Here's a twist for your holiday getaway, or any time of year for that matter. Why not combine the best of the serene Texas Hill Country with the flavor of the Hawaiian Isles?
That's what you get at Judy Kennell's Paniolo Ranch Bed & Breakfast & Spa Resort in Sisterdale, a big helping of Texas ranch life with the pleasures of tropical Hawaii thrown in for the sake of comfort and delight.
Ah, the pleasures of life are rich and full of pampered luxury at this pristine Hill Country hideaway. Paniolo in Hawaiian means "cowboy," or "cowgirl," but that's where the connection ends, because a stay at Paniola is nothing like a stay "on the range."
Instead of a traditional ranch getaway, guests at Paniolo Ranch find opportunities to paint in a fully equipped art studio, pick fruits and vegetables in an orchard and whimsically decorated garden, learn wire-twisting techniques in a jewelry class, go fossil hunting, and take in the abundant amenities at the Paniolo Ranch spa.
Here, not only can you indulge in such spa treatments as a Wawae a me Lima Lomi (foot and hand massage) or a Poepoe Kino (Swedish full-body massage), but you can relax in the swimming pool, cold-water spa, therapeutic hot tub, or seated steam bath.
But you will find plenty of "cowboy" splendor in the surrounding Hill Country environment. The 100-acre Ranch Spa offers lots of passive and active recreation:
Picnic at the lake.
Fossil hunt beside the spring.
Take a hot tub under the star-filled Texas sky.
Take a dip in the pool overlooking the lake and hills.
Plant a plant in the greenhouse.
Paint a picture in the art studio.
Go on a photo safari.
Take a steam bath and get a massage.
Visit the orchard & garden to gather vine-ripened fruits & vegetables.
Take a jewelry making class.
Start your day with a wake-up call from Houdini, the resident head rooster. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Paniolo Ranch: watch for whitetail deer, wood ducks, wild turkey, an occasional roadrunner, the jack rabbits, and abundant soaring birds.
And as far as lodging is concerned, you'd be hard pressed to find better. Overlooking the picturesque lake and hills, the three guesthouses are accentuated by beautiful surroundings and leave nothing to be desired. All guesthouses are equipped with a TV, VCR, stereo, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, hair dryer and plush robes and slippers for your comfort.
To spoil you, the Paniolo spa offers several packages for proper pampering, followed by plenty of fresh air to breathe and all the amenities of the Paniolo Ranch including swimming pool and cold water spa, therapeutic hot tub and seated steam bath, whirlpool tub and outdoor shower, all to enhance your spa experience.
The fall and winter months will find you fireside on the outdoor patio sipping a glass of wine after your massage or spa treatment.
Signature spa treatments include:
For those with special needs to relieve muscular knots and muscle tension.
1 Hour... $80
1 1/2 Hours... $110
Hot Stone Therapy Massage
Uses heated river stone, aromatherapy oils and massage techniques to reach those deep tension holding areas.
1 1/2 Hours... $110
Salt exfoliating scrub followed by a peppermint massage.
1/2 Hour... $45
Wawae a me Lima Lomi
Foot and Hand Massage
Targets the most used parts of our bodies to relieve pain and stiffness with gentle to deep massage motions utilizing some reflexology techniques and hot wax therapy.
1 Hour... $75
A 'i a me Kua Lomi
Neck and Back Massage
For relieving the pain and stiffness in these specific areas.
1/2 Hour... $50
An herbal foot bath followed by the healing art of foot massage.
1 Hour... $70
To enhance your spa experience and stimulate your senses all of the above treatments are offered in an array of tempting essences such as Ginger, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Orange, Patchouli, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Lavender just to name a few.
You can also enjoy the many diverse activities of the surrounding historical towns of Comfort, Waring, Boerne and Fredericksburg.
Discover unique antique shops, weekend craft fairs and markets, dining in the many area restaurants and cafes, or visit numerous historical sites and museums.
For the more active, catch a fish or canoe down the nearby Guadalupe River, visit a "Cave Without a Name", hike a monolith or an endless list of state parks and wildlife preserves. Take in a bat performance at the "Old Tunnel Cave", tip a beer and kick up your heels in Luckenbach, or shoot some game or some golf.
Two miles from the Paniolo is the historic town of Sisterdale (population 25). Don't let the size of the town fool you. It boasts the home of Sister Creek vineyards, where an 1885 cotton gin has been restored to house the winery. Their wine is aged in French and American oak barrels so indulging in wine tasting is quite a treat.