Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fine dining, a cool street-side cafe, and a saloon-like bar
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.