Camp Lucy’s International Journey from Family Property to Wellness Retreat
Women’s Wellness Is Its Latest Venture
By Jennie Nunn
Photos courtesy of Camp Lucy
Fifteen years ago, Kim Hanks, co-owner of Camp Lucy, a Texas Wine Country Resort, saw an opportunity at a 282-acre property in Dripping Springs.
The property, perched on a bluff above Onion Creek in Hill Country, was owned by her now-husband Whit’s family, and she quickly jumped on it.
“As a former real estate developer and antiques dealer,” explains the Whim Hospitality CEO, “Whit imported a church from Vietnam on a lark and rebuilt it on his family’s land without any clear plan.”
Kim convinced Whit to think bigger, and the rest is history.
“We began converting Whit’s family property into a wedding venue that eventually became Camp Lucy.”
Vietnamese Architecture Comes to Texas
At the suggestion of Whit’s son, Ian, who relocated to Asia years ago, Whit ventured to various cities on the continent, including Hanoi.
Whit was inspired by French Colonial antiquities and objects. He decided to buy a Vietnamese structure and ship it in sections to Texas.
“The restaurant’s building is a Vietnamese town hall built in the 1890s, about 60 miles south of Hanoi,” explains Kim.
“The architects had a challenge on their hands, transforming the open-air pavilion into the air-conditioned luxury dining space it is today.”
Deborah Kirk Interiors, along with Camp Lucy Facilities Designer Paul Smith and Brad Kimmell Builders, collaborated to hand-assemble the restaurant on-site. The property underwent a comprehensive overhaul from top to bottom.
Camp Lucy’s International Soul
But the international influences don’t stop there.
“We have brought back pieces from so many different cultures and mixed them together,” says Kim. “That is what gives the space soul.”
“We like to collect art and objects as we travel each year,” Kim continues. “We incorporate those pieces as a way of imprinting experiences into our memories for many years to come,” Kim explains.
“The doors are from India. The gilded-bronze chandelier is from France,” Kim adds. “The pair of cast-iron frogs at the entry is from Vietnam.”
Make no mistake, though. Camp Lucy’s home is in Texas.
“The property is adorned with antiques that blend the traditional Central Texas vibe with a historic international flair,” says Kim. “It includes a diverse collection of heritage buildings.”
“Whit purchased accent pieces at the Austin Auction Company,” Kim explains. “The glass antler chandelier and sconces in the lobby are from a local artisan.”
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Comfort and Convenience at Camp Lucy
The property officially opened in 2010 for weddings. It features 41 guest rooms and cottages, equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, pillow-top mattresses, mini-fridges and microwaves.
On the premises, guests have access to a resort pool and four wedding and event venues available for bookings.
The property boasts an exquisite American Nouveaux-style restaurant Tillie’s, led by Executive Chef Andy Knudson.
“There is a folk-art feel to our resort and our restaurant,” Kim explains.
The Camp Lucy Wellness Retreat
In July, Camp Lucy will embark on a new venture: the Camp Lucy Wellness Retreat. It’s specifically designed to prioritize women’s health and well-being.
“We are living longer and the generations being born today will have the capacity to live past 100,” explains Kim.
“This creates the need to start healthy living habits earlier and daily so our mature years are full of movement, health and beauty.”
“The good news is Austin is well-stocked with health and wellness experts,” Kim continues. “They will create a personal pathway for your health journey through our retreat.”
“Camp Lucy is a natural location to serve as a sanctuary for those looking for peace and connection,” explains Kim. “That’s why we wanted to activate our property for this special four-day getaway geared toward women.”
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Wellness Activities Galore
With Camp Lucy’s programming, guests get everything they need on the property.
On top of daily chef-prepared meals, offerings include guided meditations, sound baths and nutrition workshops.
Stargazing sessions, aura readings and keynote lectures from wellness industry experts are among the highlights.
“As our community of wellness grows with the addition of our spa next year,” says Kim, “We will expand to offer additional retreats.” These include perimenopause, menopause, couples health and generational health retreats.
The retreat also offers olive oil tasting, vineyard tours and wine tastings for the connoisseur in you. Fishing and alpaca feeding are available for the resident outdoorsperson. Art classes get the creative juices flowing.
“S’mores kits are also available for roasting around the fire pits,” says Kim. “We love those when we’re stargazing.”
“We’re continuously looking to incorporate additional activities onto the property, such as chicken husbandry,” Kim says. “We now have Silkie Bantam chickens that our guests can care for.”
Camp Lucy’s four-day women’s wellness retreat runs from Thursday, July 20 through Monday, July 23. The price is $945 per person, not including accommodations. Reservations are required.