In March, the JW Marriott Hill Country outside San Antonio had a huge Grand Opening for their new pool areas and slides. We were dying to visit and check them out! For our family, the JW Marriott is a destination hotel. We don’t plan any other activities or excursions in the area. We spend our entire weekend at the hotel. They offer so many activities and amenities, it’s almost impossible to do everything in one weekend.
For my husband’s birthday at the end of May we booked a weekend at the JW Marriott and ventured down to check out the new and enjoy all of our tried and true favorites. While I was checking in and getting all of our things situated in our room, my husband and the boys hit the pool. They have several different pool areas at the JW Marriott. You can see the lazy river pictured at the top. Then above is my younger son enjoying the large, main pool.
The main pool area is so large that even on a crowded weekend, there is still room for everyone. We brought our own water soakers from home and the boys spent the afternoon having water soaker fights and doing cannon balls in the big pool. My hubby and I sat and watched and took advantage of the poolside beverage service.
We played until it started to get dark and then we ventured into the hotel for dinner. I feel like the restaurants at the JW Marriott deserve a post of their own. I won’t go on and on about them. I will only say that their food is incredible. Usually hotel food is mediocre but every time we’ve stayed at the JW Marriott, everything we’ve eaten has been spectacular. I dream about their shrimp and grits!
In the morning we checked out the new pool area. This is a beach pool with a huge sandy beach where kids can play. I’m not sure my boys ever even made it into the water. They built sand castles and buried themselves in the sand all morning long. The pool itself isn’t huge but most of the kids we saw were too busy playing in the sand to notice. This is a great addition to the resort!
The JW Marriott has so many activities for families. Many of them are at no additional charge and are included in the cost of your stay. One of our favorites is roasting s’mores. Every evening you can head down to the fire pits and hotel employees will give you a roasting stick, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. Yum!
Some of our other favorites are the pool side movies on weekend nights. Pull up a deck chair or grab a tube and float while you catch a family friendly movie. Then on Sunday mornings the JW Marriott hosts duck races. They provide rubber ducks for you to decorate. Then you enter your duck into the race. It’s really fun for the kids.
The JW Marriott also offers additional activities you can try for an added fee. We had never done any of these before because we have never had time. So don’t feel like you can’t enjoy your stay without paying for activities because you totally can! But on this particular trip, they had make your own ice cream by the pool. We couldn’t resist. The boys each got a bag full of liquid ice cream mixture. We put it inside a bag of ice and shook, shook, shook for about 5 minutes. The hotel employees scooped in into a cup and we hit the topping bar for candy galore! The boys had so much fun with this experience.
The JW Marriott already had tons of open green space but they added another one! This gorgeous section also has a huge grill in the back where you can order hamburgers, pizza and other great pool food. We sat at a picnic table and ate while the kids took a break from the pool and played all the yard games out on the lawn.
They have two new slides in their pool area. Unfortunately these are for kids 48″ and up and mine were not quite tall enough. SO my husband and I each took a turn going down. He liked the enclosed slide that twists and turns. I liked the straight drop one best.
If you have kids under 48″ there are still other slides at the JW Marriott they can ride. There are 3 slides in the kiddie pool area. One for babies and two best for kids ages 2-6 or so. Then there are two larger tube slides great for families. We enjoyed riding those several times each.
This one goes down in the books as one of our favorite trips to the JW Marriott Hill Country. The boys are already begging to go back. We might just have to plan one more trip at the end of the summer to enjoy it again! If a trip isn’t in the cards for your family, don’t miss out on all their holiday activities. There’s a reason my kids call this place The Christmas Hotel. It’s spectacular!
Don’t miss our favorite Day Trips from Austin with Kids!
Disclosure: While the JW Marriott hosted our family, the opinions and statements are all mine.