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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Know before you go.
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