Austin’s boutique hotels are dotted across the city and each offers guests something a little different. What they do have in common, however, is their attention to detail and commitment to “Keep Austin Weird.”
Kimber Modern Boutique Hotel
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There are just seven rooms at the Kimber Modern Boutique Hotel | Courtesy of Kimber Modern Boutique Hotel / Hotels.com
The first thing guests will notice about the Kimber Modern Boutique Hotel is its fresh, minimalist exterior. Once inside, they’ll see bright colors, fusing the modern architecture and mid-century interior together. The seven-room boutique hotel is located off South Congress Avenue, one of the most beloved neighborhoods in the city and home to world-class restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
The South Congress Hotel epitomizes what is unique about its namesake neighborhood. Clean, carefully designed rooms and suites are highlighted by stressed leather couches, wooden floors and handmade furniture to give a true southwestern feel. The rooftop pool deck’s mid-century modern design will have you feeling like you’re in the 1960s. But that’s just the hotel – walk outside and you are in the middle of one of Austin’s trendiest neighborhoods, with some of the best shopping and dining in the entire city.
Once you step into the entrance of South Congress’s Hotel San José, it may feel as though you’ve exited the city and entered a private estate tucked into the rolling green hills of Central Texas. The small, boutique hotel located right next to the Jo’s Coffee – famous for the “I Love You So Much” graffiti tag on its wall – takes guests out of the bustling city corridor and into a relaxing retreat. Built in 1936 as an “ultra-modern” motel, the 40-room hotel boasts a lush green courtyard and motel-style rooms that look more like a row of bungalows. The hotel’s bar is a hotspot for locals and celebrities visiting town.
Hotel Saint Cecilia represents the best of Austin. Built in honor of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music and poetry, the 14-room hotel is intricately put together. The management says the physical character of the hotel embodies the “elegance of Old World luxury” and the rebellious personalities of inspirational icons such as The Rolling Stones, Hunter S Thompson and Jack Kerouac. Each room comes with a turntable and top-notch sound system and guests are encouraged to hit the hotel’s lending library to borrow vintage records, poetry collections and rock biographies during their stay. Oh, and the beds? Organically handmade by Hästens, a revered Swedish bedding company. Staying a night in one of the five suites, six poolside bungalows or three studios will not be cheap, but it promises to be memorable.
Occupying one of Austin’s landmark properties, Hotel Ella’s past life as a historic mansion creates much of the charm in this luxury hotel. The style exudes early 20th-century decadence with a one-of-a-kind art collection that is unmatched in other Austin hotels. The wraparound second-story porch is a great spot to read a book, people watch or enjoy some cocktails. Of course, you are going to want to check out the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Goodall’s Kitchen, which serves up a locally sourced American bistro menu, while the sleek, black marble Ella Parlor Bar provides handcrafted cocktails and gourmet bar snacks.
A true pearl of North Austin, the Archer Hotel offers a high-end, chic stay for its guests. The interior design pays homage to its city and the eight-story exterior’s limestone and wildflowers are a nod to its Texas roots. The on-site Second Bar + Kitchen serves up handmade cocktails and an acclaimed menu from chef David Bull. Guests can rent cabanas by the pool deck, and the city’s popular Domain outdoor mall is a short drive away.
Inspired by the motels of the old days and its Austin and Texas Hill Country heritage, the Lone Star Court by Valencia Hotels looks like a ski lodge but with the luxury of a true boutique. Located inside North Austin’s Domain outdoor mall, the court’s rooms pop with color and offer a mix of mid-century modern and backwoods cabin design. The vintage look of the pool deck, surrounded by the wooden walls of the lodge, creates a cozy, peaceful atmosphere. At night, take a trip outside and warm up near a campfire while sipping on some of the handcrafted cocktails from the hotel bar.