Destinations / North America / Texas

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Review: How Hyatt Does “Family Camp”

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If your family is anything like ours, the typical weekly schedule with school-age kids is enough to require a full-time logistics department and doesn’t offer much family downtime to just connect and have fun together. It’s one of the things I miss most about our years of full-time travel!

Thankfully in the midst of this year’s “Maycember” chaos we got to slip away for quick antidote: the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. Think of it as Hyatt’s version of family camp crossed with a dude ranch, but with a much lower price tag and more flexible scheduling than either of those options. Cliché as it sounds, this is the perfect place to disconnect and reconnect.

In this Hyatt Regency Lost Pines review, I’ll share all the info you need to decide whether or not it’s the right place for your family to visit, plus tips to make the most of your stay.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines quick info

Let’s start with the basics. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is a quick 25 minute drive east of the Austin-Bergstrom airport. It’s in an area full of open land so we encountered very little traffic getting out there. If you hold a companion pass, you can use it to get to Austin non-stop from nearly anywhere in the US! Since my husband and I each have one, each kid flew for just $11.20 in government fees while our tickets were purchased with points from our travel credit cards.

If you plan on exploring Austin with kids, I’d stay in the city for a few nights to do that before heading out to Lost Pines. There’s no need to add driving time and pay the resort prices if you plan to be away from the property during the day.

We rented a car (actually we got it for free) because we had some family to visit, but you can take an Uber or Lyft for $40-50 each way. You probably won’t need a car once you arrive at the property and parking starts at $18 per night so it’s good to weigh your options. Note for Globalists: If you’re staying on points, valet is included and they’re very efficient.

Lost Pines isn’t a small, intimate hotel. It’s set on 400 acres that were carved out from McKinney Roughs Nature Park twenty years ago. There are over 400 rooms and more than 50 suites! By my estimate at least a quarter of the rooms walk out to patios, which is really nice if you have energetic young kids who can go run around on the lawn while you relax or get ready. It’s also a pet-friendly hotel, and if you bring your dog to this Hyatt you’ll be required to reserve a patio room or suite.

The property layout is somewhat sprawling, with most restaurants in the central portion of the hotel and guest rooms spread through two separate wings. I’m really glad I took a picture of the map on my phone when we arrived, because I referred to it all the time. Think “Texas sized”.

Rooms at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

There are quite a few rooms to choose from at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. Basic rooms start at 440 square feet and are configured with either a king bed or two queens, and you can add a pack n play to any of them. Even in the standard rooms, the bathrooms are notably spacious and have separate showers and tubs – a helpful convenience if you’re trying to get everyone cleaned up for dinner at the same time.

If you’re booking on points like we did, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is now a category 6 (though it was a 5 when I booked it a year in advance). That means standard rooms range from 21,000 to 29,000 points per night depending on the demand for your dates. We load up on points with our Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and then transfer them to Hyatt rather than redeeming through the Chase travel portal.

We used a suite upgrade award earned through Hyatt’s loyalty program to bump up to a Junior Suite. It was almost double the size of the regular rooms and gave us tons of space to spread out! The Junior Suite has a spacious great room with a sleep sofa and a dining area (plus tons of drawers), a well-appointed bathroom with separate shower and tub and a pretty basic bedroom with a king bed. Those rooms are connected by a dressing room with plenty of luggage storage and there are doors between all of the spaces – it’s easy to put your kids to bed and then stay up to watch a movie without worrying that you’ll wake them. If you don’t have a suite upgrade award, you can book a Junior Suite for 40,000 points per night. Unlike many properties, Lost Pines has plenty of suites to go around.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is a great choice for big families too. The Junior Suite allows five people and would easily accommodate the third kiddo on the side of the couch that isn’t opened up as a sleep sofa if you just request some extra bedding. They might even let you add a fourth child in a pack n play to that room and there’s certainly plenty of space!

If you have four children who all need real bedding you can grab one of the larger suites like the Family Suite, which features a king bed in the bedroom and two fold-out queen beds in the common area. The Patio Suite (pictured above) seems to top out at five guests on the Hyatt website but offers enough bedding to sleep six (plus the option for a pack n play). Both of those are 50,000 points but offer very reasonable “Points + Cash” rates for the size of rooms you’re getting.

It’s worth adding a quick note on room locations. I would argue that the north wing (where we stayed) is a worse location than the south wing. The south wing is much closer to the water park, playground, pond, bikes, gym and almost everything else. The north wing is closer to the self-parking lot (which most people barely need to access) and the meeting rooms. If you get the choice, pick the south wing!

Some room descriptions will clearly state where they’re located – one notable example is the Family Suite, which is only available in the north wing. If you book the Family Suite because you’re traveling with a bunch of young kids, it’s probably worth bringing one of these to transport everyone and their stuff over to the water park.

Things to do at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

Let’s be clear: you aren’t going to Lost Pines to visit Austin. In this case, the hotel is the destination. Thanks to tons of activity offerings, your visit can be as busy or as slow-paced as you (and your kids) want.

We stayed three nights and felt like that was about right for our family to enjoy the property’s amenities and some much-needed r&r. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back for a two night visit if the flights were good and it was all we could squeeze in.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines water slides & lazy river

One of the focal points of this property is the Crooked River Water Park. I absolutely love the landscaping here – rather than leveling the entire property when they took it over from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Hyatt incorporated many of the mature pecan and oak trees that were already present. Platforms for lounge chairs are built around these trees, which provide abundant shade and cooling in the Texas heat and remind you that you’re in a destination with its own natural beauty. Some of the areas that lack shade trees have sails for shade, while others are left unshaded for sun worshippers.

The water park’s centerpiece a fantastic 1000 foot long lazy river that really moves you along (especially if it isn’t jam-packed). The lazy river winds around several swimming areas, the water slide, waterfalls and even a swim-up bar. Thankfully inner tubes are provided and plentiful. Our whole family spent hours drifting around, splashing and enjoying each other.

The main pool features a zero entry for young guests, a volleyball net for the older ones and plenty of open space for playing. This pool is heated as long as the temperature is over 55F. There’s also an attached hot tub, which was understandably empty in the late-May heat but is probably popular in the winter. The pool deck is rounded out with a warm kiddie pool and a splash pad for tiny visitors.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the free poolside popsicles that are brought around to the decks every afternoon around 2pm! Us adults lucked out and were paid a visit by local brewer Shiner, which kept the lemon shandy flowing at no charge.

School age kids will love the water slide at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. It’s a fun medium sized slide and has a stated 42″ height minimum. I would say that rule enforcement on this slide aligns with the general laissez-faire philosophy of Texas (YMMV but there were definitely young toddlers riding on their parents laps). Many parents and kids seemed to appreciate the flexibility on height requirement, tandem sliding, body positions etc but if you have particular feelings on how your own kids use the slide I strongly recommend having that conversation in advance to set your family’s parameters.

If there’s one achilles heel of the water park, I would say it’s that there’s only a single water slide. Don’t get me wrong: all four of us had a great time on the slide! But after visiting Hyatt Regency Coconut Point a few months before we would have appreciated more and taller slides like that hotel offered.

Renegade Trailhead

Just before the Hyatt’s official gates is the headquarters for their activity partner, Renegade Trailhead. For an additional fee you can choose to book horseback riding, a pony ride (for young kids), archery and tomahawk throwing, trap shooting or fishing. The horse activities are at Renegade Trailhead so you’ll need to drive or book their shuttle, while the other activities are actually on the hotel grounds.

Our family opted for a one hour trail ride, which takes you on a lovely wooded path around the property. The horses were very good-natured and seemed well cared for. We were surprised by the number of staff on the ride – about four or five for our group of twelve. They made sure that novice riders had the support they needed to be safe and comfortable. It was the perfect way to start our morning!

Psssst… those cowboy hats are actually riding helmets!

Keep in mind that the minimum age to ride is 6 years old, and those under 14 need an adult riding with them as well. On the upper end there’s a 275lb limit to ensure the safety of horses and riders. They did have a nice variety of horses available to accommodate everyone from kids to taller adults, and participants and riders were matched based on both size and riding experience. We were all very happy with the horses they chose for us! Pony rides are available for kids age 2-7.

If horses aren’t your thing, you can try your hand at one of the many other activities! Personally I felt that the prices for Renegade’s other activities were higher than I expected – archery is just as expensive as horseback riding. My kids were enthusiastic about finish until I mentioned that each pole costs $40 to rent. In contrast, they fished for free during our stay at Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

Nature activities

There are additional nature and river-focused activities offered by the partners at McKinney Roughs/LCRA Parks – they still own and maintain the land surrounding the Hyatt – as well as other outside providers that coordinate with the hotel. Some of these activities are free and others are paid.

We participated in a really fascinating free nighttime nature walk around the property, during which we learned about many of the native plants on the property as well as critters and animals that live in the area. The two staffers who led this group were really informative and brought night vision lenses and black lights for everyone to use once it got dark. They also offer a free stargazing program with telescopes. Both of these programs are on the property.

If you want more adventure, you can opt for activities ranging from rafting and kayaking to zip lining to UTVs and more! There are also kid-focused programs on wildlife and nature. There’s truly something for everyone, and some of these programs start as low as $30 for a parent-child nature quest or $65 per person for rafting (with water guns!).

Staff-led on-site activities

Don’t want to plan anything big while you’re visiting Hyatt Regency Lost Pines? No worries, there are plenty of things to do on-site that are led by the excellent activities staff. You can check out the activities calendar to get a sense for what’s available.

We participated in a wide variety of activities while we were there, from tie dye (shirts are included in the $25 fee) to the extremely well-run s’mores stations to meeting animals at the corral. There’s something to do at every turn!

For school age kiddos, it seems like there’s always a sports game, craft program or other activity going on. It’s so nice for over-taxed parents to sit down with a good book and a cold beverage while their kids have a fabulous time.

While the weather was fine during our visit, I’m confident that rain days would be handled well and many activities would just shift indoors. The staff is really “on it”!

Unstructured activities at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

If you want more togetherness during your vacations, as we do, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines has plenty of spaces that really invite you to spend time together. There’s a great outdoor game area that features cornhole, horseshoes, table tennis, chess and tetherball (our favorite!). Young kids will like the playground that’s just outside the south wing, and it has plenty of benches and picnic tables nearby. Our aspiring baker loved exploring the Chef’s Garden together.

There’s a sizable fleet of bikes (and some child helmets) available to borrow, and they come in all sizes: 12″ balance bikes, 16″ with training wheels, 20″, 24″ and 28″ (some with baby seats attached). Most of them were in good shape, and staff were constantly driving around to collect them from where they were left around the property to bring them back to the official location near the pond. We enjoyed a nice, leisurely ride around the property to go visit the animals while the corral was open. It’s not a place for serious cyclists but nice for a cruise around with the family!

Visiting Hyatt Regency Lost Pines with teens or tweens? Go play some pick-up basketball together, or perhaps tennis or pickleball! All the equipment you’d need is provided and included in your resort fee.

For indoor fun, there are a few spaces you can check out. We deliberately skipped the arcade because my kids’ have a supernatural ability to make money disappear in machines, but it’s worth keeping in mind for a rain day and includes fooseball and airhockey tables in addition to video games. Upstairs above the lobby there’s a game space on each side: one with a ping pong table, the other with pool and shuffleboard. If you want to play a card game or board game, grab a table in the library-like Scribes Club (formerly a restaurant serving drinks and small bites).

Camp Hyatt kids club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

For those who want a little less togetherness, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines has one of the the brand’s few remaining kids clubs in the United States. It’s a great option if you want to go for a massage, play golf or enjoy a romantic dinner while your kiddo enjoys their own activities! If our kids were younger, we would have taken advantage of the club to enjoy some adult time!

Camp Hyatt is designed for kids 3-12 (they must be potty trained) and has a lovely space near the on-site restaurants. Those staying in the south wing will have very easy access! Sessions are available for morning, afternoon and evening. We saw the camp groups a few times during our stay as they explored the property with their counselors and everyone seemed to be having fun.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines spa and fitness center

Since this was a kid-focused trip, we didn’t book any spa services or use the gym, but both look lovely! The spa has an adults-only outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna available even if you don’t book a treatment. We stopped by the fitness center to take a peek and it’s more than adequately sized and outfitted – my husband is a frequent Hyatt gym visitor and he was impressed. When we return, we’ll be sure to snag some time for ourselves at this lovely facility.

Hyatt Lost Pines restaurants & dining

While we found it a little tricky to decipher the array of dining options available at Lost Pines before our visit, let me assure you that there are more options than you think! It seems that the website highlights the major ones but leaves out a few options.


On the topic of dining… One thing we didn’t realize before our visit is that the vast majority of visitors are from within a few hours drive. A full weekend of restaurant dining at Lost Pines can add up (especially if you don’t have Globalist status, which grants you free breakfast) so you’ll probably see lots of families bringing in coolers of food and drinks on their luggage carts.

Rooms have a mini fridge and electric kettle, and there are microwaves scattered around the property. If you choose to go this route, there are plenty of picnic tables to choose from around the property if you don’t want to eat in your room all the time. They’re near the playground, at Maude’s and elsewhere – often in prime locations. You can also eat indoors at Scribes Club when it’s not in use for special events.

If you’re not from the area and are trying to visit Hyatt Regency Lost Pines on a budget, you’ll want to visit the HEB Plus in Bastrop before you check in. For convenience, McDade’s Emporium off the hotel lobby also carries some basic items you can use for meals in addition to snacks and ice cream.


This is a family-friendly resort, but you’ll see lots of parents relaxing with a beer or a cocktail while their kids run around playing. No judgement here!

But I’ll share a word of warning that drinks at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines are (in my opinion) outrageously expensive. We’re talking NYC level prices. My husband and I enjoyed one cocktail each while the kids watched a movie and our total bill was $55! The drinks were good but not the most amazing we’ve ever had.

If you’re a beer drinker, expect to pay something around $10-12 for a can of Coors Light once all of the taxes, fees and service charges are added. It’s no wonder all the locals bring coolers with them!

Truly the best way to visit Hyatt Regency Lost Pines on a budget is to avoid the alcohol entirely.

McDade’s Emporium

Speaking of McDade’s, you’ll definitely want to swing by during your visit! They have coffee and pastries for a quick breakfast, ice cream for those hot afternoons, snacks, souveniers and more.

Even better, McDade’s offers the best dining value on the property: you can grab a very solid pizza for $15. Our family grabbed one to bring poolside for lunch and it was enough for all four of us to share (with leftovers that the pool staff gladly enjoyed). I saw plenty of families that made sandwiches for their poolside lunches and grabbed one of these pizzas for dinner.

Heartwood House

Heartwood House is the main restaurant at Lost Pines and we ate quite a few meals there! It offers a huge breakfast buffet, one of the best among the Hyatt Regencies we’ve visited (and there have been many). The staff was very accommodating of special requests like turkey sausage. There were unique offerings like a case of freshly made smoothies and parfaits, Texas-inspired specialties and more. I considered ordering off the menu but many of the a la carte items are also available on the buffet.

Heartwood House is also open for a nightly dinner buffet and it was a total hit with our kids. The menu rotates but generally includes prime rib, brisket, seafood and more. There are tons of vegetables, side salads and more. Heartwood House offers a separate kids buffet with crowd pleasers like simply prepared chicken, plain pasta, cooked and raw veggies and even Uncrustables. There’s no restriction on who can eat from which buffet, so my kids ate their weight in meat while I snuck some plain chicken and doctored it with sauce from the adult buffet.

Check out this sample menu from our visit:

Be sure to save room for the extensive dessert buffet! There are cakes, cookies, pies, puddings and more… but they did run out of some items toward the end, so it could be worth grabbing your top picks when you arrive.

The dinner buffet was priced at $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids 6-12. Our offspring are old enough to enjoy adult food but young enough to qualify for kid pricing, so the buffet was a solid value for us. It would be an even better option if you are visiting with kids 5 and under, who eat free!

Apart from the food, I’ll mention that the aesthetics of Heartwood House are really pleasant. It’s a light and airy room anchored by a Texas-sized stone fireplace and massive wooden beams.

Maverick’s Roadhouse

If buffet isn’t your style, check out the a la carte offerings at Maverick’s. Meat takes center stage here with specialties like the Wagyu burger, Angus strip steak, brisket tacos and more (though there are a few salads and lighter options like chicken and fish). Maverick’s also offers a $10 kids menu with some standard choices, and it’s open for both lunch and dinner with similar menus.

During the busy holiday weekend when we visited, Maverick’s also set up a brunch buffet referred to as “Maverick’s Express”. It was a little slimmed down compared to the buffet at Heartwood House but also less expensive.

Old Buck’s Place & Farm Dog truck

This poolside dining option is perfect if you never want to leave your lounge chair! There’s a huge fleet of servers roaming the numerous pool decks to take your order of burgers, salads, fries and more. Everything was fine, but don’t expect gourmet here. While we didn’t order it one of the most popular options we saw being delivered were huge platters of watermelon – it definitely looked refreshing in the Texas heat. Plan on about $15-20 per person for lunch here, thankfully for our family this was mostly covered by credits on our World of Hyatt business credit card!

Another option for dining by the pool is the Farm Dog truck. While the menu is more limited than Old Buck’s Place it has a few unique options like a BBQ jackfruit or chopped brisket sandwiches plus standard options like nuggets or an all-beef hot dog. Prices here range from $9-16 plus tax, but since you’re picking it up yourself you’ll save on service charges (and waiting time) compared with ordering from Old Buck’s Place.

During our visit there was also a snow cone truck parked next to Farm Dog, which is nice if the kids want a sweet treat but you don’t feel like venturing all the way back to McDade’s Emporium.


Maude’s may just be the most charming location on the sprawling grounds of Lost Pines. Its outdoor terrace is built around a stunning mature pecan tree and is blanketed with Adirondack chairs that invite you to linger, grab a drink and listen to some live music while the kids run around or watch a movie in the yard below. The Mediterranean-oriented menu also looks perfect if you want a lighter meal, and they did offer an abbreviated kids menu (cutely referred to as the “Saplings Menu”) with some unique options.

Local families who bring their own food can also use the picnic tables here to eat! I saw some parents who smartly packed simple food for their toddlers and ordered interested items for themselves off the menu.

Specialty dining options

As if these weren’t alreaady enough choices, there’s more.

First, upstairs from Maverick’s is Stories Ranch Kitchen. This is an adult-oriented experience. thankfully the kids’ club is open in the evenings if you have little ones, or for older kids you can let them order room service while you enjoy high-end meat and the extensive wine list.

You can take your dining to the next level with the omakase experience at Sushi by Scratch, also located upstairs. For two hours you’ll be treated to whatever incredibly fresh fish the sushi chef prepares for you, at a cost of $165 per person. Try to reserve a few days ahead to get your preferred time slot, and keep in mind reservations require a non-refundable deposit. There’s no vegetarian option here.

During busy weekends they also offer dining “events” – we attended BBQ & blues one evening. I have mixed feelings on whether or not I’d recommend signing up. The food was very good and the live music and dancing were fun, but it seems like the location was moved around multiple times as they kept selling more and more tickets. It seemed like the original plan was to hold the event outdoors or in the lovely LBJ Pavilion, but in the end it was in a large, dark banquet room largely lacking in ambiance. The price point was higher than the Heartwood House buffet (which seemed to be serving brisket that evening as well) with the trade off that we got to enjoy a live local band.

Is Hyatt Regency Lost Pines expensive?

It’s safe to say that the secret is out about Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. You’d be hard-pressed to find a basic room under $400 per night including taxes and fees, and that’ll generally be during a time of year when it’s a bit chilly for many people to swim. Over a holiday weekend the rate is more like $600 per night including taxes. That rates includes plenty of activities and amenities to keep you busy, but not the extra paid options or any food (other than s’mores and popcorn, which my kids would tell you is ample sustenance for a long weekend).

Where it becomes much more affordable to visit Lost Pines is booking on points. I know I sound like an evangelist, but you can score rooms here for 25,000 points per night during peak dates. You’ll want to book points rooms for holiday weekends early as they don’t have an unlimited supply. How can you get enough points to book a room? I collect them from my Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Chase Ink credit cards and then transfer them to my Hyatt account. Points bookings with Hyatt don’t have to pay the resort fee but still get to take advantage of all the property’s amenities.

Want to learn more about my favorite credit cards for family travel?

If you’re buying all of your food on-site, I’d budget at least $200 per day for a family of four – and that assumes pastries for breakfast, a shared pizza for lunch and then the Heartwood House buffet for dinner. You can obviously spend a lot more if you opt for a breakfast buffet, full poolside lunch and then a la carte dinner (particularly if you hit the poolside options right before they close).

The fact that Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is so easy to get to also works in its favor. Many families like ours can get a quick, affordable (or free) flight to Austin and you don’t really need a rental car for your visit.

So while I wouldn’t dare call Hyatt Regency Lost Pines “cheap”, I think it can represent a great value for a family getaway when booking on points – particularly if you bring some staples with you to cover at least one meal per day. We’ve definitely packed in yogurt cups, shelf-stable milk, PB&J and more at other hotels before!

As a point of reference, big name “family camps” like Tyler Place Family Resort range from $600 to $1000 per night for a family of four depending on the season. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison but for many families Lost Pines will fit the bill at a much more attainable price point since there are plenty of ways to make it more economical.

Overall impressions of Lost Pines Hyatt Regency

For starters, I’ll say that we loved our experience at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines and wouldn’t hesitate to return. The hotel’s design encourages hanging out together, which is something most families need more of. All four of us were basically smiling ear to ear during our entire visit – a rare feat!

At the same time, it’s a good opportunity for older kids and tweens to “free range” a little – I recommend giving them AirTags or a watch/phone to track them down since it’s a big place and there are lots of options. A lot of the scheduled activities are oriented to younger kids, but older ones who visit with a friend, sibling or cousin will have a great time as well.

The property itself is beautiful and full of native and climate-appropriate plants – there are tons of preserved, mature trees. You’ll certainly feel enticed to stroll or bike around the paths and just take in your surroundings!

All this is to say we’ll be back, and we’ll be bringin more guests with us!

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