When Reservation on the Guadalupe asked me to come stay at their glamping retreat and do a review, I was more than happy to oblige. Me? Glamp? Why if I must!
This cute tipi-style resort was already on my list of places to visit. With pristine hill country surroundings to bask in, hammocks to swing in, the Guadalupe river to dip in, and one of my favorite Texas hikes nearby, this place has the basics of what my heart desires–and it is all within an hour from my front door in Austin.
I grabbed my friend Cassandra, a jewelry designer and fellow Austinite, and we headed down there last week. I’m in love with this place and think you will be too!
First things first, on the way there we stopped in Gruene for a bite to eat.
Gruene is a historic town, with a dancehall, water tower, and a general store. If you’re coming from Austin, Dallas, or Houston, you will pass by Gruene and it would be a shame to not see this quintessential Texas town.
What to See In Gruene
We had a big plate of onion rings at the Gristmill and my day was made before I even arrived at the tipis.
Mmm. Follow me on Instagram for stories from my travels.
After dinner, the entire drive from Gruene to the tipis was full of sunset views.
(We may be a bit biased, but we think sunsets are better in Texas.)
Though we arrived at the tipis just after dark, I could tell this place was already right up my alley. There are eight individual tipis around a central area, each one complete with its own kitchenette, memory foam beds (hello), air conditioning, wifi, television, dvd player, and coffee maker.
We had tipi #2, called Deer Run.
Cassie and I both love Europe and so we spent the remainder of our night watching A Good Year, which is set on a vineyard in France. Sigh.
Both Cassie and I run our own businesses–hers a jewelry company and mine this blog–and our noses are always to the grindstone, so we felt so spoiled getting to sit and watch a movie on a midweek vacation. It was a total break from adulting we needed.
See Cassie’s jewery line here: CassandraCollections
The next morning we woke up and ventured down to the riverfront.
This spot was just MADE for sipping coffee.
If you go, I recommend taking a good book and a cup of joe, and enjoying the peace and quiet of this serene spot before the day gets crazy. It will start your day off right.
That done, we finally got our much needed hammock time.
Not bad for a Wednesday, eh?
On our way back home to Austin, we took the scenic route on River Road, which follows the Guadalupe River all the way back to Gruene.
This trip was just the getaway we girls needed. I can’t wait to come back, and bring people! I see a Whit’s Wilderness reader glamp out in my future…
What We Loved
- SUPER UNIQUE – Only a couple of places like this exist in Texas and so it’s truly something special
- GREAT FOR GROUPS – With a big central open area and plenty of fire pits, picnic tables, and grills, this place just screams group getaway.
- SUPER CONVENIENT — located between Austin and San Antonio just 30 min. off I-35
- AFFORDABLE – $129/night on average, and each tipi can accommodate six guests
- LAID BACK AND CASUAL – glamping hair don’t care
- SEAMLESS AND STRESS FREE – There were no hills to climb, no people to impress, and no crazy hidden fees.
- LOTS TO DO – See suggestions below
- GOOD SLEEP – Memory foam mattresses make this easy!
- STOCKED KITCHEN – Kitchenettes are well equipped with a mini fridge, utensils, kitchen tools, dish soap, etc.
- TREEHOUSE community room – so cute, with sofas, chairs, and poker table (pics at end of post)
Who Would Love this Trip
- GIRLFRIENDS looking for a fun and affordable getaway (that’s extremely Instagram friendly)
- COED FRIEND GROUPS who want to tube and hang out somewhere casual and affordable
- MOMS looking for a quiet spot to sleep, read, and enjoy the peace and quiet
- FAMILIES BIG AND SMALL looking for a place that is accessible by all ages with a great feeling of community.
- KIDDOS WITH AN IMAGINATION – Your kid will feel like he/she’s staying in a fort or pretending to be Pocahontas for the weekend. Plus, there’s a tree house!
- GIRL SCOUT TROOPS – all of the tipis are within eyeshot of each other and there are plenty of lessons in nature to be had, from building a fire to swimming to arts and crafts.
Our Tips for The Best Vacation
- Go in colder weather. Flannels, moccasins, blankets, and fire pits are the little joys of glamping and best experienced in cooler temps.
- Get up before the day starts and enjoy the peace and quiet of the riverfront
- Arrive before dark, the entrance can be hard to spot from the road at night
- Bring your own towels
- Bring slip on shoes to run to the bathroom
- Don’t forget a flashlight!
What to Do in the Area
- TUBE THE GUADALUPE – Rent tubes at the intersection of Hwy 306 and FM 2673 (5 min drive)
- FLY FISH – Contact Gruene Outfitters for a list of guides
- VISIT GRUENE – Shop, eat, stroll, dance, repeat (20 min drive)
- HIKE CANYON LAKE GORGE – one of my favorite hikes in the Hill Country, you can see pictures here (5 min drive)
- BOAT at nearby Canyon Lake (5 min drive)
- SWIM / dip a toe in the water on the property – the paved landing by the water is perfect for little kids
- Visit Reservation on the Guadalupe
When to Go
- I recommend winter time. It can get a little hot and muggy in the summer.
A Word About Checking In
Before your arrival, Best Texas Travel sends you a link to an app which you will need for check in. At first I was annoyed about having to download another app (inevitably this means deleting something from my phone), but it ended up being one of the nicest parts of the experience. When I was packing, it told me exactly what to bring. On our way to the property, it gave us directions. And when we got there, it had our entry code to our tipi. Seriously made our trip so stress-free.
Room for Improvement
My complaints are fairly minor, I was definitely impressed overall.
- The bedspreads were not as clean as they could have been. I’m a clean freak and so just pulled them back.
- The towels weren’t either…eek! Bring your own.
- No full length mirror
- No water bottles – there’s a faucet and plenty of room for your own coolers instead
Everything else was tidy and wonderful, and I’m not just saying that because they comped my stay.
Remember this is still camping
Glamorous is a relative term. It is not glamorous compared to the Ritz, it’s glamorous compared to camping. As long as you go in with the same expectations you would have for camping, you will be beyond pleasantly surprised.
A Few Final Snaps Before I Go…
The perfect set up in my book
Path Down to the River
Treehouse Community Room – with a poker table, sofas and chairs, a grill, and plenty of outdoor seating
ping pong table
Views from River Rd.