La Cantera: Westin’s luxury taste of Texas
By Rebecca Antioco
For those who think honky-tonks and horses when thinking about a Texas vacation, and aren’t much excited about it, there is another option. One where upscale shopping and world-class golf reside a short drive from hill-country vineyards, cultural and artistic venues and a lively nightlife. Located just 20 minutes north of downtown San Antonio, the Westin La Cantera Resort is a retreat unto itself, with sophisticated ranch décor and all the amenities befitting a luxury destination.
Tucked among a setting of mesquite and oak trees south of the main resort and accessible only by golf cart or walking path, La Cantera’s Casita Village has the feel of a small boutique hotel, but with access to all the trappings of a large resort. Each of the 11 casitas is named for an authentic Texas ranch (Briscoe, La Escalera, JA, Kokernot, Long X, Matador, Pitchfork, Swenson, Waggoner, XIT and Yturria), and is an exclusive retreat unto itself. A contemporary spin on “Texas Colonial” style marks the ambiance of each casita, which contains an item from its namesake ranch and a profile of the family who operates it.
You could while away the hours at the spa, on the Resort Course (home to the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open) or the Arnold Palmer-designed Palmer Course, at the renowned Golf Academy or just lounging in the Casita Village’s private pool area, but the breadth of activities an hour or less away is endless.
Venture north to Hill Country and you’ll find rolling hills and hidden treasures like family-owned Becker Vineyards in the small community of Stonewall where you can sample wine, of course, but also purchase products yielded from the acres of lavender fields on the property. Nearby Fredericksburg, with its German heritage and authentic small-town Texas main street shops, is also worth a look.
San Antonio itself contains a wealth of art museums, nightlife, history, dining and entertainment, but for a truly luxurious respite just a little bit away from the city’s bustle, La Cantera is hard to beat.
If you go:
Based in Phoenix, Rebecca Antioco is editor in chief of HighRoads, the official magazine of the American Automobile Association.