Although little more than an hour’s drive northwest of Houston, The Inn at Dos Brisas, a 313-acre estate set on the outskirts of the rolling Texas Hill Country, is the embodiment of rural serenity. Having passed through an electronic gateway, we meandered along a narrow road through a landscape punctuated by stands of oak and pecan trees, glassy ponds, lush vegetable gardens and paddocks dotted with quietly grazing horses. Pulling up at the Spanish Colonial-style ranch building, we were greeted by exceptionally affable staff members before being ushered inside.
The property’s history extends at least as far back as the Civil War, when Union prisoners were detained there. (The surrounding region has historical provenance, not least because, in 1836, Texas famously declared its independence from Mexico on the banks of the Brazos River, 12 miles away.) In 2000, the estate was purchased by Houston investor Doug Bosch and his wife, Jennifer. It was four years later that they decided to open it as a guest ranch. Last year, the inn was closed for an extensive six-month upgrade, notably to the kitchen and dining room.
The original accommodations were housed within four duplex Casitas. These were augmented in 2011 by five grand Haciendas, each with 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, cathedral ceilings and private plunge pools. Our more modest room within one of the tile-roofed Casitas created an immediately favorable impression, thanks to its high ceiling, primarily neutral color palette, wrought-iron king-size bed topped with a fur throw, writing desk and leather armchairs arranged in front of a stone gas-log fireplace. An adjoining kitchenette came with attractive stone surfaces and a Keurig coffeemaker. The bath was well-lit but on the small side, with only a single sink and a combined tub and shower. Having unpacked, we relaxed on our patio with a complimentary glass of red wine. Our surroundings felt profoundly therapeutic, and we were extremely disinclined to move.