This was my eighth trip to Lake Austin spa and it never disappoints. I have tons of tips and tricks to share as well. :)
Definitely go during the week, as the spa gets busiest on the weekends if possible. You will want to book your spa appointments if you have specific ones, way before you get there to get the best times. Especially if you like a massage before bedtime. If you aren't sure, don't stress it, as my last visit I didn't book a thing before I got there, and I was fine booking them on day 2 of my trip.
I would recommend a facial with Carole Cole as she is AMAZING and if you like extractions, she can do the job. She is very skilled and I am extremely picky on facials. My group also said Erin is amazing and does a fabulous job as well.
Go have your makeup done with Kiah S in the lakehouse spa shop as she does a great job and will help you with all the products there.
I can't believe I have gone there for 8 years and never tried the acupuncture. Big mistake! I thought I didn't need it because nothing was really wrong with me, but now I am totally sold. You must see Aaron and he does get pretty booked up. I had a headache from sitting in the sun at the pool and he got rid of it in a few minutes--it was crazy cool.
I would recommend the Texas Starry Nights to be booked before bedtime if you are an overnight guest. You can get a 9pm and it is perfect before you fall asleep.
Personally I love the Lakehouse Lavender scrub and I loved the Seaweed scrub as I am not big on massages.
I would also recommend the full pumpkin body wrap. It smells like you are baking pumpkin pie. It does get warm and a little "insulated" if you don't like that sensation. Your skin will thank you and you also get a long massage with it.
If you want a killer hair cut, you have to get the little lady from Paris to do your hair. I am sorry I forgot her name but it is like Elsie or something and she is probably in her 60's and has been there a long time. She is outstanding. She gets booked up so make your appointment right away.
I was not impressed with the pedicure I had, but that was 2 years ago. So I skip that as there are too many other cool things they offer and so little time. :)
Tips for the spa:
*Go an hour early if you are an overnight guest. You will want to relax in the hot tub, sit in the sauna, and chill out in the steam room. I also love the hot tea they have and it is so relaxing to sip some tea beforehand.
*Shower at the spa--they have amazing shower gel, lotion, and even shaving cream. You can leave your razor at home as they provide really good disposable ones.
*Everything you need to get ready is in there...hair spray, blow dryers, mouthwash, even tampons.
*If you are modest you can wear a bathing suit in the hot tub. They have this little spin dryer for your suit right by the extra towels in the hot tub area.
*You can exchange your robe every day for a fresh one if you want! (I can't believe I didn't know this fact)
*And if it is cold, they even have THICKER robes--just ask for one at the robe desk right before you go into the locker rooms.
*Eat lunch at the Aster Cafe which is up at the spa. It has a different menu than the downstairs eating area and it is delicious.
*There is sunscreen in a huge pump dispenser (SPF 15) at the pool so don't worry if you didn't bring any.
The food is amazing and will take a little bit for you to get used to, if you don't normally eat pretty healthy. I travel with a mixed group of girls so I see both sides to it. :) Your system is going to be de-toxed from all the healthy eating. The portions are small compared to normal restaurants but feel free to order two meals at a sitting. Nobody will bat an eye at you I promise. I do it all the time.
They have a new French chef (instead of the Southwestern style they used to have) and he is AMAZING. Hello to the goat cheese, beet, and fig pizza. (You must try this) Yes I hate beets and figs but when they are baked, they get all sugary and taste like candy. Best pizza ever. I also had the corn soup every single night for dinner which has fresh avocado in it. I hate avocado and was eating it! Everything tastes so delicious. I normally don't even like tomatoes but these were heirloom, fresh, and out of this world. Just try everything is my best bit of advice.
You can order room service any time you want. You can get the regular dinner menu from downstairs for the room service (even though you don't see that menu--I got one from the dining room the first night from Hal and he told me to keep it up there all week long--he rocks) so don't think you are stuck with just the limited menu in your room. They also have wine for sale and it was really good. (I would recommend you bring your own though it is cheaper if you are drinking it in your room only.)
Always order all the desserts. There are three a night. Trust me I know. LOL It is bad when you like all three of the night and try and eat them all. So say you were warned. Yes they are low fat, but most of them you won't know it.
They do have gluten-free dining there. They also will custom make whatever you want. We had one in our group who was gluten-free and also dairy-free. The chef made her special meals and a special dessert even. You just need to let them know in advance so they can do it for you.
Try the tarot card reading with Paul. It is an extra fee but so worth it. I have done lots of readings over the years in different places, and I am very picky. I was pretty skeptical but each person in my group raved over their reading. I got a 50 minute one, and was thrilled. Bring a notebook to write down all the answers and bring every question you can think of. It is THAT specific.
They have lots of classes and lots of levels of classes. Try something new. I have never been disappointed in any of the classes. The teachers are all outstanding.
They also have speakers come in, have cooking classes, astronomy classes and aromatherapy classes for example. Each week it is different but again we have never had a bad time at one.
You will definitely want to sign up for the free boat cruise. It is scenic and we always enjoy the trip. I am sorry I forgot the name of our female boat captain but she has been there a long time and knows some amazing Texas trivia. It is FUN. You can sit in the shady side on the back if you don't want the sun. She also does it when it is cold and provides blankets and hot chocolate so don't miss it no matter the weather.
Also make sure you kayak a little bit and take a nap in a hammock.
There are cats roaming around that live there and all have been there a long time, have names and are well loved there. I believe "Ben" the calico is the most famous spa cat according to one of the front desk staff members. He hangs at the downstairs pool. None of the cats will bother you so if you don't like cats, don't worry at all. And there are only like 5 of them that I saw there and I think their main job is to relax at the spa as well.
Your room will be totally comfortable. We love the beds, the nightly turn down service, and the lavender spa toiletries they provide. Make sure you ask for a room with a porch as I do love to sit on the porch and relax. You will want to light the candle out there as mosquitoes do occur at certain times of the year. We have asked the front desk for extras of those when we wanted to hang out on the porch for an extended amount of time.
Don't bother with clothing or makeup. Everyone walks around in a robe. They eat meals in a robe. All you need is your workout clothing and your bathing suit. Other than that, forget it. They even give you flip flops that you can keep.
*Sign up in advance for their monarch program and they will give you a cool tote bag when you check in
*They serve a light appetizer every day at I think 3pm in the room across from the check in
*Get frozen yogurt in a to-go cup any time of day by ringing the doorbell to the kitchen (right next to the coffee machine). Give them one of the BIG paper cups if you are like me and want a lot. Also it tastes better when you swirl the two flavors of the day.
*Another frozen yogurt tip....go to the Aster cafe at lunch time and they have DIFFERENT flavors of the day than downstairs. We love this treat when we are laying out at the pool up top on a hot Texas day.
*Beat your roommate back to the room after turn down service and steal the card on her pillow for yours if hers is better. LOL (They leave cool little cards on your pillow)
*This is really a GIRLY place and very very few guys ever go. I think it is cool if they do, but most guys when they get there always say they feel a little weird being the only guy there. I would definitely not go there with my boyfriend as it is such a great girls' getaway trip. It is the perfect sister trip, mom/daughter trip, or best friends' trip. I wouldn't recommend it for couples at all.
*Try the green iced tea. It is like no green tea you have ever had and I can't seem to duplicate it at home whatsoever. It is very unique and I look forward to it every year.
*They don't offer soda/cokes but you can buy them at the restaurant for $2 if you are dying for one. I think you should do the de-tox for the week. :)
*They have the best lip balm there for $5 and it has spf 15 in it. Get some and see for yourself.
*They used to sell better lavender candles there and I don't care for their new "natural" formula as well as the old ones. (In case you loved them in the past and wanted to order some more online from them...they have a new formula and it is not the same. This also goes for their whole lavender line of shampoo and etc.)
*Sign up for the lunch to go (for free) the night before you leave and you have a yummy sandwich and apple for the plane ride home. It's like my last slice of heaven before I leave. My friend is gluten-free and they made her a gluten-free version.
*Tips are included in the spa services
*I still tip the maid daily of course, and the owner of my company always gives the servers an envelope of $ from all of us before she leaves.
*They have umbrellas in all the rooms in case it rains.
*Just ask at the front desk if you need anything at all--they will bend over backwards to help you.
Love this place and can't wait to go back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.