You don’t have to go deep into the heart of Texas to find all the magic and beauty this state’s best resorts have to offer — in fact, many of its most attractive leisure getaways are smack in the middle of cities. Outdoorsy, cultured, and always trendy Austin; glammed-up and glitzy Houston; charming San Antonio, with its laidback welcome and family-friendly River Walk: each of these hubs is as much a place for getting away as it is for seeking out more cosmopolitan endeavors. That duality of downtown and downtime is precisely what keeps Travel + Leisure readers coming back for more.
How Voting Works
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.). Properties were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities.
Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:
For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.
What Readers Loved
This year, the Live Music Capital of the World — Austin — stole two spots on the best Texas resorts list, with one going to relative newcomer Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection (No. 3) — “a spectacular hidden gem” set on 10 manicured acres in the residential Hyde Park neighborhood — and the other awarded to Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa (No. 4), an “unrivaled luxury experience in the Texas Hill Country.” San Antonio also claimed a pair of coveted winners, with respondents giving high marks to the 550-acre La Cantera Resort & Spa (No. 2) and the dude-ranch-style Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa (No. 5).
The No. 1 spot on this year’s list, however, claims the ultimate combination of city life with resort amenities, with a 185,000-square-foot health center and amenities galore right on the edge of lush Memorial Park, located mere minutes from downtown Houston. Read on to find out which of the Lone Star State’s resorts snagged highest honors.
The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa: Houston, Texas
This 27-acre urban oasis earns major kudos from T+L respondents of every type. Athletes, sybarites, retreat-goers, and family travelers all praise the beloved Houston institution for its “huge campus,” “fabulous spa,” and “outstanding service.” September 2022 marked the completion of a multi-phase renovation that added a wealth of amenities, from two state-of-the-art cycling studios and a new poolside restaurant to, as one reader put it, “the best gym I have ever seen worldwide.” In typical Texan fashion, more really is more at the Houstonian — but quality never comes second.
During our stay at the Houstonian Hotel, we received outstanding service. The new renovations just made it even better than it was before.
— T+L Reader
The Full List
1. The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa: Houston, Texas
Reader Score: 91.38
2. La Cantera Resort & Spa: San Antonio, Texas
Reader Score: 91.00
3. Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection: Austin, Texas
Reader Score: 90.51
4. Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa: Austin, Texas
Reader Score: 89.76
5. Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: San Antonio, Texas
Reader Score: 84.73