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Location: Lakeway Resort and Spa, outside Austin
What You’ll Need: Bathing suit, trashy magazines
Don’t get me wrong: My wife and I are happy to take the Beloved One (our daughter) around the state so she can see things. Still, there are times when our idea of vacation heaven is staying in one place, never having to get back in the car. That’s when we look for a resort hotel. And it’s hard to beat the Lakeway Resort And Spa, just outside Austin, on the shores of Lake Travis. It’s loaded up with plenty of adult amenities and all kinds of great activities for the kids. Trust me, there is so much to do that you simply can’t fit it all in just one weekend—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
One of the best parts of the resort is the day camp for the kids. As opposed to the standard “kids’ club” you find at many hotels, this is an actual camp run by the venerable Camp Champions. Children from ages four to ten can attend, and they fish, rock climb, play disc golf and soccer, create their own obstacle courses, make ice cream, and engage in a variety of arts and crafts (one of the favorites: making “goo”). Meanwhile adults can hit four Lakeway-area golf courses or the World of Tennis facility (with 24 outdoor and 2 indoor courts). Or try out the new 5,200-square-foot spa for massages, wraps, and facials. Or take yoga and water-aerobics classes in the 1,700-square-foot fitness center. Or you can do what I recommend: Sit blissfully alone in a comfy chair and read trashy magazines. At some point in the afternoon, however, meet up with the kids and head for the swimming pools, including a deep one with hot tubs, a kids’ pool with a 24-foot waterslide and walk-in entry for toddlers, and an adult pool with a swim-up bar. On some nights the resort shows a “dive-in movie” for the family; on other nights bands perform. If you don’t want to get dressed for dinner at the excellent Travis restaurant (with a children’s menu to die for), you can order plenty of food at the pool, from fish tacos and shish kebabs to the standard hamburgers and hot dogs. There is also a snow cone stand and an open fire pit where the kids can make their own s’mores. And what do you do while you’re waiting for your kids to finish making a mess that you don’t have to clean up? Have your own “drunken snow cones”: snow cones with, say, a shot of vodka.
There’s no camp this morning for the kids, so take the whole crew to the Lakeway Marina, just a short walk away, to spend a few hours on the lake. You can rent boats for fishing, skiing, sailing, wave running, or just cruising. You can even arrange a seaplane ride or charter a larger cruise boat that includes cocktails and dinner. It’s all sort of pricey, but you don’t have a better (or easier) chance to get out on a beautiful lake. Make sure to take a photo of your Beloved One with the hotel in the background as you ride past it. It’ll make for a nice postcard for the holidays.
Lakeway Resort And Spa Directory
Camp Champions 512-261-7353 or championsdayatlakeway.com. Sessions start at $53.
Lakeway Marina 103A Lakeway Dr., 512-261-7511 or lwmarina.biz.
Lakeway Resort and Spa 101 Lakeway Dr., 512-261-6600 or dolce-lakeway-hotel.com. Rates start at $159 a night.