Travaasa

Volente-area resort offers local getaway

When Travaasa first opened two years ago, the rural resort and spa sought to expose guests to a more authentic side of Texas.

"We really celebrate the local culture," General Manager Kristine Huffman said.

Travaasa officials describe the destination as an "experiential resort," offering an array of activities that help showcase the Hill Country's beauty and benefits. The daily programming serves as a great introduction to Texas, Huffman said, yet many Travaasa guests themselves hail from the Lone Star State.

"I was very surprised at how much of that kind of business we got," she said. "I figured we'd get mostly people from the Northeast and Midwest in the winter trying to get away from the snow and cold."

Instead, most guests at the 70-room hotel typically hail from Central Texas, The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Houston areas, Huffman said, using the resort as a "staycation" destination. Previously developed as The Crossings, the former spiritual retreat was converted to a general-interest resort in April 2011. Many of the amenities and features of the 210-acre property were retained, including the conference center and a meditation garden called the Solidago.

"We inherited some great space," Huffman said. "It's a really beautifully designed and laid-out property."

In addition, the adult-only resort offers activities that include two-step dance lessons, cooking demonstrations and gardening tutorials. There is also an equine program that challenges guests to create camaraderie with their horse.

With near-exclusive access to the area's Balcones Canyonland Preserve, Travaasa also showcases the area's natural beauty—often giving many Austin-area residents extra incentive to visit the resort, Huffman said.

"We have been kind of a hidden secret but I think more and more we're getting into the local consciousness," she said.

The Austin culture also carries over, Huffman said, because of the 80-person staff. In fact, guests consistently comment on Travaasa's customer service, she said.

"It's really a tribute, I think, to how wonderfully friendly our staff is," Huffman said. "It's made it very easy to provide wonderful hospitality because Texans are pretty damn nice."

Many activities and programs at Travaasa do not necessarily require an overnight stay.

Jean's Kitchen at Travaasa: The resort on April 13 began taking limited lunch and dinner reservations at its restaurant. The menu changes each day, and starting in June, Travaasa will host a food truck in the Broken Spoke parking lot and Austin-area farmers markets.

Spa: Packages range from $155–$229 and typically include access to the resort's infinity edge pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, yoga lounge and challenge course.

Office retreats: The resort's conference center includes four presentation rooms, while the challenge course and daily programs help serve as team-building activities.

Weddings: Small wedding services can be hosted at the Solidago or guests can reserve the entire resort—thus allowing children access. Guests can also arrange for a romantic setting to pop the special question.

Travassa, 13500 FM 2769, Austin, 512-258-7243, www.travaasa.com

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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