6 luxury experiences in beautiful Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, located in the Texas Hill Country, is a nice, laid-back little corner of Texas. Whether you’re visiting to experience the wines of the 290 Wine Trail or aim to shop till you drop at the many boutiques that dot Main Street, the atmosphere is generally laid-back. But casual does not mean without luxury. Here are six luxurious experiences in Fredericksburg.
To note: I live near Fredericksburg and love to visit and stay up to date with the activities available. I researched some of these experiences as part of an organized media tour; the rest of the information is based on personal knowledge and experience.
1. Star Chef’s Dinner for Two at Sage
My first thought when I walked into Sage for brunch a few months after they opened was, “Am I even in Texas?” The clean, modern decor has a very urban vibe and is a stark contrast to the German architecture and menus you’ll find at other restaurants in town.
Sage offers inventive, eclectic and international American cuisine. The food is locally sourced and the chef likes to keep things fresh, so expect periodic menu changes.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, with some brunch items on the lunch menu. No matter what you order or when you go, dining at Sage seems like a special event, but if you really want to kick your experience up a notch, order the chef’s star dinner for two. All of Sage’s dining spaces are comfortable and trendy.
If you really want to elevate your experience, ask for a nightcap or dessert in the upstairs owner’s lounge. This luxurious living room is accessible by private elevator and offers a balcony with a view of the dining room. The experience is invite-only and most guests don’t know it exists. Although entry isn’t guaranteed just because you ask, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
2. Cooking class at Fischer and Weiser
If you want to take a more active role in preparing dinner, consider a cooking class or demonstration at Fischer and Weiser. Guests can choose from a hands-on class, a demonstration class, or a private four-course meal with wine pairings. The cooking school can accommodate a variety of group sizes, from two to 24, depending on the type of event you select.
The Fischer and Weiser Farm also includes Das Peach Haus, a boutique market selling jams as well as various condiments and glazes. Many of these products will be part of your meal’s ingredient list, and you can pick up your favorites from their store.
There is a back yard where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a view of the lake which is especially stunning at sunset, so I recommend timing your visits so that you are there at the end of the day.
Pro tip: If you’re not ready to head home after the sun goes down, head to the Dietz Distillery for a drink. This small distillery brews gin and fruit brandies and offers an inventive and high-end cocktail list. I have to admit that I’m not usually a gin fan, but I enjoyed the French 75 which is gin, citrus and prosecco.
3. A luxury stay in a treehouse
If you’ve ever wanted to sleep in a treehouse, Onera is a tranquil collection of luxurious treehouses — as well as yurts and Airstreams — just outside of downtown Fredericksburg. This property doesn’t feel close to town and you’ll experience all the tranquility that comes with staying in the middle of nowhere.
I visited the property in April and immediately fell in love with The Spyglass. The bedroom area is luxurious and intimate leading to a swimming pool with a view of the woods. The best word I can use to describe Onera is dreamy, which is appropriate since onera is Greek for “dreams”.
There’s also a common area with a container pool, barrel sauna, and places to hang out and mingle with other guests.
Most Onera units, including the pool, have at least some stairs to navigate. The Live Oak Lodge is ADA accessible and has both a hot tub and a plunge pool on the deck if the guest cannot navigate the pool. Note that the roof the bridge is not ADA accessible.
Rooms are expensive — up to $900 per night on a summer or early fall weekend. Midweek stays in January or February are easier on the wallet, so if your dates are flexible then you may find a better deal.
4. Upscale stay in Ololo
Ololo is a set of four cottages configured in a semi-circle less than 5 miles from downtown Fredericksburg. The cottages are designed for couples, although if you have a larger group you may consider booking more than one unit or the entire property. Each cabin is beautifully decorated with items from Black Chalk Laundry, an upscale housewares store in downtown Fredericksburg. The owner of Ololo also owns Black Chalk Laundry, so if you’re inspired by the chalet’s interior, items are available for purchase.
Each unit has a porch with patio furniture where you can sip wine or morning coffee. If you’re quiet, morning deer sightings are common. All cottages have a private garden with hot tub, ideal for enjoying the starry sky. Fredericksburg is a low light pollution area, and you’ll see stars at night that you won’t see near San Antonio or Austin.
Ololo works for customers with reduced mobility. The units are on one level with a paved path leading to the entrance. The bathroom has a large walk-in shower. There are steps leading up to the porch, but the porch is also accessible without steps from inside the unit.
Ololo costs between $154 and $485 per night, depending on the time of year. As at Onera, mid-week stays from January to February cost less.
This is a property I’m looking at – I really want to go back and stay – and I’ve seen some variation between booking directly with the site and booking with Airbnb, as are the comparisons.
Editor’s note: As Chelle Koster Walton wrote in May, there are a lot of unique places to stay in Fredericksburg.
5. Sparkling Wine Tastings at Heath Vineyards
The vineyards around Fredericksburg are one of the main reasons people visit. Heath Vineyards, co-located with Grape Creek Vineyards, is currently the only location on the 290 Wine Trail dedicated to sparkling wine. While this region has no shortage of premium wines, there is just something about sparkling that elevates a wine experience and Heath Vineyards plays to that.
Heath (as well as Grape Creek Vineyards) has a 21+ policy, which sets it apart from most other family-run wineries in the area. The Heath’s clean, minimal decor and floor-to-ceiling windows set the tone for a luxury tasting experience. Their immersive tastings, where a video backdrop gives the feeling of being part of the winemaking process, currently offer four wines along with small seasonal bites that round out the tasting. Tastings cost around $35 and reservations are recommended.
6. Spa treatments at the Hill Country Herb Garden
The Hill Country Herb Garden Spa offers massages and facials. Book the 90-minute Enchanted Rock massage for $210. The name of this massage may be a nod to the nearby Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, but this massage is performed with hot stones, so “enchanted rock” takes on a different meaning.
The 90-minute deluxe facial includes an upper body and scalp massage and currently costs just over $200. They also offer various body scrubs and waxing, and you can combine treatments for ultimate pleasure.
Editor’s note: Do you have really need to get away and relax? Our own Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey wrote about it luxurious spa treatments to be discovered around the world.
Whether you’re splurging for a birthday, anniversary or other occasion or just want a touch of luxury when traveling, I hope you indulge in one of these experiences to make your next trip to Texas Hill Country more memorable.