Over the past two years our family has really familiarized ourselves with the term staycation. There is just something so blissful about “getting away,” and “getting back” requiring a short car ride. If you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking of Spring Break so we figured a rundown of some nearby resorts would be helpful as you plan.
As a former Austinite and current San Antonionian, I’m going to focus this particular blog on places to staycation in this area.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country (Website)
Disclaimer: We love the JW Marriott. We have family staycationed there twice and adults only staycationed there once and every time we’ve gone we’ve had nothing short of a wonderful experience. My husband, who doesn’t particularly get excited about hotels, has even said, “This place is perfect for a family getaway,” because it is.
Pros: Everything you could possibly want to do is here. Amazing pool and rides and slides for kids of all ages? Check. A kids’ arcade room that chock full of video games for all ages and abilities? Check. A kid zone so that the adults can get away for a bit while the kids are perfectly entertained? Check! The JW has all of this and more—great eats, a spa for the adults (and an adults only pool which is quite amazing), golf, lawn games, seasonal activities (like s’mores or ice
cream making), and an incredible gym nestled away in the hills of San Antonio.
Cons: The JW can get two things during peak seasons: pricey and packed. While they do participate in several discount programs (AAA, Government/Military, Senior Citizen, etc.) the regular rate for a room at the JW during Spring Break is about $400. Now, if you qualify for the government rate, congratulations, you get a pretty solid discount and your room would be roughly $320 (PS the discount is better during not peak seasons.) But, don’t let the cost deter you—with the exception of the aforementioned spa, kid zone, golf, and food, the main amenities are included. And, because this place is really divine, it gets packed. We recently staycationed during labor day weekend and to ensure we had ideal pool space, we headed down around 9 am (with 30% of the resort) to secure our spot. It worked out well, but just be advised. Also, a point of reference, Schlitterbahn tickets cost at least $50/per person for ONE DAY so for a family of four you’re looking at $200 just to get in and that doesn’t include a night’s stay…so maybe the JW isn’t too pricey after all.
Hyatt Hill Country & Hyatt Lost Pines (website)
The Hyatt Hill Country/ Hyatt Lost Pines are cousins of the JW Marriott. They’re a different brand, but very similar in terms of the amenities offered. I’ve been fortunate to stay at both locations for work-related events, but got to bring the fam along to experience the staycation side of the life here.
Pros: Similar to the JW, everything you need out of a staycation location is here. They, too, have an incredible pool with differing amenities. The San Antonio (Hill Country) location offers a lazy river and a huge waterslide and the Austin (Lost Pines) location offers those plus a sandy beach area. One big pro to the Hill Country location, in my opinion, is that it is very close to Sea World and Fiesta Texas which while an additional cost, will make the staycation feel a bit more like a vacation since they aren’t everyday activities. The Hyatt Hill Country property is slightly more affordable than the JW Marriott with a standard room costing $339 during Spring Break (Hill Country). One last benefit is that these properties are both considerably smaller than the JW with no more than 500 rooms whereas the JW has double that with 1,000 rooms! Oh, and one more thing, their pool is a lot more shaded than the JW pool so if you’re looking for a shadier experience, the Hyatt is a better bet.
Cons: The Hyatt Lost Pines property is a bite more expensive than the JW at $454 a night and they are not offering government/military discounts during Spring Break. In my experience, the Hyatt rooms are not as nice as the JW rooms so if you’re looking for nicer accommodations, the JW has the Hyatt beat. The spa is also not as nice here as it is at the JW—but hey—an hour away from the kids and a massage is an hour away from the kids and a massage, right? Right. However, if you’re a spa connoisseur (like me!), you’ll have a better experience at the JW.
Tapatio Springs (Website)
Disclaimer: We haven’t stayed here yet—but we just booked for Spring Break 2017. The pros and cons below are reasons we chose to try this new place instead of returning to the ol’ faithfuls listed above.
Pros: Affordability is #1. We’ve got a baby on the way and every hundred dollars saved makes my frugal husband happy. With the rooms costing right above $200/night, that leaves more budget for Mommy’s Spa Time upcoming baby expenses (eyeroll). That aside, it wasn’t difficult to take a chance on Tapatio Springs when we read up on the food and fun offered on the resort. They, too, have a pool with slides and all of that perfect-for-my-six-year-old-water-fun goodness, a variety of restaurants, golf for the hubby, a spa for me, and a few western-themed activities for non-pool fun.
Cons: Because this is a smaller resort, everything, on the website at least, looks a little bit smaller—the pool, the rooms, etc. And, this isn’t associated with a well-known brand so in terms of hotel stay expectations, we don’t really have any. We know with both Hyatt and JW that there is a certain standard and we don’t have that going in to our stay here.
These are just THREE of many options for you to choose from as you embark on your Spring Break staycations.