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Austin keeps it weird, but the Texas state capital city also keeps it authentic. Most notably for an eclectic live music scene that seems to have no limits (get it?), Austin‘s also a great place for vintage shopping, communing with nature and festivals, festivals, festivals. The range of places to stay matches the diversity of the city writ large. Here’s where to stay if you’re…

RELATED: 15 things never to say to an Austinite

Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, hotels

Hotel Van Zandt

…feeling the beat
The Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, located in the historic Rainey Street District, offers a refined riff on Austin’s world-famous music scene. When you first walk in, you’ll see brass instrument-inspired chandeliers in the entryway, and hear smooth jams curated by  the property’s director of music. All of the public spaces have their own individual playlists, including the rooftop pool.

Hotel Driskill, Austin, hotels

Hotel Driskill

…looking for ghosts
The Driskill, built in 1886, places in you in the middle of a historic downtown setting . Over the years, the iconic hotel has been lovingly restored, with gleaming marble floors, towering columns and stained-glass ceilings. An occasional ghost may also evoke a bygone era. Best chances for a ghostly encounter? Check into Room 525.

Hotel Granduca, hotels, Austin

Hotel Granduca

…feeling grand
Hop over to Hotel Granduca, located on a hilltop in West Austin. It’s a bit like Tuscany meeting Texas Hill Country. While not necessarily as cozy as a Tuscan villa, the Granduca does have a certain European grace. While Italian flair is everywhere, from hand-painted murals to mosaic tile designs, exposed beams and wooden elements bring rustic Texas back into the equation.

Hotel Ella, Austin

Photo courtesy of Hotel Ella

…feeling like a bit of classic comfort
Hotel Ella is a thoroughly modern stylish boutique property housed in one of Austin’s original landmark estates. Constructed in 1900, the Greek revival-style mansion was modernized in 2013. Check out the artwork around the property, much of which is for sale.
There are plenty of comfy places to hang out, including a cabana-lined pool and a wraparound veranda overlooking the front lawn.

Highlander Hotel, Austin, hotels

Highlander Hotel

feeling like counting sheep…
When you drive by the Highlander Hotel in Austin’s Boulevard District, you can’t help but notice the pink sheep standing watch at the entrance. Walk inside and discover even more of the authentic-looking ovine replicas (that is, if sheep actually had pink wool). Opened in 2016 in a former Travelodge, the Highlander still has some motel issues—thinner walls, older plumbing—but if your flock feels sheepish about overpaying for a room, this is your place.

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South Congress Hotel, Austin

Photo courtesy of the South Congress Hotel

…feeling funky
Located in one of Austin’s funkiest neighborhoods, complete with vintage stores, music venues and galleries, the South Congress Hotel looks, from the outside, like an updated old-fashioned motel. But it’s a completely new building, circa 2015. The hip boutique hotel has a minimalist design offset with pops of blue. And, no bunk, the place even has a room with two queen-sized bunk beds.

Four Seasons, Austin, hotel

Four Seasons Austin

…feeling fancy (with a Texas drawl)
It may have Southwestern touches such as cowhide-covered sofas, a lending library of books by Texas authors and cowboy sculpture, but make no mistake, this is still a Four Seasons. Relax in an Adirondack chair on the hotel’s manicured lawn, which overlooks Lady Bird Lake. Sip a Batini (Austin’s official drink) at the Lobby Lounge or take a guitar lesson. Don’t skip a stop in the recently-renovated spa.

Element Austin Downtown, Austin, hotels

Element Austin Downtown

…wanting to stay somewhere brand spanking new
Several hotels are opening in Austin in 2017. This summer, an Aloft and an Element will run separate operations under one downtown roof.  Element is an eco-conscious brand (even the logo is green). The Austin room design will be clean and open, with plenty of use of natural materials. Aloft, in the meantime, aspires to provide a cool, funky boutique experience. The hotels share out-of-room amenities, like a fitness center, a restaurant and an outdoor lounge/bar. The Fairmont is also coming to downtown this fall. It will become the city’s largest hotel. The Texas-sized property is so big that it will have more than 1,000 rooms and five—count ‘em, five—restaurants.

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Tagged: Austin, Texas

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Laura Powell

Laura Powell

Laura is a 20-year veteran travel journalist. She was CNN's first travel reporter, and has written for publications ranging from Alaska Airlines Magazine to The Washington Post. Find her at the or on Twitter: @dailysuitcase

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