Rustic wooden signage and natural landscaping surround the winding driveway that welcomes visitors to the Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek.
Before arriving at the inn, located on a sprawling, 88-acre plat of land, guests often ask what there is to do, Innkeeper Amy Dolan said.
"Sometimes it's just time to do plenty of nothing," she said."Then they get here, and they're like, 'Oh, now I get it,'" Dolan said. "When you get here, you're like, 'OK, I can breathe in and out. I don't have to worry about anything in particular.'"
The bed-and-breakfast is off the beaten path in Kyle but within close proximity to tourist-drawing Hill Country wineries. The facility has added to its amenities since John Banczak and Eric Goldreyer bought the property in October 2012.
The former HomeAway executive and founder of www.BedAndBreakfast.com, respectively, have introduced gradual upgrades, such as a pool deck overlooking the land. The in-house spa accommodates as many as 14 people.
Even though Dolan encourages rest and relaxation, guests have more activities in which to partake now that a bocce court and horseshoe pits have been installed. Hiking and birding trails as well as a fire pit provide outdoor activities for the daytime and evening.
John and Janie Orr opened the inn in 1994. Prior to selling the property to Banczak and Goldreyer, the inn featured 12 guest rooms.
Expansion brought the guest room total to 15—including the three-bedroom ranch house and a redone loft. A new construction—Maurice's Coach House—is a stand-alone, one-bedroom studio. Additionally, many guest rooms were renovated, Dolan said.
She said the facility also expanded its storage tank for harvesting rainwater. The alternative water supply is used mostly to irrigate the garden at the inn. The garden's yield provides Executive Chef Ryan Castille with fresh herbs and vegetables for breakfasts and three-course dinners.
It is all part of the organization redoubling its focus on quality and making staying at the inn a better experience for guests, Dolan said. The inn, previously known simply as the Inn Above Onion Creek, changed its name earlier this year to capture the essence of the landscape.
The inn staffs about 20 people, Dolan said. Each is expected to feel a strong sense of responsibility to the guests.
"It's a level of commitment that's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure," Dolan said. "There are lots of things about an 88-acre inn that [can affect] a lot of people. And really, you're almost like a little municipality."
While such destinations as the Duchman Family Winery, The Salt Lick and downtown Wimberley are not far away, it is at dinner or in the common areas of the inn where guests have the most meaningful experiences, Dolan said.
"That's how they get to know the other guests who are here and then find out what they have in common, or they find out that they live five blocks away in Houston and they never would have met—except they meet here at the dinner table," she said.
4444 W. FM 150, Kyle
Hours: Mon.–Sun. 8 a.m.–7 p.m.