There is an unmistakable soundtrack-thwarted giggles, a few mouth-covered whispers, slamming doors. That is the sound of two parents finally getting away for a long overdue couples weekend. As our car raced away, leaving a trail of dust in the grandparents driveway, we were so giddy it reminded us of our dating years. Granted, it wasn’t that we were so excited about the company, although that was great! We were more excited about the lack of children clamoring all the way to the Woodlands Resort, where we planned to spend a carefree, kid-free weekend.
Breathing in the Ahhhhhh
Even with the anticipation and excitement of getting away, it took a little while to switch out of parent/work mode and get into relaxing weekend mode. By the time we had made the four hour drive from DFW to The Woodlands, we had reset. The atmosphere of the resort in The Woodlands certainly did its part to ease the transition. The area is aptly named for the overabundance of trees. If ever there was a lush and verdant retreat, this is it. Taking in a deep breath and letting out all the stress of the week was easy with the beauty of spring popping up everywhere. It was like buying a ticket to nature’s oxygen bar.
Time Together, Time Apart
The first order of business was checking into our room. The Woodlands Resort has recently completed a $75 million renovation, adding ????? rooms in a new wing of the hotel. The guest rooms, which range from standard Kings to Junior Suites with an adjoining living area, continue the commune with nature in the warmly understated greens and browns of the décor. There is plenty of luxury, but it’s not fussy, and details, like a pinecone ‘Do Not Disturb’ door hanger add a touch of natural whimsy.
~A King Suite overlooking the Golf Course~
Both The Woodlands township and the Resort are designed to be an enclave for which there is no need to venture very far to find entertainment. Although the newly renovated pool complex sat just outside our room, we took our new found freedom as a sign that we should seek more adult alternatives. The other unmistakable feature of the property is the Palmer and Fazio golf courses wrapping beautifully around the buildings and calling for all golfers. Agreeing that this was a no-guilt weekend, Gary set off for a morning of golf, while I took advantage of the world-class shopping in open air Market Street area. True love, after all, is knowing when to spend time together and knowing when to spend time apart. With a kiss and a plan to reconvene for the afternoon, we happily headed off in opposite directions.
After a morning to reconnect with ourselves, we were more than ready to reconnect with each other on the trails. The Woodlands is well known for a wealth of hiking and biking trails that weave through the area . The Resort provides a cadre of bicycles for use by guests to enjoy the surrounding nature, so we grabbed two and headed out.
Even with the Texas humidity starting to creep in, we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy the cooling effect of the canopy of trees overhead. At a leisurely pace, we bicycled side by side, enjoying conversation and a chance to just hang out without agenda or interruption.
~Two Happy Bicyclists~
Eating Out, but Staying In
It is rare to have a restaurant hot-spot at a hotel, but Robard’s Steakhouse manages to meet this uncommon need. The classic American steakhouse raises the bar by offering an onsite butcher, dry ageing room, and in house bakery. That certainly ups the ante in terms of freshness and fantastic food, but the real draw for a couple on a retreat is the romantic atmosphere just steps from our hotel room. The service at Robard’s is probably the most noteworthy, although the food from appetizer to dessert is certainly memorable. Ask me what we enjoyed the most, and I would have to say everything.
What About the Kids?
We almost made it to the end of the weekend without even a second thought about the kids, but hearing the enjoyment of families in the waterpark reminded us that we had four great kids back home who would love this atmosphere. The Forest Oasis Waterscape with lagoon style pools is truly the heart of the resort. It manages to have everything that you would want in a waterpark, slides for the big kids, splash pads and zero entry for the little ones, and a lazy river for all. What’s missing from this aqua retreat is the hurried, busy, noise and mess that is typical for a kid-friendly waterpark. This is a true oasis, relaxing in every sense while still being family friendly.
We were drawn to the lazy river with the claim that it was long enough to enjoy a frozen drink and never run dry, and that seemed like an experiment worthy of our adults only time. With frozen strawberry lemonade in one hand, we lazily draped our fingers into handholding that proved that we had both reconnected and relaxed. Around us, others were doing the same, even moms and dads who had brought the entire family to enjoy the resort. Kids were diving in and out of pools, floating along the current of the river, and zipping along the waterslides. There were even kids who were enjoying the underwater scavenger hunt and the variety of summer camp style activities provided pool-side. Seeing all the fun that the families around us were having almost made us miss the kids. It definitely made us want to bring them back to enjoy the resort, but in the meantime we still had a half a frozen drink and a half a lazy river to just enjoy the two of us.
~The Woodlands Resort provided meals and lodging during our stay on the property. All opinions are my own. Photos of hotel provided by the Woodlands Resort~