Five Reasons I Love Hyatt Lost Pines

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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).

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa (2012)

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa (2013)

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.


C going down the slide with dad last year

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.


Easily standing in the pool


Perfect depth for chilling


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.


Enjoy evening s’mores without paying extra

 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.


Shade while floating the lazy river


Man-made shade picks up where trees leave off

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.


Evening snacks in Regency Club

Evening snacks in Regency Club

I’d love to hear about which family friendly resort you love and why!

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  1. Great review MP. However, as much as liked the review I don’t agree at all about these ridiculous resort fees. I know they are here to stay(and will likely get worse)but they are simply a way to advertise low rates then jam customers for more money.
    The amenities you mentioned are all fixed to the resort. They property will offer them to everyone all the time whether used or not. It is a bit insulting not to show the true price as we click through to pay. I realize the fee is usually mentioned but almost always after the price per day is promulgated.
    Thankfully a few chains waive the fee on point stays but certainly not always. Hyatt has been pretty good.

    • Geoff, oh I don’t like the resort fees but at least you aren’t hit with that + nickel and dimed in addition.

  2. We love Lost Pines as well! I call it “luxury summer camp.” I agree with everything you say (especially about the waterslide since I am the mother of a 47.5 inch child who isn’t allowed to go down our neighborhood slide that is smaller than the Lost Pines slide). The staff there is amazing. Everyone is extremely nice and enthusiastic. The only negative about the resort is the food. You are a bit captive and everything we’ve had there is way overpriced and mediocre at best.

    • Totally is a luxury summer camp – ha! I agree about food prices. We like to have meals outside by the pool since the prices there are less than in the restaurants and certainly less than room service.

  3. Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO. It sounds very similar to Lost Pines. It’s on Tablerock Lake in the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri.

    So much is complementary including resort-wide shuttles, lazy river, canoes, paddle boats, mini golf, sand volleyball and daily cookie delivery. Plus Tablerock Lake is great for casual boaters as it is common to be the only boat in most coves and stretches.

    The lazy river at Lost Pines looks nicer than the one at Big Cedar, though 🙂

  4. This resort looks so lovely! So I have to ask….because we are a family of 5, I always look at these recommended places and get so discouraged that when I input 5 people online it will only let me book a suite for almost $500 a night. Which makes it unaffordable. Does this resort require wrist bands for the pools and activities? Or do you think we could bring a sleeping bag for our 5th person in a standard room and still have all of us use the amenities? I’d love your advice on this. It’s so hard when you add in just one more person! Thanks.

    • Nancy, the official answer would be to book a jr suite as it can officially hold 5 with the bedroom, the pullout couch, and a rollaway bed. I think it is like 32k points per night for that if you want to book on points. The unofficial answer is that they do use wrist bands for the pool here on busy days, but I bet you could manage to end up with 5 wrist bands for a room built for four. They aren’t overly strict here.

  5. Amen to the waterslide rules! As parents of little kids, sometimes going down the slides with the kids is all it takes to get them over the fear the next time around. That rule drives me nuts when they won’t allow parents with the kids.

    • InACents, for real! It’s such a big deal to parents of little kids and some places can get it so wrong. Big thumbs up when a resort gets it right!

  6. We’re heading back to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe next weekend; this year with our toddler. Summer weekend rates are regularly over $500 and they do sell out. The hotel has a beach on the lake which is not too common and is also situated on the more relaxed north shore. We are not skiers and enjoy the summer activities in the area. I don’t have status with Hyatt but the $20 trick gets some nice perks for your stay.

  7. Bill, well you won’t have the water activities but you will still have a good time. We have been there in the winter and enjoyed the horses and other outdoor activities. They do go all out for NYE with an onsite carnival and everything. Personally 2-3 nights would be my max that time of the year since it isn’t really close to much else, but that’s just me. I do hope to enjoy their NYE at some point.
    Tom, nope not if you use pure points. Cash + points = yes.
    John, I want to go there at some point for sure. Looks awesome and well done with the $20 trick!

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