By Meda Kessler
Photos courtesy of Lake Austin Spa
This Austin wellness resort gets a refresh of its own in time for its reopening.
While leisure travel came to a standstill in the past few months, many resorts and properties used the time to remodel, renovate and, of course, regroup.
At Lake Austin Spa, that meant finishing up a multimillion-dollar renovation at the intimate wellness resort — set on 19 acres in the Hill Country — in time for what it’s calling a “refined reopening” July 1.
The exterior — from the kitchen gardens to the expansive lakeside lawn dotted with trees — continues to offer idyllic ways to social distance. Public spaces such as the Garden Library, Lake Room and Blue Room in the LakeHouse Spa boast major improvements spearheaded by co-owner Mike McAdams, who has helped turn Lake Austin Spa into an award-winning and world-class destination. New original art, custom furniture and English fabrics also are part of the refresh — courtesy of Dallas designer Brianna Wright-Guay — of the 40 guest rooms.
The spa team has stepped up its personal safety protocol due to COVID-19. Sanitation stations are readily available throughout the resort, and high-touch surfaces are cleaned regularly. Staff, including those who work in the spa, wear face masks and are subject to temperature checks. Guests are asked to wear masks in public spaces and maintain distance from staff and other clients who are not part of their party. Class sizes will be limited, and the dining and pool areas have been reconfigured to allow adequate distance between guests. On our visit a few years ago, we found it quite easy to enjoy a little solitude thanks to the resort’s design.
Healthy eating that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived has been a hallmark of Lake Austin Spa. The new dining menu from executive chef Stéphane Beaucamp includes a Good Karma Power Bowl with the option of protein add-ons such as braised short rib or sweet potato falafel. If you’re on a plant-based eating regimen, you’ll likely find a lot to like on the Conscientious Cuisine menu. New smoothies and juice shots boast immune-boosting ingredients.
In the spa — which incorporates roughly 25,000 square feet — more than a dozen new services are on the menu beginning July 1. Refresh your mind, body and spirit with everything from facials to acupressure massage. A warning: If, like us, you schedule a treatment before dinner, you might find yourself relaxed enough to take an early evening nap — right through meal time.
Private classes also are available, whether you want to sharpen your culinary skills or expand your yoga expertise. Love the water? The midweek Summer Surf Camp runs July 1-Sept. 30. Enjoy skiing, tubing and wakeboarding, or learn to wake surf — without towropes — for a great core workout.