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GuidePal spent weeks travelling around Texas where we encountered all kinds of amazing things (snakes, too, lots of snakes) and incredible places (more to come on this – stay tuned), but one highlight had to be our stay at the Inn at Dos Brisas, which offers a quintessential Texas ranch experience – with a heavy dose of luxury thrown in for good measure.
It’s an idyllic resort nestled in 313 glorious acres of rolling meadows and paddocks in Washington County, known as the birthplace as Texas. And while it’s not the dusty old ranch found in those Western classics, it doesn’t get more authentically (and charmingly) Texan than this.
Saddle up cowboy-style and ride one of the inn’s former rodeo horses – in fact, Dos Brisas has one of the largest equestrian centres in Texas with miles of trails and lessons for all levels. But that felt a little too tame, so we tried our hand at clay shooting.
Under the watchful eye of the helpful instructor, I wielded my first, rather scary, shotgun, yelled “PULL!” as politely as possible (I’m English, after all) and failed miserably at hitting any of the targets. Though, I’m told, came *very close* to hitting one or two.
A stay here can be as action-packed or rejuvenating as you wish – play some sets in the tennis courts, fish in one of the ponds, take a mountain bike out for a ride, or kick back with a glass of wine, post-spa treatment, and star-gaze.
Impressively, Dos Brisas is also very much a real working farm. We met with the ranch’s lead farmer, Steve King, who took us on a tour of the inn’s USDA-certified organic farmland – there’s state-of-the-art greenhouses, rotating crops, hen and chicken coops and even huge piles of manure used to fertilise the soil. Nothing goes to waste here.
Everything grown in the farm is harvested and used in the sumptuous, flavoursome dishes served in the inn’s restaurant – which is an event in itself, being the only Forbes five-star restaurant in Texas. Overseen by executive chef Matthew Padilla, a Noma alum, it’s the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience.
Feeling full and relaxed, we retreat to our hacienda, which feels more like a home than a hotel room. There are massive cathedral-esque ceilings, oak everywhere, fireplaces, a large screened porch with a hanging sofa-hammock, plus a toasty outdoor private plunge pool.
But it’s the bathroom which really takes things up a notch: swaths of marble, soaring ceilings, huge jacuzzi baths, and best of all, a wonderful outdoor shower from which you can gaze out on to the rolling pastures.
All in all, it’s the perfect escape into ranch life, with heaps of that sought-after Texan southern charm.
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