Experience true relaxation — and a touch of Texas culture — at the La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio.
As a born and raised Texan, I’ve had my fair share of trips to San Antonio. I’ve experienced all the San Antonio staples — the River Walk, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, an abundance of Tex-Mex restaurants, and of course, The Alamo. So, when I was invited to visit the La Cantera Resort & Spa to do something I haven’t done yet in the city — ahem, relax — I was thrilled.
I packed my bag with the most Texan items in my closet (outfits that might get a funny glance in Dallas) — a pair of silver cowboy boots, a denim dress, a silk wild rag, and embroidered shorts — and headed to the Dallas Love Field Airport for my 58-minute flight. Yes, I flew from Dallas to San Antonio because Texas is that big.
Once I arrived at the La Cantera Resort & Spa, I knew I was in for a few days of true relaxation. Although the resort is only 20 minutes from the airport and nearby attractions, you’re instantly transported deep into the Texas Hill Country upon arrival. Nestled on one of the highest points in the city, surrounded by trees and hilly terrain, the resort feels Texan in the most tasteful way. Set on 550 acres blanketed with live oaks and punctuated by landscaped gardens, the resort takes its inspiration from South Texas’ iconic King Ranch. Arched doorways, rustic furnishings, and a large painting of a King Ranch sire in the lobby set the Texas tone.
During my stay, I began my days in the calm that comes with endless views of the Hill Country, a complimentary breakfast with good coffee, and the type of quiet only achieved with no kiddos around. I made myself at home on floor SEVEN, the adult-only floor for those 21 and over. Children are welcomed on all the other floors and in the boutique-style villas, and the resort does a wonderful job creating experiences for guests with or without kids. Among the amenities, there’s a resort pool for families, a kid’s pool, a spa pool, an adults-only infinity-edge pool with private cabanas, and more.
The Instagram-worthy Veuve Clicquot cabana is where you could find me when I wasn’t at the Loma De Vida Spa, the resort’s luxurious spa that was voted No. 5 in the 2021 USA Today’s Best Hotel Spa Awards — a ranking that is well deserved. The 25,000-square-foot spa tastefully shows the design chops of international design firm Blu Spas, one of whose founders is native Texan Cary Collier. It was a short, tranquil walk from the resort’s lobby to the spa, where luscious greenery and calming water features set the mood. I chose the 90-minute wellness massage for my treatment, complete with aromatherapy and views of the Lone Star State from the one of the two private outdoor Sky Lofts. After my massage, I floated my way to the not-so-private, but equally relaxing, solarium with a sauna, steam shower, and a saline pool.
To balance things out, I indulged in a delicious outdoor dinner at the SweetFire Kitchen, which “showcases new twists on regional, home-style Texas cuisine” and makes good on its menu description of “social Southern chophouse” — in its certified Angus 14-ounce ribeyes and tender belly bone-in pork chops. And after that, a nightcap at the resort’s comfortable Sire Bar, which pays tribute to King Ranch in both name and style.
I set aside some time for a daytrip to the quaint and historic town of Fredericksburg — an easy and scenic 56-mile drive away. I’ve visited the Central Texas town before and knew about its deep German heritage, but I was surprised to discover how much I still hadn’t experienced — including a tasting and tour at Slate Theory Winery, a fine-dining experience at Vaudeville, and shopping spree at local shops.
After a full day of exploring what locals like to dub the “next Napa Valley,” the firepit back at La Cantera was tempting. But, in the end, I couldn't have been more pleased to crawl into my plush bed under the starry Lone Star sky.
For more on La Cantera Resort & Spa, visit its website.
Photography: Courtesy La Cantera Resort & Spa