Best cheap hotels in Austin, TX
Yes, those are hot pink (fake) sheep perched on the roof of the Highlandler Hotel, a unique lodging option situated in Austin's Boulevard District. This fun, quirky hotel encourages guests to take selfies with the vibrantly colored mascots, in between using the fitness room and relaxing in one of the property's 84 guest rooms, each with a 40-inch LED television and complimentary Wi-Fi. There's Car2Go access onsite in case you need to head downtown—though if you stay in the area, you're a short jaunt from hot spots like the new AFS Cinema, Kick Butt Coffee and the Brewtorium.
Habitat Suites is one of Austin's most eco-friendly hotels, offering hypoallergenic suites surrounded by organic fruit and herb gardens (Bonus: the hotel uses solar power!). Guests can choose from one of four types of suites ranging in size, but all are equipped with 100-percent natural hygiene products—plus live potted plants to encourage clean indoor air quality. A complimentary daily breakfast is offered, as is complimentary beer, wine and snacks in the evening, along with fair trade coffee from Texas Coffee Traders and Organic Kukicha Twig Tea. Guests can also pick up passes for local yoga classes or schedule an in-suite massage therapy session.
Visiting Austin on the cheap these days is a challenge, but one way to significantly decrease the damage of a weekend trip is to score one of the few rooms at the Firehouse Hostel. It isn’t the Four Seasons, but the oldest-standing fire station in Austin has been transformed into a cozy respite for budget travelers just feet from the fray of Dirty 6th Street. Standard and deluxe dorm offerings are great for large groups, but for those who’ve outgrown the charms of sleeping in the bunk beds they also offer a pair of more conventional suites with private baths. Bonus points for a cocktail lounge that you enter through a secret sliding false bookshelf.
Located just three miles from downtown Austin—and the revelry that is 6th Street—Wyndham Garden Hotel is an affordable option for staying in the middle of it all without spending a fortune. The hotel offers a free shuttle for transportation to and from the airport; onsite, there are plenty of amenities to help you unwind, like a fitness center, a large outdoor pool (perfect for swimming laps) and a hot tub. The hotel's restaurant, ReVive!, serves musically-inspired, customizable burgers (plus kids meals), while the lounge is a comfortable spot to grab a beer while you plan out your day visiting Austin.
Native Hostel is an upgraded, modern version of the hostels you may know. The stylish digs are more of a play space than anything else; though beds are comfortable, you'll be spending more time at Native's cozy bar, restaurant and lounge, which switch between offering live music and a DJ. Native plans event outings (think: comedy nights, tubing excursions and sketch sessions) and offers a killer happy hour: stop by from 3 to 6pm for $3 domestic tall boys, $4 Live Oak HefeWeizens, $5 glasses of wine and $6 Tito's Vodka mules.
Located just north of central Austin, Crowne Plaza offers clean, three-star, business-like accommodation at an affordable price. There's an open-air pool too, 24-hour gym and the restaurant, Crossroads Grille, is open all day. Each room has free wifi, an HDTV, minifridge and aromatherapy kit. You can easily reach Crowne Plaza Hotel Austin from the I-35 and parking is free.
With locations scattered throughout Austin (Downtown, South Austin, North Austin, by the airport), La Quinta Inns & Suites is a great place to stay regardless of where you'll be spending most of your visit. Each room—King beds, double beds, suites—includes free breakfast (waffles, hot and cold cereal, fruit, etc), while some come with refrigerators and microwaves so that you can partake in your own meal prep. A fitness center and an outdoor swimming pool will help keep you moving, but hey, you're on vacation—there's free high-speed Wi-Fi and 30 channels of HD to help you relax.
Find your zen at this nature-inspired hotel just a few minutes away from bustling Congress Avenue. If you’re looking to relax, you can’t beat the tricked-out Jacuzzi suites. You even get your choice of tub: Go with the six-foot French bath for an indulgent hydro-thermal massage or the smaller (but no less soothing) Japanese bath. Since either option will fit two people, these suites make an ideal choice for a romantic weekend getaway.
As well as beelining for the shopping district, the shopaholics out there probably want to save a few bucks on the accommo to splash in the stores. That's where Grand Peers comes in handy. Located close to South Congress Avenue (where the shopping's at) and downtown Austin, this budget-friendly option provides a cheap but cheerful base to come back to. The rooms all have fridges, wifi and cable TV, and the complementary breakfast includes waffles to die for.
Hoping to stay near UT? Drury Inn and Suites North Austin is a great option, with free hot breakfast served every day and complimentary hot and cold drinks available each evening at the 5:30 Kickback, plus free soda and popcorn from 3 to 10pm (hello, movie snacks). An outdoor swimming pool and fitness center keeps guests active; if you're in town for an event, spruce up your outfit with same-day dry cleaning. As for the rooms, you'll find deluxe king and queen rooms, as well as suites that includes a separate bedroom, pull-out queen sleeper sofa, and kitchen amenities like a fridge, microwave and coffee maker.