The 11 Best Hotels in Austin, Texas

Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas
Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas | © Mitchell Kmetz / Unsplash
Photo of William Morris
18 June 2019

Known for creativity and artistry, Austin provides lively inspiration for its hotels, which range from boutique and retro to lavish and luxurious. Here are the 11 best hotels in Austin, Texas.

South Congress Hotel

Hotel
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Courtesy of South Congress Hotel / Expedia
Located in the heart of South Congress, South Congress Hotel exemplifies the area’s character. Carefully designed rooms and suites highlighted by stressed leather couches, wooden floors and handmade furniture give guests a true taste of the Southwest. The mid-century modern design of the rooftop pool deck will have you feeling like you’re in a 1960s movie. Of course, that’s just the hotel’s property – walk outside, and you will find yourself in the middle of Austin’s trendiest neighborhood.
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W Austin

Hotel
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W Austin
Courtesy of W Austin / Expedia
Location, amenities and a luxurious stay for guests land W Austin on this list. The hotel, towering over 2ND Street District, where you can find high-end shopping and fine-dining restaurants, sits next door to Austin City Limits (ACL Live), one of the city’s most popular concert venues that hosts top-notch headline acts. South-facing hotel rooms get a one-of-a-kind view of Lady Bird Lake and the city’s hike-and-bike trail. Check out the Wet Deck, the hotel’s open-air pool floor, or head downstairs to TRACE restaurant to enjoy the patio bar and a locally sourced menu.
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The Driskill

Hotel
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The Driskill, Austin
Courtesy of the Driskill / Expedia.com
Located in the heart of Dirty Sixth Street, the city’s most raucous party district, the Driskill is Austin’s oldest hotel and stands out as an elegant, clean and charming change of pace from the its outdoor environment. Built in 1886, the Driskill offers guests a luxurious stay with a twist of yesteryear. Marble floors, tall columns and the fine detail of the hotel’s craftsmanship stand out prominently in the building’s aesthetic. The lounge offers local beers and regular live music, and the hotel café serves excellent espresso and homemade muffins.
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Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Austin
Courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt / Expedia

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt feels like a world-class hotel that could find success in any city, yet it boasts such a strong connection to Austin that it’s hard to imagine it anywhere else. The bar’s curated selection of local brews, the nightly live music from some of the best up-and-coming Austin artists, its high-end restaurant Geraldine’s, and the rooftop pool deck that allows you to float among the city’s skyline all work together to give guests a one-of-a-kind stay. If you love rooftop bars, be sure to check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in Austin. Oh, and as for location? Guests are only a short walk away from Rainey Street, a unique entertainment district, and a short taxi ride away from Downtown Austin.

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Hotel San José

Hotel
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Courtesy of Hotel San José / Expedia
Although located on South Congress Avenue, guests staying at the Hotel San José will get the sense that they’ve left the bustling city corridor and entered a private, relaxing retreat in Texas Hill Country. The small, boutique hotel sits right next to Jo’s Coffee – where tourists pose by its internet-famed “I love you so much” graffiti mural. Originally built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motel, the 40-room hotel now boasts a lush green courtyard that connects rows of modern motel-style rooms. The hotel’s bar is a hotspot for locals and celebrities visiting Austin.
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Austin Motel

Motel
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Courtesy of Austin Motel / Expedia

This retro motor inn is famous for its funky retro design and cheeky neon sign. Book a Poolside King room for easy access to the famous kidney-shaped swimming pool and be sure to dine at Joann’s Fine Foods, a diner open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving up tamales and tacos. The motel is conveniently located close to the legendary Continental Club, while downtown is a short walk across another Austin icon, the “bat bridge.”

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Hotel Ella

Hotel
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Courtesy of Hotel Ella / Expedia.com
Occupying one of Austin’s landmark properties, Hotel Ella is a historic mansion that now makes for a charming luxury hotel. Its style exudes early 20th-century decadence with an art collection that is unmatched in Austin’s other hotels. The wraparound second-story porch is a great spot to read a book, people-watch or enjoy some cocktails. Goodall’s, the hotel’s restaurant, serves up an American Bistro menu, while the sleek, black marble Ella Parlor Bar serves cocktails and high-end bar snacks.
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  • JW Marriott Austin

    Chain Hotel
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    JW Marriott Austin
    Courtesy of JW Marriott Austin / Expedia
    Smack dab in the middle of it all, the JW Marriott Austin not only gives guests a clean, semi-luxurious stay but also a location that is within walking distance to the best attractions the city has to offer. Its Osteria Pronto restaurant serves up Italian cuisine – a rarity in Texas – and its Corner Bar puts patrons on the corner of Congress Avenue and Second Street, two of the city’s most lively entertainment districts.
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    Fairmont Austin

    Hotel
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    Fairmont Austin
    Courtesy of Fairmont Austin / Expedia

    With 1,048 rooms, the Fairmont Austin is the largest hotel in the city and sits at the southern end of Austin’s Red River Cultural District, the city’s live music hub with several concert venues that host popular musical acts on a nightly basis. Opened in 2018, the hotel offers guests modern rooms and amenities, a food court that stays true to the local flavor, and a hotel bar that is one of the only bars in the country that serves Cristal champagne by the glass.

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    InterContinental Stephen F Austin Hotel

    Independent Hotel, Hotel
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    InterContinental Stephen F. Austin, Austin
    Courtesy of InterContinental Stephen F. Austin / Expedia.com

    The first high-rise hotel on Congress Avenue was the 15-story Stephen F Austin, now run by the InterContinental Hotels Group. Standing on one of the city’s historic streets, the hotel offers guests a variety of room types with early-20th-century charm and a uniquely designed pool room. It sits between the Texas State Capitol – a must-see for any visitor – and the rest of Austin’s lively downtown.

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    Hotel Saint Cecilia

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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    A 14-room boutique hotel, Hotel Saint Cecilia represents the best of Austin. Built in honor of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music and poetry, the hotel embodies the “elegance of old-world luxury” with a rebellious spirit. 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? Organic and handmade by Hästens, a revered Swedish bedding company.
    These recommendations were updated on June 18, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.