I don’t know how it took me so long to get out to Lake Austin Spa Resort. As a lifelong Austinite and a travel writer, it’s been on my list of places to go — for work or for fun — for years. And yet, until this week, I had never set foot on the property.
I knew a little bit about the resort before my stay, but I was surprised to learn that it has a fascinating history. Here are five things you may not know about Lake Austin Spa Resort.
- It started in the 1940s as a fishing camp called Lake Austin Lodges. There were 10 guest rooms and 36 boat slips, and you could do everything from boating and swimming to deer and turkey hunting.
- It was once a nudist camp. Yes, it’s true. In the early 1970s, it was home to the Sunshine Nudist Camp, followed by the Steiner Ranch Rodeo Camp, which lodged and trained cowboys and rodeo clowns, in the mid-1970s.
- In 1997, friends Michael McAdams and William Rucks purchased the resort. Since then, the focus has been on finding balance through “healthful eating, moderate exercise, therapeutic spa treatments and relaxation.”
- Many celebrities have stayed there. They include Gayle King, George H.W. Bush and Sara Moulton, who will return on May 15 to teach a pizza-themed cooking class.
- In part thanks to its 25,000-square-foot spa, it gets lots of awards. It was recently named the No. 6 wellness retreat in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and a Top 10 spa in Travel + Leisure.
Learn more about Lake Austin Spa Resort and its history in Austin in an upcoming Austin360 article.