Given our pretty easy driving proximity to the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa we get a chance to visit the property at least 1-2 times per year. Thanks to my stash of points we get to do it, even during peak season, without breaking the bank. Hyatt Resorts in general are fantastic, and this one specifically has a very special spot in my points loving heart. I’ve written about this resort several times (see below), and even did a video on the property last summer, so I won’t do a full-on review this time as not much has changed (and that’s a good thing).
However I don’t want to skip writing about it completely since my love for the resort grows and changes as my own daughter grows from an infant to a toddler to a full fledged kid. To mark this visit I want to share the top five reasons I love Hyatt Lost Pines from the point of view of a mom of a 4 1/2 year old.
1. Kids put down the electronics and play outside
My most recent visit to the resort was with my 4 1/2 year old daughter and her 6 1/2 year old (second) cousin. For better or worse they know how to work iPads and iPhones better than most adults. Of course this reality isn’t unique to them as kids growing up these days really are the digital generation and have had iPads literally attached to their strollers since birth. Seriously. What I love about this resort is that kids put down the electronics and just play. They play chase. They play catch. They swim. They lay on the grass and daydream. They just act like kids and it is beautiful. I don’t know what it is about this place that brings out the ‘kid’ in the kids, but it just works and it is priceless.
Just tonight I saw what looked to be a teenage football player start up a game of touch football with anyone within ear shot. The participants ranged from other teenagers down to 5 year old boys who asked if they could play too. In regular life these kids probably would have never interacted, but here on the large open green grass they talk and play with each other without any organized activity requiring them to do so.
I’ve been here probably a dozen times and I have seen this sort of stuff happen on every single visit. This shouldn’t be a special thing to watch as this should be the norm for kids, but the reality is that it is unique in the days of organized play dates, helicopter parents, and screen time outweighing play time. And trust me, I’m just as guilty as the next from time to time with all of those things so no judgement here.
2. They have reasonable water slide rules
If you don’t have young kids this one won’t make any sense, but as the mom of a kid who visits lots of resorts I have had the chance to experience reasonable and unreasonable water slide rules. I know resorts have to balance liability with keeping kids safely entertained, but many seem to err on the slide of uber strict water slide rules. What is unique here is that they let kids 42 inches and up go down the slide by themselves, but they let the younger kids still go down with their parents. I wish all resorts did this as it is the perfect solution for kids who want to go down the water slide but want (or need) a little more support than just being sent down by themselves.
My daughter went down the slide with an adult once or twice on this trip and then was ready to do it by herself. At some resorts she has gone down by herself before she was really ready due to the “no adults with kids” rules and gotten scared. This rule also allows kids who are on the shorter end of the spectrum still participate in the water slide fun instead of getting left on the sidelines thanks to being an inch or two too short.
3. The beach and lazy river are made for the short crew
As the mom of a four year old who can “kind of swim”, but isn’t yet a true swimmer, I very much appreciate that the pool has a zero entry beach area that she can safely walk around in without me having to have a hand on her at all times. The lazy river is also shallow enough in most parts that she can hop along and keep her head above water just fine. She was able to do that even when she was three years old last summer, so I appreciate that the water features are actually designed with families in mind. Don’t worry if you don’t have kids, there is an adult pool you can retreat to as well.
4. You don’t get nickel and dimed
Prices for the resort can be expensive during peak seasons (north of $350 a night for standard rooms on some nights), though if you pick an off-peak day, or simply use points, the prices are not that bad. I have seen weekdays in the popular summer season for $150 a night (even less on some nights) and if you use points it is just a Category 5 Hyatt that goes for 20,000 points per night or 10,000 points + $125 on cash and points stays. There is also a $26 resort fee that covers internet, self parking, golf bag storage, and more.
The resort fee stinks, but here’s why I don’t hate it that much…you aren’t nickle and dimed in addition to the resort fee. There is no extra fee for self parking, most of the many daily activities, the s’mores in the evening, the water slide, the popcorn with the outdoor movie, etc. Of course some things like massages at the spa or Camp Hyatt cost extra, but the majority of kid friendly offerings at the resort can be enjoyed without having to pull out your wallet at every turn. It makes the whole experience so much more relaxed when you are able to say yes to the s’mores or the craft activity of the day without having to factor in the extra cost.
5. It’s not that hot thanks to all the shade
In case you aren’t familiar, summers in Texas are generally very hot. Here in Central Texas in late July it is close to 100 degrees, which is obviously sweltering. This type of heat can put a damper on outdoor fun in many situations, but here at Hyatt Lost Pines it actually isn’t that bad. Part of that is due to the emphasis on water activities such as the lazy river, but a huge factor that the resort feel much cooler is that there is shade everywhere.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise thanks to the name “Lost Pines”, but it is so important that it easily makes my short list of favorite things about the resort. If it were not for the shade this resort simply wouldn’t be very enjoyable during the very months of the year that families want to visit the most.
Of course there are lots of other reasons I love Lost Pines including very nice staff, the updated rooms, visiting Regency Club for snacks, lots of suites for upgrading, free rollaway beds, being able to use points to stay here, and more. However, I said top five reasons, so I won’t get into all those details this time.
I’d love to hear about which family friendly resort you love and why!