After more than a year and a $150 million renovation, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is back—and better than ever. Nestled amid the rolling landscape of Texas’ picturesque Hill Country, the recently reopened 493-room resort is just a twenty-minute drive from the weird and wonderful charms of Austin proper. But the combination of Barton Creek’s natural beauty—not to mention a whole host of new (and upgraded) amenities—will have you staying put for the duration of your trip. And if the promise of rest and relaxation isn’t enough, here are ten more reasons you should pack your bags…immediately:
1. The golf is first-rate. This is no surprise, considering the resort has roots as a country club. The club, which remains connected to the resort today, opened in the mid-eighties. A few years later, in 1987, Lady Bird Johnson was on hand to cut the ribbon at the resort’s grand opening. Today, tee-times at the property’s four award-winning courses are some of the state’s most coveted¬—just ask the editors at Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. Designed by game greats, including Austin-native Ben Crenshaw, Tom Fazio and Arnold Palmer, the Barton Creek links have attracted the A-list likes of Bush ’41, Bush ’43, and even Willie Nelson.
2. Have you seen the brand-new private pool at the Mokara Spa? A bit of a hidden secret, this Instagram-ready, rooftop lap pool flanked by two rows of lounges and shaded cabana space is only accessible to spa guests. A quiet afternoon spent here soaking up a little vitamin D or curled up with a good book is worth the cost of your spa treatment—and then some.
3. What about the three additional just-opened hillside pools? The infinity pool, which appears to drop off into the Hill Country below, is the trio’s showstopper. Partially submerged lounge chairs lined up on the pool’s sun shelf help guests beat the Texas heat. But all three new pools offer 180-degrees views of the scenic surroundings. Reserve a private cabana for a group or order cocktails and lunch from the resort’s new poolside bar and grill.
4. The margarita at Nopales. Sure, the sangria made with fresh strawberries, Cointreau, and rosé is a bar standout, as are Nopales’ roster of specialty cocktails, but the classic margarita (not listed on the main menu) served on the rocks with a salt rim and a lime wedge coated in Tajin (a Mexican spice mixture consisting of ground red chilies, sea salt, and dehydrated lime juice) is the perfect Texas summer sipper. Pairing it with the tuna ceviche is a great place to start.
5. Live music. You can catch local artists in the live music capital of the world every Friday and Saturday night at Jim Bob’s Lobby Lounge. And national acts—including Sister Hazel, Wade Bowen, The Kentucky Headhunters, and Uncle Kracker—will hit the stage during Barton Creek Live, the resort’s summer concert series beginning July 5.
6. Local touches enhance the already excellent spa experience. Leave your cell phone in your locker when you enter this 13,000 square-foot sanctuary, which includes 17 treatment rooms as well as 3 treatment rooms designed specifically for couples, a steam room, sauna, a whirlpool and a pair of relaxation lounges with floor-to-ceiling Hill Country views, as well as the aforementioned adults-only rooftop pool. But locally accented facials like the Texas Sun Seeker, which is designed to reverse the effects of sun damage for the Texas outdoor enthusiast, and massages like the River Rock, which uses hot and cold stones and a regionally-inspired aromatherapy blend, are where the new spa really shines.
7. The prime beef at Bob’s Steak & Chop House. (Also, the carrots. Yes, the carrots.) You can’t visit Texas and not eat beef for at least one meal, right? At Bob’s, the kitchen staff grills everything from a six-ounce filet mignon to a whopping twenty-eight-ounce Porterhouse—and all of it’s prime, which is the USDA’s highest grade and means you can count on abundant marbling for peak flavor. About those carrots, though. Each thick-cut steak is served with a large whole roasted carrot dressed in orange juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. They’re almost as good as dessert—almost.
8. After-dinner s’mores by the fire pit. Fire pits on Ladybird Lawn are lit nightly. Reserve your s’mores kit complete with all the fixings via in-room dining.
9. The friendly staff. From the folks at the front desk, the barista at Velvet Joe’s Coffee House, the chatty bartenders at Nopales, the knowledgeable wait crew at Bob’s to the guys and gals on the valet team, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa staff takes hospitality to new heights. They’re proud of this stunningly renovated resort and can’t wait to share it with you—just ask.
10. Hill Country views…from nearly every single room. When the designers and architects began the renovation, they endeavored to bring the outdoors in at every opportunity—after all, you don’t waste a setting as uniquely beautiful as the Texas Hill Country. Even conference space at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa comes with a view. The rocking chairs on the porch off the rear of the lobby are sought-after seats, especially after a leisurely breakfast at Texas Spice. Our favorite spot, though? The glass-fronted women’s relaxation room inside the Mokara Spa.
Visit OmniHotels.com/BartonCreek to book your stay. You won’t have to search hard for a reason to come back.