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Update: The contest has now ended, but please feel free to still enjoy the review!
As you may already know, a couple weeks ago my family visited the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa for three nights. We have a (bad?) habit of going somewhere for just one or two nights, so it was a real luxury to be in the same hotel for three nights. It just so happens that Hyatt’s current “Free Time” promo gives the third or fourth night free, so I was honored that Hyatt sponsored my family’s visit so that we could experience what a difference that extra night can make on a weekend trip. What makes that even better is that they are also offering a complimentary three night stay for a reader of this blog, complete with a $250 Hyatt gift card to use for the stay. Two runners up will receive $50 Visa Gift cards from my own personal gift card collection. 😉 Read the end of this post for full contest details.
Thanks to being there for three nights, we had enough time at the resort to really get to try out many of the awesome activities and amenities that they had to offer, and I am very excited to share my thoughts on what the resort has to offer! If you missed Part 1 of the review and want to learn more about my thoughts on the room, the lobby, and the Regency Club (or just want to enter the contest an extra time) then head here.
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa does an amazing job at having activities available that really keep families entertained. You can just pick and choose what meets your desires and schedule and skip the rest. Most of them are free, but some do have a small fee to cover the cost of some materials for jewelry and such. They have a weekly printed activity guide available at the resort, as well as hand written signs up each day that give the activity schedule.
The night we arrived we got some sandwiches and chips from their “General Store” and headed out to have a picnic on the lawn while they showed an outdoor movie. There were complimentary s’mores available on the beach right across from the outdoor lawn, so we had some delicious dessert to go along with our picnic on the lawn.
They also have complimentary popcorn available and some glow in the dark toys available for sale. We had to say “no thank you” to the glow in the dark toys, but Little C did snack on some of the popcorn.
Another activity we participated in was the carriage rides. My daughter loves horses, so there was no way we could turn this one down. We were fortunate in that we arrived to the designated point about 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. There was only one carriage and the rides lasted about 10 minutes, so by the time 7 or 8 families were in line, you are looking at over an hour wait outside. We were the second family in line, so it was fantastic for us. Keep that in mind if you plan to participate in a similar activity. The ride took us around a portion of the golf course, so it was a great way to take a peek at what the course looked like – it was beautiful!
This picture was taken while we were waiting for our turn on the carriage. You can easily see how happy she was to be there (and this was while we were just waiting in line!).
There are no two ways around the reality that it gets extremely hot in Texas in the summer. I think it was around 100 degrees while we were at the resort. However, it really wasn’t an issue since there are so many trees at the resort that provide shade, and most of our outdoor time was spent in the pools! There are so many pool areas to choose from, that there is really something for everyone. This first shot was taken at the spa pool. As you can tell, it was not crowded and there are fantastic trees that allow you to spend some time in the water, yet out of the sun. There was also a pool-side hammock that I loved! This was perfect for some quiet adult pool time.
Of course, most of our pool-time was spent in a very family-oriented sort of way. They had an activity pool with a volleyball net, a beach portion of the pool, a lazy river, and more. It was like we had died and gone to “Pool Heaven”! They have complimentary tubes available for you to float along in the lazy river portion of the pool. There were a couple parts in the river where we had to paddle, but for the most part there is enough current to keep you moving. The water was a bit cold for me at first, but it really feels good once you get all the way in!
There are also some cabanas available for rent. We didn’t do that on this trip, but I can see how it would be very valuable if you planned to spend the majority of your day at the pool. I believe that cabana rentals were either $150 or $175 for the day. That gives you the cabana, access to the safe, water and fruit in the fridge, a TV, room to eat and lounge, and access to the “Sunshine Concierge” who can take food and drink orders or assist with any other needs. It appeared that all cabanas were rented the day we were there, so this seems to be a pretty popular option.
Oh Camp Hyatt how I love you – let me count the ways…… Seriously, Camp Hyatt is a total game changer for our vacations. It was the absolute perfect way to have a family vacation, but still have some “adult time” to do things like the spa, adult pool, or even a nice (quiet) meal. Our daughter loved Camp Hyatt so much that even though we had only planned for her to go one morning for a couple hours, she ended up going back the second morning for a few hours at her request. The caregivers in Camp Hyatt seemed to be very attentive and tuned in to keeping the kids happy. They did a craft each day she was there and she was all smiles when we dropped her off and when we picked her up.
The first day she was there it was very crowded as there was some sort of business function a company was having there that I think had arranged for the employees’ children to be there that day (that is just my guess). However, the room was very well staffed, so I felt safe leaving her there even though it was pretty full of kiddos and she was one of the smaller ones. The second morning I took her there was only one other child there. She didn’t seem to care whether there were many children or just one other child, she truly had a great time.
As you can see in one of the pictures above, you can pay for a morning, afternoon, or evening session. They also have a “full day” 9-4 session available. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have her in Camp Hyatt all day since we were on a “family vacation”, but doing one session for a few hours was perfect for us. Children do have to be potty trained and the accepted ages are 3-12 (I was honest that C wasn’t quite 3, but she is potty trained. I’m not sure if they normally make that kind of exception or not, but I’m excited that she will be officially old enough for Camp Hyatt soon!). You also need to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance so they can be staffed appropriately. I do inquire about training and background checks, and was told that anyone who interacts with children in this manner at the resort undergoes even more stringent background checks than the regular employees.
So while our energetic toddler was at Camp Hyatt, we headed to the Wildflower Spa to get a couples massage and scrub package. We had never had a couples massage and neither of us had ever had a scrub, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were very excited to relax for a little while!
Like most spas, they have separate men’s and women’s sections of the spa. The women’s section was very nice and had robes, sandals, lockers, a sauna, a whirlpool, showers, and more.
Normally there is a separate waiting area for the men and the women, but since we were getting a joint massage, we were able to wait together in the area with the snacks and drinks! For the record, the snacks and drinks were awesome. The champagne soaked fruit was a really good mid-morning snack.
They started the package with the body scrub which felt a lot like a sea salt pedicure. It was a bit rough, but not in a bad way at all. You could just tell they were exfoliating your skin. You don’t wear any clothes for this service, but they do keep you well covered with strategic towels. After we had our scrubs, the therapists leave while you get into the shower together. They prepare the room for the massage while you and your partner take a shower. It was kind of funny at times. After you have washed off from the body scrub you get back on your respective tables for the massage and the therapists come back in. Both my husband and I said that it was one of the best massages we had ever received. The pressure was firm, but not painful, and their strokes were very smooth. It was fantastic and being able to experience it together made it even better.
I was a bit concerned the whole time that Camp Hyatt would call and say our daughter was upset or something, so I was a bit distracted, but not so much so that it wasn’t an amazing experience. As soon as our massages were done we left so that we could get our daughter back, so we didn’t get a chance to really experience the rest of the spa amenities on this trip. I did purchase some body lotion with their signature scent because it smelled awesome!
Restaurants and Food Options:
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa has many food options available at various price ranges. While we were there we ate breakfast daily at the Regency Club, had dinner once from the General Store, lunch one afternoon at Papa Ed’s Pool Bar and Cafe, and one lunch and one dinner at the Springhouse Cafe. We didn’t visit any of the adult or fancier options on this trip. The General Store was very convenient and had breakfast items in addition to made-to-order sandwiches and slices of pizza. I saw people order whole pizzas from there as well.
We really enjoyed the Pool Bar and Cafe as it was a nice shaded place to eat while sitting next to the pool. They had sandwiches, chicken fingers, and things like that. They also had a drink special of the day – I had a mango frozen daiquiri that was very yummy!
We ate twice at the Springhouse Cafe. Once we ordered off the menu and one night we had the buffet. Everything we ordered was pretty good. The children’s buffet was not my favorite as it just had fries, chicken fingers, and things like that that didn’t appear overly appetizing to me. However, I do like the idea of a children’s buffet. The actual buffet was really enjoyable though, and all three of us enjoyed items from the buffet. They also had a grits station with made to order grits with more fixings than I knew grits could have! Having some salad, fresh fruit, and vegetables available was a nice change of pace after eating some other less than healthy meals that weekend. I also like buffets sometimes since we are able to start eating as soon as we sit down with our toddler.
While we were pleased with the quality of most of the food we ordered that weekend, I will give the warning that eating at the resort is not cheap. Obviously there are ways to keep those costs lower by getting food from the General Store and eating at the Regency Club, if possible. However, you are at a resort, so you are paying resort prices. Lunch for the three of us was around $50 and up and dinners were a bit more than that. If paying for food at resort isn’t in your budget for every meal, then the good news is that there are several restaurants and fast food options within minutes of the resort. Additionally, our suite had a fridge, so to save even more money, you can pack a cooler with food and drinks and bring the cooler to the room or load the fridge for meals during your stay.
Wrap-up and Contest:
If you haven’t guessed it by now, we very much enjoyed the amenities and activities at the resort. We were entertained and relaxed from the moment we got there until the moment we left. There was more than enough to do there to keep us entertained for a long weekend, and in fact we could have easily been entertained at the resort for several days beyond that. I am so excited that Hyatt was willing to not only sponsor my family for a visit, but wants to have one of your families come and visit them as well!
The Grand Prize winner of the contest will get three nights mid-week at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa (blackout dates such as holiday weeks and Texas Spring Break week do apply. The prize has no cash value). Additionally, all three nights must be used on one trip. The winner will also receive a $250 Hyatt gift card to use at this resort for food, beverages, Camp Hyatt, golf, spa treatments, etc. (yes, it must be used at this Hyatt). Two runner-up winners will receive a $50 Visa gift card.
To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post stating which amenity or activity you would most enjoy at this Hyatt resort. You are limited to one entry per post in this three part series. However, you are encouraged to enter three times by commenting once on each post in the series (go here to enter on Post 1 as well). I will randomly select one winner from each post once the series is complete. Of those three winners, I will then randomly select the Grand Prize winner. The other two runner’s up will each receive $50 Visa gift cards. (I bet you can guess which card I will be using to purchase those cards for 5x points!) The Grand Prize winner will be put in touch with Hyatt to arrange their free three night stay and $250 Hyatt gift card. I will send the $50 Visa gift cards to the other two winners. Good luck!