A weekend escape can provide respite from life’s cares. Join our stylish editor Erin Busbee as she escapes to The Inn at Dos Brisas for a five-star weekend retreat.
There are moments in your life when you need a real retreat.
As a mother of two young children, Gage is four and my daughter, Elizabeth, is almost two, I find they are at the ages where I have to do pretty much everything for them, from making meals, snacks and lunches to getting them dressed, changing diapers and wiping up after them. The minute I sit down in my home, someone needs something or someone is hurting someone. Almost daily, I fool myself believing I will tackle that task after the kids go to sleep, but once the ritual of dinner, bath, reading and cleaning is over, usually around 9pm, I am spent. My poor husband will often want a little love and attention during these brief kid-free minutes and he is often met with my not-so-subtle signs that say back off and that I can’t handle one more person wanting something from me. My only break from the rigorous demands of motherhood is during work hours. Yes, work is my break (I know all of you parents know what I am talking about).
Fast-forward to the opportunity to visit the Inn at Dos Brisas (which in Spanish, means two breezes) came at the perfect time is an understatement. I arrived at the 313 acre, sprawling, ranch resort in Washington, Texas (about one hour from Houston) on a misty Friday afternoon. Through the light fog, I could see rolling hills, landscaped meadows, horse pastures, and a canopy of oak trees. It looked more like a lush, perfectly manicured Virginia horse farm than east Texas. As we drove up the long, winding ranch road, I also noticed several, beautiful, Spanish style villas. After we parked and started walking towards the welcome center, I felt my anxiety slipping away. No one was constantly tugging at my leg or asking me for juice and milk. We were quickly greeted by a smiling, staff member, who helped check us in, and asked about activities we wanted to participate in on Saturday. The Inn at Dos Brisas offers a range of activities… whether you are an experienced rancher or just want to pretend to be one for a day. You can try skeet shooting, horse-back riding, and fishing. You can take a romantic carriage ride tour of the property, or try out a cooking class. In-room massages and spa treatments are also available for that get-away feeling.
My husband signed up for skeet shooting, which he loved, and I opted to schedule… nothing. There is such serenity in knowing you have a free schedule, even if it is only for a day. After check in, we were escorted by golf cart to our luxurious hacienda. Having married a man who once traveled a million miles a year, I have become somewhat spoiled when it comes to accommodations of frequent traveler perks. The Dos Brisas owners, Doug and Jennifer Bosch, have spared no expense in these lavish homes. The gorgeous wide-plank wooden floors, iron fixtures, beautiful, vaulted wood ceilings with exposed beams, private screened-in porch reveal a heated, plunge pool, an outdoor shower. There is also a deep, jetted tub with an assortment of bath salts, silky Egyptian cotton sheets, two fireplaces, and my personal favorite: the butler door. When we finished our private, in-room, three-course dinner, we simply placed our dishes in the butler door for the staff to gather them. It was the same with breakfast. It’s simple: you let them know what you would like, and they place your breakfast in the butler door for you to eat at your convenience. This small, yet thoughtful detail is a big deal for this tired mommy, because it means blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
The Inn at Dos Brisas is also among the select few resorts in the United States featuring a Forbes 5-star restaurant. Many of Chef Zachary’s daily menu offerings come directly from the organic farm on the ranch, which, of course, ensures the finest and freshest ingredients. The farm has more than 900 crops. I am not robustly into the organic movement, but I definitely appreciate amazing, fresh food. My husband and I had the pleasure of trying some of Chef Zachary’s artful and innovative dishes including, pumpkin veloute, main lobster stew, Akaushi Striploin (I had to look this one up), pot-au-feu of garden brassicas (and, if I’m being honest, this one too), and my personal favorite: the chocolate hazelnut fudge cake.
After our five-star dinner, my husband and I picked up the fireplace remote, turned it on with one click, and happily sank back into the plush leather sofa. The only sound I heard was… silence. Without the distractions of laundry, dishes, dinner, work, kids, we had the chance to really talk and reconnect. I realize in these moments how much I have missed talking with my husband. And, possibly how much I have neglected him. We always have something to do at home. Here there is nothing.
I almost felt guilty letting someone else take care of me. (And, make no mistake; the staff at Dos Brisas will take care of you.) Almost… and then something amazing happened. I allowed myself to relax, rest and not worry. (Full disclosure: I worried about my kids a little, but not until bedtime). At around 10pm, we both drifted happily off to sleep in the comfortable king size bed. I woke up lazily around 9am and looked at my phone in disbelief, realizing I slept for 11 straight hours. I did nothing that morning, except sip coffee on the porch taking in the charming country view of meadows and ponds for as far as the eye could see.
After two days, I feel refreshed, renewed and ready to go back to being mommy. I’m also comforted knowing the incredible Inn at Dos Brisas is just a few hours away. I’m comforted knowing this unparalleled, exquisite escape, home away from home… is here when I need it, when I need a real retreat.