Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin

Austin is by far the hip, creative jewel in the Texan crown, unlike its sister cities Dallas and Houston it is an offbeat haven for free-thinkers and musicians, in fact, it hails itself as the Live Music Capital of the World. Well-known roots, country, blues and bluegrass festivals such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits are held in high regard throughout the music business, but these big music monsters are punctuated by a surprising amount of more under-the-radar events throughout the year. There is the funky Urban Music Festival, a Reggae Festival, the Louisiana Swamp Thing and the ultra-hip Crawfish Festival which brings you amazing Cajun, Zydeco, Brass, Funk and Blues. There are really too many to mention but it would suffice to say that whatever time of year you hit this surprising city your feet will be tapping from the moment you step off the plane to the moment you leave. To compliment your cool Austin stay you’ll want to stay somewhere suitably funky, so we’ve put together a list of Austin’s most awesome cool and unusual hotels to help you on your way…

Heywood Hotel – popular and gorgeous petite boutique

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

This neat little exceptionally rated boutique hotel in the heart of the city of Austin has garnered much positive attention since its inception, even getting a glowing review in The New York Times. The Heywood Hotel has seven bespoke rooms spread over two bungalows. Rooms and communal spaces reflect the cool contemporary and laid back vibe of Austin itself with plenty of local art and furniture on display throughout. Light, bright and colourful with a ton of cool stuff included in the price such as free bicycles and Internet Jukeboxes, eco-friendly cleaning and toiletries. The friendly staff are always on hand to help guests plan their perfect stay and the seven rooms range in cost from budget to luxury. A very cool Austin hotel to start your Texan Adventure. Book well in advance though, as part of the charm is the smallness!

  • Prices from $140 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Heywood Hotel

Hotel Van Zandt – creative industrial chic

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The 4-star exceptionally rated Hotel Van Zandt is not a small hotel, with 316 rooms in varying price brackets, and yet somehow it manages to feel utterly authentic and boutique. The communal spaces are industrial retro with exposed brickwork, solid wood and 60’s style furnishings, dotted with ingenious local artworks, music references and even a cool music corner where you can chill out with a choice of vinyls. The in-house bar/restaurant Geraldines has garnered rave reviews from local foodies who appreciate the cool laid back vibe with live music most nights, the innovative twists on Texan cuisine and the great range of locally named cocktails, craft ales and whiskies. The funky rooms are exquisitely designed with luxurious bedding, free-standing tubs and if you’re lucky great views over Ladybird Lake. Laid back hipsters and visiting professionals alike will struggle to find fault with this brilliantly thought-out trendy Austin hotel.

  • Prices from $140 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Van Zandt

South Congress Hotel – hip and unique boutique

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The exceptionally rated 4-star South Congress Hotel is a chic and trendy Austin boutique hotel, light bright and brilliantly designed it has everything you need and more under one roof. Guests can enjoy juice and light snacks at Manana, All day brunch, lunch and dinner fare in Cafe No Se and a fine Texan grill in a central standard. The arty rooms are solid and stripped back with massive beds, balconies, loads of space and a smattering of quirky design features. Guests also have access to sauna, fitness suite rooftop pool and some cool retail units too. The chic and quirky Austin abode is located in the heart of the iconic South Congress district, perfect for boutique shopping and fine dining fiends!

Aloft Austin Northwest – colourful retro chic

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The Aloft Austin offers fresh looking loft-style rooms full of contemporary design features and throwback retro prints. Rooms are big, bright and modern with everything a 21st-century traveller needs and a few extras too. Enjoy all of your fave videos and programmes on your phone or tablet using the hotel’s Roomcast feature, take a dip in the heated indoor pool, relax on the cool patio or enjoy tasty snacks, light meals, local booze and beats in the 24/7 WXYZ bar. The exceptionally rated fun hotel accommodation is conveniently located with easy access to all Austin’s most important sites. Lovers of contemporary design and creative comfort will love the very highly rated Aloft Austin Northwest!

Travaasa Austin – idyllic lake resort and spa

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The 4-star exceptionally rated Travaasa Resort is situated between Austin city and the Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Park and its 70 rooms are spread across 7 buildings and set amongst peaceful woodland. The emphasis in on old country charm with dark woods, natural fibres and warm tones throughout. Here you will find log fires, an outdoor barbeque for guests to use, sauna, hot tub, infinity pool, not to mention the organised activities such as horseback riding and yoga. The onsite restaurant serves up delicious local organic food and drinks whilst the private balconies with forest views are the perfect place to sit back and soak up the peace and tranquillity of the forest. For people that want to relax and unwind away from the bustle of the city this is the perfect chic Austin stay. Friendly staff, fabulous views and an all-round authentic Austin experience!

  • Prices from $120 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Travaasa Austin

The Guild East 6th – creative, artistic boutique

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Staying at 4-star exceptionally rated Guild East 6th is all about a bespoke and luxury filled experience featuring 28 boutique hotel apartments set in upscale residential buildings and equipped with everything you have at home and then some. It is like a cross breed of a short-term hotel and long term rental with a heavy splash of style and honky tonk. In the luxury suites, you will have access to a concierge, swimming pool, wifi and personalised itineraries. Each of the funkily styled room is unique and decked out with pieces by local Austin designers and artists all pulled together in a sort of contemporary retro cool. Of course, it is Austin, so the city’s rich musical heritage plays a big part in the décor and some of the rooms have collections of vinyl and a record player so you can chill out and enjoy the tunes. Kick back and feel like a local in this innovative and unique Austin accommodation option.

Park Lane Guest House – organic eco-elegance

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Vegetarian? Vegan? Fancy yourself as a bit of an eco-warrior? Well look no further the Park Lane Guest House is your dream hotel, it’s so green even the beds are organic! This beautiful little Austin gem enjoys a perfect rating on Google and is a leafy oasis situated close to the sought after SoCo district of central Austin. It features four colonial style cottages each decked out in perfect antique, reclaimed and organic furniture to create an olde worlde southern charm with all the new world amenities. Guests can enjoy an organic veggie or vegan breakfast served in their cottage or out on their private porch overlooking the shared organic garden and natural swimming pool. All the products used for keeping the cottages spotless are non-chemical, organic and cruelty-free. Sit out on your porch and a watch the mosaic poolside shimmer under the shade of the live oak tree and rest your eyes and your minds surrounded by the tranquillity of this surprising little eco-oasis in the heart of the city – a deliciously quirky Austin stay!

Fairmont Hotel – brand new luxury chic

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The 4-star exceptionally rated Fairmont Hotel towers iconically amidst the greenery of Palm Park and Waller Creek and from its glass facade affords spectacular cinematic views of the city and Lady Bird Lake. This brand new state-of-the-art contemporary Austin hotel has spared no cost to create luxurious and palatial accommodation for all travellers, be it business or pleasure! The stylish rooms range from standard to superior but all feature state of the art facilities such as bedside charging hubs and luxurious bedding and toiletries and of course impeccable décor. The sweeping communal spaces at this trendy Austin hotel provide perfect places for meeting and mingling along with the five onsite dining options, 4 of which are ground floor level and one on the 7th floor in a stunning indoor/outdoor atrium. Guests also have access to the elegant heated pool and the impressive Fairmont Spa as well as being close to everything else the city has to offer. This is a hotel that embraces the future for lovers of contemporary luxury and style it’s a winner.

  • Prices from $150 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Fairmont Hotel

Austin Motel – funky psychedelic motel

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The historic exceptionally rated Austin Motel has stood its ground for 65 years and been passed through several loving pairs of hands that have each added their own stamp and legacy to this fantastic, ultra-kitsch fun Austin Motel. If you wanna live that transient American dream of the open road and limitless adventures stay here! From the neon sign to the bold retro décor this place screams America! It’s 21 rooms are each decorated with their own colourful vintage style and set around the coolest swimming pool in town. The ambience is so psychedelic and ‘far out man’ it is easy to imagine Hunter S Thompson hanging out here. The location is perfect too, on the edge of the Colorado River close to Ladybird Lake and everything downtown has to offer. If your image of America was formed by Tom Wolfe, Kerouac, Elvis and the swinging 60’s you won’t want to miss a few nights in this completely unique motel in Texas.

  • Prices from $90 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Austin Motel

The Highlander Hotel – quirky budget boutique

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

This funky budget boutique hotel may not be full-on luxury but it has plenty of character. At the highly rated Highlander Hotel rooms are light, bright and comfortable with 40 inch TV’s, one cup coffee maker and top quality bedding for a good night’s sleep. Rooms at this delightfully quirky Austin hotel are contemporary with a little artistic twist and all around the hotel, you may find yourself face to face with a life-size replica of a pink sheep. In the middle of Austin’s up and coming Boulevard District guests can enjoy world cuisine, hip vintage shops and cool neighbourhood hangouts as well as easy access to downtown. For travellers who want to get a real flavour of the vibrancy and innovation behind the fun Texan city, this is a great option – especially if you’re a travelling hipster on a budget!

  • Prices from $60 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Highlander Hotel

Ella Hotel – historic luxury boutique

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The exceptionally rated 4-star Ella Hotel houses one of Austin’s landmark historical estates. Built-in 1900 the Greek revival style Goodall Wooten House has seen a lot of history pass between its walls and the 2013 renovation has stayed true and sympathetic to the building’s original spirit. Guests can enjoy the elegant cabana-lined pool or the delicious in-room dining service as well as the tastefully furnished rooms and communal spaces that hark back to more gentile time. Intensify the olde worlde atmosphere by booking an iconic afternoon tea or enjoying a handcrafted cocktail at Ellas Parlour Bar. Lovers of true vintage charm and antiques will love this beautiful, elegant and unique Austin accommodation.

  • Prices from $140 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Ella Hotel

Lone Star Hotel – hip, fun and retro

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

This unique and innovative and very highly rated Lone Star Hotel offers an authentic Texan adventure set in four acres of land. Here you can enjoy the outdoor swimming hole, tuck into something delicious from one of the food trucks in the hotel’s own food truck court, warm up by the fire pit and rock out to the awesome live music that is programmed at the hotel Wednesday to Sunday all year round. After a day of adventure you can kick back in a retro-inspired room complete with a smeg refrigerator or hang out and people watch from your balcony. Why waste time alone though when you can mosey on down to the Water Trough bar for tasty Tex-Mex taco’s and a delicious tipple while you listen to some homegrown live talent and mingle with your fellow adventurers! A very hip stay in Austin that won’t disappoint!

  • Prices from $150 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Lone Star Hotel

Kimber Modern – impeccable designer hotel

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The impeccably designed and exceptionally rated 4-star Kimber Modern prides itself on representing the old Austin heart and the new Austin soul. The bright fresh design of the rooms is like a visual pep talk that heals the spirit, full of cool clean lines and natural light filtered through the branches of the courtyard oak trees. The lush rooms are bold and contemporary with just a hint of retro and views over the gorgeous interior courtyard whose multi-level decks, 25-foot water feature and lazy hammocks make it the ultimate oasis for relaxing and letting go of the tensions of the day. Just a stone’s throw from fashionable SoCo you couldn’t really ask for a better location than this cool and unusual Austin gem of a hotel!

  • Prices from $160 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Kimber Modern

Hotel Cecilia – creative bohemian retreat

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

This awesome boutique Austin hotel is unrivalled for its attention to detail. Named after the patron saint of Music and Poetry each of the rooms at the very highly rated 4-star Hotel Cecilia pays tribute to a creative icon from the 20th Century. From William Burroughs to Patti Smith the hotel balances olde worlde elegance with the irreverence of its muses. Expect bright prints cool design retro furniture and all the mod cons you need with a twist. Bamboo showers, marble bathrooms a 50 foot heated outdoor pool and bright wicker wearing patio for breakfasting. All these and many more quirks await you at Saint Cecilia whether you choose a room, suite or poolside bungalow, lovers of America’s Literary and Musical legacy will not be disappointed!

  • Prices from $180 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Hotel Cecilia

Hotel San Jose – hip bungalow-style Austin hotel

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

This very highly rated hip Austin boutique hotel offers a clutter-free oasis of minimalist retro calm in the centre of the city. Less is more here, where the aim is to ditch the clutter of everyday life and replace it with space and carefully thought out handmade design pieces. Even the budget traveller could afford to stay in one of the shared bathrooms at the 4-star Hotel San Jose or, all three can be linked together for a super sweet party pad! Tasty food and drinks are served up in the hotel bar accompanied by mellow tunes provided by a variety of guest DJ’s. This is a pretty hip joint all round really!

  • Prices from $110 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel San Jose

La Villa Vista Resort – a romantic lakeside gem

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

The beautiful exceptionally rated La Villa Vista Resort brings classic Mediterranean living to the shores of Lake Travis, just 40 mins from the airport. Four poster beds, antique furniture, pillars and Frescoes make this a little slice of Italy in the middle of America. Guests at this gorgeous Austin hotel can enjoy the infinity pool on the terrace with views out over the lake and explore the leafy romantic corners of the Villas own gardens. You’ve got beamed ceilings, open fires and private balconies, walk-in showers, mosaic jacuzzi tubs, Persian rugs and picture windows. If you are not in love when you arrive you surely will be by the time you leave!

Casulo Hotel – mixes urban chic with a zen ambience

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Austin Global Grasshopper

At the Casulo Hotel the aim is to blend luxurious urban chic with Zen simplicity and create an atmosphere to “soothe the spirit”. Muted colours and Japanese prints and furnishings blend seamlessly with contemporary shapes and well designed communal spaces. Guests at this hip Austin hotel can enjoy real luxury in the jacuzzi suites or just wash the day away under the rain shower or soak it off in the sumptuous extended length bath tub. Superior suites also offer tranquil balconies with great views of the city below. Complimentary breakfast is served in the lovely light conservatory space and guests can enjoy a morning dip in the pool or just relax poolside with a cocktail. The perfect spot to unwind and clear the mind after a long day adventuring in Austin.

  • Prices from $90 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Casulo Hotel

Hopefully, there is a cool Austin hotel on this list for everyone’s taste and all you have to do is get booked and go explore Austin, the jewel of Texas!

If you liked our cool and unusual hotels in Austin, we also have cool hotels in Portland and San Francisco.

Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children's theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa'd in Cuba and road tripped down America's west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her cat and ukulele amid the misty valleys and rolling hills of beautiful South Wales.

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