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The state capital of Texas is full of creative start-ups and hip young businesses, so it’s no surprise that the hotel scene is stylish and innovative. Even across the big international brands, eye-catching architecture and zesty interiors hark back to the city’s alternative mantra – Keep Austin Weird – but only a few tap into Austin’s outdoorsy, riverside spirit with alluring pools and techy urban spas. Here’s our guide to the best spa hotels in this booming city in the Lone Star State.
This Downtown design hotel has character in spades, from the bright embroidered headboards, peacock-blue shower tiles and leopard print rugs in wildly distinctive suites, to the mismatched velvet furniture and flourishing pot plants in the Group Therapy bar. And its ZaSpa is just as quirky – the Lights, Collagen, Action facial gets you camera-ready, while the Morning After scrub aims to revive you post-party. In summer, the rooftop pool glams up your morning lengths with its striped canopy and chandeliers.
This hip, affordable stay is a breath of fresh air, with comfy fireside seating beside its rooftop pool, and an elegant lobby lounge with stacks of logs and tan-and-teal sofas. As well as improving your front crawl on the coveted rooftop, you can book a treatment in your hotel room; therapists use the flower power Kerstin Florian range, packed with lavender, algae or peppermint, depending on your mood.
Close to the city’s nightlife-packed Sixth Street, the Hilton is a conference favorite with surprisingly tempting restaurants and facilities. Your room may be a basic white cube with minimal frills, but nip downstairs and you’ll find zingy street food at Austin Taco Project; upstairs you’ll find an al fresco pool with light bulbs strung overhead, and its cozy Skyline Spa. Take a breath in its eucalyptus-infused steam room before your treatment, be it a hot-stone massage or a Moroccan pumice stone scrub.
The Fairmont’s enormous, canoe-shaped swimming pool is a dazzler; it’s a resort-style terrace with loungers and palm trees is the big draw for holidaymakers who want to do some kicking back as well as sightseeing. The indoor gym and spa has a tiled hot tub, window-side exercise bikes for city views, and a herbal steam room and dry sauna. Chic cream rooms come with addictive smellies from hip perfumer Le Labo.
This California brand was started by a star interior designer, with the aim to dig into local style in every US property. For Austin, that means lots of woven fabrics in dusty Southern colours, ceramics and wood furniture by local artisans, and just a touch of cowboy swagger, as well as rows of sentry-like cacti beside the rooftop pool. If you’re not lounging on plush striped recliners by one of its two tranquil pools, you should be booking a holistic ritual in its city spa.