This week I have rounded out the summer by focusing on topics that I think “real traveling families” could benefit from learning more about. What I mean by real traveling families are those who are constrained by schedules, budgets, flexibility, limited miles and points, and time…which I think includes most of us!
The topics covered so far have been:
For today’s “keeping it real” topic I wanted to look at a Hyatt property that is a terrific family friendly resort. There’s no denying that I love redeeming my Hyatt points at fancy joints like the Park Hyatt Zurich and Andaz Liverpool in London as much (or more) than the next person, but the real point of all of this miles and points madness is to spend quality time with family, and the Hyatt Lost Pines has that down to a science. I have reviewed this property a couple of times before, but it has been almost a year since my last visit, and since then they have finished a $6 million dollar enhancement to the 491 guest rooms and suites, restaurants, gathering spaces, and around the 405 acre resort.
To celebrate this and all of the Hyatt’s family friendly resorts where “real families” like to use their miles and points to visit, Hyatt has donated 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for me to give away. For those curious, there is no compensation for me in conjunction with this giveaway other than a chance to share some Hyatt love with all of you. Details on how to win the 22k points at the end of the post. Update: The contest is over, but please feel free to still enjoy the review!
As I am trying to do with some of my hotel reviews, we have a video overview of this property available. I know video isn’t for everyone, so I have included most of the details in the video in this post as well. However, if you are considering staying at this resort I recommend checking out the video as it can give you a pretty good feel for the resort. It can also give you a good laugh as trying to do a video review with a 3 year old and a dog present is…interesting.
Hyatt Lost Pines Basics:
Hyatt Lost Pines is a very large resort that is located in Texas between Austin and Bastrop. It is near the McKinney Roughs Nature Park and takes advantage of its location by offering horseback riding, river kayaking, fishing trips, bike riding, bird watching, stargazing excursions, and more.
They also have a golf course, a spa, and, my personal favorite, a large pool area that they call the Crooked River Water Park.
This property is a Category 5 Hyatt that goes for 18,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night. Rates can vary anywhere from just over $100 per night during their very slow days to well over $400 per night on peak dates during the summer and on other school breaks such as spring break. Here is a post on how I leveraged points and elite benefits to save big at this resort on a recent trip.
Hyatt Lost Pines rooms and suites:
There are close to 500 rooms and suites at this property, so they are well spread out around the grounds. My favorite location is the Regency Club rooms that are located near the Regency Club and the pool/spa side of the resort, but it isn’t too terrible of a walk regardless of where your room is located. On our most recent stay we were in a Regency Club room with two queen beds one night, and a Junior Suite the second night.
I was excited to see how the rooms looked after their recent renovation. Here is a shot of a room we stayed in a couple of years ago.
And here is what the room and suite looked like on this most recent visit.
As you can see, they moved away some from the florals and instead now have all white bedding, cleaner lines, and all around updated furnishings. It didn’t look bad before, but it looks much nicer now. The one area they don’t seem to have touched significantly during this renovation are the bathrooms, which I do think could use at the very least some fresh wallpaper. Still, they are clean and perfectly functional so not a big deal. I do love that the bathrooms offer both a shower and a tub so that adults and children have a comfortable place to bathe. Thumbs up on that decision!
If you need more space, this is a good property to consider upgrading to a suite as even the Junior suite does offer a true suite experience with doors that close off the living room to the bedroom. The couch does pull out into a bed, and you will also gain a small dining table where your family can have snacks and meals. Both suites and standard rooms also offer balconies or patios so you can sit outside and enjoy the view.
Family friendly amenities and activities:
The rooms are nice, but this is not a resort you come to just for sitting in the room. You come here for the amenities and activities, and trust me they are plentiful! The family oriented activities change on a daily basis and included things like hunting for worms (eating your way through whipped cream to find gummy worms), meeting some Texas Longhorns, petting miniature donkeys and alpacas, and doing a variety of crafts.
There are also activities that occur pretty much every day such as evening s’mores and an outdoor movie. Most of these activities are all included in the $25 per day resort fee (reduced by $5 for Hyatt Diamond or waived totally on award stays), though occasionally there will be a small fee for some of the craft activities.
The crown jewel of this property is absolutely the Crooked River Water Park. The water park has a splash area and very shallow pool for toddlers. It also offers a beach with sand and a shallow zero entry portion of the pool, a water volley ball section, a two-story water slide, and a lazy river. It does get busy, but we are usually able to get a seat at any time of the day due to the huge number of chairs situated around the water park.
There is also an adult pool area that is located off of the lazy river if you need a few moments away from some of the family-oriented excitement of the water park. It is important to note that while this resort can be very quiet and peaceful when the kids are back at school, during the summer and on school breaks there are families and young children everywhere. This is great for us, but if you don’t like to spend your vacations around a bunch of other families, then take that into consideration.
This property also offers a Regency Club that offers a decent breakfast, and above average evening snacks. Being able to grab some food and drinks in the club, if you have access, can really cut down on some of the out-of-pocket expenses that can come from staying here.
This resort is not particularly close to anything else, so if you want to avoid paying resort prices for food and drinks you should bring some essentials with you and make use of the small in-room fridge.
There is also an on-site Camp Hyatt that has reasonable rates. Our daughter stayed there from 9AM – 12PM one morning for $30 while we rode bikes, strolled the property, and had a couple of moments in the adult pool. She had a blast and always is sad when her Camp Hyatt time is up since they do a great job at keeping the kids entertained and participating in the activities around the resort.
I could go on and on about this resort, so please don’t hesitate to shoot me any questions if you are considering a visit. Now on to the giveaway details…
Enter to win 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points: The contest has ended – thanks to all who entered! Now that you have seen one of my very favorite uses of Hyatt points for my family during the summer, I want to know where you and your family like to use your Hyatt points during the summer vacation months. To enter to win 22,000 Hyatt points (enough for a night at any Hyatt around the world), just tell me where your family likes to use Hyatt points during the summer in the comments section of this post. You can get one bonus entry by tweeting me your answer to @mommy_points using the hashtag #MPHyatt22k. For those newer to Twitter, an example of an eligible tweet will look like this: @mommy_points I like to use my Hyatt points to visit the Grand Hyatt Kauai during the summer! #MPHyatt22k You can have a maximum of two entries – one here in the comments section, and one on twitter using the method described above. A winner will be selected at random from all entries received on our before Sunday August 25, 2013 at 11:59PM Central. The winner will be announced the following day. Must be 18 or up to enter, and void where prohibited by law.
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about the Lost Pines Resort!