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Eco luxury gets rustic: New resort built out of shipping containers is a quick escape from Houston

Deer Lake Lodge entrance
Deer Lake Lodge looks rustic, but it doesn't skimp on the luxury. Photo courtesy of Deer Lake Lodge
Pool at Deer Lake Lodge
The idea at Deer Lake Lodge is to get away from it all — and maybe fast. Photo courtesy of Deer Lake Lodge
Deer Lake Lodge entrance
Pool at Deer Lake Lodge

When architects built the beautiful new Deer Lake Lodge resort in Montgomery, they might not have imagined someone like me as a guest. The resort, built from recycled shipping containers and boasting a list of sustainable features, looks like a green utopia.

As I drove up to hotel, I suddenly remembered the beer bottles that I was too lazy to recycle last weekend and the pork rinds I ate watching football. Can this spa/hotel really cure my terrible ways, or should I have smuggled a bag of potato chips in my bag?

Upon arrival, I was met by Emily, a friendly young woman who took us on a tour of the resort. “Brandan is playing in the Fasting Lounge, so we will keep the tour brief” so we can enjoy the music, she told me. Who is Brandan and what is a Fasting Lounge?

 Deer Lake Lodge is a place where you don’t have to talk to anybody and can just be calm and cleanse your body and mind. 

A little concerned but somehow placated by the smell of expensive essential oils in the lobby, I continued on my tour. The resort is minimalist but lush, with grass growing on the roofs of shipping containers. The landscape designers were smart to keep the surrounding area not-too-manicured to create a calm but low-key environment.

The handful of suites and cabins look well-designed and comfortable. The very organized staff gave me a list of events, ranging from energy psychotherapy to acupuncture to yoga and sauna. The heated salt-water pool and jacuzzi were inviting.

The resort's co-founder sisters — Tracy Boulware and Dr. T.C. Hughes — were inspired by the various spas around the country and wished for a naturopathic detoxification destination in their home state of Texas. They wanted a close-by destination spa resort getaway for city dwellers, something where guests could detoxify easily and comfortably with no strain or pressure.

Be that as it may, my itinerary at Deer Lake Lodge looked pretty busy to me. I was scheduled to start with yoga and qigong, followed by a “life enhancement group class,” a nutrition class, then a “breaking the fast” session that afternoon. Needless to say I wasn’t going to partake in fasting (too drastic of a change from pork rinds), but the staff was very relaxed and let me know that we are about 10 miles from downtown Montgomery where you can get some wine or even barbecue.

Just don’t tell the other folks who are still fasting.

The next day I had a “magnetic ritual massage” that started with “balancing chakras with gems” and an application of diamond dust mud. The exfoliation felt refreshing and I was, indeed, shining bright like a diamond. The entire massage experience was luxurious, leaving me feeling energized and definitely pampered. When I left the spa, the thoughtful staff even gave me a salad to eat on the road.

 The resort is minimalist but lush, with grass growing on the roofs of shipping containers. 

Deer Lake Lodge is a place where you don’t have to talk to anybody and can just be calm and cleanse your body and mind. I can totally see a rich, recently divorced housewife coming to this kind of place.

After all, the packages (three nights up to a week) start at $1900 per person, although you can opt to stay for just one night or visit simply for treatments. If I came into some cash and/or was going through some sort of crisis, I’d take myself to Deer Lake Lodge in a hot second.

I’d probably even leave the pork rinds at home.

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