on July 2, 2011
We spent three nights at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country ("HHC") in July of 2011 with our 16 month old daughter. We were seeking a relaxing vacation where we could enjoy the resort and the amenities that were available without having to leave the property. The HHC exceeded our expectations in every way. Please note, this review consists of overall comments regarding the HHC’s outdoor complex. For a review of the indoor complex and service, please refer to my review titled "Beautiful Texas Oasis for Families – Part Two."Location: The HHC is located on the west side of San Antonio approximately 20-30 minutes from downtown (in traffic). Visitors seeking to spend the majority of their time on the Riverwalk downtown may find the location of this resort tedious due to the drive. HHC’s nearest attraction is Sea World; however, dining options (other than chains) are rather limited unless guests wish to dine on property. However, if you don’t mind a bit of a drive, this is a wonderful family friendly resort. For those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of ‘city life’, the HHC is nestled on a beautiful property that exemplifies the best of what Texas’s rugged terrain has to offer. Outdoor Complex: The HHC was built on what was formerly the Rogers - Wiseman Ranch. The property contains 500 guest rooms, a championship golf course, spa, and four acre waterpark with a 950 foot lazy river. Multiple kid friendly activities are held throughout the grounds on a daily basis (every half hour or so) including smores at the pool and a family friendly movie on the lawn each evening. Since the resort was built a number of years ago, the landscaping around the property has fully matured creating a shaded oasis of large Texas oak trees and hearty foliage. We visited the HHC in July when temperatures reached over 100 degrees. However, the shaded property kept the pools, grounds, and surrounding area cool and comfortable. Nestled amongst the foliage are the resort amenities, designed to evoke a feeling of the Texas Ranch that once resided on the property. The spa area looks like a small ranch house and darling red barn complete with picturesque wind mill. Quaint swings anchored on rustic wagon wheels are nestled throughout the property. The pool bar appears to mimic an old "filling station" complete with the original fuel pump and water tower that was originally part of the ranch. Being from Texas, I was happy to note that great care is taken with this property to evoke a casual elegance without feeling "cheesy." The theme throughout complex was subdued yet distinctly Texas. The main draw of the HHC is the pool area. We spent the majority of our time at this mini oasis which is heaven on earth for both children and adults. The complex contains gorgeous winding paths and small bridges that intertwine each of the free form pool areas. The pools are designed to blend in with the landscape, creating a feeling of floating a natural river or wading in a Texas "swimming hole." Our favorite area was the lazy river. With multiple entrances throughout the property, guests can situate themselves in different areas of the pool complex and still easily access this relaxing tube ride. Multiple tubes were available and although it sometimes got crowded, the length of the river allowed guests to find "space" to relax along the way. A highly popular area for kids was the sandy beach at the main entrance to the lazy river. We arrived at the pool with our daughter fairly early each morning (by 9am) and secured a few chairs on the beach area so she could play in the sand and wade out into the zero entry water which slowly deepened into the 3 foot lazy river that meandered by. A note –from the pictures of this area you see tan under the water and then the dark color of the river. I incorrectly assumed that the dark part was three feet deep and the tan area was shallow, creating a sharp drop off. This was incorrect. I was pleasantly surprised to note that my daughter could easily wade out into the water with no sharp drop offs. This made the beach area a perfect spot for her to play. From there, we were able to grab a tube and whisk her off to the lazy river. Please note that this area quickly becomes crowded as the day progresses and chairs in the beach area become rather limited shortly after the pool opens. For even smaller babies, though, the HHC also contains a smaller baby pool. It is situated close to the activity pool. It is not the most ‘exciting’ area of the resort, but it definitely was clean and nicer than the pictures display. The activity pool is certainly that – active. Volleyball nets and basketball goals are located in this area which contains more of the older kids. Certain reviews that I read prior to booking the HHC mentioned two drawbacks of the HHC pool area. 1) Comment: The adult pool still contained kids. Our thoughts: During our stay, we noted that there were multiple signs at the adult pool that restricted anyone under the age of 18 from entering. We also noted that the signs were adhered to as there were no kids in this pool during our visit. However, the adult pool was closed for a short period due to a private event, but the Hyatt allowed guests to use the spa pool to escape the kids. 2) Comment: The HHC pools are "dirty." Our thoughts: Take note, the HHC’s pool complex was built around multiple oak trees and lush foliage. This foliage has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it provides a shady oasis which is beneficially cool in Texas during the summertime. The disadvantage is that the trees are alive and will often shed their leaves. These leaves will drop into the pool and create some clutter. However, we noted that each morning the HHC staff cleaned out any foliage from the pool to ensure that it was fresh for guests throughout the day. I would not describe leaves as dirty. They are leaves. If you are uncomfortable with the effects that a natural setting can provide, this is not the resort for you. Dirty, by my definition would be trash in the pool, stains on the concrete, or cloudy water, etc. By this definition, the HHC pools are not dirty.
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