Editor’s Note: This lovely getaway changed its name to Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek in January 2014 to reflect an increased focus on dining and ecological responsibility.
I was instantly drawn to visit when I first learned about Inn Above Onion Creek, a bed and breakfast style getaway in Kyle, TX. Though the Inn first opened in 1995, ownership changed hands this past summer.
New owners John Banczak and Eric Goldreyer are bed and breakfast pros, and it shows. Goldreyer founded bedandbreakfast.com, and Banczak was formerly the company’s president. The two entrepreneurs have put their years of knowledge in the bed and breakfast consulting industry to work, expanding and finessing their new acquisition.
Business details aside, Inn Above Onion Creek is perfect for a weekend stay (you won’t want to go home). Located a mere half hour from downtown Austin, you’ll appreciate the geographical convenience while feeling as though you’ve entered another world. A quieter and simpler world.
Inn Above Onion Creek is absolutely serene. I had hardly been there half an hour before I felt at rest and at peace, nourished by nature and privacy. You don’t have to go to an exotic location for a retreat. Just go to Austin’s backyard.
There’s nothing flashy about the Inn, but all of the details are seen to. In fact, it’s the seemingly small details that converge to create an exceptional experience for every guest.
Use your time at Inn Above Onion Creek however you like. If relaxation is what you’re after, the Inn will encapsulate you throughout the length of your stay. No need to leave the 88-acre grounds. You’ll find ample ways to fill your time (at a slower pace, of course) and you’ll be well-fed. Dinner and breakfast are included with your stay, with fridges and microwaves available in many of the rooms for those who prefer to eat lunch on the property.
On the other hand, you don’t have to stay put. Take advantage of the Inn’s proximity to the Texas Wine Trail or the quaint town of Wimberley, only 12 miles away. Venture a bit further and you’ll find the outlet malls in San Marcos, or the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. Inn Above Onion Creek is ideally situated for all of these day trip options.
Though twenty-four hours passed way too quickly, I took full advantage of my stay at the Inn. I hope you enjoy being my shadow for a few minutes!
The hot tub was added this past summer, and a new deck lends an air of sophistication to the bathing experience. Details like the mother of pearl tiling on the hot tub don’t go unnoticed. At night, you can look out on the field below the pool to see lights on each individual tree. Artwork from nature – one of my favorite types.
The covered patio is ready to welcome you at any time of the day, with large shades to shield the sun. Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea in the dining room, and a book from the library, and make yourself comfortable.
A selection of board games is also available in the library. Depending on the season, you’re free to play inside or bring your board game competition out to the patio.
Though I highly discourage you from using it, Wi-Fi is available across the property, including in the library and all individual rooms and suites. Though I had some difficulty maintaining a connection on the private patio behind my room, speeds inside were strong and reliable. (But really, do yourself a favor and unplug!)
When you’re ready to explore, Inn Above Onion Creek has three mapped hiking trails. Walking sticks are available. The three trails are distinguished by distance (ranging from 1/2 mile to 1 1/2 miles) and difficulty.
Despite the difficulty descriptions, Inn Keeper Amy Dolan tells visitors that the “hard” trail is not too challenging at all.
When you hike, make sure you take along some water and your camera. Deer, birds, armadillos, javelinas and other animals common to Texas Hill Country call the area their home.
Depending on the time of year, you’re also likely to see brilliant wild flowers. The first hints of bluebonnets were beginning to appear during my stay.
And then there’s the spa. I enjoyed a couple’s massage with my husband Eric, courtesy of massage therapists Amie Kotria and Shawn Fegan. Both ladies welcomed us warmly, listened to our individual needs, and set as at ease (and were patient as I snapped pictures of their space). Their rapport with one another added to our feeling of comfort.
Various massages, body treatments and facials are available at the spa. Specialty packages are also designed for stress relief and rejuvenation. One of my favorites is the “You Have All the Time in the World” package, at four and a half hours long!
You don’t have to book a stay at the Inn to use the spa services. In fact, there are a number of things you can do on the property without booking a stay. Beyond the spa, Inn Above Onion Creek invites day visitors to enjoy the grounds and mealtimes. Individual meals are available on a per-person basis.
Is it time to eat yet? If you take the time to browse online reviews, you’ll quickly conclude that Inn Above Onion Creek is known for its food.
A three-course dinner and hot breakfast are included in the price of your room, with the weekly menu available online.
We were treated to a gourmet salad for our first course, with chicken fried steak for the main entree. The chicken fried steak was complemented by delicious roasted potatoes and a creamy mushroom sauce. Dessert was a caramel-decorated banana pie with candied pecans. The entire meal was first-rate.
One of my favorite elements of mealtime was sitting with the other guests. It was a delightful change to sit family-style with former strangers and to exchange stories. Everyone had nothing but good things to say about their stay at the Inn.
Inn Above Onion Creek at Night
Inn Above Onion Creek has a wide range of rooms to choose from. Depending on the size of your party, there are private cottages, luxury suites, king rooms and queen rooms – 14 options in all. I stayed in the Toalson Suite, a spacious two-bedroom with a private porch perfect for observing every morning’s sunrise. Highlights of my room included a gas-lit fireplace, a bed as soft as clouds, a jetted tub, and a mini-fridge (for chilling wine, of course).
The suite was rustic and cozy, with bath robes and blankets provided. Books adorned the living room’s book shelves, and the bathroom counter was topped with toiletries that ranged from essential to generous. I loved the lavender-scented lotion, made in the area.
Not all of the rooms at Inn Above Onion Creek are rustic. The three private cottages are all updated with modern furniture and decor. I got to tour Maurice’s Coach House and was impressed, from the gorgeous stone flooring in the bathroom to the inviting hammock out back.
I absolutely loved my first stay to Inn Above Onion Creek, and I’m already planning my return visit in my head. If you see me there, let’s share a cup of hot tea on the porch and drink in relaxation together.
Could you use some time away?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary one-night stay at Inn Above Onion Creek for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.