Deciding Between Hyatt Lost Pines or Hyatt Hill Country Resorts

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I don’t like deciding between two destinations as I think if you have narrowed the whole wide world down to two spots, odds are they are probably both worth visiting at some point. However, since I don’t think anyone has yet figured out how to visit two places at the same time, I totally get that ultimately you still have to pick one…or at least just one at a time.

 

Along those lines, two resorts that many Mommy Points readers often decide between are the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. Both are family friendly Hyatt properties located in Central Texas, and while they have a ton in common, they are not identical replicas of one another. Each has its own strengths and areas where it isn’t quite as strong. I think both are worth visiting at some point, but if you need help deciding which resort is best for your crew right now, let me help highlight where each property shines.

Hyatt Lost Pines

Hyatt Hill Country

Location, tie based on preference:

Hyatt Hill Country is located near San Antonio while Hyatt Lost Pines is in Bastrop just outside of Austin. The Lost Pines property is much more remote, and once you arrive there it feels like you are in a whole other world. This is a really cool and unique setting, but the downside is that it isn’t easy to just pop out of the resort to go eat a meal off-property or really go anywhere without it being a pretty large time commitment. Heck, once you are in your car it still takes at least 10 minutes to get out of the property and down the long and winding road back to the highway!

Hyatt Hill Country, on the other hand, is just minutes away from many restaurants and attractions that could keep your crew busy. It takes less than five minutes to get to Rudy’s BBQ, McDonalds, or other casual meals off the property and just a few more minutes than that to get to some places like SeaWorld.

Personally, I like the location of Hyatt Lost Pines better, but mainly because we can get there in as little two and a half hours, and Hyatt Hill Country took me six hours on our last trip, though that was due to especially bad traffic and the trip home clocked in around four hours without traffic.

Water Park, slight advantage to Hyatt Hill Country

Both properties have truly outstanding pools and water parks, so I think visiting in the warmer months when you can comfortably swim is a good idea, especially if you don’t visit regularly.

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Hill Country has a 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!

Their water slide is significantly larger than the Hyatt Lost Pines slide, which is great for older kids, but not as great for toddlers who may do better with a shorter experience. Very thankfully, both properties let you hold your little kids going down the slide. For those still learning to be stronger swimmers, know that the Lost Pines slide empties into a pool, whereas the Hill Country slide does not.

Hyatt Lost Pines Slide

Each property has a lazy river that goes in a circle and thankfully is shaded much of the way. I think I enjoy both lazy rivers roughly equally, though the Hill Country river has some drop-offs you need to look out for!

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Lost Pines

In terms of main activity pools, again I think they are similarly matched, though I do enjoy the beach area in the main pool at Lost Pines slightly better as it isn’t right on the lazy river with lots of through traffic. On the other hand, the main activity pool at Hill Country is larger with more room to swim.

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Hyatt Lost Pines

Lost Pines “Beach”

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Hill Country

While Hyatt Lost Pines has recently redone its baby splash pad area, I think the Hyatt Hill Country baby pool is my favorite of the two in terms of shallow pools.

Unique to the Hill Country property is 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.

While I give the slight water park edge to Hyatt Hill Country, I think both water areas are the shining star attractions of the properties and we love them both.

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Hyatt Lost Pines

Food, advantage Hyatt Lost Pines

I have never eaten at the ‘nicer’ restaurants at either of these properties, so I can only comment on the casual dining options which we have frequented, but the clear winner to me in the casual dining department is Hyatt Lost Pines. We consistently enjoy the food at this resort, and even the simple poolside veggie burgers, fries, and fruit are pretty great.

Hyatt Lost Pines

However, we didn’t love the food on our last visit to Hyatt Hill Country at all. While it might have just been an off-visit, from the pizza to the hot dogs to the salads, most of it just wasn’t our favorite.

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Hill Country

Hyatt Hill Country

The flip-side of this is that it is easy to leave Hyatt Hill Country and save money by eating elsewhere, and at Hyatt Lost Pines you are pretty captive unless you are ready to be off-property for a couple of hours.

Rooms, advantage Hyatt Lost Pines

The rooms at the Hyatt Lost Pines are my favorite of the two for a few reasons. First, they seem to have been more recently renovated with a more contemporary look and feel.

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Hyatt Lost Pines

Hyatt Hill Country

Secondly, the rooms for four at Hyatt Lost Pines feature two queen beds as opposed to two doubles at Hyatt Hill Country. I do not enjoy sleeping in a double bed with two people in it at all, so big advantage in this category to Hyatt Lost Pines. If you are using a suite upgrade to book a junior suite, note that at both properties you are getting a two room suite with a full living room and a bedroom with one king bed.

Club Lounge, advantage Hyatt Lost Pines

Both properties have solid club lounges, but unfortunately the one at Hyatt Hill Country is rarely open, even in the summer. We were there on a sold-out June weekend and were told the lounge doesn’t open until July. I totally understand having the clubs open seasonally as both resorts have some real off-season times, but I think June weekends should count as in-season and a time when the club really should be open. The club at Hyatt Lost Pines is open much more regularly during the summer and school breaks.

Evening snacks in Regency Club

All of these club photos are from Hyatt Lost Pines, and you can not only have breakfast here daily, but can make an evening meal out of the nighttime offerings if you were so inclined.

Hyatt Lost Pines Regency Club

Spa, tie – both fantastic

Both Hyatt Lost Pines and Hyatt Hill Country have very nice spas where we have very much enjoyed all of our treatments, so I recommend both if you have some extra time and cash while on your vacation. Also check places like Travelzoo for discounted services, as I have seen both spas pop up on those sort of sites.

Hyatt Lost Pines

Hyatt Lost Pines

Kid’s Club, tie 

It has been a while since we have used the Camp Hyatt at either property, but our oldest daughter has enjoyed her time at both starting at age 3, and I can’t wait for my younger daughter to do the same in about a year. Based on the info available on the websites, it looks like the Lost Pines camp is more expensive and with more session options. The Hill Country Camp Hyatt appears to be open fewer times, especially during the week, though it is less expensive when it is open…so I’ll call it a tie.

Camp Hyatt

On-site Activities, advantage Hyatt Lost Pines

The included activities at theses resorts are very similar with both offering evening s’mores, outdoor movies, free bikes to enjoy, and crafts and games throughout the day.

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However, I give the edge to Hyatt Lost Pines for activities simply because it has way more of them available. Lost Pines has horse trail rides, pony rides, wagon rides, fishing expeditions, and much more. Some of these activities are included, but many of them that include horses or the Colorado River do come at an additional cost.

While we did have a wagon ride at Hyatt Hill Country years ago, I didn’t see any animal focused activities on their calendar on our most recent visit. If you want some animal centered fun, Hyatt Lost Pines gets the major advantage in this category. Now that my oldest daughter is seven, she will be able to do the official trail ride at Lost Pines later this summer – I can’t wait! My younger daughter will probably get to enjoy her first pony ride while we are there, too.

Globalist Breakfast Benefit, tie based on preference

If you are lucky enough to have Hyatt Globalist status and get included breakfast on your stays, then both properties honor this by providing breakfast in the lounges when they are open. However, the Hill Country lounge is closed more frequently meaning you get full breakfast in the restaurant more often. If that is a positive for you, then Hill Country wins.

However, since I didn’t love their food on this most recent visit (with the bacon above being a delicious exception), I personally prefer the breakfast benefit at Lost Pines even if it is more frequently in the lounge. Neither property permits room service as an included Globalist breakfast benefit.

Award Availability, tie

Hyatt Lost Pines used to be really bad about playing games with award availability based on calling some rooms with a certain location or slight view non-standard and thus out of range for points, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Now both properties are pretty good about making standard rooms with both bed configurations available with regularity. That said, both can legitimately sell out of standard rooms during busy times, so booking in advance is a good move.

I will mention that Hyatt Lost Pines does usually black out awards over New Year’s Eve most years as they bring in a whole carnival, shoot off fireworks, have a BBQ included in room rates, and they don’t offer rooms just by themselves most of the time.

Award Value, advantage Hyatt Hill Country

While I personally prefer Hyatt Lost Pines in many ways, there is no denying that the award value at Hyatt Hill Country is outstanding. As a Category 4 property you can not only use points, but you can also use the Category 1-4 Hyatt nights you get annually with the credit card and elsewhere to book a room that could otherwise be going for $350+ per night.

Hyatt Lost Pines is a Category 5 property, so you can’t use those 1-4 awards and when staying on points it costs an additional 5,000 points per night over Hyatt Hill Country at 15,000 points per night instead of 20,000. That isn’t a big difference for a night or so, but can add up for a longer stay.

Which is Better? Hyatt Lost Pines or Hyatt Hill Country

Both resorts are amazing spots for families to put down the devices and really play together outside in an upscale and comfortable setting. I would not hesitate to recommend either property for families looking for points-fueled fun. While the resorts have more in common than they have different, I think that Lost Pines is a slightly nicer property overall with more available on-site activities, more recently renovated rooms, and a more available lounge. That said, I think the Hill Country water park is a bit nicer, its location is better for easy access to other activities and meals, and there is no denying its stellar award value as a Category 4 property.

Hyatt Lost Pines

We will continue to find ourselves at Hyatt Lost Pines more frequently than Hyatt Hill Country, but both are excellent choices that should probably both be on your eventual to-do lists if you are looking for resort fun in Central Texas! If you have been to one or both I’d love for you to weigh-in on this conversation!

If you like this sort of compare and contrast check out similar posts comparing Hyatt Regency Maui and Andaz Maui as well as Grand Hyatt Kauai vs. St. Regis Princeville.

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. We’ve taken family trips to Lost Pines ~5 times now (closer for us living in DFW). We’ve never been to Hill Country but plan to use with the Cat 1-4 at some point soon. I will say the one thing that I noticed this year (didn’t notice previously) are the air boats at Lost Pines. They are ridiculously loud and it detracts from the feeling of remoteness. It kind of cheapens the experience in my mind. Still an overall great local family trip for those living in TX, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a destination for those outside driving distance .

    • That is a big change to the serene situation for sure. I can’t remember if they were there on our last visit last summer or not….I sort of think they were, but I can’t be sure.

  2. Great post — I had one suggestion. The article was quite in depth (which is great), but it made it a bit difficult for me to follow along all the way through. How about a simple check box comparison chart somewhere in the post to see your evaluation and recommendation at a glance?

    • Wes, that would be great! Sadly, my checkbox making abilities aren’t very pretty quite yet. I also had footage to do a little video of Hill Country, but time constraints just didn’t allow me to devote any more to this project this time around. Truly sorry it was hard to follow though! Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

      • No worry! Certainly not meant as any sort of criticism, more just contributing an idea that’s hopefully helpful to you.

  3. Thanks for an excellent article!
    We’re booked for Lost Pines in July, mid-week. Do you think the club will be open?
    Which room would you recommend to ask for? We’ll be at a Club room, no kids. A quiet room but not too remote from everything would be preferred.
    Thanks!

    • The past few years, the club floor has been opened throughout the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). If it is important, I would call to double check.

      I would caution about going to Lost Pines in the summer without kids. This is a very family friendly focused resort. They do have an adult only pool, but the resort is definitely overrun with kids throughout the summer. I have some friends who went to Lost Pines a few years ago for a night away from their kids and it was definitely not the romantic, relaxing trip that they had hoped for.

    • Club should be open, call the front desk at lost pines, even in the middle of the night, someone will have that answer. Warning, it’ll likely be filled with kids.

      Agree with AMJ, Lost Pines in the summer mainly families (my family of 5 be there again at some point soon). Mid-week will be slightly better but still plenty of scooters racing down halls.

      For quiet, make sure you’re on the back side of the resort (facing the river). You don’t want (a) facing the street or (b) facing pecan court (if there’s a wedding or other even, it’ll be really loud). Higher floor will be quieter if you don’t mind trading a the patio on to he grass, just make sure the put you in a room with a porch (and not just a window at the very top). Personally I’ve been staying down by the pond / spa lately. It’s a little bit of a walk but quieter.

      Do call ahead (now) and let them know what you’re looking for (talk to someone at front desk or in onsite room control). If you ask nicely they’ll usually go ahead and block a room for you. I usually call a few days out to make sure the block “stuck”.

      Have fun!

      • Agree with the suggestions you got, and I also really echo the warnings about families. If you have a hard time enjoying yourself when there are LOTS of families with kids about then I would just caution you to really be thoughtful about how you plan your time there. Spa is great, excursions on Colorado River or horse riding, golf, etc. would be good for cutting down on little kiddos. Dinner at the nicer restaurants would probably be good, but the general resort areas will be a little bit like Disney World in July.

        • Thanks, Summer and everyone for your valuable comments! Something to think about… We’ll be visiting Houston, and looking for a 2 night ‘escape’. Could you recommend any other nice resort style place within 3 hours drive from Houston that might not look like Disneyland?
          We are leaving our 2 kiddos with grandparents 😉

          • Hmm. I’ve heard good things about the Woodlands Resort (but haven’t been there myself so can’t speak to how kiddy it is), it’s just north of Houston. Down in Galveston, the Galvez hotel as well as San Luis are nice. The Hyatt Hill Country is right outside that 3 hour window and is more adult (also JW Marriott in Hill Country). There’s gotta be more stuff around Austin too, but I don’t know that area as well.

          • Yeah my gut goes to Austin. Truthfully any of the major resorts are going to have similar issues in the summer – it certainly isn’t unique to Lost Pines. If you want to avoid that scene, I would consider an upscale hotel in the Austin area. Kimpton comes to mind, but there are others. If you want to splurge big time Lake Austin Spa is outstanding.

          • Andre – another warning :). We will be staying club level 3 adults 6 kids sometimes in July and probably mid-week. And we stayed last year also – club is definitely open but lots of kids of all ages so definitely not a nice calm environment.

  4. We frequent both of these resorts often. I agree with you on most points, but I have a couple area that I’m going to disagree with you on.

    My kids are 9 and 12, so older than your kids. They do not like the waterslide at Hill Country at all. While it is longer than the Lost Pines slide, it is not attached to the lazy river and they say it is “slow.” Also, we really like the sandy beach area at Hill Country much more than Lost Pines. It is much more substantial and is more comfortable for us parents to sit along the edges of the lazy river while the kids are digging.

    We love Lost Pines, but I would highly recommend Hill Country over Lost Pines during the hottest point of the summer. We were at Lost Pines in mid-July last summer and between the sun and the heater being turned on in the pool, it felt like a hot tub in the Texas heat. It was not refreshing at all. Hill Country’s lazy river is much better shaded and comfortable for the super hot days.

    As for food, I’m not overwhelmed by the food offerings at either resorts. I feel like the menus are very similar and boring. However, we had an A++++ experience at Hill Country with dealing with our daughter’s food allergies. Lost Pines was great too, but the Executive Chef that we dealt with last year at Hill Country was on par with Disney’s food allergy handling.

    One last plus for Lost Pines for our family is JD the Storyteller at Lost Pines. He is a treasure. His storytelling is more or less the same each time, but we have enjoyed it so much that we go to listen to him every time.

    We really love both resorts. No matter what you chose, both are great for family time.

    • How funny – we thought the slide was fast! Maybe we weigh more than your kids. Ha! Agree totally that Hill Country’s shade is more ample than Lost Pines and does help in the heat of the summer. So glad they were able to help out with your daughter’s food allergies and I need to check out the storyteller on our next trip!

      • Maybe they need to try the slide at Hill Country out again! Maybe they did something to make it faster? We haven’t been there yet this summer.

  5. Great article. We frequent both of these properties. I would actually recommend readers looking into the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch. It is 1 minute from the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio and has some great options. It is a timeshare property so you can have 1, 2, or 3 bedroom suites and still have access to the Hyatt Hill Country. The amenities at Hyatt Wild Oak match or exceed that of the Hyatt Hill Country.

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