Luxury vacation, Texas-style

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

Washington, Texas (CNN) — For generations, city slickers have lived out their Old West fantasies on Texas dude ranches. yet the newly updated Inn at Dos Brisas, halfway between Houston in addition to Austin, offers much more than dusty cattle drives in addition to campfire cookouts.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

Tucked away within the rolling hills of Washington County on a former cotton plantation, the inn features large, luxurious cabins, a gourmet farm-to-table restaurant in addition to a 7,000-bottle wine cellar.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

The lavish resort does not, however, forsake the desire guests may have to enjoy an authentic Texan experience.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

Not only does the 313-acre getaway draw produce, eggs in addition to herbs coming from its on-site USDA-certified organic farm, yet Dos Brisas also boasts one of the Lone Star State’s top equestrian centers, that has a large indoor arena in addition to horseback riding for all levels.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

The Inn at Dos Brisas — the name translates to “two breezes” — started out out as a family retreat for the well-heeled Houston-based investor Doug Bosch in addition to his wife Jennifer. yet soon after they bought the property in 2000, the couple recognized its potential to become a posh guest ranch, which opened in 2004.

Going back for more than a century, the land has seen a variety of uses. In addition to cotton farms, the item previously housed Confederate soldiers in addition to also was a cattle ranch.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

As the Bosches undertook renovations, they were initially inspired to establish a foodie destination, hiring renowned talent coming from outside of Texas in addition to tilling their first fields. Their vision soon expanded to include overnight hospitality.

Luxury Vacation, Texas-style

Fresh talent, seasonal flavors

The resort’s own organic farm drives menus at the Forbes all 5-star restaurant.

For six months at the start of 2016, Dos Brisas was temporarily shuttered for an overhaul, which included extensive makeovers for the kitchen in addition to dining room.

brand new hires included chef Matt Padilla, a part-time Texan who worked overseas at Noma in Denmark, one of the most highly touted restaurants in Western Europe, before joining the 5-star kitchen at element 47 at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado.

The emphasis on seasonal local ingredients was one of the things that will pulled Padilla south coming from the mountains. “We try to focus on what’s available on the farm first,” he says. “I love being in a place where the seasons are constantly changing.”

Padilla coordinates extensively with the inn’s farm manager, Steve King, a former horticulture professor at Texas A&M University, 30 miles to the north.

King can be a hearty Arkansas native, who in addition to teaching had been selling heirloom tomatoes at local farmer’s markets before he joined the Dos Brisas team. Currently, he oversees 42 acres of fields, rotating numerous crops across smaller plots to defeat pests in addition to promote sustainability, as well as a 7,000-square-foot state-of-the-art greenhouse.

“This specific can be one of the few places where the restaurant can be actually on the farm,” King muses. “in addition to what we have can be a real farm, not a simple garden. the item’s hard work.”

Menu items change frequently, as different fruits in addition to vegetables reach their peak, often combined in dishes that will are a nouveau Texas-European hybrid dreamed up by Padilla, who has trained with French in addition to Italian masters.

Gulf seafood, local venison in addition to hand-selected cheeses coming from area producers compliment the freshly harvested crops. The chef’s wife, Tara Padilla, a trained sommelier, oversees the bar program, which includes cocktails infused with herbs coming from the inn.

All the hard work in addition to attention to detail pays off: The inn can be the only restaurant within the state of Texas to earn all 5 stars coming from the Forbes Travel Guide.

Luxury within the birthplace of Texas

Wide expanses are a big draw at The Inn at Dos Brisas, a 313-acre resort about an hour in addition to a half coming from Houston.

Dos Brisas guests can take in panoramas of the farm in addition to surrounding country coming from one of the 750-square-foot tile-roof casitas or coming from one of all 5 spacious reproduction Colonial Mission haciendas.

The latter, completed in 2011, impress with 3,000 square feet of amenities, including cathedral-ceiling timber interiors, overstuffed leather furniture, gas fireplaces with electronic ignition, cavernous showers, screened porches in addition to outdoor plunge pools on a private patio.

Constructed as side-by-side duplexes, the more intimate, romantic casitas have Inside thru-doors that will expand them to suites.

As Dos Brisas has expanded, the inn’s unique Texas character, in addition to rustic yet upscale approach to hospitality, made the item a natural fit for membership with Relais & Chateaux, an association of independent hospitality companies.

The area has long been a regional crossroads, playing a crucial role in Texas history. In 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed 10 miles coming from the inn on the banks of the nearby Brazos River. within the wake of the infamous battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, that will document established the Republic of Texas — in addition to to This specific day, Washington County continues to be regarded as the birthplace of Texas.

Interested visitors can even swing by the official Washington-on-the-Brazos historic site, just 10 miles coming from Dos Brisas, the Star of the Republic Museum in addition to the Barrington Living History Farm, where staff in period costumes offer daily tours.

Outdoor adventures

Riding can be the resort’s most well-known outdoor pursuit.

Activities at Dos Brisas offer additional diversions.

Rain or shine, horseback riding can be the most well-known pastime, with miles of trails over the hills in addition to through the woods.

Despite Houston’s well-earned reputation for sprawl, a little over an hour away the only signs of development riders will encounter are a few fences in addition to the occasional outbuilding. Dappled trails trace pasture edges in addition to visit some of the farm fields where bluebirds flit in in addition to out of houses affixed to wooden posts.

There can be a jumping course for experts in addition to a longer, more challenging woodland routes for more advanced riders. With 31 horses, Dos Brisas offers the second largest private indoor equestrian arena in Texas.

For those who prefer to sit back in addition to relax, the inn has an old-fashioned buggy that will gets pulled by the resident Clydesdale named Samson, while all of the rooms include a golf cart for sweat-free conveyance around the grounds.

There are stocked bass ponds for anglers; cooking classes for budding epicureans; in addition to loaner bikes for those who want to pedal the historic back roads.

The clay-shooting program offers another opportunity to sample a little bit of cowboy culture. Head wrangler Valerie Darlington in addition to her staff cheerfully set guests up that has a 12- or 20-gauge shotgun, safety goggles in addition to ear protection — in addition to offer pointers to ensure even beginners can knock down the high-flying, bright-orange clays.

All of which represent fine ways to work up an appetite, which at the end of the day remains the reason most travelers head for Dos Brisas. The resort This specific year for once can be accepting bookings seven days a week.

The more genteel touches highlight a fresh 21st-century twist on what a dude ranch can be, yet the Inn at Dos Brisas hits its target with an accuracy that will an old-time Texas sharpshooter would certainly certainly appreciate.

IF YOU GO: The Inn at Dos Brisas can be in southeast Texas, about 1.5 hours by car coming from Houston. Midweek, low-season bed in addition to breakfast packages start at $260 for casitas in addition to $442 for haciendas. Regular rates coming from $442 for casitas in addition to $751 for haciendas.

Freelance journalist Dan Oko writes about travel in addition to the outdoors for Texas Monthly, AAA in addition to additional outlets coming from his home base in Houston.

Luxury vacation, Texas-style