There's something so personal about staying at one of the best boutique hotels in Austin, with their small number of rooms and expertly curated amenities. While a few are already considered among Austin's best hotels, others are more off the radar (a few on our list are located at the Domain, which is close to a number of the city's best breweries and shopping). Our picks offer bungalow-laden pools, exceptional hotel bars and outdoor firepits—perfect for when you want to get away from it all.
Best boutique hotels in Austin
Named after the patron saint of music and poetry, Saint Cecilia aims to be the type of place that a modern-day version of the Stones might record Exile on Main Street at. The 14 rooms are all equipped with organic beds from legacy Swedish manufacturer Hastens, kimono bathrobes, and body care products from revered NYC perfumery Le Labo. Check out a record from a library of vintage vinyl for listening on their Rega turntables, but make sure to bring your swimsuit: the 24hr, 50 ft heated lap pool, illuminated by a neon sign reading “Soul” makes for a great lifeguard.
Hotelier Liz Lambert now boasts a small empire of boutique hotels in Austin, San Antonio, and Marfa, but her first foray into minimalist design-minded lodging was Hotel San Jose. Dense webs of vines along the exterior and corridors give the rooms a sense of seclusion, despite being mere feet from one of Austin’s busiest shopping districts. The rooms are spartan but chic, with vintage concert posters and colorful accent walls and pillows contrasting the austere blonde wood furniture. Before retiring, don’t miss the hotel bar, which offers one of the best micheladas in town.
Heywood Hotel serves as a middle point between the past and present, a 1925 bungalow outfitted with seven suites marked by timeless interior touches like longleaf pine floors and cathedral ceilings, mixed with modern locally-made furnishings, from handcrafted bed-frames to throw pillows designed by local artists. One of the city’s best taco trucks, Veracruz All Natural is just down the street—ride there on one of Heywood’s complimentary bicycles.
Built in 2008 from the ground up by local architect Burton Baldridge, the seven-roomer hidden behind South Congress Ave is one of the city’s best-kept hotel secrets. The illusion of seclusion comes thanks to the hillside design, whose unassuming front façade shields a stunning water feature shaded by a one hundred-year-old live oak tree. Rooms are adorned with paintings from nationally lauded local artists (one lives just two blocks away) and Eames chairs, plus the full line of Malin and Goetz bath products are on-hand for freshening up.
The Domain may be known for its shops, restaurants and apartments, but it's also home to Lone Star Court, a colorful boutique hotel that embraces the Austin and Hill Country vibe with outdoor fire pits, a dipping pool and live music. Retro furniture is complemented by modern amenities, and all guests receive free breakfast every morning. Going with your boo? Consider the Glamping Package, which includes s'mores for two along with complimentary Chill Cowboy drinks.
Located just a quick walk from the Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin, Hotel Ella is housed within the historic Goodall Wooten House, offering guests a secluded boutique getaway in the middle of the city. A wraparound porch and outdoor pool with cabanas allows visitors to enjoy sunny days at the hotel, while the inside bar and restaurant serves as a quiet oasis. Art lovers will appreciate the incorporation of pieces by Texas modern artists throughout the hotel, which boasts 47 rooms.
As one of the Domain's newest hotels, the Archer excels at exceptional service, offering handmade salted caramels to newly checked-in guests and a nightly turndown service with local treats. If that hasn't persuaded you yet, consider the hotel's other amenities: an outdoor pool and fitness center, a neighboring day spa and a Second Bar + Kitchen on-site. It also offers rental bikes in case you want to explore the Domain and surrounding area on two wheels.