Big, bold and breathtakingly beautiful, the Lone Star State is so huge that it takes up more space than the entire United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands combined. Texas’s unique appeal lies it its equally huge diversity, from high mountain peaks to quiet country towns, and sandy shores to buzzing metropolises, this is a state that shouldn’t be stereotyped by its political landscape or Wild West media portrayal.
It’s no wonder then that Texas offers such a wide range of accommodation, with luxury hotel resorts to traditional ranches and everything in between giving travellers the chance to experience this magnificent state, no matter what their taste or budget.
Here are the best resorts in Texas:
1. La Colombe d’Or Hotel
Located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, this 1920’s mansion house-turned-hotel-resort is considered to be one of the finest luxury hotels in the world.
The Fondren Mansion, which was originally owned an oil founder, features five luxurious suites and nine residential-style villas for longer stays.
Within walking distance of Houston’s best entertainment venues, eateries and galleries, the resort also has its own, on-site restaurant – CINQ – providing guests with European cuisine in a range of settings, including the opulently-decorated main dining room. The Library Bar is the perfect place for an afternoon cocktail, and for a taste of culture without leaving the resort, the hotel’s on-site art gallery features everything from Impressionism to Abstraction.
2. Horseshoe Bay Resort
With beautiful views of the surrounding Texas Hill Country and Lake LBJ, The Horseshoe Bay Resort is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Texas.
Classically decorated, and offering rooms and suites from standard doubles to a Presidential Suite with its own private balcony and view over the lake, The Horseshoe Bay Resort has 249 accommodation options to choose from. Each comes with free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs, as well as stunning views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Relax at the on-site spa or explore the surrounding Hill Country through one of the resort’s many activities, including cycling, hiking, lake cruises and more.
3. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Just a short drive from Downtown Austin, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is set amongst the picturesque banks of the Colorado River, and gives guests the chance to completely unwind in a wilderness-style setting.
Rooms and suites come with balconies or terraces, most with stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and each with a signature Hyatt Grand Bed™ and high speed Wi-Fi.
With over 400 acres of river-side land to explore, choose from a range of activities including horse-riding, kayaking and hiking, or enjoy a round of golf at the world-class Wolfdancer Golf Club.
4. The Woodlands Resort
Starting out in the 70’s as a modest inn, The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center has undergone massive, multi-million dollar renovations and extensions in the past few decades, and is now considered the premier resort of its kind in the region.
Lake, woodland or fairway views can be enjoyed from every spacious, modern room and, being just 30 minutes from Downtown Houston, the area’s best attractions can be easily reached from the resort.
Guest who would rather eat at the resort will find plenty of options to keep their taste buds satisfied, with a choice of four different eateries.
5. Canyon of the Eagles Resort – A Calibre Resort
Named for the American Bald Eagles that can be seen in the area during the winter months, the Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park and Resort is one of the best, nature-centred resorts in Texas. Located on the banks of Lake Buchanan, the resort offers guests over 940-acres of park to explore and relax in.
Wildlife enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them outdoors – alongside eagles, there have been sightings of deer, bobcats, snakes, armadillos and more.
Indoors, the resort offers over 60 eco-friendly rooms, each designed to reflect the natural surroundings and featuring beautiful views of the lake or the surrounding hills.
6. Wildcatter Ranch Resort and Spa
Located amongst the dramatic backdrop of the North Texas Hill Country, the Wildcatter Ranch Resort offers a true taste of western-style living.
Accommodation ranges from hotel rooms to cabins and guest homes, set over the beautiful 1500-acre ranch. As well as enjoying the ranch’s on-site amenities – including the stunning views from the infinity pool and hot tub – guests can take part in a range of activities. Join one of the group trail rides, led by the resort’s team of “cowboys” or spend the day hiking, clay-shooting or exploring the landscape on a historical Jeep tour.
Finish the day with a taste of true Texan cuisine at the Wildcatter Ranch’s restaurant – the Dinner Bell.
7. The San Luis Hotel, Spa and Conference Center
Stretches of sandy beaches might not be the first thing that pops to mind when you think of Texas, but the coastline offers some wonderful choices for a beach vacation, such as The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center, on the beautiful Galveston Island.
The beachfront resort has consistently received the AAA Four Diamond Award® since 1999, and is widely known for its luxury service, first-class amenities and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
From Standard Rooms to Penthouse Suites, every spacious room is lavishly decorated and features a private balcony, Molton Brown toiletries and iPod docking stations.
8. Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center
Southern hospitality doesn’t come much bigger, or much more luxurious, than the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, set over the beautiful Grapevine Lake.
The unique resort, which covers over 4.5 acres, offers first-class accommodation and a huge range of luxury amenities – including on-site shopping, a choice of restaurants and the premier Relâche Spa & Salon.
Rooms are modern and comfortable, with Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and pillow-top mattresses. If you choose to stay at the Gaylord Texan Resort, you’ll be in good company – this is the official resort of the Dallas Cowboys, with special promotions and perks available for those who are Cowboys fans.
9. Isla Grand Beach Resort
Located on southern South Padre Island, the beachfront Grand Beach Resort is one of the Texas Gulf’s most loved resorts.
Set over 10 acres of tropical gardens, with two large pools, a range of restaurants and a nightclub, the Grand Beach Resort has everything travellers need for a perfect beach vacation.
Rooms come with ocean or pool views, and for those looking for a little more space, the resort has a selection of two-bed condos. Each of the accommodations comes with a balcony or patio, TV and mini-bar.
If lying on the beach isn’t active enough, there’s a range of activities to keep you entertained, including tennis, volleyball and a great selection of kids’ activities.
10. Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Experience a world-class, luxury golf getaway at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, located in Hill Country, just outside of Austin.
The 4000-acre resort, with four highly acclaimed golf courses, also features the tranquil Three Springs Spa, where you can indulge with a relaxing treatment or simply soak up the natural surroundings.
Rooms are modern and stylish, with breathtaking views of the hills, flat screen TVs and high speed Wi-Fi. With four eateries, serving everything from casual daytime snacks to luxury fine-dining cuisine, you’ll find real Texan food at any time of the day.
11. Great Wolf Lodge
The Texas instalment of North America’s largest family of waterpark resorts, Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is only a short drive from Downtown Dallas.
Fun family holidays are the order of the day at Great Wolf Lodge, with multiple pools, slides, water games and activities. Out of the water, kids will love the regular character appearances, story time and PJ parties.
For the big kids of the family, there’s plenty to do too, with a range of dining and shopping options on-site. The latest addition to the resort’s restaurant scene – Lodge Wood Fired Grill – offers excellent wood fired steaks, local seafood and classic smoked ribs.
12. La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa
Sitting pretty on the shores of Lake Conroe, the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa is a relaxing resort, just one hour’s drive from Houston.
Golf-fanatics will love La Torretta’s championship golf course, and there’s plenty to keep kids entertained with the Aqua Park and five pools to splash around in.
For something more relaxing, The Spa at La Torretta offers a serene range of massages and body treatments from their team of holistic experts.
Accommodation is offered in standard suites, golf cottages and lake villas, each featuring flat screen TVs, luxury bath amenities and coffee makers.
13. Travaasa Austin
A unique resort set amongst the picturesque hills and woods of the Balcones Canyonlands, the Travaasa Austin offers visitors the chance to completely disconnect from the stresses of everyday life, and reconnect with nature.
Activities here are designed to encourage guests to get outdoors and explore the surrounding landscapes, with horse-back riding, archery, hiking and biking packages available.
If your more of a foodie than an adventurist, the resort also offers wine tasting, cooking classes and demonstrations.
At the end of a busy day, relax in one of the Travaasa’s simple, modern rooms, with balconies offering stunning views over the hills or resort gardens, cotton robes and organic linens.
14. The Inn at Dos Brisas
For an authentic, luxury ranch experience with a rich history, discerning travellers head to The Inn at Dos Brisas, in the Texas Hill Country’s eastern foothills.
The grounds have played an important role in the region’s history – having once hosted Union soldiers, cattlemen, farmers and horse trainers. Now a Relais & Chateaux luxury inn, the 313-acre resort offers both active vacations and relaxing retreats, but however you spend your days at Dos Brisas, the resort’s restaurant is an unmissable feature.
With the only Forbes five-star dining experience in the state of Texas, and an impressive wine cellar, eating in has never looked so appealing.
Dos Brisas is also home to the second largest, private indoor horse-riding arena in the state, which caters for novice riders to experienced “cowboys” alike.
15. Escondida Resort & Spa
Leave the kids behind and escape for a getaway with a difference at Escondida, the adult-only resort and spa set amongst the beautiful Medina Mountains.
With incredible nature and wildlife on your doorstep, and complete privacy, this is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, and is extremely popular with honeymooners.
The luxury hacienda accommodation comes with hand-painted tiles and Gilchrist & Soames amenities, as well as balconies or patios with incredible views.
Spend your day relaxing at The Spa at Escondida, where you’ll find private therapy rooms, customized treatments and a workout area for those who like to keep active on vacation.