Straddling the gushing waters of the Colorado River sits the hip capital of Texas, Austin, a creative jewel in Texas’ crown. Hailing itself as the “World’s Live Music Capital,” Austin is all about bluegrass, blues, country, and roots festivals that are held throughout the year. But, that’s not all. It’s also home to more than 300 parks, miles and miles of outdoor trails, and loads and loads of culinary fun. So, whether it’s for pleasure or work, everyone wants to spend time in Austin, and the hotel industry has risen excellently to meet the demand. The best hotels in Austin, TX range from swanky 6th street downtown properties to boutique Texas ones in the eclectic Zilker Park neighborhood. You’ll also find free-spirited bohemian hostels, themed hotels, and those with a colorful past. No matter what kind of hotel in what budget you’re looking for, Austin has you covered.
And why not? There’s so much to see and do in the city, besides feasting your eyes on the stunning Texas State Capitol. Outdoorsmen will love Barton Springs Municipal Pool, Zilker Park, and McKinley Falls State Park. On the other hand, culture vultures won’t be able to leave the Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art. And, of course, there are all-around favorite sights such as Lady Bird Lake, Mayfield Park and Nature Reserve, and Mount Bonnell. Clearly, spending more than a few days in Austin is the only way to explore the city well. So, here are the 11 best hotels in Austin, TX that include downtown 6th street as well as Zilker Park ones.
Where to Stay in Austin, TX?
Austin’s official nickname “Violet Crown City,” given the lovely purplish lights appearing over the hills on wintry evenings. However, the eclectic and fun-loving city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” Its neighborhoods are much the same, and range from the buzzing and central ones to quieter suburban areas. Firstly, we have Downtown, which sits on the northern banks of the Colorado River. It’s not only well-connected to the rest of the city but is also home to most of its sites. Within downtown, you have the shopping hub of 2nd street, Rainey Street, and Austin’s biggest nightlife district, 6th street. In fact, hotels in Austin, TX near 6th street are some of the most popular and quickly selling-out ones in the city.
Secondly, we have East Austin that sits opposite Downtown across the freeway. It’s famed for its eclectic and artistic vibe and has some of the city’s best food trucks, art galleries, and street art. Next up is South Congress Avenue or SOCO, which lies south of the Colorado River and downtown. It’s one of Austin’s trendiest areas and is home to taco bars, funky boutiques, and antique shops. Finally, we have Zilker Park, which is a huge green space with biking and hiking trails just south of Downtown. Hotels in Austin Texas near Zilker Park are popular due to the growing number of fabulous bars, shops, and restaurants in the area.
The Carpenter Hotel
The Carpenter Hotel is amongst the best hotels in Austin Texas near Zilker Park. Don’t be fooled by the hotel’s seemingly unassuming exterior. Once a carpenters’ union hall, the almost unfinished exterior looks like a high school with austere hallways and wooden floors. On the inside, the quirky hotel sports a sleek postmodern look. Relax or enjoy a cuppa in the coffee shop and living room lounge. That said, the best bit here is the outdoor pool, complete with cabanas and chaise loungers. The coolest feature here is the red pool phone wherefrom you can order beverages and food to your poolside perch. Eat everything from breakfast to late-night cravings at The Carpenters Hall Restaurant. It’s peppered with remnants of the original space, such as exposed pipes and wall hangings from the original union.
Choose from 93 minimalist and spacious rooms decked out in rich blue hues. Comfy platform beds, cushy chairs, and concrete ceilings and floors are standard in all of them. You’ll find a mini-fridge, snacks for purchase, a flatscreen TV, and private balconies in all of them. However, the standout feature is the sliding blackout wall completely covering the windows and door for light-blocking and privacy.
W Austin is not just one of the best hotels in Austin TX near 6th street, but is also amongst the Top Gay-Friendly Hotels In Austin! Its location just a few blocks south of Austin’s gay neighborhood in the Warehouse District is what makes it so popular with the LGBTQ+ crowd. There’s a lot to like about this swanky 37 story hotel, which is attached to the iconic Moody Theater.
When you enter, W’s famous Whatever/Whenever concierge service will help you with anything that you might need. Of the four lounges that lie off the lobby, we’d recommend the Records Room with floor-to-ceiling shelves of vinyl and a roaring fireplace. While the AWAY Spa is one of the most decadent places in the city to relax, the pinnacle of everything hedonistic is the heated WET Outdoor Pool. It has lounge chairs, private cabanas, and even a fireplace. If you’re a fitness freak, the 24-hour FIT fitness center is right up your alley. Begin and end your day with lip-smacking meals at the Trace restaurant, which is an Austinian favorite.
W’s rooms and suites are an extension of the hotel’s cool factor and feature natural materials, cool neutral shades. What’s more, you’ll find an ode to the city’s culture in the form of original photography. Besides the signature W beds, the LED luxurious bath products, munchie stations, minibars, and accent lights lend a complete party mood to the room. If you want to splurge, get the Suites that are humongous living spaces of luxury. Oh, and did we mention that you can book in-room spa services? Yes!
One of the best hotels in Austin TX near 6th street, The Driskill is the most authentically Texan hotel that you can find in all of Texas! This downtown grand dame from the 1880s is named after Mr. Driskill, a cattle baron, and boasts an iconic brick-and-limestone façade. Meanwhile, the rooms embody a “classic Western-meets-modern” theme with intricate wallpaper, leather furniture, wrought-iron bed frames. Along with high ceilings, they all make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. What’s more, the décor pays tribute to the hotel’s rich Texan history too. For instance, the headboard on the wrought-iron bed features not only Texan stars but also the letter “D,” which looks like a cattle branding iron. Even the bathrooms are no less, with Brazilian marble countertops and huge bathtubs.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, especially the lobby with its chandeliers, decorative columns, and vaulted ceilings. The stained glass fixtures and marble flooring will make you feel like absolute royalty. Modernity is evident in the form of the 24-hour gym, complete with panoramic views of downtown. Eat your way through excellent Texan fare at The Driskill Grill and enjoy a drink at the elegant bar which usually features live piano music. The hotel is perhaps most famous for its “1886 Chocolate Cake” at the 1886 Café & Bakery. It might cost a whopping $8 per slice, but it’s worth every penny!
Austin Proper Hotel
The Austin Proper Hotel is one of the best hotels in Austin TX near 6th street. With a heart-of-downtown location, the Proper hotel is like an ode to Austin’s and Texas’ landscape behind its giant black doors. It begins from the lobby, which features deep golds and greens of the surrounding hill country, rusty-red love chairs, and private enclaves with patinaed club chairs. You’ll also find 1930s wrought-iron light fixtures, cypress wood floors covered by vintage patterned rugs, and a black-and-white gingham ceiling over the reception! Food is an important affair at the Proper, right from the high-energy lobby bar and casual sidewalk café to Peacock, Austin’s best Mediterranean restaurant serving Israeli and Greek fare. Wellness is also a serious business here, which is evident with the outdoor pool with a mezcal/tequila bar and the decadent spa. There’s also yoga and Bootcamp classes, and a swanky gym.
But, that’s not all. You’ll also in-room shopping, floral arrangement classes, and a dog-friendly running club (yes!). Now, let’s come to the great stuff: the cozy rooms. Oozing a home-away-from-home vibe, you’ll find beds with down comforters, floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible Austin views, and dark red headboards. Antique rugs, light wood floors, and thatched-style wallpaper further the feeling of coziness, as do the beautiful flower arrangements. While you’ll find deep soaking tubs and swish mod-cons everywhere, come rooms even have balconies. Do you want to splurge? Go for one of the balcony rooms overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
Hotel San Jose
Sitting in a Spanish tile-roofed bungalow with mature ivy climbing all over its brick walls, Hotel San Jose is a hidden gem. One of the best hotels in Austin Texas near Zilker Park, it lies right next to the iconic Jo’s coffee house, a darling for Austinians all over. This hotel is a sort of a staple and a legend on Austin’s music scene, what with the legendary SXSW event and all the free courtyard concerts. San Jose is as eclectic and whimsical as the neighborhood it lies in. For instance, Polaroid cameras and typewriters can be borrowed at the front desk. Besides being incredibly pet-friendly, the hotel even greets dogs with treats at check-in and allows borrowing dog beds and bowls. You’ll love the magical and tranquil courtyard, which has a small Zen-like pool that’s the perfect place to unwind.
Coming to the inviting rooms, they all feature framed concert posters, low-profile pine furniture, and a lovely olive green bathroom sliding door. Plush bathrobes matching the pillows and blankets come in pink and blue, while the Japanese floral patterned linens are for sale. Moreover, the pristine, all-white bathrooms boast bespoke Malin + Goetz products. Begin your day with a cooked-to-order breakfast in bed, which includes five kinds of breakfast tacos and custom Intelligentsia coffee from Jo’s.
Featuring 428 rooms, The Line is “Texas big,” and one of the best hotels in Austin TX near 6th street as well as Zilker Park. Tucked in a modern mid-century structure, the Line brings the outdoors in with a tribal-looking fireplace, floral chairs, and potted plants. A textured canvas ceiling and lush green plants dangling from gold planters set the scene here. There are four restaurants to eat at, but the bohemian dive bar of Dean’s One Trick Pony might just be our most favorite. It serves the most delicious Southern goodies ever – think Southern fried chicken sandwich washed down with kale and honey buttermilk slaw. Sunset is best spent at the rooftop bar that looks more like a greenhouse and boasts the city’s best views of Congress Bridge. Rounding up the amenities here is a small gym and a lovely ground-level swimming pool peppered with umbrellas.
Rooms are a cross between distinctive and minimalist, thanks to the earthy hues and original books and artwork by Texan artists. The books come from local bookstores, while the artwork has been commissioned from local artists. Interesting light hangings and textured headboards aside, you’ll find cloud-like beds and mood lighting in the bathrooms. Younger couples looking for an avant-garde yet romantic place to stay will particularly love this place.
The boutique Native Hostel is one of the best hotels in Austin TX near 6th street. With origins going back to 1897, the hotel has served as a factory, a brewery, and a boarding house for railroad workers. Today, it’s a chic boutique hostel that sits inside the original limestone building. A charming outdoor bistro with twinkling lights welcomes you within a light-filled parlor-cum-lounge/coffee shop/lobby. The place is like a Bohemian-chic living room – think a copper-toned espresso bar, gold leaf mirrors, leather and velvet sofas, and tangles of tropical plants. Sit at the long, long communal table and dig into American delicacies with a twist. Besides a continental breakfast, there are also daily specials such as a fried chicken sandwich topped with a sunny-side-up egg – yum. If that wasn’t enough, there’s even a bar where you can chug local draft beers and sip on craft cocktails.
The accommodations might be bunk-style, but they’re less hostel and more chic boutique hotel thanks to high ceilings, velvet chairs, and vintage Oriental rugs. Choose from four/six-person dorms, as well as four loft-style rooms, all of which come with oversized beds for comfort.
South Congress Hotel
Tucked in Austin, Texas’ hip SoCo neighborhood near Zilka Park is one of its best hotels, the South Congress Hotel. Set in a low, white-brick structure, the hotel sits in a huge compound that occupies almost an entire block in SoCo. The amenities here are so inviting and excellent that you could spend days on the property and not step out. There are lots of semi-private seating areas in the spacious lobby for hanging out. Choose to eat and drink from six restaurants and bars, the best of them all being Cafe No Sé and the omakase cocktail hub Watertrade. When it’s cold out, the sunroom is the perfect place for a cuppa. The crowning jewel is the rooftop pool that sits in an Instagram-worthy mid-century-modern brickwork setting. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the Best Hotel Pools In Austin.
The rooms emulate the hotel’s hip yet zany style and feature an eye-popping gray-and-deep turquoise color palette. The beds are sleep-inducing, while the his-and-hers “love kit” makes the place great for couples too. Even the bathrooms are sleek with plush robes, bronze accents, and polished and spiffy surfaces. Views are either of the quiet residential neighborhood in the back or the buzzing nightlife out front.
It might not be anywhere near 6th street or Zilka Park, but the Heywood Hotel is one of the best hotels in Austin, TX. Sitting in a 1920s Craftsman bungalow in East Austin, the utterly charming modern porch with hanging basket chairs looks more like a pleasing home than a hotel. But, that’s the entire point. Scandi-chic furniture and Southwestern décor welcome you into the lobby. It’s like staying in someone’s home, especially since the owners and staff help out with maps and even help you craft a daily itinerary. Moreover, there are even complimentary loaner bikes that come with suggested routes, lights, locks, and helmets for exploring the neighborhood. After a long day of exploring Austin, guzzle a cold one on the upstairs patio with potted succulents and twinkling lights.
Seven rooms make staying here an intimate experience, with all of them featuring locally made artwork and custom Western-modern furniture. The bright skylight and high ceilings make them feel spacious, as does the huge full-length wall mirror. Besides thoughtful mod-cons such as plus a white noise machine and speaker, you’ll also find the world’s most affordable minibars here. Gleaming bathrooms with bespoke toiletries round up the comfortable stay.
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
If you’re a music aficionado, then you’ll fit right at Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, one of the best hotels in Austin Texas near Zilker Park. Named for famed country music legend Townes Van Zandt, Austin is where this hotel fits right in. The musical heritage and touches are just about everywhere. Think a lobby bar record player and French-horn-made chandeliers. There’s a lot you’ll love about the hotel, such as the morning room service with fried eggs and brioche French toast from the hotel restaurant. If you want to splurge, the four-floor pool deck has cabanas with fridges and flatscreen TVs. Splash into the cool waters to hear tunes coming from the underwater sound system! You can even grab loaner bikes and explore the city. But, do come back in time for the free daily lobby happy hour with skinny margaritas, beer, and wine.
All rooms at Kimpton Van Zandt feature stylish navy-and-gray color palettes and enjoy sweeping views of either Lady Bird Lake or the city. Historic maps of Austin feature as wallpapers, while framed replicas of vintage concert posters adorn the walls. Moreover, the in-room boot jack and yoga mat speak to Austin culture, as do the barbeque-flavored almonds and Topo Chico mineral water.
Occupying the top spot on the list of best hotels in Austin TX is the Austin Motel. This Austin icon is a kind of stripped-down spot that all the cool kids love and offers a true motel experience. The modern motor lodge was a 1930s-era White stucco motel – the neon red phallic sign is a dead giveaway. Today, the chic space boasts a huge kidney-shaped pool with sunbeds and umbrellas. Order koozies or cocktails right to the poolside – after all, that’s what summers are for. There’s even a gift shop selling local beers and wines, which you can enjoy in the red Barcelona chairs in the sun-kissed courtyard.
The rooms are original to the 1930s motel, but the decor is as whimsical and funky as it gets. Think old-school push-button phones and tufted-vinyl platforms. The bathrooms are small but sleek with bespoke organic bathroom products. If an offbeat living experience is what you’re looking for in Austin, this is the place to be!
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Austin:
- Austin Secret Food Tour: Skip the tourist traps and go on a real, authentic food tour of Austin. Explore the eclectic range of lip-smacking delights that Austin has to offer on this 3-hour food tour. And do keep a lot of space in your tummy for tasting tons of treats as your knowledgable guide tells you all about how and where Austin’s modern cuisine came about.
- Contigo: Contigo and its outdoor space are a fierce favorite with locals as well, thanks to its delectable burgers and steaks. Feel like a local Austinite as you munch on delicious burgers and sip on seasonal cocktails at the family-style tables, as the staff happily chats with you about the history of the place and anecdotes about the food.
Recommended Activities in Austin:
- Best of Austin Small-Group Guided Tour: If a small group tour is how you want to explore the best of Austin, then this tour is for you. Join a well-informed local guide on a 2-hour adventure of Austin’s hidden gems, many, many parks, and major landmarks. Snap pictures of parks, their music scene, and vibrant street art, explore the Capitol, and end your tour with a visit to Austin’s famous food trucks.
- Downtown Austin Historic Segway Tour: Exploring Austin’s Downtown will take you as much time as it’ll take to explore the rest of the city! So, hop on to a segway and join this 2-hour tour of Austin’s historic downtown that explores its age-old and timeless structures as well as its modern glass-and-steel skyscrapers.