The Driskill Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Downtown, Austin, Texas

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Small standard rooms, many with uninspiring views
  • No swimming pool
  • Pricey overnight parking
  • Slow elevators

Bottom Line

The 189-room Driskill Hotel sets a new standard for historic hotels. The hotel was built in 1886 and beautifully restored, and the gleaming marble floors, towering columns, and stained-glass ceilings evoke a bygone era. Tasteful, elegant rooms follow suit with designer furnishings, towering ceilings with crown moldings, brocade carpeting, and pretty bathrooms with black marble floors and counters (but shower/tub combos). They're a bit small, though -- but that's to be expected in a historic downtown hotel. There's no pool or other on-site amenities besides a nice fitness center and small massage room, but the location in the heart of Austin's famous Sixth Street entertainment district is prime.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Housed in a beautiful, well-preserved historical building full of charm and sophistication

There's no mistaking The Driskill when you first see it from the street. This Austin landmark stands out from its more modern surroundings with its stately late 19th-century architecture, which is wonderfully lit up at night. The interior only further impresses -- the dimly lit lobby is a step back in time with towering columns, marble floors, and stained-glass ceiling. Comfortable upholstered wingback chairs and palm-tree plants add warmth to the atmosphere.

The beautiful mezzanine level houses more lounge areas in the same style, in addition to the hotel's numerous meeting spaces. A spacious grand balcony overlooks Sixth Street, the hub of Austin's live music scene, reminding guests that they're in modern-day Austin. Another modern-day reminder can be found in the fitness center, which is discreetly tucked away in a corner of the mezzanine level, featuring plenty of up-to-date equipment, as well as city views.

A set of stairs leads from the lobby to The Driskill Bar, where there's plenty of moody lighting and Texan-inspired decor -- like cowhide upholstery and a wall-mounted longhorn head -- as well as lively bartenders that add to the quaint, old-saloon feel.

 Location

In Austin's Sixth Street district with live music, culture, and history at its doorstep

The Driskill Hotel is located in the heart of the action in downtown Austin on one of the city's most famous streets. Lively Sixth Street lies at the core of Austin's live music scene, and often draws comparisons to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. Numerous hi-rise office buildings share the streets with bars, museums, and shops in this lively part of town. From here, it's just a couple of blocks to the Austin Warehouse District and the State Capitol.

  • 20-minute drive to Austin Bergstrom International Airport
  • 1-minute walk to Sixth Street entertainment district
  • 5-minute walk to Austin Museum of Art
  • 9-minute walk to Congress Avenue Bridge, home to the largest urban bat population in North America
  • 11-minute walk to the Texas State Capitol
  • 11-minute walk to 2nd Street entertainment district
  • 11-minute walk to Austin City Limits at The Moody Theater
  • 5-minute drive to Frank Erwin Center
  • 6-minute drive to Blanton Museum of Art
  • 7-minute drive to Mike A. Myers Stadium
  • 7-minute drive to LBJ Presidential Library

 Rooms

Comfortable and beautifully decorated, though on the small side

The beautiful rooms feature high ceilings with a ceiling fan, a welcome feature during hot Austin summers. The room decor is classic and contemporary at the same time, featuring furnishings and finishes that fit nicely with the building's history without feeling dated or drab. Standard rooms are tiny, starting at 250 square feet, owing to the building’s late-19th-century origins. Another option, Curio Rooms, once serving as staff quarters, are even smaller, and start at 220 square feet. They are priced lower and feature architectural nuances from the late 1800s.

The bathrooms are correspondingly small across most room categories, though nice decorative touches include Brazilian black marble countertops and shower tiles, ornate wash basins, and elegant fixtures. Some of the standard rooms face uninteresting views of neighboring buildings. A round desk with upholstered side chair occupies a corner of the room, and features plenty of outlets for plugging in electrical equipment. The beds are extremely comfortable and luxurious with pillowtop mattresses and throw pillows.

  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Well-stocked mini bar
  • iPod dock
  • No in-room coffeemaker
  • Bottled water at additional cost
  • Cityscape rooms have better city views and are housed in a slightly more modern construction dating to 1920
  • Victorian Suites in original building are exquisitely decorated and range from 340-440 square feet

 Features

There's plenty of meeting space on the mezzanine floor and a well-equipped fitness center, but no swimming pool

The housing of the hotel in an old historical building isn't without some drawbacks, and the lack of a swimming pool is certainly one of them.

 Food

Fine dining, a cool street-side cafe, and a saloon-like bar

  • Highly acclaimed Driskill Grill features fine dining; open for dinner
  • Driskill Bar features a sophisticated saloon-like atmosphere; serves light fare
  • 1886 Cafe & Bakery open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; indoor or outside patio seating
  • Room service until late

 Bottom Line

The 189-room Driskill Hotel sets a new standard for historic hotels. The hotel was built in 1886 and beautifully restored, and the gleaming marble floors, towering columns, and stained-glass ceilings evoke a bygone era. Tasteful, elegant rooms follow suit with designer furnishings, towering ceilings with crown moldings, brocade carpeting, and pretty bathrooms with black marble floors and counters (but shower/tub combos). They're a bit small, though -- but that's to be expected in a historic downtown hotel. There's no pool or other on-site amenities besides a nice fitness center and small massage room, but the location in the heart of Austin's famous Sixth Street entertainment district is prime.

Things You Should Know About The Driskill Hotel

Address

  • 604 Brazos St. Austin, TX 78701

Room Types

  • Bridal Suite
  • Cityscape King or Queen Room
  • Cityscape Two Queens Room
  • Curio
  • Executive Suite
  • Historic Balcony King Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Senate
  • Signature
  • Victorian Junior Suite
  • Vintage King or Queen Room
  • Vintage Two Queens Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 189
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown, Austin
Address: 604 Brazos St. Austin, TX 78701
(See Map)
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