The treehouse yurt at Rainbow Hearth

While searching the internet for some fun things to do one weekend, my wife and I tripped across a yurt at Rainbow Hearth. I immediately called and booked a one night stay in the tree house yurt.

What’s a yurt?

A yurt is a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework. Nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey use them. Speaking of Mongolia, I’d love to go to there. Of course, it’s a tad farther than the yurt tree house an hour from our house on Lake Buchanan.

Yurts are becoming popular as a way to camp and enjoy nature withg the pain-free camping. No setting up a tent, and no running water or air conditioning. There’s also no sleeping on a cot or air mattress that goes flat by 2 a.m. Of course, traditional camping also means no potty.

Known as glamping, or “glamorous camping”, yurt camping is more fun than traditional camping.

Slow Down On Your Scenic Drive to Rainbow Hearth

We had an outstanding stay at Rainbow Hearth. It offers a lot more than an overnight stay in a yurt tree house. They’re an unusual combination of a bed & breakfast, therapeutic spa, and sanctuary retreat. Service includes three meals a day and a message with some extras. This unique lodging provides an opportunity to get away from the frantic pace and hustle and bustle of the city. You can relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature (or a best friend).

It’s a beautiful drive along FM 2431. Then you hop on a a one-lane road for a scenic drive to get to Rainbow Hearth. The drive includes twists and turns on a back road outside of Burnet, Texas. You’ll see colorful wildflowers, deer hiding in the woods, and armadillos trying to cross the road. You’ll also love the birds gliding on gentle winds and the huge elevation changes of Texas Hill Country! Oh, and let’s not forget the scenic vistas of Lake Buchanan. The drive sets the stage for a unique experience.

On your drive to Rainbow Hearth, make sure you slow down, relax, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Our Arrival at Rainbow Heart Was Warm and Inviting

Sunny, our guide dog at Rainbow Hearth

We arrived about the time we thought we were lost. Our host warmly greeted us with his two cats and a couple of cute and friendly dogs named Shadow & Sunny. Sunny guided us everywhere we walked including our yurt, Medicine Rock, the lake, and breakfast!

Immediately, Scott welcomed us with a smile.

Glad you’re here. Let me show you around. Then I’ll help you get your bags up to your yurt tree house.

It’s rare to be warmly greeted like that, unless you’re at a close friend’s house!

After a quick tour to get us oriented, we walked up a short hill to our yurt. We opened the door and exclaimed, “Cool!” Scott told us we’d be treated to a dinner and breakfast. He also recommended a mountain hike to watch the sunset over Lake Buchanan. On top of that, he added, we should soak in the hot tub. We did as he suggested and followed that with opening the windows. We enjoyed a night among the trees in our king-sized sleep number bed. That’s my idea of glamping!

Meals At Rainbow Hearth

Mariah the chief,therapist, and perfect host

Once settled into our yurt, we set off (Sunny leading the way) on a hike up and down the hills on Rainbow Hearth’s 7 acres. We encountered beautiful scenery, bench swings strategically placed for viewing the lake and surrounding countryside, and wind chimes. They added to the peacefulness and serenity.

I was beginning to relax and unwind. After hiking through the hills, I was ready for some wine (bring your own) and a good meal. When I heard the dinner bell ring at 7 p.m., it didn’t take me long to get down the hill and seated at a table with a view of the lake and a glass of wine in my hand. Mariah Wentworth (the owner, chef, and therapist) served us a delicious dinner salad (featuring homegrown organic sprouts, microgreens, sesame seeds, avocado, and more; plus, we had freshly prepared organic salad bar toppings and a variety of dressings). There was also a very tasty Indian Dahl lentil soup (wow!) and a perfectly cooked stewed chicken. A couple of glasses of wine and some fantastic chocolate served a wonderful complement.

Dinner is the lightest of the meals and a typical dinner might be stir-fry mixed with grains, soup, small salad, and squash or sweet potato.

dinner salad
the small dining area overlooking the lake
Soup and chicken were fantastic

From Sunset Point And a Good Morning Breakfast

sunset point

After dinner, Mariah said we should head up the trail to “Sunset Point” to watch the sunset. Sunny seemed to know where we wanted to go, so we followed him up up the trail to a beautiful spot with a bench seat overlooking Lake Buchanan. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and overcast. It started to drizzle, which meant no sunset for us! But we did enjoy a soothing and relaxing soak in the hot tub followed by a very good night’s sleep.

I awoke refreshed. As I set on the deck with a cup of coffee, I enjoyed the view and listened to the squirrels chatter, the birds chirping, and the relaxing sound of the wind chimes in background. I also started to get a sense of what Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat is all about – peace, serenity, nature, and good food!

The breakfast options included a self-serve breakfast (granola, grain toast with jam, hot oat bran, fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, and tea or coffee). For sure, it included something specially prepared by Mariah.

I couldn’t say no to Mariah’s offer to cook an omelet with fresh yard eggs, sauteed onions, a little dill, and more. Plus, I got a delicious smoothie made with fresh apples, home grown peaches, berries, bananas, apple juice, and more. Wow! That was outstanding. Fresh and healthy!

a hearty Rainbow Hearth breakfast

What’s For Lunch at Rainbow Hearth?

Unfortunately, we had to leave before lunch, which is the most hearty meal. It’s usually served around 2 p.m. and typically includes sprout and microgreen salads, fresh salad bar toppings, steamed rice, and the Chef’s choice of salmon, tuna, or baked chicken, and vegetables.

Snacks are available all day and include fresh fruit, tea, juice, organic popcorn, and grain bread with jam or almond butter.

Most of the food you’ll sample at Rainbow Hearth is organic and natural. You need to bring your own beverages and you’re welcome to store them in the refrigerator in the dining room. Make sure you sample the water. Rainbow Hearth collects it’s own rainwater (if it ever rains in Texas) and puts it through a series of three filters and ultra-violet light exposure. Finally, it charges it in one final step. Wow! Refreshing, delicious drinking water.

Lodging at Rainbow Hearth

Lodging in a tree yurt is as unique as the rest of the Rainbow Hearth experience. Today, yurts are typically covered in canvas, not felt or animal skins, and they are becoming very popular for glamping on Texas hillsides, among the trees, or by a river or lake. Yurts offer a different form of lodging for a weekend or a fun place for a romantic getaway.

Rainbow Hearth’s tree house yurt is set on a hillside surrounded by trees. The yurt is 20 feet wide with wood lattice slats holding it up and a large dome skylight that filters in lots of natural light. Inside, there are wood floors, a very soft and comfy king-size sleep number bed with luxurious linens, two futons, a small work table, two air conditioning units, several windows, a ceiling fan, and no TV or radio. We loved it!

Step out the back door and there is a detached bathroom that’s really cool. A huge tub with a large circular shower head coming down from the ceiling and windows open to the trees, plants, and rocks. It felt like taking a shower in a heavy rain in the middle of the forest. I didn’t mind the squirrels and birds, but I did hear a couple of the younger squirrels squeal and head for the hills when they saw me in the shower. I swear a couple of them sat on the rock giggling, pointing at my pasty white (too early in the season for a sun tan) and chubby body.

Regardless, I really enjoyed that shower! The bathroom also has a sink and toilet. Keep in mind that the yurt requires a two night stay and you’ll most likely want to stay longer than that.

Inside the treehouse yurt at Salad at Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat
The beautiful outside bathroom and shower
Treehouse yurt at Salad at Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat

Waking Up At Rainbow Hearth

After a great night’s sleep in my comfortable sleep number bed (set at 45 in case you’re wondering), it just doesn’t get much better than getting up in the morning with the sun peaking through the skylight. To add to that beauty, we could hear the birds chirping and the wind whistling through the trees. No lawn mowers or weed whackers, dogs barking, police sirens, kids having fun in the street, or garbage trucks cruising the neighborhood first thing in the morning!

After a shower, we enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee while sitting on the wraparound deck and soaked in the view of the hills around Lake Buchanan.

There are 4 other cool suites for a stay at Rainbow Hearth. The Sky Loft is one big bedroom with a queen bed, a living area with comfy furniture and a twin bed, big bathroom, and a deck with an unbelievable view of Lake Buchanan. The Garden Cottage is a cute one bedroom with a sleep number bed, bathroom, small sitting area, and a porch with 2 comfy chairs. Blue Heron has a bedroom and living area with a futon plus a covered porch and chairs. Sunset Guest House is the largest with two bedrooms and hide-a-bed in the living room that sleeps up to 6.

The Rainbow Hearth Website has more detailed descriptions, and pictures of each of the suites.

Lodging at Salad at Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat
View from the lodging deck at Salad at Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat

Rainbow Hearth Amenities

Rainbow Hearth has 7 acres of rolling hills and several trails. We enjoyed some short hikes on trails that led up Thunder Ridge to Medicine Rock, which was used by indigenous Americans as a sacred ceremonial site.

Trail at Rainbow Hearth
Trail to Medicine Rock
Medicine rock

The trails are thick with junipers, oaks, mountain laurels, squirrels, birds, vibrant colorful flowers, and stunning views of Lake Buchanan.

Flowers on the trails
Flowers on the trails
Flowers on the trails

On your hike, you’ll encounter several wind chimes, chair swings, or bench seats strategically placed for you to enjoy the stunning views of the Lake, sunsets, and sunrises.

views of lake buchanan
Swing under the trees
lake buchanan

I mentioned the hot tub, which is in a private structure with a shower and floor-to-ceiling windows. Perfect for enjoying nature! And it’s recommended that you enjoy the hot tub “in the buff.” What a great place to spend some time unwinding and soaking out the kinks from hiking or a stressful week of work. My wife was afraid I was going to fall asleep and drown. That’s not a bad way to go!

One of the trails leads down to Lake Buchanan. Rainbow Hearth has more than 150 feet of lakefront for swimming, relaxing in a floatie, fishing, or just relaxing with a good book.

There is a lending library with books, games, and cards for guests to enjoy. The Retreat also has internet, but leave your laptop and electronic games at home. You’re there to enjoy nature.

Hot tub at Rainbow Hearth
On the trail to Lake Buchanan

Little Spa at Rainbow Hearth

Mariah Wentworth, a therapist with over 30 years experience, does the soothing and relaxing bodywork at Rainbow Hearth’s Little Spa. Her bodywork is different from a massage. A massage is typically relaxing and pampering while bodywork is far more therapeutic and requires years of experience to master.

little spa

Some of the services at Little Spa include: Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue, Pressure Point Therapy, Swedish Massage, Energy Balancing, Breathwork & Focusing Techniques, Lymphatic Drainage, Hot Stones, and Aroma, Vibrational, or Polarity Therapy. Mariah will tailor her services to what you want with an emphasis on deep stress and relaxation body work.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for any body work. On our next visit, it will be the top priority!

Nearby Fun Things To See & Do

During your visit to Rainbow Hearth, if you want to get out and explore the Lake Buchanan area, you’ve got lots of options for fun things to see and do. Here are a few of our suggestions:

vanishing river cruises
  • There are several great golf courses within 30 minutes. Some of our favorite golf courses around Burnet include: Delaware Springs, Lighthouse, Hidden Falls, and the Horseshoe Bay courses if you can get on them
  • Vanishing Texas River Cruises is just around the corner. They offer houseboat-type cruises of Lake Buchanan and tours to the falls when the lake level is up.
  • You can rent a kayak from Vanishing Texas River Cruises or rent a kayak tour with Buchanan Adventure Tours.
  • There are several good Lake Buchanan fishing guides waiting to take you to where the big fish are hiding. They might pick you up at Rainbow Hearth.
  • Longhorn Caverns State Park has outstanding tours of some beautiful caverns.
  • You can rent a boat from Splash Boat Rentals and enjoy Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, or Lake LBJ from on the water.
  • Nearby Marble Falls has some quaint shops and good restaurants.
  • Lone Star Peak Performance on Lake Buchanan offers team building and challenge course experiences.
  • One of the best zip lines in Texas is only an hour away. Check out Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.
  • Canyon of the Eagles Resort is just up the road. They have a restaurant, an observatory, and miles of hiking, biking, and bird watching trails.

Rainbow Hearth’s website also has links to several other fun things to see and do during your visit.

Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary & Retreat is perfect for a solo escape, a romantic getaway, or a new adventure for couples and friends. We really enjoyed Mariah’s warm hospitality, the yurt was a cool experience, the short hikes are fun, and the food was delicious. We left relaxed, stress free, and inspired. Someone even told me I looked healthier. Then I kissed the cute little squirrel to say thanks for the compliment. After eating some delicious organic and home grown food, I was almost ready to convert!

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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