Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Review | Pools, Lounging, Restaurants, etc.

In Part 1, I covered our one bedroom suite at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, the lobby, and some of the outdoor seating areas.

But now, let’s get to the REALLY fun parts of the hotel!

The Pools, the “Ramblin River,” and Outdoor Lounging

We spent the vast majority of our time in the pools with our niece and nephew. The pools were huge, relaxing, and had plenty of free inner tubes to lazily float along the ramblin river endlessly.

Pools at Hyatt Hill Country Pools at Hyatt Hill Country Pools at Hyatt Hill Country Pools at Hyatt Hill Country

This “beach” area was especially popular, and allowed for a shallow water area for kids to play and splash.

Beach at Hyatt Hill Country Beach at Hyatt Hill Country Beach at Hyatt Hill Country

There was also a very large hot tub:

Large hot tub

As well as a kiddie pool:

Kiddie pool at Hyatt Hill Country

And an adults only pool, which I’m pretty sure was empty the entire time we were there. (P.S., the pool is Texas-shaped).

Adult pool at hotel

One of the favorites of my three-year-old niece? The waterslide!

Water slide at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Water slide at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Water slide at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

There were plenty of outdoor lounge chairs, as well as cabanas available for a rental fee.

Lounge chairs near pool Outdoor lounging area at hotel pool Cabana rental option

Evening S’mores and Outdoor Movies

Every night, the hotel hosted free evening s’mores at a huge fire pit. Everything about the s’mores was free (marshmallow, graham cracker, chocolate, etc.). Unlike, for instance, Disney resorts that let you roast the marshmallow for free but charge for the chocolate and graham crackers.

Firepit for s’mores Firepit at hotel S’mores area from a distance S’mores table

The staff on hand even removed the marshmallows from the sticks so that your hands didn’t have to get all sticky. Their technique was pretty amazing! They slide it off by pushing it between two graham crackers.

S’mores night at hotel

Then, on some evenings, there were outdoor movie showings (it appeared that these were mostly on the weekends. We were there in May, so I’m not sure if that changes as the season progresses.)

Outdoor movies at Hyatt Hill Country

Other Miscellaneous Activities and Amenities

There was a good size playground for younger kiddos. My 3 year old niece was a fan of this place!

Playground at Hyatt Hill Country

There were also free bicycles to use, both adult and children’s sizes. There was even a trunk full of helmets to use.

Bicycles to use at hotel Helmets for bicycles at Hyatt Hill Country

Also much appreciated were these free drinking water stations all around the grounds. Perfect for that hot Texas weather.

Water dispensing station at Hyatt Hill Country

There was also a surfing / wave rider type thing, but it’s worth noting that this is an extra charge.

Wave rider

And, if volleyball is your thing, there was a beach volleyball setup on the resort grounds as well:

Beach volleyball court at Hyatt Hill Country

We also found a fun little arcade at the resort as well. Ken and my nephew spent some time playing arcade games and air hockey here!

Arcade at Hyatt Hill Country Arcade at Hyatt Hill Country

I also thought these little “selfie spot” stickers were fun!

Selfie spot mark

Food and Dining at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

We ate at the resort for about half of our meals. I found the meals to be relatively reasonbly priced, perhaps a bit over what you’d pay for breakfast at a normal (non hotel, non resort) restaurant. But definitely MUCH MUCH cheaper than, for example, my New York City $34 plate of spaghetti room service debacle, which Ken still never lets me live down. And, for instance, our $30 plate of pancakes at the Park Hyatt Moscow. So, you won’t go broke eating at the Hyatt Hill Country. Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos of the restaurants and meals, but I was pleased with all of them. My family especially like the sports bar, where my dad could watch hockey games and basketball games, my nephew tried his hand at billiards, and the music was loud enough that nobody noticed if my niece was being, ummm, boisterous.

There were also outdoor food (and drink, including alcoholic beverages) options, so you never had to venture far from the pool if you didn’t want to.

Outdoor restaurants at hotel Outdoor restaurants at hotel Outdoor restaurants at hotel

Other Miscellaneous Photos of the Hyatt Hill Country

And finally, here are a few miscellaneous photos from around the Hyatt Hill Country resort and spa that don’t necessarily fit into any of the above headers!

Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Grounds

Overall, we had a really great time. I’d love to visit it again, or perhaps a similar property, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. I’ve also read a lot about they Hyatt Regency Lost Pines over at one of my favorite points-and-miles bloggers, Mommy Points!

 

Have you ever been to the Hyatt Hill Country?  Or what about a resort similar to it?  If so, let me know, I’m dying to try out some other places like it!

Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa – Hotel Review (Part 1)

Earlier this year, Ken and I went to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. My sister and her family had recently moved from Pittsburgh, PA to the Dallas, TX area, and had learned about this resort during one of their trips to Dallas while house hunting. It quickly became a favorite for everybody, my niece and nephew included!

My niece and nephew liked it so much, in fact, that we decided to celebrate their birthdays there (my nephew turned 10 and my niece turned 3, just two days apart). So, my dad flew down too, my sister and her husband and kids drove from Dallas, and Ken and I flew on a nonstop from Baltimore to San Antonio.

The Entrance

The driving entrance to the hotel area is somewhat unassuming and covered by lots of trees. There are a few resorts in the area that seemed similarly “hidden.”  The GPS on our phone though took us right where we needed to go! Reservations are needed to enter the parking area (names are checked on the first day, then you’re given a parking pass) to ensure that non-guests cannot come onsite to use the pools and other amenities.

Entrance to Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Entrance to Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Entrance to Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Entrance to Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

The Room

We booked a King room, and then were offered an upgrade option to a 1 bedroom suite upon check-in for an extra $25/night. We decided to jump on the offer.

When you walked in the door to the room, a bathroom and closet was on the left, the door to the bedroom was straight ahead, and the living room was on the right. The living room was a good size and had a lot of places to sit. (Which was nice since, during our stay, family members were always in-and-out of our room … 5 adults and two kids!)

One Bedroom Suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa One Bedroom Suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa One Bedroom Suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa One Bedroom Suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

There was balcony access from both the bedroom and the living room.

The bedroom was a decent size.

Bedroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bedroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bedroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bedroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

The bathroom was very basic. I would’ve liked to have seen some slightly higher end finishes in a 1-bedroom suite, but it was perfectly functional.

Bathroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bathroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bathroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Bathroom in the 1 bedroom suite at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa

The large hallway closet was great.

Hallway closet

But really, let’s get onto the REAL attraction of this hotel … the grounds and activities!

The Lobby Area

I’ll let the photos do the talking here!

Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Lobby

Then, there were a lot of outdoor seating areas to sit back and relax.

Outdoor areas at Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa Outdoor areas at hotel Outdoor areas at hotel Outdoor areas at hotel Outdoor areas at hotel

Even though it was May and in Texas, the area had plenty of trees and shade so it never felt exceptionally hot or humid. (Of course, constantly going in and out of the pools helped with that too!).

I think that’s about enough for one post! I’ll cover other parts of the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, like the pools, the “Ramblin River,” S’mores, and outdoor movies in a part 2!

Grand Hyatt Seattle (Hotel Review)

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Alaska Cruise 2015


After our gorgeous ride onboard the Amtrak Cascades Line, we arrived at the Seattle train station around 10PM. We quickly found a taxi and took it to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

We stayed for two nights, and both nights were free. A year earlier, I had applied for the Chase Hyatt credit card, which offered a bonus of two free nights. Although the Grand Hyatt Seattle may not have been the most valuable use of those two nights, the night were expiring within a month, so it was time to put them to good use! We booked a “City View with King Size Bed, floors 23–30.”

We arrived at night, so please forgive how dark the photos are!

From the door to the room was a long-ish hallway, with the bathroom on the left and the bedroom area straight ahead.

Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room

The room was not overly spacious, but it did have room for a small sitting chair and a decent size desk and chair as well.

Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room Grand Hyatt Seattle 1 Bedroom King, City View Room

The bathroom, on the other hand, was very spacious and had a lot of luxurious finishes.

There was a separate tub and shower.

Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room

And, there was plenty of countertop space, which is always a plus!

Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room Bathroom at Grand Hyatt Seattle, 1 Bedroom King room

I really couldn’t believe it, but somehow I forgot to take pictures of the lobby and exterior of the hotel. That’s what happens when you basically have about 24 hours to see the sites of a major city! It was fairly generic.

The location was great. It was about a 20 minute walk to Pike Place Market, and it was a lovely walk, with lots of shops along the way. We Uber’ed or taxi’ed to most of the other spots in the city, like the Space Needle area and to the port the next day for our cruise departure.

The service at the hotel was decent. We had shipped our luggage ahead (more on that in a future post!), and the Grand Hyatt had received it the day before and had it sent up to the room after we checked in.

One minor complaint though on our arrival. We hadn’t eaten anything since we left Vancouver. So we were damn hungry and looking to grab a quick bite to eat. We asked at the front desk if there was some sort of quick sandwich or takeout place, or even just a nearby fast food place that was open. It was nearly 11PM, and according to our quick searches on Yelp, our options were fairly limited. The front desk staff said, “No, the only option at this hour is Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Mention you’re a guest and you’ll get a discount.” This seemed pretty suspect that Ruth’s Chris was the only other option available. I explained that we were just looking for something quick and inexpensive. They said no, everything in that area was closed. So, we were annoyed. We went up to the room and unloaded our luggage.

Then, we decided to venture out to walk around and see what we could find on our own. I had found a restaurant while searching on my phone that was a few blocks away and still open. We started to take a different exit from the hotel, and lo and behold, there was a deli LITERALLY ATTACHED TO THE HOTEL. Like, we didn’t even have to exit the hotel to get to the deli. I guess the front desk staff had forgotten about this place? Or maybe they get more of a kickback for sending people to Ruth’s Chris? Either way, I can’t be sure. Ken and I ordered sandwiches from the deli and went back up to the room to devour them. Just what we had been looking for! Something quick and easy before crashing in bed after our long day.

And it was definitely a comfy bed!


Westin Grand Vancouver (Hotel Review)

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Alaska Cruise 2015

By the time our flight landed in Vancouver, we transited Canadian immigration and customs, and stood in a long taxi line, it was about 3AM when we got to our hotel, the Westin Grand Vancouver. We were only staying for one night, but they had graciously already pre-approved a (very) late checkout for us of 4PM the next day.

I had long lamented what hotel to stay at in Vancouver. Which was silly because we were going to be there for such a short time. Did we want to stay close to the airport? Close to Stanley Park? (since that was going to be our primary place to visit during our short stay?)

I had been ogling the Fairmont Pacific Rim, but alas, couldn’t justify the price. Although the Westin Grand Vancouver was not terribly close to Stanley Park (we took a taxi there), it was centrally located in Downtown Vancouver and was very reasonably priced.

I booked a Deluxe Corner Suite, with view.

Upon entry to the room, there was a bathroom door straight ahead, and a living room to the left.

Deluxe Corner Suite at Westin Grand Vancouver

The living room was nice, but oddly shaped and not as spacious as I expected.

Living room in Deluxe Corner Suite at Westin Grand Vancouver Living room in Deluxe Corner Suite at Westin Grand Vancouver Living room in Deluxe Corner Suite at Westin Grand Vancouver Living room in Deluxe Corner Suite at Westin Grand Vancouver

There was a small nook in the hallway with a closet, coffee supplies, and a small fridge.

Coffee Nook | Westin Grand Vancouver review

The bathroom was spacious and had a separate tub and shower.

Bathroom at Westin Grand Vancouver | Hotel Review Bathroom at Westin Grand Vancouver | Hotel Review Bathroom at Westin Grand Vancouver | Hotel Review

There was also plenty of counter space, which is greatly appreciated.

Bathroom at Westin Grand Vancouver | Hotel Review

The bedroom was a decent size, and had wraparound windows.

Bedroom Deluxe Suite Westin Grand Vancouver

The windows were gorgeous and allowed for great views of the city, but it was summer, just shy of the solstice, so the days were LONG and the sun was up early. And the room darkening curtains had some unfortunate gaps, especially in the corners. Not usually a problem when we travel, but when you’re not getting to bed until after 3AM.

edroom Deluxe Suite Westin Grand Vancouver edroom Deluxe Suite Westin Grand Vancouver

There was a door to a small balcony next to the desk in the living room.

Door to balcony in Deluxe Suite

There were some fantastic views of the Vancouver skyline from the balcony. And if you peak far in the distance, you can even see the coast! (er, the bay?)

Views of Vancouver at Westin Grand from hotel room balcony Views of Vancouver at Westin Grand from hotel room balcony Views of Vancouver at Westin Grand from hotel room balcony

One minor complaint about our stay is that the elevators in this hotel were HORRENDOUSLY SLOW. There were only two, and the hotel had at least 30 floors, if I recall correctly.

But, the hotel location was great, and I was so appreciative of the late checkout that they allowed. Since our train to Seattle wasn’t leaving until 5PM, I didn’t want to have to pack up and put our luggage in storage before heading out sightseeing for the day. I’m never a huge fan of having to put my luggage in storage after checkout and before moving on to our next destination. So, the late checkout gets a big thumbs up from me!

Have you visited Vancouver recently? Where did you stay?


 

Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans (Mardi Gras Hotel Review)

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2016

Back in February, Ken and I took a bucket list trip! Mardi Gras! I did a quick recap post when we got home, but I’m starting the full trip report today! Starting with a review of our hotel, the The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria property.

Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans sign Roosevelt Hotel Lobby

We booked our hotel for Mardi Gras 11 months in advance. I opted for the Roosevelt, a Waldorf Astoria property in New Orleans. It was close to most of the major parade routes, close to the French Quarter (just across Canal Street), and had good points redemption options through Hilton (at 50,000 points per night.) Be aware that it looks like the hotel may now be up to 70,000 points per night. I booked 3 nights, using a mix of HHonors points as well as some Amex Membership Rewards points that I transferred to HHonors at a rate of 1MR for 2HHonors.

I was a little hesitant about booking this hotel. Our last stay at a Waldorf Astoria property was VERY underwhelming. But, this stay in New Orleans was perfect.

The Roosevelt was what I would describe as a very “old world” hotel. Those typically aren’t my style, but in this case, and for New Orleans which already has such an “old world” feel, it was fantastic.

We booked a King Bed Superior Room, Non-Smoking.

The room was quite spacious.

King Bed Superior Room at Roosevelt Waldofr Astoria

The bed was literally the most amazing hotel bed I have every slept on. Within a month of our return, Ken and I started buying Waldorf Astoria bedding, like their featherbed. We’re waiting to splurge on the actual Waldorf Astoria mattress though. 🙂

The sleep was HEAVEN

Room at Roosevelt

I always like having an extra (non-bed) sitting space in a hotel room, so the couch was perfect for that.

Couch in Hotel Room | Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Couch in Hotel Room | Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria

The only TV in the room was on a bit of a weird angle to the bed. It’s not a huge deal, but sometimes I like to watch the local news or something as I’m laying in bed before falling asleep. But, it was great for watching from the couch.

The bathroom was fairly basic. It didn’t have any terribly fancy finishes like the Park Hyatt Moscow or Andaz 5th Avenue, but the water pressure was great and the towels were luxurious, so I always find that to be a plus.

Bathroom | Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Bathroom | Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Bathroom | Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria

There was also a decent size closet:

Closet in hotel room

One minor annoyance about the room was that we could hear church bells ring every morning at 7AM. I’m not sure where the church was located, but if you’re a light sleeper or want to sleep past 7AM, you might want to request a room away from the church bell sounds!

The hallways in the hotel were so wide, definitely a sign of an old world hotel.

Hallways at Roosevelt Hotel

Even the area on room floors near the elevataors were spacious and had fun decorative touches.

Hallways at Roosevelt Hotel Hallways at Roosevelt Hotel

The lobby was also glamorous with high ceilings and lots of chandeliers.

Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans

There were two entrances to the hotel, one on Roosevelt Way, and One on Baronne Street. Each side was staffed with helpful doormen. Since it was Mardi Gras, we were required to wear wristbands (a different color denoting each day), and had to show them to the doormen when we entered the hotel. They were checked once again when we wanted to get on an elevator to go up to our hotel room.

Lobby at Roosevelt New Orleans

There were several restaurants and lounges on the first floor of the hotel.

Restaurants at Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria | New Orleans Hotel Review during Mardi Gras Restaurants at Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria | New Orleans Hotel Review during Mardi Gras Restaurants at Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria | New Orleans Hotel Review during Mardi Gras Restaurants at Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria | New Orleans Hotel Review during Mardi Gras Restaurants at Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria | New Orleans Hotel Review during Mardi Gras

I never got a great picture of it from outside, but I also loved the signs for the Roosevelt Hotel. You can see it in this photo, on the top right. The sign for the Roosevelt had a fun art deco look. (The street we were crossing here was Canal Street, shortly after a parade had ended. So you can see just how close the hotel is to the parade route!

View of Roosevelt Hotel from Canal Street | New Orleans

I’d definitely recommend the Roosevelt to anybody planning a trip to New Orleans, whether during Mardi Gras or not. It was also so close to one of the main parade routes, so all you had to do was walk right out the door and less than half a block away to see all the excitement.