Two great stays in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas has plenty of accommodations options when you’re looking for a home base for activities and explorations. From luxurious or historic downtown hotels to quaint inns or world-class spa resorts, you can find a place that feels comfortable and fits your budget.

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Lake Austin Resort and Spa

For relaxation and pampering, there’s no more inviting spot than Lake Austin Spa Resort. Named a Top Ten Spa in the World almost annually by Travel + Leisure, this luxury accommodation began as a fishing camp on Lake Austin more than 70 years ago.  It morphed briefly into a nudist camp, housed cowboys and rodeo clowns who trained at nearby Steiner Ranch, and later attracted extreme dieters–all before developing today’s focus on healthy lifestyles.

A massive expansion and renovation completed in 2004 bolstered its reputation and helped it earn distinction from Luxury SpaFinder as the Best Midsize Spa in North America.  Furnishings in the 40 casually elegant guest rooms and suites were crafted by local artisans.

Nestled along the shores of Lake Austin, the resort offers nutritious chef-prepared cuisine, a variety of wellness and spa treatments, fitness classes, cooking classes, and activities that take advantage of its scenic setting. Try hydrobiking or kayaking on the lake, swim in the large pool,  hike nature and wildlife trails, or stroll among organic gardens with more than 1000 species of plants, spices, and herbs.  The resort, which provides accommodations for men, women, and teens, is a microcosm of what you’ll see in the Hill Country. Photo by Beverly Burmeier

Hotel San Jose

If fun and funky is your style, check out Hotel San Jose on South Congress Avenue.  Located in Austin’s hippest neighborhood, just a few blocks south of Town Lake’s path through downtown Austin, this 1930s motor hotel has been transformed into an urban, bungalow-style hotel.

Hotel San Jose. Photo courtesy Trip Advisor

Modern and stylish with a cool desert theme and brightly colored stucco walls, the hotel reflects the quirky soul of the city.  Perfect for young couples, romantics, or singles, the nonsmoking hotel provides a bar, coffee shop, pool, and gardens planted with native Texas vegetation. Wander along crushed granite pathways, or lounge in vintage chairs scattered there and on the porches.  Keep your eyes open—this place is a favorite of celebrities.

Ask for a room on the backside, away from the busy street, to avoid noise issues. While it’s a lovely and comfortable place to bask in the flavor of Austin, SanJose isn’t a luxury spot.  There are no bellhops, turndown service, or chocolates on the pillow—but what the San Jose lacks in fancy amenities, it more than makes up for in character.  Be sure to wander through the many vintage and second-hand shops in the neighborhood.

Read more travel stories by Beverly at Going on Adventures



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