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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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