See More in Our YouTube Video
This is the second JW Marriott we’ve stayed at, and we had a fantastic time. The last one we stayed at was in downtown Austin, TX, and it had an ultra lux, modern feel. This one was different. It was designed as a resort and spa, and they did it well. If you’ve ever stayed at a JW Marriott, you know how they handle hospitality and experience. It’s just one more reason to look forward to the stay, because they always go above what’s expected.
This is our first trip since becoming Lexus of Austin’s #DrivenAmbassasor‘s, so we got to take a RX 350 on the trip with us. In addition to the extra space, I’m a huge fan of the air conditioned seats especially in the Texas heat and the massive navigation screen. It was only about a 75 minute drive from downtown Austin, but you do end up taking some backroads. The screen comes in handy because it keeps a main map up, so you know where you’re generally going, but as you approach any turns, it brings up a second map showing you the details of the turn. I’m an avid Google maps user, and this is the first time I’m preferred anything else. It makes one less thing to worry about while driving with a toddler.
Because we brought Noah along for the trip, this one was more about him. There are lots of adult focused areas and entertainment, but we kept to the toddler oriented areas. We stay at many hotels, but this one had water slides, pools galore, sandy beaches – basically a kids dream. Have you’ve ever visited a theme park as a kid and wished you were just a couple inches taller, so you would be tall enough to go on a ride? I had a similar experience, except I was wishing our son Noah was a little taller, because he would have LOVED these water slides!
This trip marked another first for us. My wife and I have been blogging for quite some time, but this is the first time we’ve made a video. We wanted to kick off our YouTube channel with an exciting video, and I’m glad we chose to start with this hotel. There is so much to do and see here that pictures couldn’t quite do it justice. Check it out at the end of the post and let me know what you think!
We decided to check in to the JW on Labor day, just as everyone was checking out. A big benefit of Lee and I having flexible schedules is that we can travel when other people aren’t able to. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere, no waiting to get a table, and near empty pools.
The first evening we had a relaxed meal at High Velocity, which is like a sports bar on steroids. It has a 120 foot wide projection wall for games, plus TVs in every direction you could look. I don’t watch a lot of sports, but if I did, this place would be perfect.
Noah gets to bed around 6:30pm, so we settled into an early evening and hung out in our room. It was tempting to try to keep him up and head out to the pools, but if you have a toddler, you likely know what type of wrath can come from keeping a kid up. So we decided to get him well rested and prepare for a busy next day.
The next morning we headed down to the breakfast buffet at Cibolo Moon. It had all the items you’d expect, like eggs and bacon, but many more high-end choices like salmon lox and dry-aged meats. We were excited to get Noah to the pools, so we ate quickly and made our way back to our room to get him ready.
On to the pools. I may have missed one, but I counted 5 different pools, and that doesn’t even include the lazy river. What’s really great about them is that each one appears to be set up for a different age group to enjoy. You’ve got the adult infinity pool overlooking the two 18-hole golf courses, set far enough back from the kids pools, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet, and on the other side of the spectrum, the full sandy artificial beach leading into a slow sloping toddler pool.
It was still only 8:30am, and there had been a light rain earlier in the morning, so we had the place to ourselves. We took Noah to the artificial beach, and he loved it. This was his first time on sand, so we dug holes for him, made sandcastles….all of which he immediately destroyed. When it was time for him to head upstairs for his nap, he staunchly refused.
He’s usually really easy to put down for a nap. We put him down. He goes to sleep. It’s amazing. This time it was different. He knew what awaited outside, and there was no way he was going to sleep at a time like this. After 45 minutes to struggling to get him to sleep, we gave up and headed back to the pools.
To make it easier, we booked one of their cabana’s overlooking the beach/toddler pool. We knew we would be spending the entire day at the pool, so the cabana gave us somewhere to use as a base, get out of the sun for a bit, and order lunch.
Noah wasn’t tall enough for the waterslides Lee and I wanted to try out, so we traded off watching him, while the other tried them out. This is where coming when no one else was here paid off – no lines! I headed to the two more intense slides. One had a near vertical fall, and the other you stood on, while the floor fell out under you.
I jumped into the latter one. You step into this tube, while a cover slowly seals over top of you. Did I mention that I have a fear of heights? Not a serious one, but it’s definitely there. The countdown until the floor vanished was definitely enough to get my adrenaline going. I won’t spoil the experience any more for you, I’ll just say if you have the opportunity to try it, do it.
The rest of our time at the pool was awesome. Between the sun, waterslides, and chasing Noah as he started fearlessly throwing himself into the pool anytime he could break away was enough to wear us out. We had intended on trying another restaurant for dinner, but instead decided to order room service.
All in all, we had a lot of fun on our trip and the staff were amazing. Check out the video below for more highlights from our trip! There was simply too much to share with photos alone.