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The Scenic Hill Retreat is located in Brenham, Texas, central to meadows, farmland, rolling hills, and wooded areas. It offers twelve guest accommodations for groups from two to twelve people, each of which is secluded among the trees on the seventeen-acre property. A unique thing about the property is its abundance of outdoor areas where visitors can play games and explore. The owners of the property are Jenny and Brad, who purchased the property from their friends in 2018. They try to provide a family-friendly space where their guests can explore nature and relax in a private environment. The Scenic Hill Retreat is open year-round and its busiest times are usually during the spring and fall.
The Scenic Hill Retreat is located in the rolling hills outside of Brenham, Texas, surrounded by woods, farmland, and cattle pastures. There are views of the surrounding land from each of the guest accommodations on the acreage. Two properties make up the Scenic Hill Retreat. Scenic Hill is six acres and has seven guest accommodations. The sister property to Scenic Hill is an eleven-acre property named the Scenic Oak. This property has five guest accommodations and is named for the grand oak trees throughout the grounds. Surrounded by trees and nature trails, each of the cabins are tucked away in their own private areas. Several arbors are spread throughout the premises; many have hammocks and lights hanging from them for guests to use at their leisure. During the rainy season of the year, a small creek runs through the property.
Eleven cabins and a single farmhouse line the wooded areas of the Scenic Hill Retreat. Each cabin is different, with traditional wood exteriors, covered porches, and outdoor seating areas. Seven of the twelve guest accommodations are log cabins, while the remaining five are built in a more modern style. Four of the homes at the Scenic Hill Retreat are multi-level homes. The multi-level homes can accommodate from six to twelve guests. Wildflowers bloom throughout the property, and at guest's request, the seasonal flowers in the area can be arranged in their cabins upon arrival as an add-on. In addition, homemade chocolate-covered strawberries can also be purchased as an add-on. Outside of the Scenic Oak cabins, there is a large grassy area where guests are welcome to play yard games, have a picnic, or swing in a hammock.
Breakfast is not served to the guests at the Scenic Hill Retreat. However, breakfast ingredients are provided in the kitchens of each rental for guests to use to make their breakfasts. These ingredients may include pancake and muffin mixes, some fruit, and components to make biscuits. Although breakfast is not provided at the Scenic Hill Retreat, a small vegetable garden is grown on the property. Guests are welcome to pick ripe vegetables from the garden to snack on or use for cooking. Some food grown in the garden includes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, basil, and parsley. Basic condiments, dishes, utensils, and baking ingredients are fully stocked in each kitchen to make cooking more convenient for guests.
All of the cabins, cottages, and houses at the Scenic Hill Retreat are decorated differently. A rustic farmhouse theme is consistent throughout the cabins; however, each space is outfitted with different furniture, decorations, and bedding. Each house has the same standard amenities such as a kitchen, living areas, and soap, hand towels, shampoo, and lotion in each bathroom. Hairdryers, ironing supplies, and coffee makers are also included in every home. Games are included in each of the cabins, such as Monopoly and Janga, and a massage therapist can easily be scheduled to give couples massages on a massage table inside the guest's cabin. Every cabin has a propane grill with propane provided free of charge.
The Farmhouse home is one of the most popular houses on the property. This home can sleep up to twelve individuals and has its own lawn for guests to play games and spend time together in privacy. The Spa Vista and Grand Spa are common among couples and smaller groups. The Spa Vista is a multi-story cabin with a second-story deck looking out of the property and surrounding cattle pastures. Inside, this upscale rental has leather furniture and a hot tub. The Grand Spa house has shuffleboard and a large television with cable tv. The Tree House Cottage is lifted twenty feet off the ground. This gives guests who stay in the cottage views of the surrounding pastures and forest. The cottage has cedar siding, a large deck, and an outdoor queen-sized swinging bed.
The 1890's Log Cabin, Woodland Cottage, Spa Vista, Meadow's Edge, and Veranda homes all sleep two guests with a smaller kitchen and living space. These cabins are all very secluded and require guests to walk their things, often times a few yards into the woods to their private oasis. The Retreat, Tree House, Spa Cabin, Homestead Cabin, and Oasis Cottage all sleep four individuals. These cabins have hammocks and are surrounded by night-lit nature trails and footbridges. Hidden Grove, the Farmhouse, and the Grand Spa can all sleep six or more people. These guest accommodations are ideal for larger groups of multiple couples or families.
Beyond the property, there are many activities, restaurants, and attractions guests can visit and participate in. Antique Week is a Brenham tradition every spring and fall. During this time, the bluebonnets bloom, and many guests explore the pastures and forest around the Scenic Hill Retreat to see the wildflowers bloom. The Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory is just fifteen minutes away from the property and offers a refreshing treat for guests. In addition, many wineries and breweries offer tours in the area. Guests do not have to leave the property if they don't wish; with a full kitchen, hot tub, and miles of nature trails, each guest can have a secluded, nature-oriented experience without stepping foot off the property.
The culture of the Scenic Hill Retreat that the owners, Brad and Jenny, try to emulate is one of cleanliness, relaxation, and a family-friendly location. One of the ways that they create this desired atmosphere is by having all of the amenities and features that they offer in their guest accommodations and on the property. They always try to inform their guests of these available amenities and features before they come so that they are better able to enjoy their stay. One visitor who stayed at the property said the “room was very nice, and the jacuzzi tub was amazing. The room even had a massage table which we really enjoyed.”
Jenny talks about how they want their visitors to feel like they have all of their basic needs covered so that they can better relax and have fun interacting with each other without having to worry about anybody else. In addition, the Scenic Hill Retreat staff always strive to keep the property and the cabins well maintained, as well as provide an atmosphere of cleanliness. In doing this, Jenny and her team always try to be open to improvement, even asking guests for feedback and noticing patterns in questions and concerns their patrons might have.
Another aspect of the culture of the Scenic Hill Retreat is one of privacy. This feeling is perhaps provided best by the surrounding scenery as each of the guests’ accommodations is secluded in the wooded areas of the property. Also because each of the units has its own private entrance and private features like the hot tubs. One guest who stayed on the property mentioned, “Privacy is taken seriously here. Very secluded and peaceful. Able to reconnect with my husband and escape the hustle and bustle of the city and life in general. The amenities were excellent, and the breakfast items provided were not only convenient but delicious and fun to prepare each morning.”
One of the features of their two properties that Jenny and Brad wished their visitors knew more about is the abundance of walking trails and the outdoor spaces that are available to their patrons. The walking trails consist of one and a half miles that snake through the scenery on the property grounds. The outdoor spaces include the vegetable garden mentioned above, which is called the Moon Garden, The Meadow—a relatively large grassy area where guests can participate in all sorts of activities—and the Game Area. The latter of these outdoor areas is perhaps the most popular among family groups that come and stay at the Scenic Hill Retreat. Often bigger groups holding events or family reunions will utilize this space and participate in the games provided by the property—such as cornhole and horseshoes.
Jenny says that the typical demographic among the guests that stay at the Scenic Hill Retreat consist primarily of middle-aged to early retired guests. She thinks this is because of the atmosphere of cleanliness and privacy that they strive to provide. In addition, the scenic area allows guests the ability to unplug and enjoy the surrounding nature while still benefiting from modern amenities. Beyond this demographic, many families and family groups also come and stay at the retreat, often renting out one of the two properties in its entirety. Because of this, they make it a priority to provide kid-friendly activities and areas. Another unique aspect of the Scenic Hill Retreat is that they are pet-friendly.
Jenny and Brad are the current owners and property managers of the Scenic Hill Retreat. They have always been entrepreneurs spending their careers developing businesses together. For the early years of their marriage, they owned a landscaping business in the area. After years of landscaping, they decided to purchase land and start a farm. Due to the physical demands of managing a farm, the couple decided they wanted to pursue yet another business. They owned land near the Scenic Hill Retreat property and had been guests at the property before. Over time they developed a friendship with the owners, and when they heard the property was going to be put up for sale, they decided to invest.
After purchasing the property in 2018, Jenny and Brad did not want to make too many changes. The business had been run successfully by the previous owners since 2006, and they had many repeat guests. Instead, they did some cosmetic updates such as changing out decorations and upgrading furniture. Their main goal at the Scenic Hill Retreat is to maintain the property and provide an air of cleanliness. As previous landscapers, they make sure to keep the grounds well-manicured. In the future, the couple plan to add a putting green and more outdoor activities to their seventeen-acre grounds. The couple enjoys the setting and area around their retreat and wants all who stay there to feel comfortable and well cared for.