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The Driskill is where you go for a taste of the grand old Texas, pre-George W. It's arrogant and opulent, with its massive marble lobby and awe-inspiring stained glass dome. Cattle baron Colonel Driskill wanted to open a hotel to rival the big city, to astound the locals, and to make Austin the unofficial capital of the South. He succeeded.
Politics and The Driskill are inextricably linked. The hotel has played host to the inaugural balls of Texas governors from Sul Ross (1887) to Ann Richards. Lyndon B. wooed Lady Bird in the dining room, and they returned, years later, to await his re-election returns. The Driskill is kept as busy as the Austin capitol. In fact, its bar is the only bar to be called a Lobby Bar (it's far away from the lobby) because of the lobbying that goes on during the famously long Texan cocktail hour.
Even now, after the several-million-dollar, painstakingly historical renovation, there have been murmurs that the bath and the closet in the LBJ suite are too small. But the rooms are individually furnished with Victorian antiques and four-poster beds. Oh, and they'll give you cookies and milk (a bonus that Bill Clinton probably enjoyed when he was here) at night. Most people are wowed by the eight 18th-century Austrian gold leaf mirrors in the Maxmilian Room (they once belonged to Emperor Maxmilian and how they ended up in Texas is still a mystery today). But we like the bedspreads in the bridal suite — vintage wedding dresses, stitched together, which you might want take off the bed, before the two of you get too excited. Newlyweds should watch out for the ghosts of two brides that wander the corridors, and newlywed grooms should watch out for Colonel Driskill. Apparently, he's still here, and he hasn't outgrown his lady-killer tendencies.
- 188 Rooms
- Style: Traditional Elegance
- Atmosphere: Lively
- 4 Guest Reviews
- The Driskill
- 604 Brazos Street
- Austin, TX, USA
- Neighborhood: Downtown