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Courtesy of South Congress Hotel
Courtesy of South Congress Hotel

The Best Austin Hotels If You're Attending SXSW

Picture of Sarah Karney
Updated: 14 February 2017

If you haven’t booked your SXSW hotel yet for this year’s events, you better get on it – more than 300,000 visitors come to Austin each March for the film, music, and interactive festival. Check out these spots within walking distance to most SXSW festivities.

Hotel Van Zandt

What better way to experience SXSW fully than by staying in a musically furnished hotel? The Hotel Van Zandt is a Kimpton hotel set right in the heart of Rainey Street near downtown Austin. It celebrates the Live Music Capital of the World from the moment you walk in with chandeliers made of horns and a record player in the lobby. The Hotel Van Zandt also regularly has live music at one of its in-house restaurants, Geraldine’s, not to mention some of the best margaritas in town to enjoy on their rooftop deck overlooking downtown Austin.

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, 605 Davis Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 542 5300

Lobby © Whit Preston / Hotel Van Zandt

Lobby | © Whit Preston / Courtesy of Hotel Van Zandt

JW Marriott

You can’t possibly get more in the action than by staying at the downtown JW Marriott. Multiple SXSW panels and events take place here, and its location makes close to nearly any outside events you’d like to attend. JW Marriott’s delicious restaurant options, such as the Corner Bar, featuring local brews and burgers, and Osteria Pronto for authentic Italian, mean you can eat and then simply walk upstairs for a luxurious sleep after a long day of shows and panels.

JW Marriott, 110 E. 2nd Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 474 4777

South Congress Hotel

The South Congress Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Texas and is set in the perfect location to not only experience SXSW but also have a place to get away for a little peace and quiet. It’s about a mile-and-a-half (2.4-kilometer) walk to downtown, or feel free to catch a cheap ride from one of Austin’s ridesharing services (PSA: No Uber or Lyft here). When you’re not watching your next favorite band, you can shop or dine on South Congress Avenue (there are three restaurants in the hotel alone), or relax at the hotel’s rooftop pool.

South Congress Hotel, 1603 S. Congress Avenue, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 920 6405

Courtesy of South Congress Hotel

Courtesy of South Congress Hotel

Heywood Hotel

The Heywood Hotel is a boutique hotel on the east side of town. If you’re lucky enough to snag one of the hotel’s seven rooms, you will be in the perfect location for SXSW events both downtown and on the east side, such as Fader Fort, as well as be less than a mile away from 25 great restaurants. Each room offers a custom experience with free parking, free wifi, coffee and tea service, and even free bikes to help you avoid all the crazy SXSW traffic.

Heywood Hotel, 1609 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 271 5522

Heywood Hotel © Casey Dunn

Heywood Hotel | © Casey Dunn / Courtesy of Heywood Hotel

W Hotel

Known around town for its wet pool, whose private cabanas often attract party seekers and influencers, the W Hotel in Austin sits right next to the ACL Live at the Moody Theater venue, in the bustling 2nd Street District, which is brimming with shops and upscale dining options. The W can fit a variety budgets, as their offerings range from the approximate 300-square-foot (27.8-square-meter) Cozy Room to the nearly 2,000-square-foot (185.8-square-meter) Extreme Wow Suite, and its bright décor and sleek style assure a comfortable stay regardless.

W Hotel Austin, 200 Lavaca Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 542 3600