Vacation time is an absolute must for recharging your battery, reconnecting with family, and just getting away from the daily grind.
Our choice for the best all-inclusive resort in Texas is the Lake Austin Spa Resort. Nestled in the Hill Country just outside Austin, this world-class resort provides amenities and services that meet your whole family’s needs, while your family takes their time to get whole!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Not to mention a mentally unhappy, unproductive, and probably physically unhealthy fellow. Both men and women need times of repose and refreshment, and that is what vacations are supposed to bring. So whether you are married with kids, single, or somewhere in between, it’s time to start thinking about where you can get some R&R!
Though many of the best all-inclusive resorts are expensive and located in super exotic places, there are also some really great places that are affordable and within reach via a short trip. Many folks are actually surprised to find out that Texas has some really great all-inclusive resorts.
Though, it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the Lone Star State also boasts some great vacation spots, since they do everything bigger there! We are providing this list to help you determine which all-inclusive — and semi-inclusive — resort will work best for you and your needs. So, time to saddle up and get ready to head out for some serious self-care!
The All-Inclusive Resorts in Texas We RAVE About
Whether you’re into relaxing at the beach, hitting the snowy slopes, hiking, sailing, golfing, or horseback riding – there are all kinds of vacation and resort options available around the world. Nowadays, we like to think our obsession and interest in traveling to a resort is just a modern phenomenon. But vacationing and resorts have a long history.
The history of resorts coincides with the history of tourism, and both are much older than you might think. It’s probably no surprise that of the two, tourism came first, which makes sense since you have to move before you can arrive. In the ancient world, travel and tourism were primarily the domain of the very wealthy.
Education was the principle purpose. The wealthy traveled to learn about other cultures, art, architecture, food, and language. The kind of tourism associated with pleasure or vacationing as we understand it today can be found in Egypt as early as 1500 BCE.
The notion that one might travel to a destination also emerges around this time with the appearance of the Roman baths. In places like Baiae, the Romans built public baths offering numerous amenities, such as relaxing in the hot springs or visiting the library, gym, theatres, museums, and restaurants on the premises.
These baths offered an initial blueprint that would end up having a significant impact on later forms of resorts and tourism. Aided by the notion that travel and rest were good for the soul, three major world religions all encouraged one form of pilgrimage or another.
During the Middle Ages, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam each saw pilgrimage as a physical manifestation or parable of the spiritual journey that the devotee was supposed to undergo during their lifetime. And, if people travel, they need places to visit and stay.
The Belgian town of Spa was one of the earliest resort areas to be developed during this period. In 1326, a local man claimed to have experienced medicinal relief from the town’s mineral springs, which had been known since the Roman days.
More than likely, this is where the word “spa” originated as a description of a resort site, though it also draws on the earlier Roman baths as a model.
As time progressed, more and more of the upper classes enjoyed travel and touring. But during the 18th century, with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, this phenomenon began to open up for the growing middle classes. For those classes, the question of what to do with one’s leisure time was a significant issue.
In 1758, the first official travel company appeared in England, and the patrons of this company contributed to the growth of tourism industries throughout the European continent. In North America, the earliest resorts were also built around or near hot springs in places like Virginia, New York, and West Virginia.
The earliest luxury hotel in the U.S. was Tremont House in Boston, which featured a host of unique innovations, including indoor plumbing, indoor toilets and baths, and free soap.
Club Med and the All-Inclusive Resort
The origin of the contemporary all-inclusive resort can be traced to the iconic French company founded in 1950, Club Med. Though today they boast over 70 upscale all-inclusive resorts, their beginnings were quite humble. Modeled after a small village, the first one, built in Salerno, Italy, had guests staying in small straw huts with communal washing facilities.
Things have obviously changed since then! Under the leadership of Gilbert Trigano and backed by an investment by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Club Meds appeared across the Mediterranean and then eventually went global. In 1965, they opened their first resort village outside of the Mediterranean in Tahiti.
The typical Club Med experience is now what is called “all-inclusive,” meaning that a guest will pay a single price for lodging, food, drinks, gratuity, entertainment, and any number of additional amenities. All-inclusive resorts can also focus on a specific type of experience or vacation, whether golfing, skiing, wellness, family, or otherwise.
Surprisingly, the number of all-inclusive resorts in the U.S. has dropped dramatically over the years. According to industry watchers, close to half of all resorts offered some sort of all-inclusive experience in the 1960s. By 2007, that number had dwindled to under 10%.
This downturn was probably due to the fact that the all-inclusive concept was not always executed well. Rather than offering guests a unique and upscale experience, they were subjected to bad accommodations and buffet food.
Since 2008, there has been a significant uptick in the number of all-inclusive resorts that have opened. Their success has been tied to offering better accommodations and more unique, locally sourced and high-quality food.
All of this means there are now more options for the work weary to find a place to relax, recharge, and feel better!
Our rankings for the best all-inclusive resorts in Texas were developed by using a careful research method that included analysis of meta-data from trusted review sites, reading and listening to reviews from travel experts, industry insiders, and resort guests. Then we compiled and collated our data and created our list to help you choose the right place for your needs.
As we created our list, we looked at the following categories to help determine our rankings:
- Price: Going on any vacation isn’t cheap, no matter how necessary it may be. So having a sense of the price of a given resort – and knowing whether it really measures up to the cost – is essential.
- Theme and setting: Most resorts have some sort of focus, whether it’s a specialty like golfing or wellness, or it’s meant to cater to families. Often the location of a resort can enhance or detract from the key theme they are trying to promote.
- Amenities: One of the best parts of going to an all-inclusive or semi-inclusive resort are the various amenities that are offered.
- Food: The old knock on all-inclusive resorts was that they offered mediocre rooms and cheap buffet food. Thankfully nowadays, that is generally not the case.
- Accommodations: Even though you don’t necessarily go to an all-inclusive resort just to stay in the room, you do want to know if it is comfortable, charming, welcoming, and useable.
- Family friendly or adults-only: Some folks want or need to bring their families with them, while others are interested in having a kid-free time away.
If you are considering checking out what the Lone Star State has to offer for a vacation with family, friends, or all by yourself, take a look at our list – it will help guide you on your way!
The 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Texas
Lake Austin Spa Resort
Located about 30 minutes northwest of Austin, the Lake Austin Spa Resort is the first all-inclusive resort on our list. The resort is located in the Hill Country and offers breathtaking views of Lake Austin. It is billed as both a resort and spa, so the amenities span both categories. The rooms feel like a rustic cottage, with soft pastel yellow and blue walls and a patio that walks out and looks on to the water.
The bedrooms feature king size beds with a down comforter, and the bathrooms are equipped with a Kohler spa tub and Lavender Fields bath products. There are three different pools, one of which is housed inside a barn for a unique setting and experience.
Dining, whether in the restaurant or via room service, is exceptional with locally sourced ingredients, some of which even come from the grounds of the resort. With some 20 different wellness courses offered each day, it is almost impossible not to unwind and feel relaxed.
- A truly relaxing setting
- Outstanding dining
- Many wellness and spa options
- Only one restaurant on-site
Miraval Austin Resort and Spa
Our next all-inclusive Texas resort is also located in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin. Miraval (formerly Travaasa), located on bluffs overlooking Lake Travis, opened its doors in 2018. But don’t worry, Miraval already has an established reputation for offering outstanding resort experiences in light of its flagship resort in Arizona.
This adults-only spa (you have to be over 18 to stay on the premises) offers numerous wellness amenities, luxurious accommodations, and outstanding cuisine. There are yoga and breathing technique classes, as well as deep-tissue massage, acupuncture, and Tibetan energy therapy services. All in all, there are some 75 different treatments offered here.
The custom feather beds ensure a great night’s sleep, and the rooms come with private balconies or patios with great furniture so you can relax and enjoy the stunning views. And, all of the snacks, meals, and drinks are geared toward healthy eating and mindfulness. All in all, Miraval Austin offers an exceptional experience for adults who need to release stress and restore balance in their lives.
- Private balconies
- Luxury spa amenities
- Many additional activities
- Very expensive
- Kids not allowed
Horseshoe Bay Resorts
Our next all-inclusive resort is the family-friendly Horseshoe Bay Resort. It is located about 45 miles west of Austin in the town of Horseshoe Bay, along the shores of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson with some stunning views. The well-sculpted grounds and footpaths enable you to navigate the 7,000 acre property.
There are several accommodation options, from hotel rooms to one to three-bedroom condos. All the rooms are decorated in earth-tones, while the beds are comfortable and inviting. The grounds house eight different dining or bar locations that range from casual to more romantic and refined.
Though Horseshoe Bay offers spa amenities, it is really more geared toward an active vacation. There are swimming options, a large hot tub, as well as a kid’s program. Some of the biggest attractions are the three 18-hole championship golf courses. If you need to update your equipment, there is also a golf pro store on-site. Horseshoe Bay offers something for everyone, which means that everyone can unwind and relax!
- Family-friendly options
- Excellent golfing
- Great on-site dining
- Limited spa options
- Can get loud at night
- Somewhat pricey
The Vineyard at Florence
Next on our list is The Vineyard at Florence. Located in Texas Wine country, the Vineyard at Florence shouldn’t technically be considered an all-inclusive resort. Nevertheless, they offer a unique enough experience with various amenities and packages that we felt they should definitely be included on our list.
The resort offers a limited number of suites as well as luxury villas that can be rented. The villas include a small refrigerator with water and juice and there is a complimentary basket of meats and cheeses. This resort is organized around tasting and enjoying fine wine, but there are also additional amenities such as a spa as well as a gym.
The Café serves both lunch and dinner in a comfortable setting. There are also educational and art programs (including the performing arts) that are offered during the year, so be sure to check and see what kinds of programs are available. The Vineyard at Florence is also a very popular wedding venue, so if you want to be there for some peace and quiet, inquire when weddings have been booked so you can avoid them.
- Beautiful setting
- Great accommodations
- Excellent wines and ambiance
- Popular wedding venue
- Few amenities
- Limited dining options on-site
Lajitas Golf Resort
Our next all-inclusive resort is the Lajitas Golf Resort in West Texas. The resort is nestled on the edge of the Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park on the U.S./Mexico border about 350 miles from El Paso. They offer a variety of packages that cater to families, newlyweds, or folks just looking to get away from it all. The room selection is remarkable, and all 103 rooms are uniquely decorated.
Dining is available on-site at the Candelilla Café which serves American Cuisine infused with local ingredients. There is also the Thirsty Goat Saloon for later in the evening when you feel like sipping on some bourbon. The resort boasts one of the best 18-hole championship golf courses in Texas, with some of the most stunning views you will come across on a course.
The Agave Spa offers a variety of treatments for skin and body, and the resort offers other activities like horseback riding, river rafting, hiking, ATV touring, and mountain biking. And, of course, you can also just drive around to take in some beautiful scenery. The prices are quite manageable as well, which is always good news when you’re going on vacation!
- A great golf resort
- A beautiful setting
- Great accommodations
- Limited dining options
- Difficult to get there
- Uneven housekeeping
Flying L Hill Country Resort & Conference Center
Our next all-inclusive resort is the famed Flying L Hill Country Resort & Conference Center. This is a great family-friendly resort with numerous activities and excellent accommodations. Located near Bandera, the resort has a variety of accommodations to choose from including villas with one or two bedrooms. Each villa has its own living room space, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, and television.
The resort features a breakfast buffet, two fine dining restaurants, and a more casual bar for having drinks with friends and family. There are also numerous activities available day or night. Flying L features an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, hiking, as well as activities such as archery, tennis, hiking, or just lounging by the pool or playing at the water park.
Entertainment is provided every night, usually with a wild west or Texas theme, such as gun slinging, rodeos, sing-alongs, marshmallow roasts, or branding parties. The place is really hopping! There are also a number of great bars and restaurants in the small town of Bandera nearby, in case you want to get off the resort for a while. Flying L Hill Country Resort offers a great vacation experience at a really good price!
- Atmosphere and amenities
- Really good price
- on-site kids program
- Limited dining
- Mid-level accommodations
The Inn at Dos Brisas
Our next all-inclusive destination is The Inn at Dos Brisas in Washington, TX about one hour outside Houston. There are only nine rooms available at this resort. You can choose from one of four casitas or five larger haciendas. The 3,000 square foot haciendas include a spacious living room, master bedroom, screened-in porch, private pool, and an outdoor shower.
The beds are also extremely comfortable, including linens made from 1,200-count Egyptian cotton and Decker pillows. Each hacienda includes two different fireplaces, a wet bar, a desk, and a dining table. When you amble down to the bar, you can enjoy cocktails served with delicious finger food.
The dining here is absolutely exquisite: The Inn restaurant is the only Forbes five star restaurant in Texas and is overseen by several chefs. It offers an outstanding farm-to-table menu focusing on local sourcing and scrumptious taste. There are also over 7,000 wines on their award-winning wine list, so you will certainly be able to find the right vintage for that romantic dinner.
- Private accommodations
- Outstanding food
- Good activities
- Very expensive
- Limited availability
- Limited kids activities
Moody Gardens Resort
Though not technically an all-inclusive resort, our next destination is located in Galveston on the Gulf Coast. Moody Gardens Resort is an enormous property that has a water park, aquarium, golf course, zoo, and convention center attached to it. As you can imagine, it can get pretty busy, but all these attractions also mean there is plenty to do.
This resort is great for families and for anyone who needs to take a business trip to Galveston but wants to turn it into something fun. The architecture is Egyptian-inspired, and there are actual pyramids on the grounds containing a rainforest, 3D movie theatre, and an aquarium. You can buy passes for the waterpark or one of the other great venues on-site.
There are various dining options, including a “Kids Eat Free” program for kids 12 and under. The rooms generally feature one king sized or two queen sized beds. Every room includes complimentary Wi-Fi and a mini-fridge as well. There is also an on-site spa with several services available to enhance your vacation experience.
- Lots of activities
- Very family friendly
- Decent price
- Can get very busy and loud
- Nothing overly unique
- Complaints about customer service
The San Luis Resort Spa and Conference Center
Next on our list is the San Luis Resort Spa and Conference Center located in Galveston. The resort is located right on the beach, and boasts a pool with a waterslide and a swim up bar for adults, and a full-service spa.
The resort also has three restaurants, as well as a café where you can get a good meal or enjoy a drink. There is also 24-hour room service available. Additionally, the fitness center features tennis courts. If you need to do a small bit of business, you can use their business center whenever you need to – it’s open 24 hours.
There are 248 rooms offering a variety of amenities including cable television, complimentary Wi-Fi, and comfortable beds. The hotel is not far from the Galveston Island Convention Center, as well as the NOAA Fisheries and 61st Street Fishing Pier, both of which offer additional distractions. All in all, this resort offers a typical vacation experience for a good price.
- Inviting rooms
- Comfortable beds
- Good dining options
- Not very unique
- Spotty customer service
- Limited on-site activities
Mayan Dude Ranch
Our next resort offers a unique experience tailor made to fit into the lore and lifestyle that is Texas. The Mayan Dude Ranch is a family owned resort located in Bandera, about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio. It is a family-oriented resort that offers western-style fun for both children and adults. Each day begins with a hearty breakfast offered on-site, that you can either enjoy in the restaurant or out on the trail.
You can then choose from a number of adventure options. Horseback and trail riding are very much at the center of the dude ranch experience, but if you prefer to relax and cool down, you can either go swimming in the Medina River or in the ranch’s swimming pool. There are also options for fishing and tubing as well. During the summer months there are dedicated children’s programs for the little bambinos.
Evenings also offer quaint entertainment experiences like Western bingo. The food is definitely not angled in the “wellness” direction, as it tends to be burgers, barbecue, and Tex-Mex. But overall, this is a great family experience that definitely taps into the culture of Texas. Best of all, after that long ride on the trail (no more than 50 minutes a ride) you get to sleep in a comfortable king size bed!
- A unique vacation experience
- Relatively inexpensive
- Super friendly staff
- Some rooms in bad shape
- Meals served at set times
- Activities only at set times
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What is the link between vacationing and stress?
In a culture focused on productivity and work, taking time off can be hard. It may be that you don’t feel like you can take time off, or can’t afford it. Or you may just be concerned that if you step away from work, somehow you will lose or miss something essential in your business.
Whatever the reasons we tell ourselves for why we can’t take time off, they can’t stand up to the fact that taking a break from work can be extremely beneficial. First, there are health benefits that come from taking a vacation. Studies show that taking time off can reduce stress and the related symptoms of headaches, backaches, and other symptoms that come with it.
The health benefits also extend to alleviating stress and strain that regular work can place on the heart. Studies have shown that taking a vacation once a year can significantly reduce your susceptibility to having a stroke or heart attack.
There are also numerous studies confirming that taking a hiatus from work also improves sleep. With all the mounting evidence for how important sleep is for your health, the connection between getting some good z’s and taking a break from work shouldn’t be ignored.
Finally, of course, taking a break from work in the form of a vacation can actually make you more productive in your job. So, take a break – your work, your boss, and your body will thank you!
What is included in the typical all-inclusive experience?
The term “all-inclusive” can conjure many things, so it’s worth getting clarity on what is included in the all-inclusive resort you are thinking about visiting. Off the bat, remember that different resorts provide different kinds of amenities and experiences, so be sure to check out their brochures or website to see what they have to offer.
You should also remember that many resorts offer different levels of experience, which then costs more or less depending on what you include in your package. That being said, there are some typical kinds of services or products that you can purchase in your package.
Typically, your room, meals, and beverages are included. On the beverage side, there may be packages that allow you to buy a certain amount of alcohol or soft drinks. Wi-Fi or access to the “business office” and use of their tech will probably be included as well.
Additionally, if you stay at a beach resort they may also give you options to get access to water-sports equipment or experiences. Likewise, if you are interested in golfing or even touring a given area, many resorts offer packages that can cater to your needs. On the touring side, this can include access to rental cars or bus tours.
The good thing is that whatever you are interested in, there is a great all-inclusive resort that meets your needs. Now all you have to do is go and make a reservation!
Where are the best adults-only all-inclusive resorts?
When the modern all-inclusive resort concept was first launched by Club Med back in the 1950s and 60s, the primary clientele were young people and singles. You may be surprised to know that most all-inclusive resorts nowadays are geared toward families. But never fear! If you are looking for a vacation spot where you don’t have to deal with families and screaming kids, there are some options out there.
By far, most of the best options are located in tropical regions. Places like St. Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Playa Del Carmen, and Puerto Morelos are all located within the Caribbean basin and offer some excellent and exceptional all-inclusive options on beach front properties.
If you are interested in heading a bit further away so that you can really escape, then you might want to consider Fiji or the Maldives.
Fiji is nestled in the vast Pacific Ocean not too far from New Zealand and offers deep blue waters and lush tropical vegetation. One of the best all-inclusive resorts in the world is the Royal Davui Island Resort located on Fiji.
The Maldives are located where the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf meet. The Komandoo Maldives Island Resort is a great place for a romantic getaway or honeymoon.
You can eat all you want, drink all you want, and sleep it off in peace and quiet at the pool in the afternoon at these resorts!
What are the best affordable all-inclusive resorts?
So vacationing is good for your health. You need it to give you a mental break, whether you go with your family or have decided to travel to one of the adult-only options. But let’s face it, one of the biggest hurdles to taking a vacation is the expense. And, if you want to go the all-inclusive route, one of the pitfalls is that you can often run into additional costs for amenities you didn’t include in your original package.
So, if you want that all-inclusive experience but are on a budget, where can you find some good deals? You will be happy to know that there are some good deals out there.
To start, there is St. James Club Morgan Bay on the Island of St. Lucia which offers a family-friendly atmosphere. They have four pools and multiple restaurants, and also feature a kids club, as well as a great water pavilion.
There is also the Grand Palladium on the island of Jamaica. This resort is enormous and allows for great privacy because of the numerous pool options, large rooms, and top-shelf drink options.
Lastly, you should check out the Rui Palace Riviera Maya All-Inclusive located in Playa Del Carmen. Showcasing architectural styles reminiscent of a Mexican estate, they offer great deals for a resort located in the charming town of Playa Del Carmen.
What is the best all-inclusive resort in Texas?
Getting rest and relaxation is essential to your health and overall productivity. But deciding where to vacation isn’t always easy. It can depend on whether you want a restful or an active experience. It can be even more of a challenge when dealing with a geographical region as large as Texas. Do you want to go to the Gulf Coast, Wine Country, West Texas, or visit the beautiful Hill Country?
To help you figure out which resort meets your needs, we developed our list using a rigorous research method including the following essential categories:
- Family friendly or adults-only: Deciding whether you want the kids to come with you or not, or whether you want to be at a resort where childhood energy isn’t on the menu, is important.
- Theme and setting: Do you want to be at the beach, on the golf course, at a swanky winery, or hitting the trails on horseback?
- Amenities: What services and experiences are available at the resort you are considering?
- Price: This is pretty obvious – how much does it cost, and is it worth it?
- Food: What kinds of dining options are available and how good is the food?
- Accommodations: Are the rooms comfortable? Are the beds refreshing and relaxing? Are there any in-room amenities, such as a hot tub?
These and other factors led us to choose the Lake Austin Spa Resort as the best all-inclusive resort in Texas.
So if you are thinking about getting away for the weekend in the state where “bigger is better,” check out our list of the best all-inclusive resorts in Texas!
When you’re going on vacation, you need to be prepared. Here are some other great products to enhance your time at the resort:
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide: San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, the Gulf Coast — how do you see it all? With the help of one of Lonely Planet’s top-notch guidebooks, of course.
- Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Set: Know what’s definitely not relaxing? Trying to run through the airport pulling a suitcase with a wonky wheel. If your luggage needs an upgrade, allow us to recommend this three-piece hardside spinner set from Samsonite.
- ATTCL Sunglasses: You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses when you’re in Texas. Get your vacation vibe on with this classic pair from ATTCL.
- Kindle Fire: Whether you prefer to read, play games, watch TV, or just surf the web, Kindles are our favorite vacation-ready device.
- Neutrogena Suntan Lotion: An absolute must for vacationing in a sunny state like Texas! Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen, because you are going to need it.