Splash into summer at La Cantera Resort and Spa

By: Mauri Elbel
July, 2021

Swimming, splendid sunsets and a spectacular spa. 

These are just a few of my favorite things that encapsulate our recent stay at La Cantera Resort and Spa. As soon as school ended in early June, we officially kicked off our summer break at this destination resort and spa just an hour and a half from Austin, spending several sunny and schedule-free days lounging at the palatial pools (there are five), indulging in delicious cuisine (without the cleanup), getting pampered at the spa (it’s incredible) and soaking in some of the most magnificent sunsets we’ve ever laid eyes on. 

Breathtaking Hill Country views come with the stay at La Cantera Resort and Spa. Contributed by La Cantera

If you’re searching for a family-friendly staycation that’s not too much of a trek but just far enough away to feel like a true getaway, this luxury-meets-wellness resort is your answer. Perched high on a hilltop  the highest elevation point in San Antonio  above rolling Hill Country views, this upscale San Antonio staycation seems made for relaxing and enjoying. Below are five things we loved about La Cantera Resort and Spa.

The palatial pools 

La Cantera Resort and Spa boasts five sparkling pools. Photo by Mauri Elbel

Every parent knows the secret to staving off summer boredom: swimming. Luckily, La Cantera is equipped with five pools, including a kids’ pool, featuring gentle water slides and shallow water perfect for little ones. Pro-tip: consider reserving one of the private shaded cabanas, each equipped with flat-screen TVs, refrigerators stocked with complimentary drinks and fruit, a bottle of champagne that justifies the rental, and a personal server at the ready to replenish beverages and take poolside orders for everything from salads and burgers to drinks and Dippin’ Dots. 

Reserve a poolside private shaded cabanas, served with a bottle of champagne. Photo by Mauri Elbel

If Mom and Dad are craving a more relaxing pool experience, check out Topaz, the glittering adults-only infinity edge pool perfect for sunbathing and sipping a cocktail in silence (there’s a Kid’s Club for children ages 4-12). 

The heavenly spa 

Schedule some pampering time in at Loma De Vida Spa & Wellness. Contributed by La Cantera

After more than a year without a massage (not to discount the lovely lotion-blended backrubs my children have given me during these long and trying pandemic months), La Cantera’s spa provides a worthy reentry to rejuvenation. In fact, I received best massage of my life (shhh… don’t tell my kids) at Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness, which means “hill of life.” This 25,000-square-foot spa is one of the largest wellness facilities in Texas and boasts serene indoor/outdoor spaces that seem perfectly set up for social distancing as well as tranquil treatments like the Loma de Vida Swedish massage and CBD oil body enhancement I received, which erases stress and transports your mind and body to a long-forgotten level of relaxation. The full-service spa features 15 treatment rooms, including eight massage rooms, three body rooms, two couples suites and two Sky Lofts  dreamy outdoor treatment rooms hovering over the Hill Country featuring wooden soaking tubs and offering the ultimate al fresco private pampering experience. 

Relax in the women’s solarium at the spa before or after your treatment. Photo by Mauri Elbel

RELATED: Royal Treatment: 24 hours of spa bliss at one of Houston’s poshest hotels 

The luxurious lodging 

La Cantera prides itself in appealing to families and adults alike, and the resort’s sophisticated ranch-inspired accommodations reflect that with nearly 500 accommodations, including rooms and suites, 34 boutique-style villas and an exclusive adults-only floor called SEVEN reserved only for those 21 and up. Our family stayed at The Villas  a private enclave just steps from the resort, featuring secluded standalone accommodations named after iconic Texas ranches. The villas vary in size, from sprawling 1,600-square-foot suites to spacious single-rooms featuring two queen beds like the one we stayed in, but they’re all equipped with private patios and personal golf carts perfect for zipping around the 550-acre property. The Villas also have their own intimate pool area separate from the main resort, featuring a hot tub and marble-clad bar serving signature hand-crafted cocktails.  

Spend summer days lounging at the palatial pools at La Cantera. Contributed by La Cantera

RELATED: Need a break? An Archer Hotel Austin Staycation, Plus Domain Shopping Guide 

The delicious, convenient dining 

I love a resort that puts really good food at your fingertips. Whether you want casual poolside bites or a chef-driven fine dining experience, you will find it all at La Cantera. We tucked into Tex Mex-inspired favorites including tacos, enchiladas and ceviche while sipping cool margaritas and gazing out at the sparkling pool at Primero Cantina. We loved our dinner at SweetFire Kitchen (which also serves up Hill Country-inspired deliciousness for breakfast and lunch), where we enjoyed an al fresco feast of raw oysters, filets with black pepper and blue cheese cream and roasted mushrooms, lamb chops with whipped potatoes, and a creamy pork belly mac and cheese that was a hit with our youngest and pickiest eater. For a five-star dining experience, book a table at Signature, inspired by Chef Andrew Weissman  a four-time James Beard Award nominee  that will transport your palate to the south of France with appetizers such as seared Hudson Valley foie gras and fricassee of snails in a garlic soubise and herb pistou and entrees including French veal and poached Icelandic cod with caviar and Champagne beurre blanc.  

Soak in unbelievable Hill Country sunsets. Photo by Mauri Elbel

The location 

With a full-service spa, plenty of pools, tennis courts, a gaming arcade and two world-class championship golf courses providing 36 holes of golf, you might never want to leave the resort. But if you do, La Cantera Resort & Spa is a posh basecamp to endless entertainment. Take the complimentary shuttle to the neighboring restaurants and stores found at The Shops at La Cantera or to capture the thrills unfolding at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, just 1.5 miles away.

La Cantera Resort and Spa is said to be perched on the highest elevation point in San Antonio. Photo by Mauri Elbel

Minutes from the resort, you can fly high at iFly Indoor Skydiving, perfect your swing at Top Golf or test your speed at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. Just 20 minutes from the resort, take the kids to play for the day at SeaWorld or tour the historic San Antonio Missions, which together make up the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas. 

RELATED: Photo Essay: The Missions of San Antonio 

 

 

If You Go

Getting there:

La Cantera Resort & Spa is just over an hour and a half from downtown Austin. 

Stay:

La Cantera boasts 496 rooms and suites, including 34 private villas tucked away in the woods, and an adults-only floor called SEVEN exclusively for those 21 and up.  

Do:

There are plenty of things at La Cantera to entertain families and couples alike. Kids can spend their days swimming, participating in fun kids’ nature and craft activities, playing games in the arcade, snuggling up on the Esparza Lawn for family movie nights and nightly s’mores roasts. Mom and Dad can work up a sweat on the running trails, tennis courts and golf courses, but they will also want to pencil in some time at Loma De Vida Spa & Wellness. 

Eat and Drink:

With a handful of diverse dining outlets sprinkled throughout the property, you don’t have to venture far for a good meal. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at SweetFire Kitchen, snack on a charcuterie board from Bocado, nibble burgers and salads poolside, order room service from the comfort of your suite, or indulge in a memorable fine dining experience at Signature Restaurant.

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