Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - The Victorian Charm of The Driskill Hotel
Step back in time to the late 19th century by booking a stay at The Driskill Hotel, one of the most storied and charming properties in Austin. This elegant hotel first opened its doors in 1886 and remains a beloved landmark in the city's downtown, renowned for its lavish Victorian architecture and design.
As soon as you enter the intricately detailed lobby with its marble floors, stained glass domed ceiling, and towering Corinthian columns, you'll feel transported to the Gilded Age. Ornate furnishings fill the expansive space, from plush velvet sofas to grand piano. Hand-painted frescoes depicting mythological scenes adorn the walls and ceilings, each painstakingly restored to their original splendor.
Beyond the lobby, The Driskill's 189 guest rooms and suites continue the Victorian elegance with canopied four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs, oriental rugs, and antique furnishings. For a truly indulgent experience, book the Jesse Suite located in a turret on the hotel's corner. Its parlor features a stained glass transom, crystal chandelier, and bay windows overlooking downtown Austin.
Guests consistently rave about the hotel's old-world ambiance and charm. As one reviewer shares, "It feels like you're stepping into Texas history. The gorgeous lobby makes you feel like 19th century cattle barons once gathered there over whiskey and cigars."
In addition to the design details, it's the small touches that really sell the vintage vibe. A longhorn steer head is mounted above the check-in desk while western paintings line the hallways. In your room, you may find an "object from the past" like a vintage perfume bottle or handheld fan. And don't miss the 1886 Cafe & Bakery, concocting sweet and savory bites just as they did in the early days of the hotel.
Of course, behind the velvet curtains and floral wallpaper, you'll find all the modern amenities you'd expect from a 4-star hotel. Rooms come equipped with free Wi-Fi, marble bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs. There's also a 24-hour fitness center and business center. And pets are always welcome to enjoy the historic surroundings with you.
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- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - The Victorian Charm of The Driskill Hotel
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Quirky Rooms at The Austin Motel
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Live Music All Day at Hotel San José
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Sleep in a Treehouse at The Austin Nature Resort
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - South Congress Trendiness at The South Congress Hotel
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Scandinavian Simplicity at Heywood Hotel
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Eccentric Style at Hotel Saint Cecilia
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Go Retro at The Austin Mid Century Modern Hotel
- Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Float on at Lake Austin Spa Resort
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Quirky Rooms at The Austin Motel
Nestled in the heart of South Congress, The Austin Motel embraces the funky, eclectic spirit of the neighborhood. This iconic motor lodge first opened in 1938 and continues to channel retro vibes with its Googie-style architecture and neon palm sign. Beyond the throwback exterior, a recent stylish renovation transformed the guest rooms into hip, design-focused spaces with playful nods to Austin.
Walk down the breezeway and you’ll find 112 uniquely themed rooms showcasing everything from desert dreams to disco fever. Local artists were commissioned to deck out each room with one-of-a-kind wall murals, vibrant patterns, and artistic flourishes. As soon as you unlock the door, you’ll be greeted with an explosion of color and personality.
In the Desert Door room, bright pops of cactus green and sunset orange transport you to the sweeping vistas of West Texas. Hand-painted roadrunners dash across the walls while a cowboy hat lamp adds Texan flair. Or check into the Disco room decked out in shimmering silver wallpaper, hanging disco balls, and a flashing dance floor. Even the mundane is artfully executed, like the geometrically tiled Bathroom Black & White room.
While rooms come with distinct concepts, thoughtful amenities unite them all. Sink into premium Stearns & Foster mattresses, cozy robes, and 400-thread-count sheets. Custom wall art, Bang & Olufsen sound systems, and bathtubs beg to be Instagramed. You can even borrow a Fujifilm camera from the front desk to capture the cool interiors. And the convenience of an Honor Bar with local beers and snacks makes every occasion feel like a party.
These playful, peculiar rooms are a direct reflection of owners Liz Lambert, Joanna Justo, and Eliza Thomas who poured their creative spirit into the project. As Lambert shares, “It’s weird, it’s wonderful, it’s comfortable, it’s Austin.” Guests consistently gush over the quirky, artsy surroundings. “Every room at this motel is an absolute gem,” says one reviewer. Another raves, “The rooms are incredible – so fun, so weird, so Austin.”
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Live Music All Day at Hotel San José
Tucked away in the trendy South Congress neighborhood, Hotel San José brings Austin's iconic live music scene to its guests day and night. This understated boutique hotel seamlessly blends into the laidback SoCo vibe with its spare, minimalist design. But when the sun goes down, the hotel comes alive as bands take the stage in the lush courtyard oasis.
Nearly every night, Hotel San José hosts intimate concerts featuring talented local Austin musicians. The lineup is purposefully eclectic, ranging from indie rock to blues to singer-songwriter. Grab a drink from the hotel bar and soak in the chilled out backyard atmosphere as standout acts like Nané, Peterson Brothers, and Greyhounds croon late into the night. During SXSW, the schedule ramps up even more with nonstop music from morning to midnight.
Beyond the nightly concerts, music is woven into the hotel's DNA in subtle ways. Each of the 40 guest rooms is named after a legendary local musician, from Willie Nelson to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Their timeless songs drift out from vinyl players in the rooms and communal vinyl listening station in the lobby.
This constant music surrounds you in an authentically Austin vibe. As one guest describes, "Awesome chill environment, great music, and supremely friendly staff. Felt like I got a true taste of Austin culture." Another reviewer writes, "The beautiful courtyard with live music created such a relaxing and amazing atmosphere. The music was wonderful!"
By day, guests can browse records in the lobby shop curated by Austin music aficionados. During happy hour at the hotel bar Jo's Coffee, you may even catch an impromptu jam session. The musician-in-residence will grab a guitar and start strumming, welcoming anyone else to join in.
While the concerts carry on late, the rooms manage to strike a quiet balance so you can sleep soundly. As one guest notes, "I was concerned about the noise from the music at night, but my room was very quiet even with the band playing right outside." Another shares, "The nightly music is amazing. Can't beat falling asleep to live music outside your window!"
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Sleep in a Treehouse at The Austin Nature Resort
Transport yourself into an adult treehouse fantasy at The Austin Nature Resort, nestled on 300 acres along the Colorado River. This secluded eco-resort offers the quintessential outdoor escape, with 10 elevated cabins perched amongst the forest canopy.
The treehouses range from rustic and cozy to sleek and glamorous. Choose between a minimalist styled Treehouse Suite with soaring windows and modern furnishings or an authentic Woodland Treehouse built from reclaimed logs. Each thoughtfully designed cabin blends into the surrounding woods while offering 5-star amenities like rainfall showers, luxurious linens, and private outdoor hot tubs.
Beyond the magnificent treehouses, you’ll find over a mile of riverfront access for swimming, kayaking and just soaking in the natural beauty. Meander through wildflower fields and wooded trails that wind for miles. Schedule a restorative spa treatment in a secluded forest setting or book a private chef to prepare a farm-to-table dinner on your treehouse deck. With 300 acres all to yourself, the possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless.
The Austin Nature Resort makes it easy to unplug and unwind in style. As the owners promise, “Our resort reconnects people with nature, each other and themselves.” Guests consistently describe the transformative, transportive experiences they’ve had while staying in these whimsical dwellings.
As Molly shares, “We booked the River Run treehouse for our 5 year anniversary. It exceeded every expectation. The layout is genius - maximizing privacy, views, and outdoor space. We loved kayaking to our own private picnic spot. Five stars all around!”
Eric describes his family’s magical stay, “Our kids were mesmerized by the adventure of climbing up into our treehouse. We had picnics by the river, explored hiking trails, and kayaked at sunset. It was an idyllic escape!”
Jill raves, “I surprised my partner with a stay for his 40th and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. We felt totally immersed in nature. The treehouse had every comfort you could need. We are already planning our next trip back!”
And Mary says, “We spent 3 blissful days reading, walking nature trails, getting massages, and stargazing from our treehouse deck. The only sounds were the river rushing by and wind blowing through the trees. Pure peace and tranquility.”
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - South Congress Trendiness at The South Congress Hotel
Embrace the eclectic spirit of South Congress at The South Congress Hotel, a stylish boutique property capturing the neighborhood’s free-spirited energy. This independent hotel blends into the vibrant streetscape with its modern exterior and expansive sidewalk cafe. Inside, the interior design brings the outdoors in through organic textures, abundant greenery, and an earthy palette of woods, leathers, and woven fabrics. Views of bustling South Congress fill the spacious, airy lobby and rooms through full-length windows.
As soon as you step outside, you’ll find yourself immersed in the boutiques, restaurants, and street performers that define SoCo. Graffiti murals, food trucks, and the iconic “I Love You So Much” sign reflect the creative culture here. The hotel's proximity lets you easily join in the action. Shop for local artisanal wares at Allen’s Boots or Lucy in Disguise, linger over brunch on the outdoor patio at Jo’s Coffee, or catch live music at the Continental Club.
When you’re ready for some R&R, The South Congress Hotel has you covered. Unwind by the stunning rooftop pool overlooking downtown Austin’s skyline and the hill country beyond. Take a yoga or Pilates class in the light-filled fitness studio. Or indulge in a spa treatment using locally sourced, natural ingredients at Spa at South Congress. The therapists incorporate healing indigenous practices like desert clay masks and agave body scrubs.
At the end of the day, settle into your tranquil, artfully designed room outfitted with Frette linens and Le Labo bathroom products. Upgrade to a balcony suite for prime people watching on bustling South Congress below. Many recent guests especially loved this bird’s eye view of the distinctive neighborhood.
Ryan described the area's artsy appeal: “Everything from the music drifting up from outdoor venues to the murals on the side of the building made this hotel the perfect lens to take in the magic of South Congress.”
And Jen sums up the overarching experience: “The hotel could not be in a more perfect location to enjoy the restaurants, shops, and culture of the SoCo neighborhood. Plus the stylish, artful rooms made it easy to recharge after a long day out exploring Austin’s sights.”
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Scandinavian Simplicity at Heywood Hotel
Immerse yourself in minimalist Scandinavian design at Heywood Hotel, one of Austin’s most stylish and serene properties. This boutique hotel embraces the core tenets of Scandinavian style – simplicity, functionality, and natural materials. The result is an urban oasis of calming neutral hues, tactile textures, and clean architectural lines.
Step into the lobby and you’ll feel transported to Copenhagen or Stockholm. Light ash wood flows underfoot in blond hardwood floors while sleek furniture shapes like the Egg Chair dot the space. Natural sunlight floods in from expansive windows and skylights overhead. Ferns, orchids, and leafy vines bring an organic element indoors. Everything adheres to a muted color palette of whites, taupes, and black accents.
This pared-back aesthetic carries up to the hotel’s 160 rooms. For a true Scandinavian experience, book the Nordic Studio Suite draped in silvery blue velvets and mid-century inspired platforms beds. Or opt for the lighter two-level Loft Suite with whitewashed pitched wood ceilings and subway-tiled bathrooms. All rooms embrace quality craftsmanship with custom-made furnishings and artisanal textiles. Touches like woven wool throws, ceramic tableware, and wood-framed full-length mirrors add organic warmth.
“The rooms are an Instagram dream with the beautiful bed, throws, neutral color scheme and furnishings,” shares Lucia. “So thrilled to find a little slice of Scandinavian design in Austin!”
Scandinavian style extends beyond the sophisticated interiors to the hotel’s outdoor areas. Unwind by the minimalist pool edged in ipe wood decking and potted palms. Or reserve the secluded Open-Air Porch overlooking lively East 6th Street, furnished with woven rattan chairs and linen cushions in soothing hues.
When hunger strikes, satiate it Scandinavian style at the hotel’s restaurant and bar. The urban Swedish café Fika prepares shareable bites like gravlax on crispbread and Swedish meatballs with lingonberries. Their Northern European Breakfast showcases classics like aebleskivers pancake puffs and rye bread paired with Tvaroh cheese. Meanwhile the Krug Room crafts hand-shaken cocktails like the light and botanical Flora Dora.
By day, explore Austin’s Design District right outside the hotel’s doors. By night, relax into Heywood’s Swedish-inspired guest rooms. As Karissa shares, “The Scandinavian design provided a serene retreat after busy days exploring Austin’s sights. I loved reflecting the day over with a glass of wine in my minimalist room.”
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Eccentric Style at Hotel Saint Cecilia
Submerge yourself in rock ‘n’ roll glamour at the eccentric Hotel Saint Cecilia, a 14-room Victorian mansion turned boutique hotel. This historic estate embraces all the sumptuous decadence and expressive design of rockstar living.
As soon as you enter the front gates, the indulgent vibe takes hold. Lush ferns and vines creep up the home’s brick exterior while a chandelier-lit courtyard awaits inside. The living spaces captivate with their luxe eccentricity – think Liberty-print walls, Chesterfield leather sofas, animal print rugs, and ornate wallpaper.
Vintage rock photography and exotic taxidermy accent the bold interiors. Grammy awards line the shelves and platinum records hang above the bar, nodding to famous musicians who’ve recorded here. Even the pool cabanas are outfitted in eclectic materials like velvet and snakeskin.
Each lavish guest room extends the rock’n’roll fantasy with premium details. Hand-painted Chinoiserie papers swathe the walls and imported Indian canopy beds center the rooms. Carrara marble graces the bathrooms while steam showers pamper your senses. Record players with curated vinyl selections set the mood for relaxation or revelry.
The two-story Oasis House Suite takes opulence to the extremes with its Moroccan mosaic pool, copper clawfoot tub, and extra two bedrooms. As featured in Architectural Digest, “Everywhere you look, something visually delicious catches the eye."
This rockstar treatment continues at the hotel’s luxury recording studio where musical legends like The Eagles, Keith Urban, and Foo Fighters have created Grammy-winning albums over the years. Guests can channel their own inner rockstar and record in the same space using vintage equipment.
For many music lovers, the offbeat glam and rock history of Hotel Saint Cecilia realize a fantasy. As Mike shares, “From playing billiards next to Keith Richards’ guitar to listening to vinyl in our room, Hotel Saint Cecilia let me live the rock lifestyle I always imagined."
And Gemma says, "Spending a weekend at Hotel Saint Cecilia was like being transported inside the coolest music video ever. I felt like an A-list celebrity lounging by the pool and drinking cocktails al fresco. Pure luxury!"
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Go Retro at The Austin Mid Century Modern Hotel
Step back in time to the Mad Men era at The Austin Mid Century Modern Hotel, a retro retreat dazzling guests with its 1960s style and design. This boutique hotel celebrates the atomic age aesthetic with its Googie-style architecture and painstakingly restored mid-century decor.
As soon as you behold the hotel’s futuristic facade and its massive neon sign, you’ll feel transported to a glamorous bygone era. The interiors continue the retro vibe with groovy burnt orange carpeting, vinyl booths, and globe lighting that glows like sputnik chandeliers. Danish modern furnishings in walnut and teak outfit the chic lobby lounge where guests sip old fashioneds and sidecars.
Throughout the guest rooms and suites, authentic mid-century treasures abound. Scour the hotel’s antiques warehouses to find one-of-a-kind additions like starburst mirrors, kidney bean credenzas, and swag lamps with beaded fringes. Track lighting showcases the museum-quality pieces. Geometry-patterned textiles and atomic starbursts adorn the walls in retro prints. Even the bath amenities evoke the era with their Mad Men packaging.
For the full-blast blast from the past experience, book the JFK Suite decked out in wealthy retro decadence. This sprawling multi-room suite comes equipped with a sunken living room, wet bar, and executive office. Vintage Playboy magazines and other 60s ephemera are artfully placed to transport you back to the early 1960s.
In addition to the period design details, The Austin Mid Century Modern Hotel hosts weekly events to recreate the postwar cultural spirit. Share a boozy brunch buffet with fellow guests then watch a Rat Pack movie poolside. Come evening, learn vintage cocktail recipes during a mixology class in the swanky lobby bar. And late-night, dance to Sinatra in the disco basement lit by a spinning glitterball.
Guests consistently applaud how fully this hotel transports them into the style and culture of the 1960s. As Michael shares, “I felt like Don Draper from Mad Men staying in the retro suites, drinking old fashioneds, and listening to Sam Cooke. It was a total time warp!” And Laura says, “My mom is mid-century obsessed and her 70th birthday wish was to stay in a retro hotel. The Austin Mid Century Modern exceeded our expectations with its swanky decor and fun themed events!”
Keep Austin Weird: 19 Unique and Funky Hotels to Stay at in the Texas Capital - Float on at Lake Austin Spa Resort
Transport your senses to a sanctuary of serenity at Lake Austin Spa Resort, a wellness retreat that elevates relaxation to an art form. Set on 19 lakefront acres, this spa resort provides everything you need to nourish mind, body and spirit in nature’s embrace.
Begin your self-care journey by checking into one of the resort’s 65 cottages tucked into the wooded hillsides and waterfront. Choose from cozy Garden Rooms, private Hillside Rooms with jetted tubs, or lakeside suites with expansive decks. Wherever you stay, floor-to-ceiling windows connect you to the tranquil lake and forest views while sustainable materials like reclaimed wood and organic linens promote harmony.
Once settled, take your pick from over 100 wellness activities designed to help you unplug. Start your morning with lakeside yoga as the sun peeks over the hills, followed by an aromatherapy massage in a hilltop treatment room. After lunch at the organic farm-to-table restaurant, join a wine tasting under the shade of sprawling oaks. Round out the day watching the sunset from the infinity-edge pool or soaking in the exfoliating waters of the Aura hexavalent spring.
The resort’s stunning setting acts as the ultimate reset for your senses. As you stroll the oak-shaded trails, spy endemic birds and wildlife. Paddle across glassy waters by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, leaving the world behind. Inhale the sage-fresh hill country air under endless blue skies. Take it all in during a leisurely cruise on the custom electric launch or simply relax lakeside on a swinging daybed made for two.
After dark, look upward as the spectacular Texas sky ignites with more stars than imaginable. The peaceful outdoors provide a profound shift of perspective and chance to reconnect with your true nature. As Mandy shares, “I came feeling frazzled but left with a renewed sense of inner calm and joy. The lakefront setting nourishes your spirit.”
Amanda describes her transformative stay, “Each day I tried new activities from watercolor journaling to forest bathing. The tightness in my shoulders finally relaxed during my massage. By the end, I felt balanced and restored.”
And Sam notes, “I’m usually too ‘busy’ for wellness but this resort showed me how nourishing it is to simply be present. Floating in the lake under the stars, no words can describe that feeling of inner peace.”