When you go somewhere with natural beauty, you want to stay where you can soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Barton Creek Resort & Spa recently reopened its doors after an extensive renovation; from the modern rustic architecture and impressive artwork to the lobby and porch that open up to hill country, the resort’s mission to bring the outdoors in is fully visualized. We got a sneak peek at the updated golf and spa resort located in the rolling hills above Austin, TX and can report back that it’s a perfect getaway spot for families. Discover our top three reasons why below. 

photo: Gabby Cullen

Reason #1: Hill Country Beauty

Barton Creek Resort & Spa is nestled in the Texas Hill Country, and the natural beauty surrounding the resort is stunning. Whether you play a round of golf, lounge at the pool, enjoy the great outdoors (the resort has plans to open a new nature trail in 2020) or relax on the lawn, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of rolling hills. Lady Bird Lawn, located at the heart of the resort, offers chairs, fire pits and lawn games. Families can play, relax, make s’mores as the sun sets and enjoy live music as part of the Barton Creek Live (summer only) music series. There are three pools (the infinity-edge pool is only for adults) and a hot tub with impressive views that are open to all guests, and there’s a rooftop pool for spa guests ($50 for a day pass).

As for golfing, Barton Creek Resort & Spa is recognized as one of the best golf resorts in the Southwest. There are four courses (one is located off-property), and two of them, Fazio Foothills and Fazio Canyon, have been newly renovated along with the hotel. Both are designed to play up to the beauty of the surrounding hills.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Reason #2: Incredible Food

Texans take their food seriously, and Barton Creek Resort & Spa is no exception. There are seven dining spots at the resort, and we were able to experience four. You’ll find an impressive breakfast buffet at Texas Spice, which includes overnight oats, fresh fruit, eggs, bagels and more. There’s also an a la carte menu with classic offerings like Texas Griddle Cakes and a migas bowl. Another perk of Texas Spice is that kids 12 & under eat for free.

For midday snacks or an easy dinner after a long day outdoors, Crenshaw’s pub-style dining is the best bet. Choose from fresh appetizers like hummus and veggies, and follow it with an impressive entree like the steak and fries or the redfish po’boy. The kid's menu offers easy options like PB&J, grilled cheese and chicken fingers. For adults, there’s also a list of fun cocktails, and the elevated margarita was a favorite.

Nopales is a fun spot for lunch before or after swimming—the patio opens up directly into the pool area. The menu is impressive: the nacho plate will feed the whole family, the empanadas are vegan (there are several other vegan options on the menu) and the shrimp ceviche has just enough spice. Kids will enjoy churros as a dessert option.

The real dining experience at Barton Creek, however, is the Blind Salamander. From windows that showcase the surrounding hills to the coastal-inspired decor, the restaurant itself is impressive. The menu offers dishes like oysters on the half shell, blackened Texas Gulf redfish, beef tenderloin among nightly specials. A favorite with our entire group was the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. The creamy texture was a hit with the kids, and the rich flavor satisfied adult palates.

For a quick bite, snack or caffeine fix, head to Velvet Joe’s. You’ll find treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar, healthy food bars, a full coffee bar and other fun items.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Reason #3: Location, Location, Location

Barton Creek Resort & Spa is about 20 minutes from downtown Austin. If you want to explore Texas’ capital city, you’ll be able to do so for a full day before coming back to Barton Creek to relax by the fire. It’s also close to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which offers miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and the beauty of the hill country. If you want to explore Fredericksburg or go to Enchanted Rock, Barton Creek Resort & Spa is only a 40-minute drive. Fancy a day on the lake? Lake Travis is only 18 miles away.

The resort is a 4-hour drive from Dallas, 1.5 hours away from San Antonio and just under three hours away from Houston.

Rates start at $277 per night

Online: omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek


—Gabby Cullen


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Editor’s Note: Portions of this trip were paid for by Omni Barton Creek Golf Resort & Spa but all opinions belong to the writer.