller bar closes at 11:00 PM -- and Sheller's closes at midnight. Not that we're late-night party animals, but like many parents, my husband & I wanted to wait until the kids were asleep before we went downstairs for a nightcap, so it was moderately late by the time we did that. At 11:30 PM, Sheller's was announcing last call. While were we there, two businessmen who had just taken the long drive in from Austin's airport arrived (at 11:45 PM) and were flabbergasted to learn that they would barely have time to grab one quick drink before the whole place shut down. A positive note: sitting outside on some of the hotel's many rocking chairs and gazing at the stars while sipping a cool beverage is a lovely way to end an evening.
Overall -- we would definitely go back to the LPH, escpecially because it's an hour closer to Austin than the HCH, and certainly much less of a "zoo" (at least on the opening month, early-week time that we went). The hotel itself just feels smaller and more intimate than the HCT, and the surrounding scenery is gorgeous. In cooler weather, we'd love to go back and take advantage of their miles of hiking trails among the towering pines, and along the nearby Colorado River. The personnel run the gamut -- from "locals" who are struggling to submerge their small-town mannerisms & morph into smooth-talking hospitality professionals; to a few downright hostile types (they probably won't last long); to the majority, who -- experienced in the hotel industry or not -- were genuinely trying to make the guests happy. But as the reviewer from Dallas said, they first need to work out the kinks. Hopefully, that will happen soon.
Fabulous and will only get better with time
We stayed here June 23-25th. Before we left town I checked the reviews and there were none to be found. I was disappointed to return home and find the previous sour review, because our experience was a complete 180 from the previous reviewer's experience. What a difference a week makes.
We booked our stay no more than a week in advance. We arrived early and had packed a swim bag assuming we wouldn't be able to check in for a while. We were surprised to find our room ready to go. A nice touch was complimentary tea and lemonade next to the registration desk for all guests. Also, there was a basket of pecans (there are a ton of beautiful pecan trees all over the property) with a scoop at the registration desk for guests snack on.
One of the first things we noticed about the property is that some of the landscaping is not in place yet, but they were working on in during our visit. Our 1st floor room looked out on a field of grass seed which will one day soon be a butterfly garden (we weren't in the room long enough to care). There is also a hummingbird meadow planned, but not in place yet.
As the previous reviewer stated there is relatively little shade at the pool and throughout the lazy river ride, but while getting towels we were offered an umbrella and stand. We noticed that as more people arrived each one was offered an umbrella if no shade was available. The pool goes from zero depth at the beach area to 4 ft and was perfect for my little ones. They have smaller innertubes for children (my 5 yr old fit comfortably) and my youngest just used her floatie ring to ride the lazy river if she wasn't riding along with me in the adult sized tube. My husband and 5 yr old loved the 2 story water slide and it was not a long swim to the side to get out and go again. There is a splash pad, toddler pool and separate beach area for the younger set. There is also an adult's only pool that is roped off so kids can't enter from the lazy river.
For dinner we ate at the Firewheel restaurant. They offered a buffet, but we passed. The kids loved the children's buffet for $5 that offered chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, fruit, fries and extra large cookies and a drink. The food was great and the staff was efficient and super friendly.
Friday night there was a free presentation from staff of the Lower Colorado River Authority. They brought in skins, skulls and live animals of the region. The kids loved it. They got to touch 2 different snakes and a turtle. They were shown skins and skulls of mountain lions and bears among other animals. Afterward we enjoyed the free smores and live music in the outdoor hall behind the pool area overlooking the Colorada river.
The next day we were afraid it might rain, so checked with the acitivties director about possible options. We were told that if the storms did show up all of the planned outdoor activities for kids would be revamped and moved indoors. Each day they offer games and activities for kids and families on the lawn outside the pool area or in the pool area just about every hour on the hour. The activities desk also has a line of Cranium games to check out for the duration of your visit. The weather held out so we spent the day at the pool. That evening, there was a stage coach and mules for anyone that wanted a ride. We asked what the cost was and were told it was complimentary (the first two weeks guests had to pay, but mgmt changed their minds).
We ate dinner at Shellers and the food was excellent, as was the service. They allowed the kids menu from Firewheel to be served to the kids, even though there officially wasn't a kids menu in there.
A storyteller came in Sat evening and although my husband and I were really interested in his stories, it was a little over our kids' heads so we back over for more smores and music. Sunday morning they had pony rides for kids on the back lawn for $20.
My husband and I spent the weekend debating the pros and cons of the Hyatt Hill Country vs. Lost Pines and finally decided that who ever had the best price for the weekend we wanted would get our business. We love Hyatt Hill Country, but were equally impressed with Lost Pines. We didn't experience any opening/growing pains. They are working on a park right on the Colorado River that you can access and an amphitheater is being built with a big stage overlooking the river. We never had any problems with any of the restaurants, the room was clean and spacious with a plasma tv, fridge, separate shower and tub and spa products. The entire staff went out of their way to be friendly, welcoming and helpful. Veronica of Elgin in the Firewheel restaurant was a standout!
Time will only make this property better than it already is.
DON'T GO NOW
The resort opened on June 1st and we arrived on June 16th. We have stayed at many resorts in the first month they were opened, but have never experienced such deficiencies. We arrived at 6pm to find that our room (reserved 3 months ago) - was not ready. They told us that they had no idea when a room would be ready. We eventually got in our room after 7pm. The following day we left the resort for an appointment around 6:30 am. When we returned at 2:00 pm, the room had still not been made up. I called housekeeping to request that they make up the room while we went to the pool. We returned at 5:00 pm and the room was still not made up. The worst problem, however, is the dining. The resort is in a fairly remote location so your only dining options are at the resort. The fine dining restaurant is not open. The only option for breakfast or dining after 6pm is the family restaurant, Firewheel. It is completely under staffed. On Saturday evening, we had an 8:15 reservation. After complaining several times, we were finally seated around 8:40. We waited over an hour for our entrees to arrive and another 30 minutes to get a check. Similar experience with breakfast on Sunday morning. People waited 30 minutes - 1 hour for a table. Our family had to eat the breakfast buffet because no one ever came to take your order. No one ever came with coffee or beverages. The food was actually good - they just have no staff to serve it. The rooms are well-appointed, but small. The double rooms do not have queen beds - they are smaller. The setting itself is lovely although not as pretty as Hyatt Hill Country. The swimming area is fun for the kids with a small sandy area that leads into the pool, lazy river, small slide and water feature. One problem at the pool is that for a hotel with 500 rooms - they have about 8 umbrellas. Needless to say, you need a little shade in the Texas heat. They do have complimentary bicycles, but again - only enough to accomodate a handful of families. Most of the employees were very nice. They seemed genuinely embarassed by the conditions and "beat down" from the understaffing and constant complaints. I would recommend waiting at least 6 months before trying this resort to see if they can work out the kinks. A few things to be aware of if you go: 1) They currently have no evening children's program or babysitting. 2) The popular s'mores at night require that you purchase a s'mores kit from the hotel. It is better and cheaper to bring your own supplies with you. 3) The slide at the pool and food service at the pool end at 6 pm. 4) Make reservations in advance for all dining and spa services and be prepared to wait anyway 5) Be prepared for bugs - there were mosquitoes in our room and tons of flies in the restaurant. Several quests complained of faulty air conditioning, although ours was fine. The golf course looks nice. This should be a fun family resort if they can get staffed and make the necessary adjustments.