Hill Country Retreat
About three-and-a-half hours south of Dallas is a gem of a bed-and-breakfast that offers the peace of the country in comfort and style. New owners Eric Goldreyer and John Banczak recently renovated the almost 20-year-old Inn Above Onion Creek, transforming the 14-room inn from Hill Country cozy to rustic luxury.
On a warm fall day, a rabble of butterflies greeted guests on the flower-lined path to the main building, hinting at the enchantment to follow. The large, well-appointed rooms and cottages include fireplaces, cozy beds and spacious soaking tubs. Guests can enjoy a panoramic view of the Hill Country while lounging around the fire pit, refresh at the spa or work up an appetite exploring one of three hiking trails.
Guests can enjoy a panoramic view of the Hill Country while lounging around the fire pit, refresh at the spa or work up an appetite exploring one of three hiking trails.
For wine and food lovers, the Inn offers a Grapes & Olives package ($99) that includes lunch at nearby Trattoria Lisina and tastings at Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood Vineyards and Wimberley Valley Winery. The tour is a great opportunity to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner, as the inn does not have a liquor license. With a budding brewery scene in nearby Dripping Springs, the staff is also organizing a companion beer tasting package.
Each stay includes a three-course dinner and hot breakfast, plus lunch upon request. Guests can enjoy dinner at community tables in the dining room or have a quiet meal in their rooms. The menu is posted weekly and features fresh herbs and vegetables from the extensive gardens, which are open for guests to peruse.
Chef Ryan Castille, part of the inn’s kitchen team for more than four years, changes the menu constantly based on what is in season. “We get to be really creative with our dishes since we don’t have a set menu,” says Castille. “We are always exploring something different and recently cooked a whole goat for a wedding. ”
A fall weeknight dinner showcased end-of-summer garden tomatoes and basil in a caprese salad, steelhead trout with a creamy side of sautéed garden collard greens, and a sweet and tangy apple tart. Breakfast was an impressive buffet of baked goods and fruit, as well as a plate of eggs, housemade sausage and a steaming cup of coffee from Independence Coffee in Brenham.
Possibly the best-kept secret about the inn is that packing a bag isn’t necessary to enjoy its comforts. The spa services and dinner are available for reservation without an overnight stay. With a larger spa facility in the final stages of construction, the Inn Above Onion Creek will be a perfect retreat on a hectic day for anyone living or staying nearby.