Words by Kristen Olson
The hotels of Austin focus their energy on being as cool as the city itself. The result is a plethora of swanky rooftop pools, live music, award-winning restaurants, avant-garde suites, and remarkable hospitality. Each hotel is different from the next, showing just how many ways the city can be emulated through design and features. Here are the best things hidden inside some of Austin’s best hotels, to be enjoyed by guests and non-guests alike.
Hotel Van Zandt
605 Davis St
Thriving off the belief that “there is no Austin without live music,” Hotel Van Zandt hosts concerts every night at their restaurant, Geraldine’s. In true Austin character, Geraldine’s is named after an unfortunate but beloved guinea fowl that met her fate when she wandered onto a street. Now, her legacy is honored with “authentic Austin” fare like ceviche tacos, coffee-rubbed wagyu, and short ribs. Enjoy the amazing food and music with an Austin-themed house cocktail, and make a toast to Geraldine!
W Hotel Austin
200 Lavaca St
Spent a few too many nights out on the town? Unwind at the AWAY Spa in the W Hotel Austin with their tempting menu of massages, facials, treatments, manicures, and pedicures. They even carry Kendra Scott’s exclusive nail polish collection full of beautiful gemstone-inspired shades. A spa pass also grants you access to the WET Deck—the W’s A-list rooftop pool—as well as their state-of-the-art gym. In other words, come here to have the best day of pampering imaginable.
South Congress Hotel
1603 South Congress Ave
For a charmingly retro take on Austin, visit the South Congress Hotel. Motorcycle and electric bike rentals are available for guests, so take advantage of the opportunity to jet around the city in style. Inside the hotel, chow down at the beautiful Central Standard Bar & Grill for a delightful choice of oysters, Prime steaks, or one of the greatest burgers in Texas. Don’t miss out on dessert, either—Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman is one of the best in the business.
Westin Austin Downtown
310 E 5th St
Located in the heart of the city, the Westin’s rooftop bar and pool is the tallest in Austin. Azul is sleek, modern, and ultra chic—their statistics show that 120 bottles of champagne are served poolside each month! Awe over the sweeping views of downtown with your toes in the water and a blood orange margarita in hand. Fire pits illuminate the deck after the sun sets behind the skyline. There are plenty of hours offered to non-guests that are 21+.
604 Brazos St
The historic side of Austin is best captured at The Driskill, a stunning hotel built in 1886. The Driskill Grill located inside has been voted a top restaurant in both Austin and in the U.S. It’s also hosted some very famous company—in 1934, Lyndon B. Johnson took future First Lady Claudia Taylor on their first date at this exact spot. Maybe this is the reason for multiple Most Romantic superlatives, but it could also be because of the award-winning line list or opulent, 1929-era historic charm. For a drink, head to The Driskill Bar, voted the Best Bar in Texas by Southern Living. In this magnificent city, house cocktails and live music are timeless.