When I pull my SUV into Robin’s driveway I see several potted bonsai plants. “My husband’s doings,” Robin says after answering the door.
There’s a lot going on here. Three small dogs greet me as I walk in (I’m a dog lover, so this is welcome). The property is full of whimsical artifacts, like a “Margaritaville” sign hanging outside and a collection of tiny wooden lighthouses and birdhouses. Several one-piece tank top women’s bathing suits decorate the patio walls.
And before I can stop to chat Robin is walking out the back door to let the newest pup — a three-month-old golden retriever — do his business. I follow them out.
The backyard overlooks Lake Travis. A paved walkway down to the water is cleverly bordered on each side by canoe-halves standing upright. I take in the sight and I’m instantly in love. A few feet past the edge of the yard floats a boat dock, belonging to the B&B. A mild breeze is moving the thick shade trees.
Robin purchased her first property here, a single cottage, in 1973. Back then the units were rustic fishing cottages. Over the years she purchased more on this cul-de-sac. By my count she and her husband now have ten living spaces: her own home, the caretakers’ home, a large two-unit long term rental and six B&B cottages.
I run a sailing charter business nearby — sailATX — and Robin kindly sent customers my way. I figured I should stop by and thank her. (The sailing charter was for a 50th anniversary celebration – complete with matching blue and gold anniversary T-shirts).
In the kitchen she serves me icewater and talks about the B&B business. “I won’t do online rentals,” she says emphatically. “People want a hotel experience, that’s not
what we are.” I later learn that she “interviews” customers when they call. She’s looking for hints that they are the “hotel” type. There is nothing wrong with a hotel, mind you, but I know what she means. Here you’ll get something unique, call it Hill Country charm, and probably a few surprises.
Like the food. Some people on the phone ask what’s on the menu. “Well it changes every day,” she says. I like this lady.
Robin cooks the meals and even caters to special dietary needs (like gluten free foods).
Each unit at Robin’s Nest has its own character. “Studio B” is newer with more modern decor. The “Rock Cottage” on the other hand is a sixty-year-old renovated fishing cottage, but with current amenities like washer/dryer, big flat panel TV and full kitchen.
On my tour of each unit I find myself saying, I HAVE to come back with my wife and stay here for a romantic getaway weekend. Walking the grounds I feel a world away from the nearby city. The thick tree canopy and lapping lake water takes the stress level down a few notches.
If you are looking for a relaxing, uniquely Austin experience — in a gorgeous setting — not far from town, give Robin a call.