5 Things to Know About Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio

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With little kids, I can think of no easier and more enjoyable short weekend getaway destination than to head to a nice points-friendly resort. Everyone has their own favorite traveling style, but right now playing at a nice and family friendly resort for a few days is one of my favorite ways to go all-in on fun with my girls. Our typical go-to resort within driving distance is Hyatt Lost Pines near Austin, but since we hadn’t been to the similar, but yet different, Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio in several years, we recently opted for that destination to kick off our summer travels.

 

Because I know many other families are in the position of deciding between visiting the Hyatt Hill Country or Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, I plan a comparison post of the two in the next week or so, but for now here are five things to know about the Hyatt Hill Country based on our most recent visit.

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Hill Country Resort is one of the best Hyatt award chart values.

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort is just a Category 4 on the Hyatt award chart, making it eligible for the Category 1 – 4 awards, or it rings at 15,000 points per night on a pure points awards. With the 10% points rebate going on for Hyatt credit card holders until September 5th, that is just 13,500 points per night, which is pretty fantastic for a resort that can easily go for $300+ for peak nights. If you don’t have Globalist status with waived resort fees, staying purely on points instead of on a points + cash rate is probably the better value since there is a $35 per night resort fee you would avoid on a points reservations, but not on a points + cash award.

Hyatt Hill Country Lobby

The Hyatt Hill Country water park is outstanding.

I think the Hyatt Hill Country’s best feature is their five acre water park that includes a 950 foot lazy river, big activity pool, zero entry beach area, baby pool, and even a twisting 22 foot water slide!

There is also a Flow Rider that is a ton of fun, but it does cost $25 – $35 extra per person if you choose to get some surfing lessons. It is the least expensive early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Hyatt Hill Country Flow Rider

This water park is very well shaded and can easily keep a family busy for a couple of days between tubing the river, racing down the water slide, playing basketball in the activity pool, and chilling in the hot tub.

I also loved that they allowed parents to hold their little kiddos to go down the water slide, which does not dump into a pool where you have to swim out, but instead just comes to a stop at the end of the sliding area.

 

There is a Regency Club, but it is usually closed. 

If you are hoping to keep expenses down by enjoying some breakfasts, snacks, etc. in the Regency Club thanks to your Hyatt status, annual Explorist Club certificates, or simply by booking a Regency Club rate, know that it is only open seasonally…and that is using the word ‘seasonally’ liberally. We were there for a very busy June weekend at the start of summer and that didn’t count as a “seasonally open” date. When we asked, we were told it is open in July. I’m not sure if that means only in July, but it is a very, very seasonal operation.

For Globalists this means instead of lounge access you get full breakfast for two adults and two children in the Springhouse Cafe. For everyone else it just means no club, which honestly seems strange for busy summer weekends at a family resort.

Springhouse Cafe

The food isn’t very good, but there are close alternatives.

While we are talking about some negatives, let’s get this out of the way and talk about the food at the Hyatt Hill Country. We didn’t eat in the nicer Antler’s Lodge or Charlie’s Long Bar, so I can’t speak to those, but the food we did eat from the General Store, Springhouse Cafe, and Papa Ed’s Pool Bar simply wasn’t very good.

Not my favorite BBQ chicken salad

It was edible and no one got sick, but from the pizza in the General Store, to the smooshy avocado toast from Springhouse Cafe, to the wrinkly hot dog from the poolside bar, to the cold sausage off the breakfast buffet, the food was consistently expensive and not very tasty. We aren’t picky foodies, but we all felt exactly the same way.

Some exceptions were the nitrate free bacon on the breakfast buffet which was delicious, the gluten free muffins which were also pretty good, and the poolside watermelon, but otherwise we did not enjoy eating here at all this time around.

However, this resort is very close to other food options right up the road including the Original Rudy’s that is just a couple streets away. My husband, who is a Rudy’s aficionado, insists that I point out that the original Rudy has a smaller menu than the other Rudy’s, so your favorite items may be missing. Thankfully, you will still find plenty of brisket and cream corn!

Original Rudy’s BBQ

The location of this resort makes the not-so-great food not a deal breaker since you have plenty of nearby options, and in the end you will probably also save some money by seeking out other off-property alternatives.

Rooms for four have double beds.

If you are traveling with family, know that the rooms for four people have two double beds. This may be fine for kids, but I know for us adults who are used to king beds it can feel a little tight and just something to be aware of going in. They also have rollaway beds available for $25 per day.

Other things to know about Hyatt Hill Country….

A few others things I want to mention are that the cave in the lobby is a huge, huge hit with kids, and worth hanging out in to color or look at the fish when you need a break from the outdoors. I also want to mention the amazing valet staff who were saints when we pulled up to the hotel with a screaming toddler covered in vomit from a car sickness incident a couple of miles before reaching the resort. The car seat was a disaster scene, and they volunteered to hose it off and went way above and beyond to help us ease into our vacation and away from the car disaster.

Finally, I think this resort has some training issues when it comes to Hyatt elite perks and benefits, so be sure to dedicate some time at check-out to going over your bill. From looking at other online reviews, I do not think my experience was a one-off, and it was my least pleasant exchange to date in trying to explain at check-out that Globalists no longer pay resort fees even when on points + cash rates or eligible paid rates. In the end it was waived ‘as a courtesy’, but it wasn’t my favorite way to end a weekend vacation, so just factor in a few extra minutes to look over your bill at check-out if you are expecting some things to be waived due to status, a package rate, etc.

Overall, I think the Hyatt Hill Country is a very good value on Hyatt points or via a Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate. They also have some solid discounted rates available at times in case you don’t have any points available. Their water amenities are outstanding, and they also have included amenities like bikes, playgrounds, s’mores, outdoor movies, and more to keep the fun rolling outside of the pools. The resort is also within reach of tons of other things to do in the San Antonio area, so you can headquarter out of here for other day trips.

That said, the resort isn’t perfect, and I would love to the rooms benefit from at least a light renovation at some point, as well as there be a serious look at the quality of their casual food offerings and frequent club closures. Because it is such as good value and offers family friendly amenities, we are likely to periodically return in the coming years, but I think that Hyatt Lost Pines will remain our most common go-to family weekend getaway destination.

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

Comments

  1. Regency Club: I applied one of my Explorist club certificates to the reservation made over the phone. At check-in, I was told the club is only open “seasonally” which started in June. I thought this was odd, since Memorial Day seems like it should be in season, but since the certificate had already been taken from my account I was offered free breakfast, instead. This was a win for us and much preferred over a lounge, and I appreciated how it was handled by the front desk staff.

    Food: We had a totally different impression of the food! We had the breakfast buffet in the Springhouse each morning, and found the pancakes, waffles, and eggs really great and loved all the fresh fruit. We also ate dinner there 2 nights, and some had the buffet and some ordered off the menu. We really enjoyed the food and thought it was very INEXPENSIVE! I guess that all depends on where you are coming from. By DC standards, the $25 buffet was cheap and even though I was honest about my youngest son’s age (13) when they asked, they always charged him the kid price of $8.95. We ate lunch one day by the bar near the FlowRider and the nachos were excellent. The salads were also good, but the grilled cheese was just average.

    Waterpark: We all really enjoyed the waterpark and the kids did the FlowRider. However, this is definitely a resort for young children. If you are looking for any sort of activities for teens (we weren’t), you will be out of luck. If your teens are ok just lounging all day, they will be fine. If you are on your honeymoon or looking for a couples weekend – GO ELSEWHERE! The place is literally crawling (and I mean that especially in the dining room where lots of bad parenting was going on and kids were rolling around the floor underfoot) with small kids.

    Smores: The smores were fun and FREE! At the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake near us, they make you pay for a “smores kit” to take to the fire which seems like nickel-and-diming to me.

    Rooms: We had 2 adjoining rooms, one with a king and one with 2 doubles. The rooms were significantly different in terms of style and one looked much more up-to-date. So maybe some renovations have been happening?

    Overall, we really liked the resort and would not hesitate to recommend it.

    • Glad to year y’all liked the food, and you are so right that food costs are relative based on what you are used to. For many Texans, $50 + tip for a family of 3.5 people to eat a mediocre lunch is a lot. We did enjoy the fresh fruit for breakfast – especially the berries! Also totally agree this is not a honeymoon-type spot at all. Glad to hear one of your rooms was much more up-to-date – fingers crossed that is in process!

  2. Sorry, my lead in to my comment got deleted! We stayed for the first time over Memorial Day weekend and I thought I would add some data points!

  3. Thanks – looking forward to your in depth comparison of the 2 resorts. I almost want to book there because I can go on points in July when the club lounge “should” be open. But with 9 of us and the tried and true very good club lounge at Lost Pines (that really does save us a lot on food costs) I am hesitant to experiment with the Hill Country lounge – especially since detailed reviews of it are very hard to find :). Plus we have no desire to leave the resort once we arrive.

    • Tana, the lounge was open when we stayed there years ago and it was totally fine from memory and looking back at that review – though that is pretty dated info. Ha! I really think the issue is it just is rarely open, but I would bet it is solid when it is open. Totally understand not wanting to leave the resort when you arrive though – we don’t at Lost Pines, but did here and it really was easy heading a couple streets away for food and back. Hope the comparison post helps – plan on it next week!

  4. We e-mailed the hotel before our stay and was upgraded to a nice suite as a Diamond at the time. We have two kids (ages 6 and 4) and they loved the property! Were you offered to see a Timeshare presentation? We were and it was an easy 30k points. – Was great because we were there using category 1-4 certificates as it was. Would love to go back!

    • That would have been great! No, no timeshare offer or suite. Ha! I would totally do the tour for 30k points!

  5. We are going to stay there on July 4th weekend for one night with our grandma and then head to Fredericksburg. I used points for one room and the annual certificate from hyatt card for another room. Do they charge resort fee on the annual free night certificate for category 1-4?

  6. I have stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country so many times I can’t count. A nearby client has a great rate! The Regency Club is only open in July. It is really sad, and such a huge miss by this property. When it is open it is simply great for dessert. It should be open Memorial Day to Labor Day (at least). The Wild Oak Ranch is a great property and while it is a vacation resort it can be booked like a hotel in the off season. The one bedroom is great.

    • Totally agree about the Club and I haven’t made it to Wild Oak Ranch yet, but hope to next time we are in the area!

  7. Have you ever been to either of these Hyatt resorts in the winter? We’ll be staying at Lost Pines over New Year’s and are wondering whether the pool is heated enough for swimming.

    • Tara, we have stayed at Lost Pines in the winter and it is fun, just different. I would not personally count on pools unless it is really unseasonably warm. I think they do heat the main pool at Lost Pines, but it was too cold for me personally! That said, they have tons of other activities over New Year’s – with NYE being amazing with a whole carnival brought in! The horse riding activities could also be really fun!

  8. MP, what’s the annual explorist certificate? and does the resort fee be waived with free night certificate? TIA

    • Explorists get four annual Regency/Grand Club “certificates” to use to access the lounge on their stays. Resort fees are supposed to be waved with award night certificates.

  9. We’ve been to the Hyatt Hill Country 2 times- both over 4th of July. As you stated, the rooms could definitely use a refresh…and an update to 2 queen beds, instead of doubles. Not sure how 2 adults fit in a double! LOL

    We loved all the activities there for our kids and when we were there, the Springhouse Cafe was great. Loved both their breakfast and dinner buffets. Also loved that kids under 5 ate free!

    Sorry your culinary experience there wasn’t great this time, but hopefully, it was just a one-off weekend?

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