Camp Lucy: East Meets West in the Heart of Texas Hill Country
Learn more about this luxury wine resort that boasts beautiful interiors, eclectic antiques, and natural beauty of the surrounding landscape
Nestled in the picturesque Texas Hill Country, Camp Lucy stands as a testament to the vision and passion of owners Kim and Whit Hanks. From its humble beginnings as a family weekend retreat, this 282-acre luxury wine resort has evolved into a premier wedding and event venue, boasting 41 unique guest rooms — with more to come — each a masterpiece of interior design, focusing on mixing both Kim’s love of wallpaper and bright colors and Whit’s eclectic antiques collection.
“I’m a maximalist. I love color. I think whenever you walk into a room, you should be hugged, you should be met by the pattern of the room. It should have some personality,” Kim says. “But if I put a piece of antique furniture in there that’s a couple hundred years old, it becomes a different space because you can feel the soul of that antique.”
The story of Camp Lucy is as captivating as the landscapes that surround it. Whit, a former real estate developer and antiques dealer — who became interested in antiques after inheriting a large collection from a relative in his 20s — stumbled upon a unique opportunity that would forever alter the course of his life. In a daring move, he imported a church from Vietnam to his family’s land, initially without a clear plan.
Love, Transformation, and Timeless Design
“It was this little church torn down and packed up in a barn with no light. I didn’t even really know what it looked like until we opened up the container after it got back to Dripping Springs,” Whit laughs.
It was this intriguing decision that led him to meet Kim, then an event planner in the area, who convinced Whit to transform the property into a wedding venue before the two eventually married themselves. Camp Lucy hosted its first wedding in 2010 and built its first hotel rooms in 2014.
Guided by their shared love for antiques and inspired by their world travels, the Hanks enlisted the expertise of Deborah Kirk, founder of Deborah Kirk Interiors, to infuse each guest room with thoughtful, cozy and eclectic design. The result is an exquisite blend of rustic charm and upscale amenities, a true reflection of the couple’s personal collection. The interiors at Camp Lucy are a harmonious blend of family heirlooms, travel souvenirs and carefully selected antiques, typically with an Asian flair. The design philosophy revolves around keeping exteriors unassuming, allowing the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country to take center stage, while surprising guests with vibrant and luxurious interiors.
From Treetop Serenity to Family-Style Comfort at Camp Lucy
The 41 delightful accommodation choices span a variety of options, from individual rooms to luxurious suites and charming cottages. For those seeking a touch of elevated serenity, the deluxe tree-top suites feature patios with sweeping views of the lush hill country foliage. Families or larger groups can find comfort in the welcoming embrace of family-style log cabins. The English Suite stands out with its personal outdoor shower, adding a unique touch to the accommodation.
The journey of Camp Lucy is not just a tale of beautiful interiors but also a testament to the Hanks’ commitment to creating a destination with soul. The property now houses seven salvaged Vietnamese buildings, as well as an 1800s Amish barn from the underground railroad system, but the property has several unifying threads weaving it all together, including stonework inspired by those found at Machu Picchu in Peru, which Whit visited around the time Ian’s Chapel was constructed at Camp Lucy.
“It’s surprising to me that even the 22-year-old bride that doesn’t know anything about Machu Picchu can still pick up the vibration of that stone and how it feels, and it speaks to them in some soulful way,” Whit says.
One of Camp Lucy’s most remarkable features is Tillie’s, an on-site American-Nouveau restaurant housed in a salvaged 200-year-old Vietnamese town hall. The importation of this historic structure, overseen by Paul Smith, reflects the meticulous attention to detail that defines Camp Lucy. Smith, originally brought in to help with the Vietnamese church that became Ian’s Chapel — named for Whit’s son, whose relocation to Vietnam was instrumental in Whit’s discovery of the building — has played a pivotal role in shaping the resort’s evolution with his exceptional eye for design.
A Fusion of Elegance, Culture, and Innovation in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country
The interiors of Tillie’s exude a contemporary and stylish design, featuring a bronze-gilded chandelier from France and walls adorned with beautiful antique patron saint figurines. The fusion of French and Asian influences symbolizes the unique blend of cultures that Vietnam embodies — French Catholicism and Asian Buddhism.
The Hanks’ commitment to offering a unique and unforgettable experience is evident in every detail, from the design of each room to the array of activities and events aimed at making guests’ stays enjoyable, including archery, fishing, hiking and feeding of their three Alpaca llamas. As the property continues to expand, with plans for a Folklore Spa — set to open in summer 2024 — and a corporate center in the works, Camp Lucy is poised to become not just a wedding and corporate event destination but an iconic resort. The full-service spa, with 13 additional rooms designed by English designer Charlotte Smiley, will offer guests a rejuvenating experience with Hill Country views, co-ed sauna, pool and bar, where people can mingle instead of feeling like they have to be perfectly silent.
Camp Lucy, with its rich history, elegant interiors and future plans for expansion, is on a trajectory to become the go-to destination for those seeking relaxation, great food and a timeless retreat in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Hanks’ dream of creating an iconic brand is well on its way to becoming a reality, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the beauty and soul of Camp Lucy year after year.
Learn more or book your stay at www.camplucy.com.