I haven’t spent much time in Texas (like, zero). So, it was exciting when an opportunity arose to visit San Antonio, of which I’ve heard all sorts of wonderful things. My typical M.O. is to sniff out a historic inn or smaller, locally owned boutique hotels, but the J.W. Marriott Texas Hill Country caught my eye for both its’ interesting location and enormous water park. We visited during early fall and the weather was smashing. Postcard perfect puffy clouds, blue skies, warm 80 degree days, and cool enough nights to sit by the outdoor firepits. It was fun to treat ourselves to a few relaxing days before jumping into a work week in San Antonio. How quickly we founds ourselves up the lazy river… and on the water slides and tubes and plotting our off-resort adventures.
The hotel room was decorated with whimsical southwestern decor and our room’s patio looked out over the rolling hills. The hotel and property were quite large, and the pool options were plentiful. The restaurants were varied enough that one could have a high-end steak house dinner one night, a tavern meal another, or grab lunch near the golf course or pool side. The pools were lovely and allowed us to move around from the large cabana lined family-friendly pool, to the smaller soaking tubs. The adult-only infinity pool and separate whirlpool overlooked the golf course. A beautiful setting, but we found the adult area was much busier and packed with people than was the larger family pool. We bounced around between all of them, but spent quite a bit of time taking laps around the lazy river, which afforded us a ride through varied landscapes and views.
We had chance to go off property and decided to visit Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest commercial cavern system in the U.S. Unlike the frigid caverns I grew up visiting- like Laurel Caverns in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania and around the midwest, this one was exceptionally warm. Enough so to make my otherwise great hair day a total debacle of a wig and for us to look exceptionally dewey in photos. The guided tour led us through all sorts of caves and underground amphitheaters, with educational commentary on how they were formed. After sweating it out on a two mile hike through the caves, we worked up a hunger and ended up discovering a nearby Mexican eatery, La Hacienda Los Barrios. It was above average fare from South of Border. The margaritas were quite good, too.
Overall, we got what we needed from this visit to the Texas Hill Country. A little respite from the business of life, really good food, a fun atmosphere, and very nice accommodations. Not to mention a waterslide and lazy river. It was so enjoyable we have came back again to Austin and New Braunfels, where we visited another huge waterpark, which is another story. Stay tuned!