Lakeside Luxury at Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Rejuvenate with outdoor activities galore (and spa happy hour) in the Texas state capital
A guest checking out next to me at Four Seasons Hotel Austin proceeded to make at least five future reservations. Having only spent one complimentary night, I completely understood why this might be a hotel of choice for frequent visitors to this amazing city—the first in Texas I’d really been to outside of airport layovers. I was in Austin to meet up with family and friends for a luxurious bachelorette weekend, so first caught up on rest and relaxation in what my husband refers to as my natural habitat, a Four Seasons Hotel.
Table of Contents
Austin is a hotbed of culture with loads of live music, boutique shopping and fantastic cuisine ranging from casual barbecue to upscale dining. It’s a foodie’s paradise and I’m pretty sure you could craft an entire holiday around eating which is fine because, as you’ll see, there are plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories in the great outdoors around Lady Bird Lake.
The city is easy to get around by car or on foot. People here are friendly and easy-going. It turned out to be an ideal city for a girls getaway full of activities that actually did not break the bank. My 8-year-old would love it here, too.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin Location
The hotel is perched on the banks of Lady Bird Lake which is outlined by a famous trail regarded as one of the best places in in the city (some might say the entire country) to exercise and enjoy the outdoors—something that the state capital’s residents frequently do. The lake featured prominently in my weekend activities, which was an unanticipated surprise, and is much larger than it looks here as shot from my hotel room.
The best things to do in Austin are within easy walking distance of the hotel including fantastic restaurants, the business district, the famous bats, the hip South Congress area and lake activities. This is the heart of the city.
It couldn’t have taken more than 20 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport, another reason why a weekend getaway here is very doable.
Rooms with Lady Bird Lake Views
With a fire burning in the lobby amid earth toned walls and rustic furniture, I felt like I was walking into someone’s lakeside retreat. How close the hotel is to the lake was a pleasant surprise. Watching people kayak and enjoy the trail from my walk-on balcony motivated me to run along it the next day.
Without the rest of my family in tow, I slept a solid (unheard of) 10 hours in my Four Seasons bed. The room was equipped with everything I needed but the Four Seasons App allows guests to request housekeeping at specific times and simple toiletries that may have been left at home. I’m a huge user of this app as it enhances my stay every time and it worked flawlessly in this hotel. Bath amenities were Neutrogena (not L’Occitane as mentioned online) and I appreciated the thoughtful addition of a face wash, which was actually one of the things I’d forgotten to pack.
Spa Happy Hour
With an entirely free afternoon after check-in and no kid in tow, my cousin joined me at the hotel for spa happy hour—three amazing words that simply belong together.
Treatments during spa happy hour included a glass of sparkling wine, complimentary valet parking and $50 off certain treatments from Sunday through Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. It was a situation we could not pass up.
Our nature-inspired treatment of choice was the Turquoise Sage Arnica Deep Tissue Massage designed to work out kinks and tension with turquoise sage oil, a high-quality blend of pain-relieving arnica, relaxing lavender and healing sage.
Then, we chilled out further by sipping sparkling wine in the lounge area.
The spa even put together a lovely plate of chocolate dipped strawberries with a note of congratulations when I told them we were celebrating my cousin’s bachelorette weekend. Sometimes, it’s the little things that have a huge impact.
Austin’s culinary scene is pretty mind-blowing. My one-night stay meant that breakfast at TRIO would be my only proper meal in the hotel so I decided to take my server’s recommendation and go for Enchiladas de Migas which is a delectable combination of scrambled eggs, cheese, onion, peppers, corn tortilla, verde sauce and refried beans. You must order it. I hesitated because of a decadent dinner the night prior (a great recommendation from the hotel concierge) but I regret nothing.
Having slept longer than anticipated, I appreciated that breakfast service was quick. I took the rest of my coffee carafe to-go and mapped out my run.
I further encountered the hotel’s cuisine through the adorable Texas-style amenities that wound up in my room from an ornate chocolate cowboy boot to mojitos paired with chips and housemade salsa. Important sustenance, right?
After spa, 10 hours of sleep and breakfast enchiladas, I really didn’t have an excuse not to take a run on the famous trail lining Lady Bird Lake. The hotel’s map does an excellent job of plotting an appropriate course based on how many miles you’d like to tackle.
Earbuds in and music on, I set off on a scenic run full of birds, swimming turtles, people patiently fishing, beautiful foliage and water views for what wound up being a fantastic 90 minute loop. Along the way, I passed (or was passed by) jogging strollers, bikes, residents walking dogs and then some. This is a truly beautiful way to sightsee. The entire lake path is a bit over 10 miles and I think I ran/walked about 6.
Water sports rentals like kayaks and SUPs are available right in front of the hotel. Whatever you do in Austin, I think experiencing the trail and lake activities is a must do. You have to make room for all of that delicious food, of course.
Many guests took advantage of the 70 °F February weather at the small salt water pool which had a basket of pool noodles and other toys kids could use. I took this photo right after breakfast, before people arrived.
As someone in the midst of redoing my front yard to a minimalist, waterwise design, I took a ton of photos around the property to use as inspiration.
I love the metal raised planters which are actually quite common around the city. Hammocks and a variety of small seating areas accessorize the green spaces. Many people remarked on my Instagram photos that they had been to weddings here or had even been married in this stunning garden themselves.
The gardens are part of what makes the hotel so kid-friendly as they are a fantastic place to let them safely burn off steam. You can also grab a s’more kit at TRIO for roasting on these fire pits. How fun.
Good to Know
Service, like at every other Four Seasons Hotel I’ve stayed at, was top notch. In a rush to meet my friends in a different location, I left my wallet in my room only to discover this about an hour after checking out. Of course, they found it and held it at security until I returned to the hotel to collect it. Whew. I spoke with the concierge at length about local dining. He called and scored us a reservation in a very popular restaurant with just a phone call. These are the reasons why I love this brand.
The hotel welcomes well-behaved dogs and cats weighing up to 60 lbs. As the owner of a big dog, it’s hard to find properties that will take larger pets and with the lovely trails out in front, this would be a fantastic option for traveling pets.
Since 1990, Four Seasons Hotel Austin is the only Zero Waste hotel in the state through efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost and much more.
(Four Seasons Hotel Austin is one of the resorts I can book for you with agent-exclusive amenities that will enhance and add value to your stay. Please send me your dates and I’ll tell you what’s on offer.)
Have you stayed at Four Seasons Hotel Austin?
*Thank you to Four Seasons Hotel Austin for hosting my room. All opinions are my own.