Traveling with my favorite girlfriends is something I have really enjoyed doing this year. There is nothing like discovering new destinations and sharing powerful experiences with your bestie by your side.
On my most recent trip, I got to travel with my sister-in-law, Toni and the destination we got to discover together was the experiential hotel and spa, Travaasa in Austin, TX. The name Travaasa is a combination of the words “travel,” “traverse” and pravaasa—Sanskrit for “memorable journey”— and was born out of the idea that people are seeking a unique experience when they travel.Travaasa Austin doesn’t just cater to moms looking to get away from it all for a bit, but it does serve to nurture our need to retreat from every day life. The setting – an over 200-acre nature preserve – helps connect visitors not only with each other, but also with themselves and provides the setting where the visit there isn’t just a trip, but rather an experience.
The aim to bring back the individual experiences to travel is one that is poetically emphasized on the Travaasa Austin website . There you will also find a long list of activities available to visitors at no extra cost, as well vacation packages.
We arrived late on a COLD rainy night (who knew Austin was so cold in December?). After a day of traveling all I wanted to do was sleep. It was pitch black outside and all we could really enjoy was the fresh, crisp air from our second floor balcony and our very comfortable beds…as well as the complimentary cookies and mini pecan pies they left for us in our room!
When we woke up however, the scene was completely different. Toni was in bed in awe
which pretty much set the tone for relaxation. And because we are two moms who were traveling without our kids in tow, we didn’t do what we do everyday starting with hurrying ourselves out of bed. Instead, we did this:
Of course, eventually we did manage to get out of our room and head over to Jean’s Kitchen. Jean’s Kitchen is the resorts restaurant. This would be where we would have all our meals throughout our stay. Because Chef Ben creates his menu daily, we never really knew what we were going to have on any given day and there was always something new to choose from, but also a little favorite thrown in for those who wanted repeats.
I found that it was easy to eat healthy because there were many healthy dishes to choose from, even a vegetarian or vegan would be pleased! And I know many people might think that because Travaasa is a wellness spa resort that the food might lack in sustenance. Not the case. The daily, three-course menu never failed to leave us more than satisfied, both in quantity and quality of the food.
Here are a few items we enjoyed:
The resort caters best to those 16 and up, whether it be teen/parent, couples, girlfriends, groups, or corporate retreats, all of which they have served. And though there is a Zen-like feel to the place, your experience there can be as relaxing or as active as you want.
On our first day we did very little. Toni and I enjoyed a moderate hike on one of the resort’s trails, an 80-minute spa treatment that left us floating on air for hours, a cheese tasting, and some resting while enjoying the sunset over Lake Travis before taking part in the weekly Meet & Great with resort executives and management.
The next day however was our active day, all of which were included in our Total Travaasa stay and are coordinated by the resort. We enjoyed a sunrise hike, and equine experience, a Challenge Course, and a lesson in roping.
In the end, we did walk away from Travaasa Austin with more than just a girlfriend’s getaway. It became more than just a mom’s retreat away from it all. Travaasa Austin delivered in its promise to make it an experience in every thing we did.
When eating, we were made aware and conscious of not only our health goals and focus, but of the locally grown produce and items we enjoyed. We could taste it in the freshness of the food and in the items, such as the pink lady apples in our salads, a fruit native to South Texas.
The staff brought forth that friendly Austin demeanor, which my sister-in-law has often told me about and I definitely noticed.
The activities, such as the challenge course, forced us to confront our fears, doubt, and apprehension and give in completely to trust in ourselves and in others.
The experience was emotionally, physically and spiritually rewarding while really connecting us with the place and the people who best represent Austin’s personality and traditions.
As great as our experience in Travaasa was, there is more to come. Travaasa Austin is expanding to include a farm, a vineyard, and an area where guests can ride horses on a trail.
The resort is only a few months old, but it is focused and ambitious in its goal to deliver beyond just the destination and to the senses. I am excited to see what they have in store for guests in the near future for I know it can only get better.