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Named, appropriately, for the patron saint of music and poetry, the eclectic Hotel Saint Cecilia (112 Academy Dr., map) aims to artistically inspire with its five suites, six poolside bungalows, and three studios (it is also rumored to attract visiting rock stars). Fittingly, the fun boutique amenities here include a Geneva sound system in each room, with turntable and iPod hookup; an onsite library of vinyl records, books, and films; minibars with cool local and global goodies, a lap pool, and free bikes for borrowing. Despite the secluded feel of the wooded, dog-friendly property, the hotel is walking distance to the shops, restaurants, and live-music clubs of South Congress Avenue (including the awesome and historic Continental Club). Studios start at $295.
Less splurgy, and in the same trendy area, is the funky Hotel San José (1316 S. Congress Ave., map) and septuagenarian, eco-conscious Austin Motel (1220 S. Congress Ave., map). The San José is a restored 1939 “motor court” motel turned bungalow-style hotel with a wide range of minimalist room types, from small shared-bath (starts around $145) to pool-view courtyard suite (starts at $360); it’s dog-friendly and has hipstery throwback amenities: a music and video library, bike rentals, a Polaroid camera and typewriter available for use. (Bonus: It shares a parking lot with the excellent Jo’s Coffee, home of delicious baked goods, sandwiches, and locally roasted coffee.) The Austin Motel has 41 differently themed, colored, and priced rooms that start at $85 a night for “small singles” (with full-size beds; 1-2 person occupancy) and $110 for “good doubles and large singles” (1-4 person occupancy); the cool kidney-shaped pool was built in the ’50s. Don’t expect many amenities.
For a B&B experience, consider the 1110 Carriage House Inn (1110 W. 22 1/2 St., map), located in a residential neighborhood just west of the UT campus, where the bright, clean rooms and suites start at $150 and include a full breakfast; or the historic Woodburn House Bed & Breakfast (4401 Ave. D, map), two miles north of downtown in quiet Hyde Park, where all six rooms have access to cozy wraparound porches (from $110).
An appealing getaway—if you don’t mind a break from, say, eating BBQ—is the Park Lane Guest House (221 Park Ln., map) in South Austin’s Travis Heights, an eco-conscious B&B meets wooded cottage with organic vegetarian breakfasts, organic coffee, organic mattresses, and a natural pool. There’s one room in the main house (from $159) and three cottages (from $218), one of which is made of reclaimed materials.
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