The capital of Texas, Austin is a buzzing wonderland of a city that likes to keep things “weird”. From its fun-loving 6th Street to its even more fun-loving SoCo neighbourhood, the city is famous for its live music scene and yearly music and technology festival, South by Southwest.
Set on the banks of the Colorado River, hotels in Austin run the gamut from historic elegance and gleaming, modern towers all the way to retro boutique. If it’s difficult for you to choose, don’t worry — here’s a selection of Austin’s very best hotels.
1. The Line Hotel Austin
Powder pinks and greys accented with chic furnishings and houseplants make staying at The LINE a dream. It’s a retro twist on a classic hotel. Rooms are decorated with original artwork, boast gleaming bathrooms, and have views out across the Colorado River.
The hotel bar is a great place to base yourself for evening cocktails, and there’s an onsite restaurant for dinner, too. A perfect place to escape for the weekend (or longer), there are free bike rentals available to help you really feel like a local.
Location: Set in Waller Creek District, along the river, the hotel is close to top attractions such as the Capitol Building. It’s also mere steps from the Austin Convention Centre.
2. Hotel Ella
Hotel Ella is a gorgeous place to stay, an avalanche of cool, modern design set in a historic building with a pillared facade. It’s a time-warp of a hotel, surrounded by modern buildings. Here you can spend time swimming laps in the outside pool, enjoying a cocktail or two at the poolside bar, and dining in the restaurant, which serves up seasonal cuisine.
Rooms at this top Austin hotel are clean and quiet, accented with trendy furnishings, colourful artwork, and marbled bathrooms for a real boutique feel.
Location: With a fantastic location in Austin city centre, the University of Texas at Austin is just a five-minute walk from the hotel, while all the nightlife of 6th Street Entertainment District is just a five-minute drive away.
3. The Driskill
For one of the coolest hotels in Austin, stay at the Driskill. Built in 1886, this historic luxury hotel strives to provide an unforgettable stay in the city, with fantastic service, polished decor and a top-quality atmosphere throughout.
From its grand, pillared hallways and ornate glass domes to its spacious, regal guest rooms with incredible city views and refined restaurant, there’s not much about this hotel that isn’t utter luxury. It’s an iconic hotel — and for a good reason.
Location: Set in the heart of Austin, this landmark hotel has all the fun of 6th Street on its doorstep, plus a whole load of sights, including the State Capitol, Paramount Theatre, and Old Bakery and Emporium.
4. Fairmont Austin
Another incredible example of the best hotels in Austin, the Fairmont is a beautiful place to base yourself in the Texan capital. With stunning views and a wealth of amenities, this is a 5-star hotel with 5-star credentials to match.
There’s a fantastic palm-fringed rooftop pool, a romantic bar and restaurant, and a wellness area for the ultimate pampering and indulgence. Rooms feature striped carpets, classic cream colour palettes, and big windows for truly impressive city views.
Location: Just 100 yards from Austin Convention Center, this hotel — set in Waller Creek District — is also near Congress Avenue Bridge, 6th Street, and Rainey Street Historic District, all of which are within walking distance.
5. Aloft Austin Downtown
Aloft Austin Downtown has a lot going for it. It’s a modern, fresh, youthful hotel with decor to match. There’s a large garden terrace area for mingling with other guests over an evening drink or two, plus a delicious restaurant and a coffee bar.
This pet-friendly hotel feels very boutique throughout. The guest rooms are warm and comfortable, boasting cosy beds made up with crisp white linen for a great night’s sleep.
Location: From its Downtown location, there’s a lot within easy walking distance from here; from bars, restaurants and entertainment on 6th Street to sights like the Capitol Building, the Children’s Museum, and the Governor’s Mansion. Lady Bird Lake is two and a half miles away.
6. Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
Smart and sophisticated, the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt is definitely the place to stay for comfort and luxury in Austin. The guest rooms are decked out with retro vintage furnishings without compromising on the style for a hip, fashionable finish.
Cocktails are served in the swanky hotel bar, where you can enjoy live music while gazing at incredible views of the Downtown skyline. American dishes made from locally sourced ingredients are on offer at the onsite restaurant.
Location: Situated on Rainey Street, this hotel has a lot of history nearby, but you’ll also have the fun nightlife of 6th Street just a stone’s throw away — no need for taxis.
7. Heywood Hotel
From the outside, the Heywood Hotel looks like any other ordinary suburban home. But inside, somehow you are transported into a design lover’s dream. Minimalist aesthetic meets mid-century modern furnishings for one of the coolest Austin hotels going.
Alongside the clean and cool decor throughout, this hotel is eco-friendly. Staff offer free bike hire so you can explore the city at your leisure, and locally roasted coffee is served throughout the day. It truly is a one-of-a-kind place to stay.
Location: As suburban as it looks, the hotel is actually located in East Cesar Chavez, putting guests just half a mile from 6th Street. The Texas State Capitol is a five-minute drive from the property. As a major plus, Lady Bird Lake is only a mile away.
8. Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
The ideal hotel in Austin for a getaway, this 4-star resort is set within 4,000 acres of grounds — and as a result, has a lot going on. There are no less than four golf courses, ten tennis courts, an indoor pool, and three outdoor pools.
Other amenities include a spacious gym – complete with its own fitness classes – and even a running track. There are seven restaurants and bars to choose from at this amazing hotel, and guest rooms are suitably large and gorgeously appointed.
Location: A 20-minute drive from Downtown Austin, this resort is just under six miles away from Barton Springs. The Village at Westlake Shopping Center and Wild Basin Wilderness Park are two miles away.
9. Hotel Saint Cecilia
Hotel Saint Cecilia is decidedly cool. Set inside an old residential home, the interiors here mix traditional features with arty design details and plenty of carefully curated colour pops for a unique hotel experience. The pool area, for one thing, is very hip and chilled out.
The onsite restaurant serves delicious meals, which can be enjoyed in the courtyard. Rooms are tastefully yet eclectically decorated and feature their own record players and a selection of LPs to play at your leisure.
Location: This cool hotel is a short walk from Lady Bird Lake and a selection of its beaches. There are many bars, cafes, and restaurants for guests to discover in the local vicinity.
10. JW Marriott Austin
Occupying a large, gleaming tower, the JW Marriott is everything a high-end hotel should be. The guest rooms are spacious, boasting large, luscious beds with leather headboards. Bathrooms are stylish and tiled.
But it’s not just about the rooms; the views of the Austin skyscrapers surrounding the outdoor terrace (which features a sizeable rooftop pool and cabanas) are fantastic. There are three restaurants to choose from, so you may never need to leave the comfort of this top Austin hotel.
Location: Practically on South Congress Avenue, this place is within walking distance of so many places — City Hall, Lady Bird Lake, Texas State Capitol, 6th Street, among other things, making this Downtown location a prime one indeed.
11. Four Seasons Hotel Austin
The Four Seasons in Austin is a sprawling, high-end example of the best the city’s hospitality has to offer. There are 294 rooms to choose from, many of which have beautiful views looking over Lady Bird Lake. All have been decorated for a chilled ambience.
This hotel also boasts manicured gardens, a heated saltwater pool, a well-equipped fitness centre, and an award-winning spa. For a romantic evening, guests can dine in the onsite restaurant, Ciclo, which overlooks the lake.
Location: Right next door to Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park is also in easy reach of the hotel — as is Barton Springs Pool, 6th Street, the Texas State Capitol, and many more attractions.
12. Austin Motel
Austin Motel may not sound like much, but this renovated roadside motel is the place to soak up the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” coolness. The decor throughout is Instagram-ready, with plenty of houseplants and mid-century modern furniture keeping it bright and fresh.
The guest rooms here are delights of modern interior design, full of retro furnishings and quirky, individual touches – always with a knowing nod to its own brand of motel chic. It boasts an artsy onsite shop and even a diner-cum-food truck parked right outside.
Location: This place is in SoCo, the “hip” area of Austin; as such, there are plenty of cafes, coffee shops, bars, eateries, restaurants, food trucks, galleries, and creative spots to check out in the vicinity.
13. The InterContinental Downtown Stephen F Austin
A high-end hotel with service to match, this branch of the InterContinental makes use of the old building it’s set in to deliver a mix of traditional and elegant modern decor. This hotel contains all the ambience associated with a bygone era.
Rooms are well-appointed, polished and comfortable, while the shared spaces are refined places for guests to kick back in. Roaring Fork, the onsite restaurant, serves up lunch and dinner, and breakfast is served in the hotel lounge. It’s a classy affair.
Location: Situated on Congress Avenue, this hotel boasts a fantastic location steps from the State Capitol. Also nearby is City Hall and the ever-popular 6th Avenue bars and restaurants.
14. Hotel San Jose
Hotel San Jose brims with effortless style. Originally built as a “modern” motor court in 1936, this cool Austin hotel now has a chic hipster vibe — an oasis of cool interior design and lush gardens behind walls thick with greenery.
Rooms here pay homage to an Austin of the past with retro trinkets and vintage furniture – somewhere between the 1960s and ’80s. Guests can splash in the resort-like outdoor pool, catch some rays, or have evening drinks in the courtyard. A continental breakfast is served each day.
Location: Right in the middle of South Congress Avenue – or SoCo – you can easily walk to Downtown from here. But there are plenty of hipster spots — from coffee shops to eateries — in the neighbourhood.
15. South Congress Hotel
Another of Austin’s Instagram-ready SoCo hotels, this place is pointedly looking towards the past with its polished, mid-century modern decor. Each room at this place is lovingly styled for the ultimate in retro-cool. It’s certainly a hip place to stay.
Amenities include a sun terrace, as well as a pool and a garden to relax in. There’s an onsite restaurant where dinner and evening drinks can be enjoyed, and even a fitness centre to keep up with those workouts.
Location: In the heart of SoCo, there are a whole host of taco joints, juice bars, and cafes in the neighbourhood. Barton Springs Pool, for chilled days and picnics, is a mile and a half away, and there are shopping opportunities and other local parks in the vicinity.