The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center has become a luxuriously peaceful getaway tradition for my husband and I. This summer, as soon as the grandparents arrived in town, we left our three-kids-under-five in their care and retreated to our haven in the trees. Located just north of Houston, The Woodlands Resort feels deceptively secluded, despite being mere minutes from movie theaters, The Woodlands Mall, and a whole host of event and entertainment centers.
Our room was on the ground level with a patio overlooking pristine golf courses and a sparkling lake. On our first day it rained, which I loved, as it gave me every excuse to sink into the king sized bed and write my book. Jason spent his time playing classical guitar, and of course we both spent a lot of time in the resort’s fitness center. The gym is small, but has ample machines for a solid cardio workout. Even when the weather is Houston-style humid and Texas-style hot, you can enjoy the cool dry of the gym, and it never seems to be crowded. In fact, on one occasion we had the whole place to ourselves.
My favorite part of The Woodlands Resort is without doubt the gorgeous natural scenery, tall trees, and insulated environment. You’re in the middle of The Woodlands, just minutes from Market Street and bustling civilization. Nevertheless, as you’re sitting on plush patio sofas sipping wine and watching the sun set over the lake, you could swear you were a hundred miles from the nearest freeway.
My second favorite thing is the spectacular pool area. There’s a lazy river called the Forest Oasis Waterscape. You grab yourself an inner-tube and float around in a big loop, multiple times. Honestly, if I wasn’t so fair-skinned I could float around that thing all day. I wouldn’t need a book or any conversation, because I’d be happy just bobbing around. It’s like pool therapy. You bring your sunscreen, your sunglasses, and let the current lilt you away.
One curious oddity about the main pool: if you swim over by the little island there is music under the water. I have no idea how or why, but it’s awesome. Of course, most people’s favorite feature is the large water slide. I’ve never been a big fan of heights, but Jason loved it. He may or may not have been the only adult to go down, but who cares? Not us.
The pool area actually has multiple pools, a hot tub, a water slide, a splash pad, a beautiful waterfall, and a shallow kiddie pool for the tots. The Cool Water Cafe sits in the center of it all and serves refreshing edibles such as frozen grapes, crisp salads, sandwich wraps, burgers, and other finger foods. They also have an assortment of light beers and summery cocktails.
If you really want a fantabulous drink though, head over to Robard’s Steakhouse where the bar serves delectables such as the Texas Pear Margarita and Austin Mule. The steakhouse itself features a wall of windows and a comfortable patio overlooking the lake and woods. They serve an elegant menu, from Rosewood Ranches Texas Gold Wagyu steaks, to veal and whole Maine lobster. Robard’s also boasts a beautiful glassed-in 1,100 bottle wine cellar, local craft beers on tap, and a bakery which serves from-scratch breads, pastas, scrumptious pastries, and decadent desserts.
Not ten minutes from The Woodlands Resort is pretty much every type of restaurant or shop you could imagine. Jason and I spent several afternoons flipping through books at Barns & Noble, brunching on paper thin crepes at La Madeleine, window shopping along picturesque brick walkways, and discovering that I could dance into a pair of Lucky jeans that are two sizes smaller than my last pair. Happy day! I don’t even care that my other pair still fits. I am naming and claiming this as hard earned weight-loss.
Every night, back at The Woodlands Resort, we slept like wintering bears. I usually have a difficult time sleeping anywhere other than my own bed. However, these rooms are not only beautifully decorated but perfectly soundproof and dark. In the morning you can open the balcony door and hear birds and frogs singing, or you can close the door and draw the curtains and it’s as black and silent as 3AM in the country.
Speaking of relaxation, The Spa at The Woodlands Resort offers an exquisite level of pampering. You can enjoy a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or get a luxurious package deal and check some massive relaxation off your to-do list. As a working mom, I’ve got to say that all-the-above sounds amenable to me. The whole resort is decorated in natural woods, stone, and marble textures, and The Spa is no exception. The resort designers did a fabulous job of taking inspiration from the beautiful scenery outside and bringing it indoors. It’s really a rejuvenating and refreshing place to visit and everything is so clean and lovingly cared for.
In the mornings we wandered over to The Woodlands Dining Room for breakfast overlooking a pretty foundtained lake. I absolutely love big breakfasts but I’m rarely awake enough in the mornings to actually cook them, so this was a special treat. There are freshly made waffles, custom ordered omlettes that the chefs mix and flip right in front of you, and a huge variety of from-scratch pastries, fruits and veggies, fresh-squeezed juice cocktails, eggs, sausages, bacon, hot pancakes, yogurt parfait, and pretty much everything else you can imagine wanting for breakfast.
Overall, our experience at The Woodlands Resort was a dream. I only wish we could have stayed longer! As busy parents with a gaggle of giggling little girls, it’s so revitalizing to be able to get away and just focus on each other without distraction. At the same time, it’s also reassuring to know that our babies are a just quick drive away. For us, The Woodlands Resort is the perfect home away from home. The management and team are friendly and hospitable, and the whole place is impeccably maintained. I’m already looking forward to future visits, and I can’t wait to take the kids one of these times.
Author’s Note: After we had already booked our room at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, they graciously offered to give us a discounted “media rate.” I had already been planning on writing this review, having stayed there before and knowing I loved it. However, their generosity did allow us to extend our stay for a few days. A big Thank You to their PR team for the hospitality, the cookies, and the wine.