When it comes to celebrating Galentine’s Day –– the friendship version of Valentine’s Day and an excuse to spend some much-needed quality time with your best girlfriends –– you need only a few key ingredients to set the scene for a relaxing getaway with your favorite gals.
First, a room away –– go ahead and make that a spacious suite with comfortable beds, upscale décor and furnishings, and an outdoor balcony made for soaking in sunsets and catching up. Another important consideration? An on-site spa situated steps from your room where everyone can pick their treatments of choice, from rejuvenating facials and relaxing massages to body scrubs and pampering pedicures. Finally, pick a place with craveable culinary experiences on site so you and your besties can enjoy an incredible meal together –– and maybe cocktails or wine –– without driving anywhere or booking reservations weeks in advance.
I found all of these things and more during a recent getaway with a few girlfriends at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, located 90 miles from downtown Austin and just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio. In this era of our lives, which are often dominated by our jam-packed family and work schedules, months often go by without a leisurely lunch, a dinner out, or even an uninterrupted conversation.
After a several attempts at coordinating a belated birthday dinner for our group of longtime friends, I suggested an early Galentine’s getaway –– a rare 24-hour retreat from our busy lives, kids and spouses. Two days later, we were checking into the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, a peaceful retreat nestled among 300 secluded acres and home to the 21-treatment room Windflower Spa, a 27-hole golf club and 5-acre water park. The resort is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation to its 500 guestrooms and suites. Enhancements are expected to wrap up in late spring, but all of the property’s amenities remain fully operational.
We were upgraded to one of the resort’s newly-reimagined suites –– an expansive two-bedroom, two-bathroom space with a sophisticated, ranch-inspired aesthetic and a shared living area with an outdoor balcony overlooking tranquil Hill Country vistas. With one king bed, two queen beds and a sofa bed, the four of us had plenty of room to unwind and catch up before we headed to dinner.
There was no debating which restaurant to dine at or who was driving –– it was as simple as heading downstairs to Antlers Lodge, known for its farm-to-table menu featuring Texas-inspired dishes. We started with the Texas charcuterie plate of cured wild game, local cheeses, pickled vegetables and raw honeycomb and the jumbo lump blue crab cakes with charred lemon and arugula. Mouthwatering mains included the shrimp and basil pappardelle tossed with garlic confit, spinach and wild mushrooms and a tender filet mignon paired with a side of wild mushroom fricassée. A rich, caramelized crème brulee was the perfect finale to a memorable meal.
After a restful night and a long morning walk, we dressed in our finest robe-casual and traipsed downstairs to Windflower Spa, which is housed in a refurbished barn and features a secluded outdoor pool, eucalyptus steam room and sauna for guests to enjoy before or after treatments. I booked the spa’s signature 80-minute Windflower massage –– a heavenly head-to-toe aromatherapy treatment that evaporated stress and tension and left me feeling more rested and relaxed than I can remember. Throughout February, Windflower Spa is offering an array of “Spa-lentine Day” special spa treatments featuring pink champagne body scrubs and butters that make the perfect Valentine’s- and Galentine’s-themed gifts.
Before departing to our kids’ various afternoon sports games and activities, we enjoyed one last leisurely meal at the resort at Springhouse Café, vowing to make Galentine’s Day getaways an annual occurrence.
If You Go
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, located at 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive in San Antonio, is about 90 miles from downtown Austin.
Sleep soundly in one of the resort’s reimagined 500 guest rooms and suites.
Eat & Drink:
There are multiple restaurants on site, from the fresh, house-made breakfasts, lunches and dinners at Springhouse Café to innovative Texas-inspired dinners at Antlers Lodge. Pull up a cowhide-covered bar stool and sip a cocktail at Charlie’s Long Bar.
The resort features a 5-acre water park with a lazy river and multiple pools, biking paths and nature trails, a fitness center, tennis courts, a 27-hole championship golf course and the Windflower Spa where you can book treatments online at windflowerspa.com.