Some of Austin’s premier destinations are on the shores of Lady Bird Lake (part of the Colorado River), where visitors can enjoy the quiet trails and gather to watch the thrilling sight as thousands of bats cross the water at sunset. Downtown hotels are also among the more expensive but more luxurious options that are central to the sights. Just south of the river, its trendy SOCO The area is named for the concentration of restaurants, unique shops, galleries, and entertainment along South Congress Avenue. These neighborhoods are all among the best areas to stay in Austin. Cheaper accommodations that are still conveniently located off major routes are north of the city center and close to the airport to the southeast.
Where to stay for luxury
Austin’s Four Seasons Hotel lives up to its reputation as a top luxury hotel, with perks including twice-daily housekeeping, children’s and babysitting activities, a saltwater pool, and an excellent concierge. The hotel’s garden-filled grounds border the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail and are just across the water from the Statesman Bat Observation Center.
The iconic InterContinental Stephen F. Austin sits Downtown, just off Congress Avenue, where visitors are awed by historic buildings and drawn to the many unique shops, just steps from the Austin Museum of Art and four of the state capital. If you don’t get a chance to stay here, be sure to stop by to admire the Art Deco facade and grand lobby with twin staircases. Guests of this five-star hotel will enjoy amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with lap pool.
The stunning rooftop pool at the W Austin is an ideal place to relax, cool off and sunbathe, while those who prefer the A/C can snuggle up on a comfy couch in the record room and listen to a of the hundreds of vinyl albums available. This hotel is adjacent to the famous Austin City Limits and just two blocks from the water and the Willie Nelson Statue.
Located in north Austin, adjacent to The Domain, the Archer Hotel Austin is surrounded by fine dining, upscale boutiques and boutiques, and recreation for the entire family. Amenities include an outdoor pool, in-room refrigerator, fitness center and free WiFi.
Where to stay for the best value
The Hyatt Regency is an ideal place to watch the swarms of bats having their evening meal, sitting on the banks of Lady Bird Lake between the City Nature Preserves and the Statesman Bat Observation Center. Guests will enjoy very clean, modern rooms with mini-fridges and amenities such as a swimming pool, hot tub and exercise facilities.
The Crowne Plaza also offers free parking, a tennis court and a self-service launderette. North of the city, near the Highland Mall and at the intersection of I35 and 290, the hotel also offers shuttle service to the airport and downtown for the convenience of its guests.
Located just off I35 south of downtown, the Best Western Plus is a newly renovated hotel with a large outdoor pool and guest laundromat. Guests can also stretch their dollars by taking advantage of the generous complimentary hot breakfast and convenient in-room refrigerator and microwave.
The brand new Holiday Inn Austin Airport features a micro-kitchenette in their spacious and spotless rooms and also offers shuttle service to the city and nearby airport.
Where to stay on a budget
Close to the airport, there are several budget options for travelers, many of which exceed expectations for their price range. Almost all of these accommodations offer free shuttle transportation for guests. The Super 8 Austin/Airport South has clean and reasonably sized rooms with mini-fridges, microwaves, and gift baskets of snacks and water. Facilities include a self-service laundry, fitness center and hot tub. Breakfast is included and you can make Texas shaped waffles to start your day.
The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Austin Airport has an outdoor pool, tennis court and breakfast. The Comfort Suites offers a reliable place to rest, with all the amenities like microwave, breakfast, downtown shuttle and tennis court.
Rodeway Inn & Suites is conveniently located north of town on major routes. It offers affordable rooms with a computer, refrigerator and microwave. It has an affordable family suite with a family room and dining room. This hotel also offers free parking, free breakfast and a pool big enough for the whole crew.
Where to stay for romance
Couples won’t want to leave the southern fairy tale that is Hotel Ella, a classic Greek-revival mansion with Corinthian columns and verandas on the first and second floors. Just outside the center of town, it is convenient to the many restaurants on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and the shops of Guadalupe Street.
Austin’s SOCO area is a popular spot for couples to enjoy the trendy side of Austin. The Fairview is only four blocks from the action, yet tucked away in a beautiful and safe residential neighborhood that is full of historic homes. Going the extra mile, this converted historic home offers a complimentary breakfast with healthy choices and options, including gluten-free items. Privacy is ensured by the thoughtful addition of white-noise machines in every room, and those feeling social can spend hours relaxing in the rocking chairs on the front porch.
Even closer SOCO is the Kimber Modern Hotel, a seven-room boutique property with a refrigerator, breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking, as well as a central kitchen serving snacks and beverages. The garden is set under a peaceful canopy of 200-year-old oaks and on warmer days you can relax in a hammock by the fountain in the hotel’s atrium.
In downtown Close to the shops of Congress Street and the live music on East 6th Street, The Driskill is a historic historic southern mansion built in 1886. The lobby interior is breathtaking, and the spacious rooms are equally elegant yet comfortable and inviting, making this hotel truly a destination itself.