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Whether it’s the tech-savvy crowds of SXSW, the Tex Mex-loving foodies who live on tacos and beer, or the hipster music fans holding court at bluegrass festivals and punk shows, everyone seems to want a slice of Austin these days. Can you blame them? The capital of the Lone Star State exudes cool from its every nook and cranny. As befits the weirdest city in America, there’s a wide array of eclectic lodging — from achingly hip hostels to full-scale Hill Country luxury spas to swanky downtown hotels — all at your fingertips. Whether you're checking in with a beau, taking a solo trip, or have your whole brood in tow, these are the hotels worth staying at.
Best Overall: Hotel Saint Cecilia
When it comes to boutique lodging in the ATX, it sure as heck doesn’t get hipper than Hotel Saint Cecilia. Tucked away just off the popular South Congress district, this rock ‘n’ roll-inspired oasis somehow feels like it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Named after the patron saint of poetry and music, the Saint Cecilia is often frequented by musicians and other celeb types who swing through town, so don’t be surprised if you bump into Dave Matthews, Fiona Apple, Dave Grohl, or Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) during your stay.
The small, 14-room hotel is a veritable hotbed of thoughtfully curated and chic amenities, including a 24-hour lap pool, lushly landscaped grounds (that are only open to guests), organic handcrafted Hastens beds, a lending library of vintage LPs, and minibars stocked with Santa Maria Novella body care products and high-end booze and snacks. Luxury doesn’t come cheap at the Saint Cecilia, but this impeccably designed hotel is absolutely worth the splurge.
Best Budget: Native Hostel
More of a sophisticated boutique hotel than a traditional hostel, Native Hostel is Austin’s newest low-budget lodging option and the country’s first “boutique hostel” brand. The distinctly cool Native offers 12 dorm-style rooms with 66 beds (there are also two king-size beds available upon request), plus plenty of light-filled communal spaces, including a well-equipped kitchen, loft rooms, a parlor-lounge for co-working, and a 16-foot-long shared dining table. The decor is bohemian-hip, with huge velvet sofas scattered throughout, whimsical artwork, richly colored textiles, polished concrete floors, and leafy hanging plants. Plus, this popular East Side spot also doubles as a trendy bar and kitchen that serves craft cocktails and delicious American-style cuisine (think gourmet grilled cheeses, smoked pork tacos, and duck confit) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hostel also hosts daily on-site events, including obscure film screenings, live collaborative DJ sets, city walks, and more. Native Hostel certainly isn’t your average budget-friendly accommodation: It’s closer to an upscale boutique hotel, at half the cost.
Best Boutique: Kimber Modern
A seven-room private enclave in the heart of the city, the Kimber Modern is unlike any other boutique lodging in Austin. This sleekly designed modern marvel is nestled just off South Congress Avenue, underneath a thick canopy of towering live oak trees, and it’s often mistaken for a private residence since it’s so nondescript. Both the interior and exterior of the hotel are stark white and intercut with intricate woodwork and vibrant dashes of color. The multi-level courtyard is a stunning standout, with its 25-foot glass water feature, communal fire pit, comfy lounge chairs, and immaculate plantings.
Here, guests get a gourmet breakfast every morning, as well as access to a 24/7 beverage bar. In-room amenities are plentiful and include a 32-inch flat screen TV, fridge, reading chair and desk, fine linens, Egyptian cotton towels, luxe bath products, large walk-in showers, and floor-to-ceiling windows; suites boast a separate seating area and deep soaking tub. The Kimber is bound to woo architecture aficionados and boutique hotel fans alike.
Best for Romance: South Congress Hotel
The South Congress Hotel is the ideal home base for the best date ever. Ready? Step One: Peruse the iconic shops and galleries on South Congress Avenue by day. Step Two: Break for dinner at lauded on-site restaurant Otoko, where you can nosh on upscale Tokyo-style sushi for as long your heart desires (or at least as long as your belly can withstand). Step Three: Walk over to the famed Continental Club for some live alt-country tunes and two-stepping. (Come on, you’re in Texas!) Step Four: End your night with handcrafted cocktails on the rooftop pool, while gazing out over the neon-lit SoCo bars and the glittering downtown skyline.
Rooms at the South Congress Hotel come in three different styles, and there are two premier suites with killer views; amenities include Matteo bed linens, a locally sourced minibar, sizeable walk-in shower with C.O. Bigelow bath products, custom Finery LA bathrobes, Wi-Fi, a 46-inch LED television, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, and exclusive access to 40+ Alamo Drafthouse films.
Best for Families: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
For families who’d prefer space and time away from the city, a stay at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is in order. Located about 25 miles from downtown Austin, this very family-friendly Hill Country resort has everything you and your kiddos could possibly want or need: namely, the Crooked River Water Park and Pool Area, which boasts a 1,000-foot lazy river, shaded deck with sun loungers and private cabanas, a children’s pool with a giant waterslide, and an adults-only pool. The property also organizes several recreational activities with kids in mind, from s’mores-making to horseback riding to flag football games.
Rooms and suites at the Hyatt are spacious and luxurious, and come outfitted with a flat-screen TV with in-room movies, workspace, high-speed internet, coffee maker, mini-fridge, iron and ironing board, and full bath amenities. Family travelers could stay at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort for weeks on end and never run out of fun activities to enjoy.
Best for Nightlife: Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
An architectural homage to Austin’s musical legacy, the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt is named after legendary guitarist Townes Van Zandt, and the entire property is decked out with music-focused artwork and design flourishes. The Van Zandt is also located right on the edge of Rainey Street (a strip of converted bungalows that’s now a buzzing social scene), so nightlife-loving travelers, in particular, will enjoy staying at this downtown hotspot. You can walk to several of the city’s coolest bars and restaurants from here, including G’Raj Mahal (awesome Indian), Craft Pride (for craft brews), Geraldine’s (for curated live music), and Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden.
The Van Zandt’s 319 modern-designed suites and guestrooms are decorated with crisp white linens, dark wood paneling, gleaming bronze accents, and sleek furniture in attractive shades of charcoal and deep blue; amenities include a mini-bar, yoga mats, morning coffee and tea service, complimentary Wi-Fi, luxury Atelier Bloem products, and other essentials. For a real treat, ask for a specialty suite with views of Lady Bird Lake.
Best for Business: JW Marriott
Business travelers would do well to stay at the JW Marriott Austin, with its stellar downtown location, next-door proximity to the Austin Convention Center, and wide array of business facilities and event space. Featuring more than a thousand guest rooms, this sky-high hotel is the largest JW Marriott in the U.S., and the second largest in the world. The hotel’s corporate crown jewel is its expansive, 24-hour business center, which boasts an on-site FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, Wi-Fi, messenger service, and fax service, among other amenities. There are also three top-notch restaurants on the premises, along with one of the best rooftop pool areas in all of Austin.
Rooms here are plush, elegant, and outfitted with all the modern conveniences you could ever need while traveling on business, such as rapid-fire Wi-Fi, large glass shower, signature Marriott Reve bedding, top-of-the-line bath products, Smart TV, expansive desk and ergonomic chair, and 24-hour room service. In terms of comfort, style, and location, the JW Marriott is easily the best business hotel in the ATX.
Best for Luxury: Lake Austin Spa Resort
Austin’s #1 luxury retreat, the Lake Austin Spa Resort is a lavish destination in its own right. Exclusive to the nth degree, this Hill Country resort and spa is where well-to-do folks go to get their wellness on. The property’s picturesque cottage-style guestrooms look out over the serene lake, and each room features a comfy California king bed (or 2 full beds), original artwork, fresh-cut flowers, a spacious writing desk, silk-trimmed canopies, vanity area, and a tranquil outdoor patio with Brown Jordan Savannah furniture. Other basic amenities include a Keurig coffee maker, LCD TV, in-room safe and fridge, and daily room service
A range of fitness classes and recreational activities — yoga, Tai Chi, hydro-bike rides, and culinary workshops — are included in package rates. And, a visit to the world-class Lakehouse Spa is a must: Guests can choose from over 100 unique spa treatments and services, including massage therapy, a soothing scalp massage, organic facials, nail therapy, acupuncture, and so much more.
Best B&B: Star of Texas Inn
For travelers craving more of an intimate bed-and-breakfast experience, the charming Star of Texas Inn is the perfect lodging choice. Tucked away from the crowds of the UT campus, this classic B&B operates two guesthouses on adjacent lots, both of which feel like true Southern homesteads (complete with wraparound porches and rocking chairs, of course). All rooms are furnished with priceless antiques, vintage decor, and giant wrought-iron bed frames, and many feature a claw-foot tub and balcony.
A decadent breakfast is served every morning, either buffet-style or made-to-order, and the friendly staff is happy to accommodate any special diet needs or restrictions. Best of all, guests can walk to dozens of Austin’s most iconic eateries, bars, and cultural sites from the Star of Texas: The Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, Dog and Duck Pub, the Capitol, and tons of other shops and restaurants are all just a few steps away from your front door.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular hotels in Austin, Texas. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different hotels, read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative), and stayed in 5 of the hotels themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.