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Historical, Cultural & Culinary Travel

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Up the Lazy River: JW Marriott Texas Hill Country

By Shawnie Kelley on Sep 03, 2019 01:36 pm

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 MO is to sniff out a historic inn or smaller, locally owned boutique hotel, but the JW Marriott Texas Hill Country caught my eye for both its interesting location and enormous water park. Given that we visited during early fall, the weather was smashing. Postcard perfect puffy clouds, blue skies, warm 80 degree days, and cool nights. 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 nearby adventures.

The hotel rooms were decorated with whimsical southwestern decor and our room’s patio looked out into the hills. The hotel and property were quite large, but the pool options were plentiful and 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 hot tub overlooked the golf course. A beautiful setting, but we found it was much busier and packed with adults than 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 caverns in the U.S. Unlike the frigid caverns I grew up visiting in the Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania and around the midwest, these were exceptionally warm. Enough 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 amphitheaters, with educational commentary on how they formed. After sweating it out on a few miles hike through caves, we worked up a hunger and ended up sniffing out a nearby Mexican eatery, La Hacienda. It was above average fare from South of Border. 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 been back to Austin and New Braunfels, where we visited another huge waterpark, which is another story. Stay tuned!


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