The 175-room Lakeway Resort and Spa sits on a high bluff overlooking Lake Travis in Austin. With three pools, a swim-up bar, a spa, kid-friendly activities, and nearby golf and water sports, the Lakeway can be a nice getaway with lots to do. Plus, the hotel is only a half-hour drive from the more urban area of Austin. The facilities are not luxury-grade -- the furniture and decor in the common areas look a bit worn -- but the rooms are newer and upscale, and the views are breathtaking. The Lakeway also costs about half as much as the similarly-rated Travaasa Austin, which is 25 minutes away.
The beautiful views are the real treasure; amenities are geared toward families and business travelers alike.
The hotel, which sits atop a bluff over Lake Travis, has a winning view, and is well-designed to show it off. The restaurant, bar, and pools all look out over the water. The large infinity edge pool is one of the hotel's most beautiful and coolest features: it has three tiers that cascade toward the lake, and includes a swim-up bar and outdoor deck.
The lobby of the Lakeway has a rustic, almost ski-lodge feel with white brick columns, brown leather chairs, and wood armoires. It is warm and welcoming, though the hallways of the sprawling hotel look like those in any chain. The rooms are modern.
The resort draws families, who go for kid-friendly features like a large children’s pool with slides and fountains. There are also 24,000 square feet of event and meeting space at the Lakeway, which attract a large business and conference crowd.
Away from the city, near golf courses, tennis courts, and the water
While still technically part of Austin, the hotel is located outside of the bustling heart of the city. The resort is meant to be a getaway, and there are plenty of leisure activities available to guests. The hotel has its own fully-equipped spa, and there's golf, tennis courts, and the lake marina -- which offers boat and jet ski rentals, fishing, and other activities -- within a few minutes' drive. The airport is about 45 minutes away.
The standard rooms at the Lakeway are sizable, and each one has a desk and reading chair. The rooms, which have all been renovated, are more contemporary than the rest of the hotel. They are sleek with dark wood furniture and gray tufted headboards. They are functional, and come with standard amenities, including coffeemakers, TVs, and iHome alarm clocks. Bathrooms are also simple in design and moderately sized, and the Bathe products and robes provided are a nice touch. The Lakeway offers a variety of room types, including extensive suites and multi-bedroom condominiums. "Lakeside" rooms get great views of the lake, while "hillside" rooms overlook the parking lot. Guests who want more peace and quiet should avoid rooms near the pools on the second floor. Non-smokers should avoid rooms near the Back Country bar, where smoking is permitted.
A spa, restaurant, and 24-hour fitness center -- but all come with a pesky daily resort fee
The Spa at Lakeway is comprehensive and offers body treatments, separate men’s and women’s lounges, and a boutique. There is also a 24-hour fitness center and dry sauna accessible to all guests, whether they partake in other spa activities or not. The gym has weight machines, cardio machines, and free weights, and while the equipment is a few years old, it is in good condition. Yoga classes are available on the weekends.
Travis' Restaurant, added after our visit, serves Southern comfort cuisine for all meals, and the Back Porch Bar has nice views of the lake and comfortable seating. The Lakeway hosts a nightly happy hour for guests, too. The “free” drinks are paid for through the Lakeway’s daily resort fee, which the hotel tacks on top of room rates.
The fee also covers Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. There is, however, an additional hourly charge for everyone who enters the hotel's Kid Zone, child or adult. The play area has inflatable bouncy houses, ping pong and pool tables, and other games.
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