Spas Across Texas
Keeping in step with the burgeoning beauty industry, spas in Texas have opened and expanded so that health and beauty-seekers need not jet off to Tuscon’s Canyon Ranch or the shores of the Caribbean to relax and rejuvenate.
Texas does have a reputation for hospitality, although it may not boast of turquoise-blue oceans or 70-degree summers. That reputation is heightened at Lake Austin Spa Resort, the Hyatt Hill Country Spa and Resort and Trellis, the new spa at the Houstonian - three high-end destinations across the state.
At Lake Austin, visitors overhear conversations from others who have flown in from Minneapolis, Chicago or New York, leaving hectic lives behind. At the Hill Country Hyatt children greet parents emerging from dimly lit treatment rooms, refreshed.
At the Houstonian’s spa, designers and managers have spared no expense creating an experience for the worldliest connoisseur. Walking up the wide, airy staircase or stepping over the glassed-in babbling brook feels like walking into at a first-class spa in Paris, London or Bangkok.
Healing Waters Spa
The Lake Austin Spa Resort has earned a sterling reputation for its spectacular, low-calorie cuisine and customized fitness programs. In its peaceful, rural setting, guests take part in everything from kayaking, hiking, and garden tours to yoga, Pilates and meditation.
Personalized service is part of the program, especially at the Healing Waters Spa, the house on the resort grounds where guests go for treatments. There staff provides ample privacy and therapists are trained in everything from massage and aromatherapy to cranio-sacral therapy and Moor mud treatments. It is possible to go from being shoulder deep in mud to floating in a tub of minerals within a day. Evening treatments are particularly relaxing.
The rooms at Lake Austin Spa Resort offer wonderful, lavender-scented amenities, and outdoor chaise lounges are perfect for taking in the quiet Austin moonlight. There is no room-service menu but during mealtime the chefs are experts at preparing tasty, low-calorie fare. Guided hikes, fly fishing workshops, kayak outings and other activities are available.
Pampering begins during check-in at the Houstonian’s spa, Trellis, located in a luxurious 19,000 square-foot building. The Trellis staff takes guests by the hand the moment they enter, seeing to every possible need until they walk out the door.
Because the spa draws clientele from the adjacent Houstonian Health Club, the crowd is likely to be a mix of members, out-of-town guests and Houstonians wanting top-notch treatments in their own hometown.
You do not have to be a member to use Trellis' spa services, and Trellis has recruited and trained an expert staff, luring some of the best practitioners in the area.
The result is a pedicurist who knows reflexology, a massage therapist skilled at water treatments and a reflexologist who jets between Houston, New York and Miami seeing clients.
These therapists work in classy treatment rooms where water and fresh juice flow freely, and elegant, overstuffed furniture engulfs clients waiting for treatments to begin.
Windflower, the spa at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, is as lively as Trellis is serene. One of the few places on the Hyatt grounds where children under 18 are not permitted, entering the farmhouse-inspired building feels instantly calm.
The Windflower staff has mastered an efficient routine. Treatments last 25, 50 or 80 minutes, and guests receive a towel, robe, slippers and locker key before being escorted to the men’s or women’s lounge.
One popular treatment is the Texas Two-Step - a pecan-peach body scrub followed by a Texas tea bath. After two hours of scrubbing and steaming, a dip in the locker room whirlpool is a great way to ease back to the resort.
For teenagers ages 17 and under, the Spahhht operates during the summer. Situated in the hotel’s health club, Spahhht offers 25-minute treatments for teens. Services include massages, foot treatments, manicures, pedicures, hair styling, henna tattoos and more.
Deciding where to go for massages, manicures and being pampered is a matter of taste. Whether providing a rural escape or a quick, mid-day treatment, staff at these three Texas spas work hard to create a place where their guests do nothing but relax.
Healing Waters Spa - Lake Austin Spa Resort
Atmosphere: A secluded, self-contained destination spa on the shores of Lake Austin
The Spa at the Houstonian
Atmosphere: Upscale spa on 18 wooded acres in the heart of Houston
Windflower Spa - Hill Country Hyatt Resort and Spa
Atmosphere: Spa in a Hill Country farm house on the grounds of the Hyatt’s large family-friendly resort
Copyright 2003 ME Magazine