Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
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.
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.
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.
A cool pool, spa, fitness center, and well-equipped business center, plus a car to take you any where within a five-mile radius
Fine dining and trendy bars with stylish atmosphere
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.