With summer right around the corner, more and more Texans are looking for vacation ideas. And today, we’d like to discuss retreats—vacation destinations that emphasize staying at self-contained resorts and “shutting out” the rest of the world. Retreats are great because they allow you to get away from everything without really isolating yourself; you’re free to enjoy tranquility, adventure, and fun while still knowing that you can easily reconnect if you need to do so. And because different retreats provide different opportunities to their guests, there really is something for everyone.
Assemble a group of people that you like being around and have yourselves an amazing weekend (or full week)! Here are five popular retreats in the Lone Star State.
For lounging in the lap of luxury…try the Trellis Spa at the Houstonian Hotel
At 17,000 square feet, it’s easy to get a little lost inside the Trellis Spa…which means that this place is perfect for leaving your problems at the door and diving into the experience headfirst! Whether you’re in the mood for a massage, a facial, a body rejuvenation treatment, or even professional hairstyling and makeup application, the Trellis offers almost every service under the sun. Guests of the Houstonian Hotel can also enjoy fine dining, walking and jogging trails, private tennis courts, and climate-controlled swimming pools, but it’s the spa that really sells this place. Remember: it’s okay to pamper yourself once in a while!
For an opportunity to clear your mind and re-center your energy…try a Siddhayatan Spiritual Retreat
Now, don’t let this organization’s name scare you away; though their founding principles lie in Eastern philosophy and Hindu culture, their programs all emphasize spirituality over religion—and their focus on ideals like non-violence, compassion, and open-mindedness are pretty universal. Siddhayatan offers an assortment of different retreats that all focus on a unique aspect of mental and emotional health; some programs focus on yoga, stress relief, or spiritual awakening, and others are geared toward helping folks who struggle with addiction, PTSD, or anger management. Each three-day retreat includes ample time for rest, relaxation, and self-reflection, all of which are crucial for a mental “reboot.” You won’t find gyms or saunas at their facilities, but your mind is sure to get quite a workout!
For a chance to work hard and get back into “fighting shape”…try theRancho Cortez Fitness Ranch
Let’s be clear: Rancho Cortez is not a seaweed-wrap-and-poolside-massage kind of resort! This self-proclaimed “cowboy fitness farm” is a working ranch where city-slickers can come to ride horses, sit around a campfire, learn to swing a lasso, and accompany old pros on cattle roundups. The ranch also hosts a weight-loss camp that includes (but is not limited to) weight training, aerobics, nature hikes, and horseback riding. The ultimate goal is to get folks on the right track to leading a healthier, more active lifestyle. Come to Rancho Cortez with a good attitude and an open mind, and you may be surprised by how satisfying—and invigorating—the whole experience can be!
For family-friendly fun…try the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa
Choosing a retreat for a group that includes kids can be a little tricky, as adults and kids often have very different ideas of what constitutes a good time. Fortunately, there are resorts out there that serve all ages, and Lost Pines is one such place. Children can spend the day at Camp Hyatt and do arts and crafts and scavenger hunts, while teens and adults will be intrigued by horseback riding, tennis, and evening campfire opportunities. Families can enjoy time together in their suites or hit the pool area for a refreshing dip. Interestingly enough, the hotel is dog-friendly; pooches that are 50 pounds and under will be provided with “a bowl, bed, and amenity.”
For a swimmer’s paradise…try the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
This resort offers some of the usual amenities for retreats, including restaurants, a 36-hole golf course, a fitness center, a day spa, a boutique, and more than a thousand gorgeous rooms with plenty of space for couples and groups alike. What really sets it apart, though, is its opportunity for aquatic entertainment. Hill Country Resort & Spa boasts a nine-acre pool area, with swimming spots of various sizes, an assortment of water slides, and an 1100-foot lazy river. Nearly all hotels have a swimming pool somewhere on the property, but how many can honestly say that they have a massive, private waterpark for their guests?
Did one of our selected retreats catch your eye? Again, all retreats are a little different in what they provide for their guests. If you’re planning a group retreat, make sure that it’s something that everyone can enjoy.
Here’s one thing that most of us can agree on, though: one of the most stressful, least fun aspects of going on vacation is dealing with the logistics of transportation. “How will we get to our destination?” “Who’s going to drive?” “Whose car are we taking?” “Are we going to be on time for our reservation?” These questions can bring down the mood of any vacationer, and things only get more complicated as your group increases in size
If you book an Echo professional driver and vehicle, we’ll handle the transportation aspects of your trip. Wherever you decide to go, you’ll arrive on time and in style. That’s our Echo guarantee…and it’s how our company can make your vacation retreat even more luxurious!