Whether it’s Austin’s thriving music scene and popular restaurants or classic tourist attractions and innovative multi-industry events like South by Southwest, it’s evident that the Texas capital is only going to continue to attract more tourists and full-time residents alike. As the city has grown, so has its luxury hotel industry. While everything might be bigger in Texas, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the many charming boutique hotels in Austin—after all, not everyone wants to spend their vacation getting lost in a 500-key behemoth, especially those where every single public space and room looks frighteningly identical.
Travelers that want a more unique hotel experience should check out one of Austin’s many lovely boutique hotel options, some of which have been mainstays in the city’s landscape for decades, and others that are newcomers to the Texan capital. There’s a boutique hotel for every type of jet-setter, whether you’re looking for a full slate of amenities with everything from multiple dining options and a soothing spa to a lively bar scene and dreamy rooftop. Below, see all the best boutique hotels in Austin to book for your next trip to the city.
1900 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
Hotel Ella occupies a Greek Revival-style mansion that was initially built in 1900, when it was known as the Goodall Wooten House. After an extensive renovation, the historic property opened as a 47-room high-end boutique hotel in 2013, complete with a swimming pool, cabanas and a restaurant, Goodall’s Kitchen, as well as the always lively hotel bar, Parlor Bar. The interiors are more modern than you might expect from the exterior, with contemporary Texan art lining the walls, and guest rooms outfitted with plush yet minimalist furniture, all in soothing neutrals. There’s a picturesque courtyard and a pool, plus a fitness center.
The hotel’s name honors Wooten’s wife, Ella Newsome, who was behind the original transformation of the building. She was also known for her impressive gardens, so it’s no surprise that the hotel still boasts beautiful grounds, which can be taken in while lounging on the wraparound veranda. The hotel is quite close to the University of Texas campus, though you’ll want to get in a car for the short drive to downtown Austin.
1211 West Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
The Loren at Lady Bird Lake opened in October 2022, debuting 108 guest rooms and suites. It’s the sister property to the Loren in Bermuda, and has an indoor-outdoor atmosphere, with plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass windows that showcase the dramatic lake and city views. The midcentury-modern aesthetic continues in the contemporary rooms, which are elegant yet subdued, with light wood paneling, crisp linens and Maliz + Goetz bath products. There’s one main on-site restaurant, Nido, as well as a spa, fitness center and a rooftop pool. While the Loren is located just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Austin and its bustling nightlife and music scene, you can also get a taste of the live music the city has to offer without ever leaving the hotel, as the property often hosts local musicians for exclusive concerts.
2510 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
For a home-away-from-home feel, consider the Colton House Hotel. It’s composed of 80 suites that are outfitted in custom furnishings, which range in size from studios all the way up to three bedrooms, with full kitchens and living areas; a few also have private balconies. This hotel, which is filled with works from local artists, is also a solid choice if you’re looking for an extended-stay option. Elsewhere on the property, there’s a pool and gym. For drinks, head to Simona’s, the on-site coffee and cocktail bar.
112 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704
The cozy Hotel Saint Cecilia is composed of 20 rooms, with five suites, six poolside bungalows, three studios and, finally, six new garden suites, which debuted last year. The hotel occupies a converted Victorian-era mansion in the Travis Heights neighborhood, and opened in its current iteration in 2008.
The property, a part of Bunkhouse Hotels, is named after the patron saint of music, Saint Cecilia, and in that vein, each of the rooms is equipped with retro Rega turntables, Geneva sound systems and flatscreen TVs. Guests are able to borrow from the hotel’s lending library, which is curated with vintage LPs and books, with an emphasis on rock and roll biographies and poetry collections. Aside from music, each room is also fitted with a handmade organic Hästens bad and a spa minibar.
It’s a super private and secluded spot, as the property and grounds are only accessible to hotel guests and those who’ve managed to score coveted memberships. The lounge is the main public space, with indoor and outdoor seating, a fire pit and a 50-foot outdoor pool with the oft-photographed “Soul” neon sign.
1609 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78702
It doesn’t get much more boutique than Heywood Hotel, a petite property with just seven uniquely designed rooms in a converted 1920s-era Craftsman-style bungalow. The East Austin hotel has a cozy indie vibe, and while there isn’t any on-site dining, the property is located just a few blocks away from plenty of cocktail lounges and restaurants on Sixth Street, Rainey Street and the downtown area, and Heywood also offers guests complimentary use of the hotel bikes.
1316 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
Hotel San Jose, another Bunkhouse property, was first built in 1936 as a motor court. It has since been entirely transformed into a trendy bungalow getaway, which opened in 2000. Upon check-in, you get a glimpse of the hotel’s decidedly minimalist interiors, with concrete floors, low-slung handmade furniture and wood accents, in a decor vibe that extends to the 40 distinctively designed rooms, all of which have curated minibars, free wifi and custom Sferra linens. There’s a swimming pool as well as an artsy lounge in the courtyard, in addition to Jo’s, a coffee shop and eatery that shares a parking lot with the hotel. There are typewriters and Polaroids available for hotel guests to borrow, too. Hotel San Jose is also so conveniently situated, right in the midst of the SoCo district.
1603 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
The charming South Congress Hotel is always a lively scene with both visitors and locals alike. There are 83 rooms and suites within the hotel, all of which tend towards minimalism and are outfitted with custom designed furniture. The property is home to three restaurants (Central Standard, Otoko and Café No Sé), as well as the Lobby Bar, where there are often unique activations and programming, including DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also a rooftop pool and bar, though if you want to venture outside of the hotel and still around, there are quite a few shopping and restaurants in the area within walking distance. Those that want to go on an adventure can also take up the hotel’s motorcycle rental option.
110 The Cir, Austin, TX 78704
For another super private, quiet and secluded hotel experience, consider Kimber Modern. The exclusive property has just seven guest rooms, and it’s definitely on the calmer side, as there isn’t a lobby or a check-in desk. Instead, there’s an indoor-outdoor courtyard and open common area with floor-to-ceiling windows, with a virtual concierge, sitting space and a kitchen with complimentary snacks and drinks. It’s definitely more of a no-frills situation, but great if you want a quiet, uninterrupted vacation. There’s no actual restaurant on site, but the property is right in the middle of South Congress.