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Utopia River Retreat is a hotel that can be found in Utopia, Texas. The property has a total of roughly 22 acres and offers ten different places to stay, ranging from one-bedroom cabins, two-bedroom cabins, and a large house that has two master suites. The large house is a historical building made of stone that's been a part of the town for over one hundred years. Utopia River Retreat has a river known as the Sabinal River that flows through the land and right next to the cabins, which allows guests to take part in water activities if they so desire. Other nearby state parks and natural areas are available for guests to visit, and Utopia River Retreat hosts significant life events such as weddings and birthdays.
Just off of the river known as Sabinal River, visitors can find Utopia River Retreat, which is on the northern side of the city of Utopia in the state of Texas. Utopia is about an hour and a half away to the west from the much larger town of San Antonio. Utopia River Retreat has a little over 20-acres of land and offers a total of ten different spaces for guests to occupy temporarily. There are six 1-bedroom cabins, three 2-bedroom cabins, and one large house—nicknamed "The Fortress"—that has two master bedrooms. The Fortress is an old building that was built a long time ago and is currently used for housing. Each cabin comes equipped with a deck, a kitchen fully stocked with pots, pans, and other items to help prepare meals, a firepit, a barbeque, a television, and Wi-Fi. The Fortress is the largest cabin that is publicly available on the property, with enough space to sleep up to 12 people.
According to the property manager, one of the most popular cabins to stay in is called "The Look Out," which is built right on the edge of the Sabinal River. The deck of "The Look Out" looks over a small ledge, which drops into the river, allowing guests to chance to interact with the river as if it were a part of their backyard. Also, on the property, Utopia River Retreat has built a swimming pool that anyone staying in one of their cabins can access. Utopia River Retreat is able to host events such as weddings and birthdays in the old barn and gazebo on the premises. The barn is an older building that is now primarily used for hosting more significant indoor events, while the pavilion is suitable for outdoor events.
The Sabinal River flows through the property, close to most of the cabins. Several restaurants that are personally recommended by name by the property manager can be found in the city. Postal Brews is a coffee shop that serves a variety of coffees, teas, and desserts during the hours of breakfast and lunch. Another recommended dining location is a café known as The Laurel Tree, which is only available by reservations and is only open on the weekends. The Laurel Tree is a French restaurant that serves a different lunch and dinner every weekend and has its food served by a chef who is from Paris, France.
The town of Utopia is smaller and is surrounded by a number of state parks and canyons. North of Utopia River Retreat, visitors can find Lost Maples State Natural Area, and anyone traveling west of the property can find Garner State Park. These state parks offer a fair amount of outdoor recreational activities that range from swimming in the lakes and rivers to hiking along some of the trails and canyons.
The property manager explains that the staff of Utopia River Resort does their best to create an environment that is welcoming to everyone who visits the establishment. They seek to make a place "where guests can come, relax, and enjoy themselves." The addition of the pool and gazebo can help guests find relaxation while they are staying at Utopia River Resort. The cabins offer several outdoor utilities, like fire pits, barbeques, and the gazebo.
Utopia River Resort is known for hosting events, the more common events being weddings, and are able to cater to large groups that are looking to take part in celebrating a remarkable occasion. The events usually take place in the old barn due to its capability to house a larger number of people, but the events can take place almost anywhere on the 22 acres of land that the visitors would like.
The typical demographic of visitors that visit the property are families who are trying to get away from the city and busy lives for a few days. Utopia River Resort has received a number of reviews regarding the cabins and property. Many of them mention the upkeep of the cabins and the utilities provided. One review reads, "Perfect romantic getaway for couples. Plenty of space and things to do for families, friends, or groups. Easy access to water, trails, and plenty of firewood to collect for the bonfire. Cabins are very well kept, and staff is helpful!"
Due to all of the rivers, state parks, and hills, most people who travel to or through the town are searching for a quieter place that offers an abundant amount of recreational activities. Visitors tend to find enjoyment in spending time in the rivers swimming, paddle boarding, and more. The state parks in the area are known for being good spots to take hikes, swim in larger rivers than the Sabinal River, and see some of the local wildlife. The property manager says there are locations where people are able to get a view of the local bird migrations that occur at differing times of the year.
The town of Utopia has roots that go back to the 1800s. Utopia has a history littered with battles and skirmishes between the early European settlers of the region and Native Americans. In the 1860s, the locals constructed a large building of stone as a defensive position to fend off their foes more effectively. The building that was used stayed erected and continued to stand for many years, even after the fighting had ceased. Utopia River Retreat owns this historical construct, and it is now known as "The Fortress," in honor of the early settlers who created it to aid them in defending their homes.
It is recorded that the first wedding that took place on the property was performed in 1861. The wedding was between the son of the valley's first settler, who was Captain Ware, and the daughter of the first postmaster of Waresville, R. H. Kincheloe. L. D. Bownds was among the first settlers to the valley, and it is written that he bought the land in the early 1870s. The land remained in possession of the Bownds family for over 135 years before the current owner of the property purchased it in 2019. About 15 years ago, sometime around 2005, several cabins were built on the property next to the river that was open for rent to the public. More cabins have been added over the years, and several features like the pool and gazebo were eventually added as well.