W Austin Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Downtown, Austin, Texas

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Great downtown location near attractions and entertainment
  • Excellent dining and hip, trendy bar areas
  • Beautiful rooftop pool with nice lounge chairs and cabanas
  • Stylish, modern decor throughout
  • Free car service (drop-off only) within 5 miles
  • Pet-friendly (but pricey non-refundable cleaning fee)

Cons

  • Small rooms
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • No in-room coffeemaker

Bottom Line

The W Austin, opened in December 2010, is one of the city's newest luxury hotels. Featuring a minimalist design that incorporates elements of southwestern decor, its 251 rooms are housed on the first 16 floors of a mixed hotel-and-condo tower. It's well located in the heart of Austin's newly emerged 2nd Street District close to sights, shopping, and entertainment. The rooms are average in size, comfortably stylish, and feature modern amenities. The W is the haunt of mostly young, affluent travelers, and so is staffed and outfitted accordingly. The Living Room bar is a popular gathering spot for Austinites, and the young and hip congregate at the W’s WET Pool on weekends. Trace, its signature restaurant, is one of the city's culinary hot spots.

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 Scene

This minimalist hotel has a definite Austin vibe, and is punctuated with colorful southwestern elements in its hip lobby, bars, pool, and rooms.

You'll notice the W's minimalist vibe, incorporating concrete floors and walls, as soon as you walk through the glass entry doors. Some guests with more classic taste might find this off-putting, but the young and chic have mostly embraced the W Austin's modern style. The main lobby area is somewhat small, with the front desk occupying the far end of the space. The rest of the lobby is flanked on either side by a small lounge area and the concierge desk. In keeping with the Austin vibe, the concierge area is wonderfully decorated with funky photographs that capture Austin's self-proclaimed "weird" scene.

The Living Room, just off the entry, is easily one of Austin's hippest haunts, featuring chic decor with fireplaces and cool gray couches accented by bright cushions. The Living Room incorporates separate areas divided by a large wood-and-concrete wall. The coolest spot is decidedly the Records Room, dominated by a wall of neatly shelved vinyl records on either side of a fireplace. Following the labyrinth through the bar areas eventually leads to Trace restaurant, where the modern vibe continues and also includes pleasant outdoor seating fronting a busy street.

The rooftop pool is located on the fourth floor, along with the hotel's AWAY Spa and SWEAT fitness center. The fitness center is quite large and features a good selection of weight and cardiovascular equipment, with nice city views. The WET Pool is the haunt of young Austinites on weekends, though it's virtually empty during the week. There are pretty striped cabanas (with TVs) from which to lounge in, as well as lounge chairs. The pool is incredibly narrow and only four feet deep, with shallow wading areas on either end -- so it's more for lounging amid a party scene than actual swim-based activities. The WET Bar occupies a patio adjacent to the pool, and Austin's growing skyline looms over the gray concrete walls.

 Location

In the emerging 2nd street district close to shopping, entertainment, and historical sites

The W Austin occupies a prime location in the city's emerging 2nd Street District. In the area adjacent to city hall, the 2nd Street District encompasses the new Austin City Limits concert hall and dozens of new shops, restaurants, and bars. Lady Bird Lake, a popular running/biking trail is just minutes away.

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

 Rooms

Comfortable and modern, though some may feel a bit small

Rooms on the lower floors may flank the rooftop opposite the pool, meaning noise levels are higher on weekends when parties congregate around the pool. Spectacular rooms have a view facing Lady Bird Lake, though an industrial-looking rooftop stands between the hotel and the lake, some three blocks away. Room decor incorporates gray and blue tones offset by a red funky-curved settee and bright cushions. Attractive wallpaper accents walls in the bedroom and bathroom, adding extra contemporary flare.

A windowed partition nicely decorated with glassware separates the foyer and bathroom from the bedroom, creating a more studio-apartment-like feel. The modern desk space occupies a corner, providing plenty of room for business travelers to focus on work. Some guests with more traditional taste might find the lack of drawer space somewhat alarming. You also won’t find an in-room coffeemaker -- a standard hotel amenity that many travelers come to expect.

  • Large bathrooms with nice fixtures
  • In-room recycling bin
  • Luxuriously comfortable beds with wonderfully soft linens
  • Nicely stocked mini bar
  • iPod dock and large flat-screen TV
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • No in-room coffeemaker
  • Bottled water for a fee

 Features

A cool pool, spa, fitness center, and well-equipped business center, plus a car to take you any where within a five-mile radius

  • Rooftop pool on fourth floor is the haunt of young, trendy Austinites
  • Spacious, well-equipped fitness center with city views
  • Luxurious spa with seven treatment rooms, and nail lounge
  • Hotel car with free transport within a 5-mile radius
  • 24-hour business center offers free printing and copies (first 5 pages); Apple and PC work stations
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Fine dining and trendy bars with stylish atmosphere

  • Trace features a farm-to-table menu and sophisticated atmosphere; indoor/outdoor seating
  • Living Room with Tequila Bar, Records Room, and Secret Bar atmospheres serving cocktails and light fare
  • WET Bar is seasonal, serving cocktails and light fare
  • Room service until late

 Bottom Line

The W Austin, opened in December 2010, is one of the city's newest luxury hotels. Featuring a minimalist design that incorporates elements of southwestern decor, its 251 rooms are housed on the first 16 floors of a mixed hotel-and-condo tower. It's well located in the heart of Austin's newly emerged 2nd Street District close to sights, shopping, and entertainment. The rooms are average in size, comfortably stylish, and feature modern amenities. The W is the haunt of mostly young, affluent travelers, and so is staffed and outfitted accordingly. The Living Room bar is a popular gathering spot for Austinites, and the young and hip congregate at the W’s WET Pool on weekends. Trace, its signature restaurant, is one of the city's culinary hot spots.

Things You Should Know About W Austin

Address

  • 200 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701

Room Types

  • Cool Corner Suite
  • Cozy Room
  • Extreme Wow Suite
  • Fabulous Room
  • Fantastic Suite
  • Marvelous Suite
  • Spectacular Room
  • Wonderful Room
  • Wow Suite

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Nearby Hotels to Consider

Four Seasons Hotel Austin
The Driskill Hotel
InterContinental Stephen F. Austin
Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 251
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown, Austin
Address: 200 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701
(See Map)
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