Kwaku and Barbara Bediko have made it their life’s work to create a tropical escape in the middle of the Texas countryside. Kwaku, who has been an artist for over 50 years, is well-known for his “tropical steel” palm trees that can be found nationwide in Chuy’s restaurants, and the couple opened Bediko’s International Retreat in 2019 to bring some creativity to Round Top’s lodging scene. “My desire is to bring something simplistic and global to Round Top and to create a unique environment here,” Kwaku says. “We want to bring some tropical culture to the Texas countryside.”
The retreat features suites with simplistic overtones designed to transport your imagination to another country, on grounds that make you feel like you’re in the tropics with a sculpture garden and a lush courtyard. A pavilion is available for group activities like weddings, corporate meetings and birthday parties. In addition to the retreat, the couple operated Bediko’s Tropical Steel, an art gallery that features an extensive collection of African art pieces, as well as Kwaku’s own work and antiques from around the world.
Kwaku has plans to begin offering a welding class in small groups, to teach people how to weld creatively, as he does when he creates his art pieces. In the meantime, he continues to be commissioned for his unique pieces that communicate that tropical spirit. And they have no plans to leave Round Top. “It’s small and quiet and intimate,” says Barbara. “The people feel like family.”
For more information on Bediko’s International Retreat, visit their website.