The 10 Best Hotels In Austin of 2023

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Margaret Littman, Contributor

Forbes Vetted

Austin is famous for being “weird,” and even as the city has grown and become more popular with travelers, it hasn’t lost its iconoclastic ethos. In the capital of Texas, street art and murals decorate downtown buildings, and there’s alway a quirky festival going on. There are abundant opportunities to listen to live music and shop at artist-owned boutiques. Visitors can also stay active by paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake and view hundreds of bats departing from beneath the Congress Bridge just before sunset.

Austin’s hotel scene is also anything but cookie cutter. Stylish boutique hotels and luxury resorts serve excellent cocktails and Hill Country cuisine while offering beloved local activities like live music jams and barbecue nights. Our top picks include a stylish and artsy hideaway on South Congress and a wellness retreat in the Hill Country. These are the best hotels in Austin for 2023.

Best Boutique Hotel In Austin: Hotel San José

Hotel San José

Who Will Love It: Travelers looking to be in the heart of the action

All-Star Amenities: The signature Liz Lambert-designed striped kimono; typewriters and Polaroid cameras available to borrow

What Not To Miss: Lounge Sessions, the hotel’s signature live music series held in the hotel’s courtyard (the hotel also hosts a SXSW event)

Location: South Congress

Hotel San José has epitomized Austin chic since it opened in 2000. The first Bunkhouse Group property, Bunkhouse has expanded with additional Austin properties as well as a hotel in Baja, but the original in a revived roadside motel remains beloved for a reason. The hotel’s minimalist and highly photographable aesthetic—think stucco walls covered in green ivy—sparked many copycats throughout the country. The 40 guest rooms have clean lines, handmade furniture and custom-made linens. Check out the curated minibar; you won’t find run-of-the-mill snacks here. The central South Congress location is close to lots of fun (light sleepers should use the provided ear plugs), and the hotel has a small pool, bar and a coffee shop.

Best Luxury Hotel In Austin: Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Who Will Love It: Travelers looking for downtown buzz and scenic waterfront views

All-Star Amenities: Spa with eucalyptus steam room and pink Himalayan salt wall; Taylor guitars for guest use; a gym with a view

What Not To Miss: An ice-skating rink and fire pits in the winter; one-on-one writing session with a local songwriter with advance notice

Location: Downtown

Travelers looking for top-notch service won’t be disappointed after checking in at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. Staff will procure a trail map for guests that want to go on a run, travelers with pets will find pet-friendly accommodations outfitted with plush dog beds, and even children get their own bathrobes here. Located in downtown’s Rainey Street Historic District, the hotel is within walking distance to many of Austin’s best restaurants and bars, but also has serene views of Lady Bird Lake. Margaritas and the lakeside saltwater pool beckon in warm weather, while the hotel’s ice skating rink beckons guests in winter. Twice-daily housekeeping means towels are always clean and fluffy; each night will feel like you’re slipping into the hotel bed for the first time. The extensive pillow menu also guarantees a fabulous night’s sleep.

Best Hotel For Design Lovers In Austin: Austin Proper

Austin Proper

Who Will Love It: Design aficionados and art collectors

All-Star Amenities: A full spa; rooftop pool with cabanas; a Texas-sized fitness center or the option to have a Peloton brought to your room

What Not To Miss: Small-batch tequila selection served poolside at sunset; CBD gummies in the minibar

Location: Downtown’s Second Street District

Austin Proper’s West Coast meets Texas look is courtesy of California-based designer Kelly Wearstler. The 244-guest rooms feature Arts and Crafts wall coverings, distressed hardwood floors and soft area rugs that are best enjoyed barefoot. The décor will encourage you to take photos and stay awhile, but there is much to explore in the downtown neighborhood next to Lady Bird Lake like the Austin City Limits music venue and boutique shopping. Guest can use complimentary electric bikes to get around or rent one of the Proper’s Tesla Model 3s. The hotel’s restaurants are operated by James Beard Award nominated hospitality company McGuire Moorman Lambert and include the North African, Israeli and Lebanese restaurant the Peacock and the rooftop pool bar La Piscina, which serves wood-grilled Mexican cuisine.

Best Hotel For Couples In Austin: Archer Hotel Austin

Archer Hotel Austin

Who Will Love It: Couples looking for a fun scene and good shopping

All-Star Amenities: Bathrooms with oversized rainshower heads; his-and-hers slippers; collection of Texas artwork throughout the hotel

What Not To Miss: Cuddling in front of the large fireplace or taking a dip in the rooftop pool

Location: Domain Northside

At the bottom of the Archer Austin’s round pool, there’s a giant Texas star, signaling that the hotel, just like the state, likes to do everything big. On the pool patio there’s a 14-foot TV screen for watching big games, and the grand, modern lobby has oversized tables made from silver tree wood and a cinematic staircase. The property is still a romantic retreat, with bathrooms built for two with oversized rain shower heads, funky his-and-hers slippers and a stunning swimming pool. Archer Austin is located in Domain Northside, a neighborhood anchored by large retail shops like Nordstrom. The artsy Rock Rose district is a quick walk away and known for nightlife and more locally owned restaurants.

Best Hotel For Families In Austin: Fairmont Austin

Fairmont Austin

Who Will Love It: Families with diverse needs and parents working remotely with kids in tow

All-Star Amenities: House BMX X7 for guest use; mountain bikes; views of the Texas State Capitol and Lady Bird Lake; a gym with high-end equipment

What Not To Miss: Spending time in a private cabana at the rooftop pool

Location: Downtown

Parents know there’s no better way to exhaust energetic children than by spending hours at the pool, and the Fairmont Austin has one of the city’s best and biggest. The rooftop pool is surrounded by large cabanas with weatherproof televisions and the tiled pool deck—designed so it never gets too hot—has views of the city skyline. Children are offered comfy kid-sized robes to warm up and dry off. The 1,048-room hotel regularly offers promotions for families, including discounts on second adjoining rooms. Located in a new high-rise, guest rooms are large with plenty of space for toys and cribs. Adults can always arrange for time to slip away to the full-service spa and fitness center.

Best Hotel For Art Lovers In Austin: Hotel Saint Cecilia

Hotel Saint Cecilia

Who Will Love It: Trendsetters who like privacy

All-Star Amenities: A heated lap pool; a 24-hour concierge; a curated gift shop with goods from around the world; pricey and comfy Hästens mattresses

What Not To Miss: A lending library that includes vinyl records and guitars in addition to books; vintage vinyl shopping service with Breakaway Records

Location: South Congress

Bunkhouse Group—the group behind Hotel San José—is also behind Hotel Saint Cecilia. The secluded oasis is named after the patron saint of music and poetry and the arts are a major focus. The library stocks not just books, but records and guitars as well and the hotel has a museum-quality art collection. The hotel’s 20 guest rooms—including bungalows and suites—have private entrances and only staff and hotel guests are allowed on the property. Each guest room is done up in bright colors and furnished with a mix of antiques and modern pieces. Guests of Hotel Saint Cecilia feel like they’ve stumbled on a secret hideaway where they can read, listen to music, play a loaner guitar and go for a swim, but they can easily catch all the action on South Congress less than a block away.

Best Value Hotel In Austin: Arrive Austin

Arrive Austin

Who Will Love It: Techie travelers and cocktail connoisseurs

All-Star Amenities: Concierge services via text; room service by QR code; Bluetooth speakers; in-room fridges

What Not To Miss: Dinner at Vixen’s Wedding; a cocktail on the rooftop

Location: East Austin

Arrive Austin is a central home base for exploring Austin’s live music scene—it’s just down the street from the famous White Horse honky-tonk, after all. This millennial-focused hotel also offers hip amenities and a central location at a fair price point. Guests check in at the bar, which slings up craft cocktails, and can communicate with staff by text or order room service by QR code. Music lovers can even curate their own playlists through in-room Bluetooth speakers. While the hotel has just 83 minimalist guest rooms, its in-house offerings include a rooftop Gin Bar with more than 90 types of gin, as well as Vixen’s Wedding restaurant, which serves an innovative mash-up of Portuguese and Indian cuisine with Texas ingredients. Don’t miss the Cartel Coffee Lab cart, which has one of the best Americanos in town.

Best Hotel For Foodies In Austin: Carpenter Hotel

Carpenter Hotel

Who Will Love It: Foodies who plan vacations around great meals

All-Star Amenities: Blackout shades; 200-thread count sheets; custom-designed blankets; swimming pool

What Not To Miss: Exploring the outdoor spaces including a Quonset Hut and swimming pool; pecan crusted carrot cake at Carpenters Hall

Location: South Austin

Carpenter Hotel—housed in the former Austin Carpenters Local 1266 building—is as renowned for its neighborhood restaurant as its kitted out guest rooms. Carpenters Hall is open every night of the week and serves a new take on Texas cuisine, including German dishes such as chicken schnitzel, sweet corn chowder and wild boar ragu. Whatever shareable ranchers cut steak is offered is not to be missed, as well as the showstopping pecan adorned carrot cake. The bar stocks earthy natural wines, unique liquors and local craft beers. And, since this is Austin, guests can order delicious breakfast tacos along with their morning coffee. After you are fully sated, you can relax on your terrace—all 93 guest rooms have one and drift soundly to sleep. Rooms have everything guest need to get serious REM including white noise machines and organic foam mattresses.

Best Wellness Resort In Austin: Miraval Austin Resort And Spa

Miraval Austin Resort And Spa

Who Will Love It: Those seeking transformational wellness

All-Star Amenities: Spa with extensive treatment menu; cooking classes; all-inclusive

What Not To Miss: Activities like hiking and kayaking; the signature Vasudhara treatment at the Life in Balance Spa; culinary classes; leaving the cell phone in a safe

Location: Lake Travis

Near Lake Travis and surrounded by the bucolic Texas Hill Country, Miraval is a true getaway even though it’s only a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin. The Life in Balance Spa’s architecture, featuring stone walls and wood-beamed ceilings, is inspired by the cedar tree dotted landscape. With all of its amenities, it would be easier to list what the spa doesn’t offer. From the innovative Vasudhara treatment where underwater vibrations help lengthen muscles and open joints to the river flower wrap that includes dry brushing and a hydrating botanical butter massage, every imaginable type of pampering is on the menu. All-inclusive retreat experiences include activities like yoga and rock climbing on the 220 acre property, nutrition classes, spa treatments and and nutritious meals. The resort is also tip-free, so there’s no need to worry about dipping into your wallet or having cash on hand.

Best Pet-Friendly Hotel In Austin: Line Austin

Line Austin

Who Will Love It: Travelers bringing their pet along; museum- and gallery-goers

All-Star Amenities: The saltwater infinity pool; artist-in-residence program; pet-friendly

What Not To Miss: A meal at Arlo Grey, the hotel’s restaurant from “Top Chef” winner Kristen Kish

Location: Downtown

The building that houses the Line Austin was once home to a lively jazz club, and the hotel honors this artsy history with live music, fine arts exhibitions and fireside tarot card readings. Many guest rooms have views of Lady Bird Lake, the Texas State Capitol and other vistas thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows (blackout shades allow guests to block out light pollution). Bringing your pet along? This is the place to check in. One of the most pet-friendly hotels in Austin, there’s no pet fee for bringing your furry friend with you at the Line. The hotel also has an artist-in-residence program, a 12-story mural and more than 500 original artworks by Texas artists throughout.

About Margaret Littman, Your Austin Guide

I tell stories about people and places of the South from my home base in Nashville. Austin is one of my favorite destinations, and I’ve made frequent trips to the lively Texas capitol. When I’m not writing or editing, I’m stand up paddle boarding in as many states and countries as I can. My work has appeared in Preservation, Condé Nast Traveler, VinePair, PUNCH, and I’m the author of several books, including Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip and Moon 52 Things to Do in Nashville.