Hotel San José

By Friday, July 22, 2016 4 Permalink

Hotel San Jose Review - Welcome Hotel San Jose steps Austin, TX

This is the third, and final post about our trip to Austin. It has been a whirlwind the last few months but I’m so happy to finally share this post with you. Going through all the photos puts me right back in Austin and lemme tell you, we really enjoyed ourselves. Unlike the two previous Austin posts which were about places to shop or eat, this one is all about Hotel San José.

Hotel San Jose Review - One of many courtyards at Hotel San Jose Austin, TX

I spent hours looking at hotels when we first considered taking a trip to Austin. Once Dan confirmed that he was going to go to his friend’s bachelor party and we should meet up after, I started reading up on as many Austin hotels as I could. Obsessive? Yes. Prepared? Also yes. I asked Dan what price we were looking at (under $200 a night), compiled a list of what I thought were the best options, and sent them his way. Options included modern, classy, funky, downtown, outside of downtown, way outside of downtown. We brought the list down to three great places but Dan said that we might as well try something we’ve never tried before, a boutique hotel.

I am so glad Dan chose Hotel San José. I love their branding and aesthetic but I didn’t think he’d go for it. We’re used to big hotels with massive beds, long carpeted hallways, meeting rooms, gyms. You know, nice but lacking personality. Well, Hotel San José has personality in spades. It was built in 1936 and used as a motor court and now is a 40 room urban bungalow-style hotel.

Hotel San Jose Review - Hotel San Jose pool Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose Review - Hotel San Jose pool tiles Austin, TX

It’s like an oasis. Austin is insanely green but when you walk into the hotel grounds it’s as if you’re in an entirely different place. Like a forest or well manicured jungle. With a lot of hipster friendly modern furniture. They describe it as full of lush garden courtyards but I didn’t expect so many nooks and crannies of well styled green spaces. Outside our room was a garden area with a massive wooden table that made it feel like we were hanging out in our own backyard. Plus birds. In Austin there are ton of birds chirping and singing non-stop. I loved it because it was so different from home.

Hotel San Jose Review - Hotel San Jose sign Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose Review - Hotel San Jose kimono bathrobes Austin, TX

Hotel San José has super cute, stylish minimalist rooms. Concrete floors and low wooden beds with paisley or floral bed linens. Kimono bathrobes (I wanted one so bad), Malin + Goetz bath amenities, Dr. Bronner’s hand soap. And a stocked mini bar which we only didn’t touch because we ate our weight outside of the hotel. But it had things like local beer including Bock, Mexican coca cola, a bottle of bubbly, Pocky, Kettle chips, salsa, chocolate, condoms, mints. Basically anything you could be craving at any moment. We almost opened the bottle of bubbly the night we went out for our anniversary but I passed out instead. The rooms are very curated. There was even a poem pinned to the wall in the bathroom.

The rooms are noisy. Since the hotel used to be a motel so they have old, single pane windows and it’s right on a main road in busy SoCo. So if there are motorcycles driving by, you’re sure to hear them. I cannot speak to the rooms that are further away from the main road but even the lady next door asked me if our room was loud. We used an ambient noise machine app to settle in and I suggested she do the same. At one time we lived next to a bus station so it wasn’t a huge deal to use the app.

Hotel San Jose Review - Granola, yogurt, fruit. Room service at Hotel San Jose Austin, TX

We ordered room service two mornings because we had to eat early and quickly to get on with our day and it was tasty. Pricey, as room service usually is, but fresh and a large quantity. We both ordered granola with yogurt and fruit which came with generous portions of fruit, along with juice, and coffee. Jo’s coffee is next door so if you wanted you could easily grab a coffee and breakfast there. We picked up coffee a couple of times during our stay and it was both convenient and yummy.

Hotel San Jose Review - The lounge at Hotel San Jose Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose Review - Hotel San Jose lounge snacks and drinks Austin, TX

Now onto the lounge, cause what good is a hotel in Austin without a place to eat and drink outdoors? Their public lounge is located in a garden courtyard overlooking their really pretty wading pool. At night they have live music. Of course! We spent one day between meals sitting in the lounge. You know when you’ve been eating and drinking so much that you kinda don’t even want to eat or drink? Well we decided to order a glass of sparkling and a Tokyo Mule and a thing of olives anyway. It’s vacation! Eat and drink ’til you esplode! In theory I wanted to try their jerk chicken wings or their cheese plate. However, it was still incredibly nice to have a place where we could sit back, order something small and bill it to our room. Very no pressure, just relaxing. As you should do on vacation. Relax!

Because we booked three nights instead of two we were able to receive a 20% discount. It’s non-refundable but it was worth it. Initially we were going to get the 10% discount for booking 30+ days in advance (also non-refundable) but decided why not stay one more day. I’m glad we did because Sunday – Wednesday was just the right amount of vacation and we feel like got the most bang for our buck.

  • Swisseaglet

    Hi, im chuffed to have read your stay as I’ve been eyeing the Hotel San Jose for my stay in November. Im travelling alone from Switzerland (husband and children staying home in Swiss) for a photography workshop. Re being alone safety was my no 1 on my list ;) and i wanted to stay somewhere simple but comfortable and where i was around people (so i wouldn’t feel so alone ;) ) Since its just me i was looking at their standard room that comes with the private bathroom, can i ask if that was the room you had? & would you stay there again?

    • Hey Kylie, thanks for commenting. I have never heard anyone say “chuffed” before! I love it. Hotel San Jose is gorgeous and I would definitely stay there again. It really is an oasis and the grounds alone make it worth it. It’s especially nice if you’re wanting to explore the area because it’s close to a lot of things. Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping.

      Yes, we stayed in the standard room with the private bathroom. Nice, simple. Not big but the shower was good and big enough to move around/shave your legs, etc. There was room to hang clothes. Nice bathroom amenities. And I completely understand safety being the top of your list. They lock the front gates after a certain time. The hotel door is very secure. And the lounge is a great place to be around people. We sat and chatted with people at the pool. Everyone is pretty nice.

      Hope that answers your questions! That’s awesome that you’re going to visit Austin. It’s such a cool place. :)

      • Swisseaglet

        Hahahahahaha you’re welcome ;) thank you so much for the information, I’ve also jotted down your eats and shopping reviews ;) i’ll let you know how i go :) I’ve decided to stay at Hotel San Jose :)

        • Yay! I’m so glad you chose to stay there. I’d love to hear about your trip after. If you have any other restaurant questions, let me know. We didn’t get to try everything and there is a ridiculous amount of good food there. :) Happy travels!