A mere fifteen minutes after being buzzed into this secluded wellness resort about thirty miles northwest of downtown, I was floating in an infinity-edge pool with a margarita in hand. As I looked out over the wooded hills surrounding scenic (if drought-depleted) Lake Travis, I struck up a conversation with a fellow guest. A professor from Pittsburgh (by way of Italy), he had been at Travaasa for almost two weeks and had a couple more days to go. We were both pleased to have discovered that the alluring photos we had seen on the website weren’t misleading; the eighteen-month-old establishment aims to offer a “Zen-like” sabbatical, and it does. Guests come to indulge in the all-organic spa treatments, figure-friendly meals made with locally sourced ingredients, and welcome quietude (the resort is kid-free). My room, located in the Lavender casita, had all the creature comforts you’d expect of a high-end hotel (coffeemaker, giant flat-screen TV, sweet turndown treat), even if it wasn’t so plush that I felt spoiled (the all-natural bedding wasn’t as soft as the sheets I have at home). Of course, the daily “experience schedule” is so robust—activities range from culinary demonstrations to horseback rides to harmonica lessons—that I wasn’t planning to spend too much time in my room anyway. Though I didn’t spring for one of the pricier third-floor rooms, which have unobstructed views of the 210-acre Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, the view from my ground-floor patio was stunning enough to move me—an incurable night owl—to sign up for a “heart-starter hike” at seven in the morning. It took a mere hour of trekking through the largely untouched habitat to feel more relaxed than I had in months. I could only imagine how unwound the good professor must have felt after two weeks of this sybaritic bliss. 13500 FM 2769, 512-258-7243, travaasa.com/austin
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