The Secrets of Staying at Hyatt Lost Pines

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The hotel I have probably stayed at the (and written about) most over the last five years is unquestionably Hyatt Lost Pines about 30 miles outside of Austin. For families looking to use points to get away, get outside, and disconnect it really can’t be beat. For those within driving distance around Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin it is even sweeter since you can feel thousands of miles away from the stressors of home by only traveling a few hours in the car. 

Looking back at our family photos I can literally see my family growing up here, and that is a gift to ourselves thanks to points.

Little C at Hyatt Lost Pines in 2011

Little C at Hyatt Lost Pines in 2011

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Little C doing a Lost Pines pony ride in 2012

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Our two girls exploring Lost Pines in 2016

Since we have stayed at Hyatt Lost Pines over a dozen times at this point, I thought it was time to share some of the fun, useful, or unusual “secrets” of Hyatt Lost Pines that we have learned over the last few years of visits.

Lost Pines "Beach"

Lost Pines “Beach”

  • The best time to visit Hyatt Lost Pines is early fall or late spring. Summers are awesome at Hyatt Lost Pines, but everybody knows that and the resort is often packed to the brim. If you go just slightly off-season during the early fall, even on a weekend, the resort is usually significantly less busy. In fact, you may feel like you have the resort to yourself. Since Texas often quite warm in April, May, September, and even October, you can usually still take advantage of the lazy river, slide, and more while not melting your socks off if you ride horses or take advantage of the non-water outdoor activities. Oh, and cash rates in the off-season can be 1/2 the price off the peak summer dates!

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  •  The Monarch Regency Club usually closes during the “off season” such as the fall and spring, so if you are a Diamond member you can score an easy 2,500 Hyatt Gold Passport points for that ‘inconvenience’ and get complimentary full breakfast in the restaurant. 
  • If you visit when the Regency Club is open it has a pretty extensive spread and can not only provide breakfast for your crew, but can suffice for dinner in a pinch as it even offers a hot item which will save you some real cash over the other dinner options on the property. 
  • There is a secret walkway on the second floor over the lobby that connects the two wings of the resort – and there are even some games up there for the little ones!
Hyatt Lost Pines secret passage over the lobby

Hyatt Lost Pines secret passage over the lobby

  • In addition to the actual adults pool that is just off the lazy river, there is a very calm pool off the back of the spa…speaking of which, the spa is excellent!

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  • If you have to pay for breakfast, the cheapest and easiest option is in the cafe/gift shop near the check-in area where muffins are just $2 and breakfast tacos can be had for $3 each.
  • Valet parking is pretty pricey at $25 per day, but self-parking is included in the resort fee and you can still load/unload in front of the hotel and then ask for a golf cart ride back to the front of the property after you park. It’s not quite as convenient as valet, but pretty close and much more affordable!
  • The junior suites here are available using Diamond Confirmed Upgrades actually pretty plentiful as there are 46 of them on the property and there is nothing junior about them as they offer a full bedroom, full bathroom, and large separate living area. They are true suites, just with a junior name. Our favorite way to visit Hyatt Lost Pines is to book a cash + points award and then apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade so we can all sleep peacefully in a junior suite for a very affordable price. You can also pay extra to connect a second bedroom if needed. 
Hyatt Lost Pines Junior Suite

Hyatt Lost Pines Junior Suite

  • Hyatt Lost Pines has both pack and plays and true cribs available, so if your little one sleeps better in a crib than a pack-and-play like mine does then be sure to request an actual crib. 
  • Once you get there, almost everything from the evening s’mores, to the crafts, to the animal interactions, to the water slide, bike rides, to the outdoor movie is included for resort guests so it is easy to just relax an say yes than worry about racking up a small mountain of debt at every turn. 
Evening s'mores by the fire at Hyatt Lost Pines

Evening s’mores by the fire at Hyatt Lost Pines

  • If you can score a stay on New Year’s Eve you will be super entertained as they bring in a full carnival! One award stay I hated to cancel years back was on NYE at Hyatt Lost Pines when they bring in a full carnival and more so you can ring in the New Year’s before midnight family style! In the last couple of years they have blacked out New Year’s Eve for award stays, but it never hurts to keep an eye on it.
  • The resort is pretty big with close to 500 guest rooms, so if mobility is an issue I highly recommend trying to get a room near where you think you will spend the most time. The Regency Club and the pools are on the same side of the property, so that is something to consider if those will be your frequent stops. I also recommend one of the walk-out patios on the first floor if you want to skip waiting for the elevator and just head right off your patio towards the pool.
  • The best food deals on the property are right out by the pool, so there is no reason to dry off and head in for lunch or an early dinner when you can enjoy your watermelon, burgers, or salads right under the pecan trees. 

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  • Save more than $34 a day and avoid the resort fee and taxes by booking an all points award for 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night!
  • This is one of the only resorts I have ever visited that allows adults to go down the waterslide holding their young kiddos!
Little C and Daddy in 2014

Little C and Daddy in 2014

  • Hyatt Lost Pines is a dog friendly hotel. They allow dogs at the property, and not just in the rooms. They are welcome to also hang out in the lobby and enjoy one of the fireplace with you. They also get a dog bowl, dog bed, and a pet amenity included in the $150 pet fee.
  • Our old sweet girl enjoying Hyatt Lost Pines in 2013

    Our old sweet girl enjoying Hyatt Lost Pines in 2013

  • Hyatt Lost Pines offers FAA approved helicopter access. Okay I’ve certainly never made use of this amenity, but I think it is pretty cool. After I win the lottery I will skip the drive and have our helicopter pilot land at Lost Pines!
  • You can rent an entire 2,600 square foot house on the grounds of Hyatt Lost Pines...though your budget may need to be in the range of helicopter access to pull that off. I’ve heard rumors that rates start around $1,500 – $2,000 per night for the Litton House.

If you have ever stayed at Hyatt Lost Pines I’d love to hear the “secrets” or tips you have learned along the way!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

    • I’ve only stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country once a number of years ago, but I think the two are very similar. Hill Country has beefed up its water park in recent years, so it is probably better for the tweenage crowd with the surfrider and such. Lost Pines wins in the horse activities category. I think Lost Pines is also slightly “nicer” overall, but only by a little bit. Hill Country is now a better points value as a Cat 4 than Lost Pines as a Cat 5. It really comes down do you want to be in the Austin area or San Antonio area. I’ll probably do another HIll Country visit in the next year and be able to give a better rundown, but I think both are great choices.

    • I’ve stayed at both this year with extended family, children of varying ages. Hill Country is smaller, less activities for small children (no longhorns to sit on, hair braiding, etc). Hill Country lazy river is much larger, slide better, and pool complex generally better for older kids (including wave rider). Lost pines pools is better for smaller children and more area to ride bikes etc. Agree Lost Pines is marginally nicer, but generally more expensive b/c of demand of Austin crowd. Service at both (especially if a Diamond) is amazing. Generous extending diamond benefits to multiple rooms, will place you anywhere if you ask nicely, etc. They are slightly different, but both great properties. Was at Lost Pines last weekend, and scheduling new year’s at Hill Country today (rates are pretty cheap there last week of Dec).

  1. If you’re a Diamond member and celebrating a special occasion, make sure to mention it to the VIP manager (you usually get an email a few days before your stay). Even if it’s celebrating “the end of summer.” We’ve gotten all kinds of goodie bags at check in. Our kids have gotten a set of their longhorns mascot plush dolls (T-Bone and Ribeye) and also the alpacas plush dolls along with other goodies. They even asked if the kids liked milk and cookies and every night they would deliver a plate of complimentary milk and cookies. I really like the lounge when it’s open but the full buffet breakfast at the cafe was actually an amazing spread. We’ve stayed in a regular room before and was still able to fit 2 roll-away beds comfortably.

  2. What other resorts have you visited that allow parents and kids to go down the waterslide together? I have never seen that unless it’s an unstaffed pool and you ignore the signs telling you not to do it.

    • I’m having a hard time naming another one off hand. I don’t want to say this is the only one we have been to like this, but it might be. Still thinking…I can tell you several that don’t allow parents to go with kids though! 😉

  3. I have planned for a family visit with 2 kiddos during thanks giving which of course be an off season at the property , I know Longe will be closed but what about pools lazy rivers and bike rental?

    • I suspect that the Regency Club is open over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Bikes should be available and pool/lazy river should be open, but it may be a little chilly.

    • I think it is fun year-round, but in February most people will probably pass on the swimming activities since that is usually the coldest month of the year around these parts. I would look into horse riding activities that time of year and also really look forward to evening s’mores by the campfire and maybe some spa time!

    • In February, we did get to enjoy the beach and shallow water when the sun was out. It was cooler in the morning and evenings, but the kids had fun partaking in the activities outside by the playground, which was surrounded by pecan s that had fallen off the trees, so the kids enjoyed picking them up.

  4. Had a stay here last weekend with Cash Points + DSU plus some two additional rooms with rewards points for family. Second time we’ve come in early October. Perfect time, I think, warm during the day for swimming and cool enough for jackets + s’mores in evening.

    A little polite asking got all three rooms put right next two each other on backside with patios and more complementary amenities than you can count. Note they generously extend diamond benefits to all room you book, without having to bother with Guest of Honor bookings.

    Another thing — they have 4 “special junior suites” which they’ll let you use for a DSU if you ask nicely. It’s basically a standard king room with adjoining room with couch, tv,etc. You lose the dining table but get a 2nd bathroom. More privacy for primary room + extra wide patio makes this a win for my family.

    Finally, they’ve got a new airboat (with big fan off the back) ride option, which takes you down the river for about 30 minutes. My two older kids (5 and 7) loved it, as did the adults.

    • I have mixed feelings on the airboat. We haven’t done it yet but heard it all the time SO LOUD! I bet it is fun though. Thanks for the “special” junior suite tip – hadn’t heard of those!

    • so how do you request this special suite? i have called and request a connecting room to suite, do i just ask for availability upon arrival ?

      • First off, let me clear, these aren’t any nicer than the regular junior suite — in fact, they’re probably smaller (I think they call them “special” to keep people from complaining when placed here). It’s like a tiny hospitality suite. It’s really about that second bathroom and more private space for the adults after kids go to bed. In other words, if it were just the wife and me, I’d go for a regular junior suite.

        They are named suites. Two in each wing. The one we’ve stayed in is the Elgin suite just off the lobby in feather court (though I will probably try another next time, as it was a tad noisy last weekend).

        I don’t know how much of it depends on diamond status (I had less success with upgrades when I was platinum), but I usually call a week before arrival, talk to the front desk / room control (make sure you aren’t transferred off property) and see if they’ll block my room ahead of time.

        I mention I have small children, want to avoid cars (back side of resort), and long walks down the corridor (near lobby). I’ve found *requesting* (and acknowledging they aren’t required to accommodate you) goes a long way. I never mention I’m a diamond member – they’re screen will tell them that, and you don’t want to come off as though you have a sense of entitlement. If you can’t get what you’d like, don’t be pushy. Try again at check-in or closer to arrival when they know their availability better.

  5. Hyatt Hill Country does allow parents to hold young children, even babies on the slide. It’s not a fast slide, so I’ve seen young toddlers do it alone. Also Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch can be lenient at times with their height requirement, usually in the evening and parents have gone down the slide with children who don’t meet the height requirement. I love that these two resorts allow guests to go back and forth and enjoy each others pools and amenities. There’s a free shuttle to take you back and forth, so you never get bored. We’ve usually spend at least a week at these resorts every summer. They also have a free Sea World shuttle that is really convenient to avoid the parking fees and long walks to your automobile. Wild Oak Ranch is so pleasant in the summer because it is never crowded, the beach is bigger and they’re lazy river is much warmer that the Hill Country’s. They have an indoor heated pool and splash pad too. Free cabanas, miniature golf (nighttime glow golf), individual family fire pits, free movie rentals, and it’s usually priced lower, too.

  6. Just snagged an award stay that includes New Years Eve 2017. Yeah, so it’s a long way away and our plans may change but might as well lock in the idea of a family-friendly NYE celebration and carnival, using points (assuming they offer the same next year)! Thanks for the tip 🙂

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