Click here for the best places to stay in Austin

Texan capital, Austin is known for being laid-back and creative - and possibly even a little bit ‘hippy’, in the friendly, colourful, artistic kind of a way - plus it also has the reputation for being the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. But Austin isn’t all music and ‘Keep Austin Weird’ bumper stickers: Austin has a rich history - it was founded in 1839, along with the Republic of Texas - and occupies a beautiful position, centre state, with abundant natural resources. If you’re coming for one of the big music festivals then you’ll need to book a long way in advance if you want to put up in one of the best places to stay in Austin. But there’s plenty of live music going on here every night.

Our Guru’s list of the best places to stay in Austin recommends properties across town, but if you’re here for the music then the best places to stay in Austin can be found in the Downtown area. This is also where you’ll find the coral pink granite State Capitol building, a key local landmark, and many of Austin’s varied museums and galleries.

You’ll find everything from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (which features everything from a re-imagining of Texas during Native Indian times to exhibits about the wild west in Hollywood and country music), to the Thinkery, a museum designed to inspire young minds with its hands on exhibitions unpicking ideas within the fields of science, technology and the arts.

Downtown Austin is also where you’ll find several excellent art museums. And of course many of Austin’s restaurants, bars and music venues.

Austin’s location in central Texas also means the weather is fine and warm most of the year - although in summer it’s fine and extremely hot. And unless it’s extremely hot you certainly won’t want to be spending all your time here indoors.

Barton Springs is a famed local natural swimming pool, in Zilker Park, a vast haven of shady green, run through with biking and hiking trails. Zilker Park is also where you’ll find the Zilker Botanical Gardens, spreading for 30 lush acres beside the Colorado River is a lovely, cool place to stroll. If you’re interested in the local flora then head out to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre.

Our Guru's pick of the best places to stay in Austin range from budget boutique to luxurious guest house - something for every taste and budget.

The Best Places to Stay in Austin

For a taste of classic Texas

  • Right in the heart of things, The Driskill is a wonderful old world charmer which has just recently undergone a significant renovation. The public spaces are grand - think stand glass domes, magnificent staircases and a legendary bar - and the rooms are a generous size, modern and comfortable.
  • The Hotel Ella is an elegant boutique hotel right by the University of Texas and the centre of town. The facade welcomes with grand columns and a huge porch, and the contemporary rooms have marble bathrooms and private balconies. Plus there’s an innovative restaurant and bar.

For fun!

  • The Hotel Saint Cecilia is a luxurious guest house with a small collection of suites and private villas. The colours are bold and the decor quirky. There’s a 70s inspired bar and an outdoor pool with a hot pink neon sign.
  • The Heywood Hotel has just seven rooms, but they’re modern and light and decorated with classic Texan art. There are free bikes, complimentary coffee and you’re within walking distance of restaurants and music venues.

For city chic

  • Kimber Modern is a seriously chic option, in the centre of town. Come here for stylish modern accommodation in the heart of the action.

For great value

  • The Hotel San Jose is a 1930s motel turned minimalist, modern boutique hotel with 40 rooms set around a courtyard and pool. There isn’t a restaurant but you’re just across the bridge from Downtown Austin, and there’s a breakfast room which is light and comfortable. Rooms start from around £130 per night.

Just out of town

  • The Travaasa Austin is perfect for those who want proximity to the city centre but a country location. Here you'll find spectacular views, spacious accommodation and a raft of activities from cookery classes to mountain biking.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Austin for you?

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The best hotels in Austin

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  • Hotel San Jose

    Austin (Texas)

    1930s motel turned minimalist modern boutique with a courtyard and pool. The light rooms are comfortable with all mod-cons and breakfast. No restaurant but a stone's throw from Downtown Austin with live music and film themed evenings in the courtyard. Cheaper than most, offers great location.

    40 rooms from $185
    Sights nearby  -  The Paramount Theatre for showsing of old films and live music.
    Fishing  -  Lake Austin for fishing.
    Great walks  -  Lady Bird Lake.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • The Driskill

    Austin (Texas)

    Old world charm oozes from the marble lobby, stained glass dome and magnificent staircase of this hot spot boutique, which has undergone a significant renovation. The large, classic rooms are comfortable with designer bathrooms. Award-winning Driskill Grill is popular, a legendary drinking hole.

    189 rooms from $261
    Sights nearby  -  Texas State Capitol is within walking distance.
    Kayaking  -  Spend the day kayaking on Barton Creek
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Kimber Modern

    Austin (Texas)

    Chic with a huge dollop of zen makes up this boutique on South Congress Avenue. Modern, light with splashes of colour found in the upholstery and the luxurious bathrooms. Head to the kitchen for a fine spread for breakfast, and relax on the deck with a book or around a firepit. Prime city location.

    7 rooms from $265
    Fishing  -  Lake Austin offers a great day fishing.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 15 years old.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia

    Austin (Texas)

    A trendy, luxury guest house with private villas and suites. Bright bold colours, quirky furniture and antique features are scattered throughout. Relax at the outdoor pool with it's unique hot-pink neon sign or in the 70s inspired bar. A swanky spot that is classically Austin.

    14 rooms from $285
    Great walks  -  Zilker Park
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Full of character
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Heywood Hotel

    Austin (Texas)

    Texas vibes can be seen in the art, the architecture, and the music, even down to the complimentary coffee. Modern and light rooms have white cool tiled bathrooms. Free bicycles available so exploring Austin is easy. This Adult only hotel has restaurants within walking distance. Great spot!

    7 rooms from $330
    Great walks  -  Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool.
    Sights nearby  -  Texas State Capitol 2 miles away.
    Full of character
    Restrictions on children
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Travaasa Austin

    Austin (Texas)

    This bright and airy hotel sits in 210 acres of Balcones Canyon lands with infinity pool and spa treatments. Rooms offer big beds, modern bathrooms and views. Organic restaurant offers locally sourced produce. Hiking, riding, biking, zipping are available for a fun-filled weekend or family holiday.

    70 rooms from $525
    Cooking classes  -  Basic Culinary Skills from the culinary team at the hotel.
    Great walks  -  Sunrise Hike and Hill Country Hike are both great walks.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Ella

    Austin (Texas)

    Elegant boutique in the hot spot that is Austin city centre. Guests are welcomed by classical columns, wrap around porch and pool. Contemporary rooms are the epitome of comfort with marble bathrooms and private balconies. Dine at Goodall's Kitchen and Bar with mouth watering innovative dishes.

    47 rooms from $559
    Fishing  -  Head to Barton Creek for some 'back to nature' activities such as fishing and leisurely walks.
    Sights nearby  -  The 307 ft clock tower at the University of Texas.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
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