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.
For great value
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.