The Best Spas in Texas

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    The Best Spas in Texas

    Lake Austin Spa Resort
    Lake Austin Spa Resort

    With destination spas, resort spas, executive health centers, hotel spas and day spas, you can find whatever kind of spa you want in Texas.  These Texas spas are places where you can stay overnight and indulge in as much or as little of the spa experience as you want.  It includes destination spas that offer a total wellness experience, spas where you can ride a mechanical bull, and health centers with physicians where you can lose weight and get a complete check-up.  There are also some spectacular resort spas that are great for the whole family.  Most of the spas are near major cities: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston. 

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  • 02 of 11

    Lake Austin Spa Resort

    Texas spas
    Lake Austin Spa Resort

    Just a half-hour northwest of Austin (depending on traffic), Lake Austin Spa Resort is a luxury destination spa that makes the most of its waterfront location with kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, tours on pontoon boats, even waterskiing lessons.  It's relatively small, with just 40 rooms, the best of which overlook over the water.  

    It's fairly expensive, and tends to attract a well-heeled crowd of ladies who never ask, "What do you do?"  It is known for its healthy, excellent spa cuisine.   The dining room has great views of the water and tree-lined bluff on the opposite shore.  Solo travelers can dine at a "friendship table" and easily meet other people.  At some point, you'll want to go to one of the cooking demonstrations taught by executive chef Stephane Beauchamp, who was born and trained in Normandy.

    Lake Austin is also known for its beautiful organic herb, vegetable and flower gardens, planted and tended by Trisha Shirey.   She gives tours of the gardens and also teaches how to incorporate essential oils into your wellness routine, among other topics.  Only overnight guests can eat in the dining room, swim in the pool barn and attend a full day of programming that includes classes on yoga, Nia (a form of dance exercise), tai chi, and lectures.

    But the 25,000 square foot spa where you get spa treatments is open to locals.  Built from native yellow limestone, it is gorgeous and has top-notch spa treatments and therapists.  Day guests can make a day of it by basking in the buff in a clothing optional outdoor garden, go swimming in the spa pool, and eat in the Aster Cafe.

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    Travaasa Austin

    Travaasa Austin
    Travaasa Austin

    Travaasa Austin is another first-rate spa set on 210 acres next to Balcones Canyonlands Preserve just outside Austin.  Most of the land is undeveloped except for trails, and it has on-property stables and the most unusual workout you're -- riding a mechanical bull. With just 70 rooms, it has an intimate feel, and the hilltop views from the infinity pool are stunning.

    Travaasa Austin calls itself an "experiential resort" that seeks to immerse you in local flavor.  It has a lot of unusual programming, including an Equine Encounter where a couple of cowboys teach you how to communicate with the horses.  You can also ride through Texas Hill country.  ​

    Its farm raises three cultivated acres of heirloom tomatoes, red burgundy okra, gold-fleshed melons (some 80 varieties of produce), alongside fruit trees, honeybees, and five breeds of chickens.  Most of the food at The Preserve is sourced from within 200 miles, like the Texas Wagyu Top Sirloin from cattle raised on Strube Ranch.  It also has a good wine list and excellent cocktails, and you can take cooking classes.     

    What's else? A "Prickly Pear Challenge Course" that includes climbing walls and a 250-foot zip line that sends you soaring over the tree-tops.   Meandering hikes through the preserve lead guests to reflection sites such as the property’s Solidago Sanctuary, where there are some great yoga classes.  Learn about local flora and fauna on guided hikes, and the art of concentration through archery.

    The spa has 11 treatment rooms (including one the feels like you're looking at the western sky)   It uses only organic, bioenergetic products, including the Primavera and Anakiri organic skin care lines, and I had some great treatments there. 

    This is a unique spa because there is a true wellness component, and most of the activities are complimentary.  At the same time, it's a popular place for executive gatherings, and the restaurant and spa open to the public.  That means you might have to hear a little marketing talk at the table next to you. 

    The guest rooms are located in seven Texas farmhouse style buildings throughout the property, all of which have balconies and views of Texas Hill Country. The rooms are small, a throwback to its days as a learning center, but that helps keep the prices reasonable. 

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    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in Texas
    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in Texas

    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is a major ranch-style resort spa near Bastrop State Park, 20 minutes east of Austin -- and the most kid-friendly spa in America.  For starters, it has a kids club, a lazy river and (relatively sedate) water park, and an adorable dog named Boots, the mascot who hangs out a lot at kids activities.   But kids as young as three-years-old can get a massage at Spa Django, and the parents don't even have to be in the room with them!  In this regard, Texas is more liberal than most states.  Spa Django has 18 treatment rooms, men and women's meditation rooms, Nia classes and yoga. 

    This is a classic 492-room resort -- and the rooms are huge!  Golfers can try Wolfdancer, a par-72 course that is considered challenging but playable. Hyatt Lost Pines is set on 405-acres right next to the 1,100-acre  McKinney Roughs Nature Park, where you have access to 18 miles of trails through the famous loblolly pines.

    There is so much to do: get up and go for a run on the trail, ride horses, raft or kayak on the Lower Colorado River, learn archery, stargaze, hipline and birdwatch.   If you want to eat healthy, check out the Firewheel Cafe, where you can get fresh-squeezed carrot juice, organic salad, and organic chicken. 

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    Barton Creek Resort

    Omni barton creek texas spas
    Omni Barton Creek Resort

    Omni Barton Creek Resort is a haven for golfers --it has four courses (including two by Tom Fazio) on its 4,000 acres and 312 rooms. Three Springs Spa has a natural limestone wall as part of its decor and makes its lavender and honey sugar scrub with locally sourced ingredients. It also offers individual sessions of personal training, yoga, Pilates and aqua personal training.  It's family-friendly, with nature hikes, miniature golf, and scavenger hunts.Tel. 

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    The Spa At Crescent

    The Spa At Crescent
    David De Lossy

    Set in the heart of Uptown Dallas, within walking distance of the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theatre, Crescent Court Hotel has 191 rooms and 29 suites. The Spa at Crescent is a 22,000 square feet spa with 16 treatment rooms.  It is popular as a day spa for Dallas residents, providing treatments and a complete fitness experience, including personal trainers. 

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    The Four Seasons Resort & Club, Dallas at Las Colinas

    Four Seasons Resort and Club, Dallas at Las Colinas
    Four Seasons Resort and Club, Dallas at Las Colinas

    The Four Seasons Resort & Club, Dallas at Las Colinas is a 431-room resort set on 400 sprawling acres just minutes from downtown Dallas. It needs all that space for the 18-hole golf course that is a draw for golfers; it hosts an annual PGA tour event. The tasteful spa has 16 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, and a massage tailored to golfers. Its 431 guest rooms (including 26 luxury suites) offer a range of views and are located in either the nine-story Resort tower or the low-rise villas adjacent to the golf greens.  

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    Cooper Aerobics Health & Wellness

    Cooper Hotel
    Cooper Hotel

    Cooper Aerobics Health and Wellness is a wellness forerunner founded by "the father of aerobics" Dr. Kenneth Copper in 1970.  It has a 30-acre wooded campus in Dallas offers preventive medical exams at Cooper Clinic, a five-day program called Cooper Healthy Living that focuses on wellness and weight loss and exercise; and a place to stay at the 61-room Cooper Hotel and Conference Center.  You can enjoy relaxing day spa services at Cooper Spa in Dallas, and exercise and personal training at membership only Cooper Fitness Center.  A location in McKinney has a day spa and its own Cooper Fitness Center.

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    Mokara Hotel & Spa

    Mokara Hotel & Spa
    Mokara Hotel & Spa

    Mokara Hotel & Spa, San Antonio. Set on the historic River Walk, a shady canal that lazily loops through old San Antonio, Mokara Hotel & Spa is urbane, sophisticated, and so romantic that Jennifer Lopez kissed on a bridge right outside in one of her movies. 

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    Trellis, The Spa at The Houstonian

    Facial mask
    Rachel Weill/Getty Images

    Trellis, The Spa at The Houstonian, Houston. This 18-acre luxury resort next to Houston's Galleria upscale shopping mall and Memorial Park is a shady oasis from the bustling city. Guests of the 289-room hotel get access to its famous 125,000 square foot fitness facility called The Houstonian Club. The spa is in its own 17,000 square-foot, two-story building, with everything you need to get relaxed and glammed up, including a full-service salon. This is a popular hotel for weddings.  

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    The Escondida Resort

    Escondida Resort
    Escondida Resort & Spa

    Set in Texas hill country an hour northwest of San Antonio, Escondido Resort is a small hacienda-style inn that's perfect for a romantic getaway. What is there to do? Birdwatching, hiking, hanging out by the pool, spa treatments (there are four treatment rooms), and taking in sights like The Museum of Western Art in nearby Kerrville. It's adults only, but you can drop the kids off at a neaarby camp called Lonehollow.