In the first part of our Texas Hill Country adventure at the Westin La Cantera Resort, we had just begun to enjoy this little slice of heaven nestled atop one of San Antonio’s highest points in the northwestern part of the city approximately 15 miles from downtown. Now it’s time to fully embrace the La Cantera experience!
FOR THE KID IN ALL OF US
Doing as much or as little as your heart desires is a big part of what makes La Cantera so attractive. From family fun to adult “time-out” activities and the Kids’ Club, there is a wealth of options from which to choose from sunup to well after sundown.
To guide you through your options, there is a Family Fun Ambassador to help you choose from the myriad of activities here, including arts and crafts, family water volleyball, a scavenger hunt and other diversions.
The Kids Club, for ages 4 to 12 (the only activity with a nominal fee), is described as “a parent-free session filled with discovery and adventure” that runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
I was particularly impressed with what they offered for tweens and teens-you know, those children who think they’re too grown to hang with the younger kids, but definitely don’t want to chill with their parents? For these young adults, there is the Rock’n T Lounge with an Xbox, Wii, “Guitar Hero” and movies. In the evening, the lounge transforms into Club Roc, with dancing, games and music. Whether during the busy spring and summer months or at other times of the year, your 13- to 17-year-old will have a great (supervised) time here.
Another impressive aspect about the Family Fun Ambassador is that she takes great pleasure in creating special guest experiences-the kind of service you would expect to enjoy from a designated one-on-one coordinator. Champagne, strawberries and rose petals tossed about your room for honeymoons and anniversaries, outdoor kids’ birthday parties, and writing your children’s names on the bathroom wall in your guest room are just a few of the creative ideas she has used one to ensure that resort guests thoroughly enjoy the La Cantera experience.
At La Cantera, you can put me in time-out anytime, starting with the 2,300-square-foot secluded adult pool, complete with lap pool, sports pool and two hot tubs nestled in the hillside near the beginning of the nature trail. Featuring a tranquil waterfall, oodles of comfortable seating with bamboo shades and expansive umbrellas and its own Jacuzzi, the adult pool is a quiet haven to sit, soak or swim-it’s a bit more lively in the late evening hours. You can also enjoy a poolside chair massage to ease you into the vibe. Other time-out diversions include adult water volleyball, a “Battle of the Sexes” game, yoga, Texas wine tasting and outdoor Zumba.
If the chair massage teaser left you wanting more, it’s just a short stroll to the Castle Rock Health Club and Spa. The spa is its own luxurious slice of heaven, with inviting relaxation rooms, Jacuzzis, oversized lounging furniture, plush robes and a wide array of spa services. They also offer a tasty variety of teas and wines to sip before, in between and after your spa treatments.
I oohed and aahed during my lavender vanilla sugar body scrub. Other spa menu items include the Texas herb body polish, cactus hydration body wrap, Hill Country hydrotherapy massage, Castle Rock stone works and full pedicures and manicures, as well as a variety of refreshing and cleansing facials.
To keep up my home workout routine-and to keep the pounds at bay from all the delicious cuisine and cocktails I was enjoying-I started each day at the resort’s fitness center. This 7,600-square-foot cardio and weight training fitness center features state-of-the-art equipment, free weights, balls, mats, flat-screen TVs and panoramic views of the pool area and golf courses.
If you’d rather exercise your muscles alfresco, try the La Cantera Nature Experience. Winding around a portion of the resort and designed to highlight but not disturb the natural landscape, the 1.5-mile trail features a variety of plant habitats, rock formations, wildlife and pathways, with trailhead markers and descriptive signage along the way.
Ranked as one of the “Top 50 Golf Resorts in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler and included among the “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America by Golf Digest, it is no wonder that golf is one of the resort’s biggest draws.
Avid golfers here will find two exceptional courses: the Resort Course at La Cantera and the Palmer Course at La Cantera. Set amidst limestone rock outcroppings, natural water features, magnificent live oak trees, rippling streams and 75 dramatic, white sand bunkers, the Resort Course at La Cantera includes five sets of tees on each hole to accommodate every player’s skill level.
Designed by golf legend and award-winning course designer Arnold Palmer and the Arnold Palmer Design Company, the Palmer Course at La Cantera is a stunning championship course. Featuring a majestic landscape and beautiful views, the course is widely recognized for one of the course’s signature holes, No. 4, which features a long carry over a lake and waterfalls along the front of the green. Hole No. 18, according to the resort, “is a spectacular finale that plays slightly up and then to an 80-foot downhill slope, providing incredible views of the clubhouse and a lake fed by waterfalls.”
To strengthen your game there is the Academy at La Cantera, a custom-designed learning center with a variety of entities to help you take your skills to the next level.
In between all of the action on the greens, golfers and resort guests can dine at one of two delightful restaurants. Overlooking the 18th green, the Palmer Grille offers a continental breakfast and lunch daily. For a uniquely Texan culinary experience with a contemporary Southwestern flair, try the La Cantera Grille. The cuisine there is amazing, including their special barbecue lunch from the pit (brisket, ribs, smoked turkey and chicken, “borracho beans,” homemade potato salad and the like). Whether enjoying a pre-golf breakfast, leisurely or business lunch or an intimate dinner for two, the La Cantera Grille fits the bill either indoors or on their inviting patio with magnificent views of the manicured practice area.
In our next foray, we’re checking out what to see and do in and around the La Cantera Resort.
- The Westin: La Cantera Resort (210) 558- 6500/800.WESTIN1, www.westinlacantera.com
- La Cantera Golf Club: (210) 558-4653, www.lacanteragolfclub.com