January 11, 2023
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Here are the five best pet-friendly hotels in Austin, Texas. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.
For a while now Austin has been one of the United States’ best-kept secrets: a little enclave of progressive thought, high-tech savvy, and hipster culture, cleverly hidden in Texas, which is not the first place you’d look — and it’s disguised as the state capital, no less. But until recently its hotel situation lagged a bit behind the times — one new and notable exception being the Hotel Saint Cecilia.
It shares ownership with another notable exception, the well-loved Hotel San Jose. But while the San Jose is essentially a budget boutique, a rehabilitated motel, the Saint Cecilia takes off running in the direction of “luxury guest house” and never really stops. Of course Austin-style luxury includes not just those wildly expensive Hästens handmade mattresses, but an in-house vintage vinyl library as well. Put it this way: the Saint Cecilia’s blend of bold modern colors and impeccably curated antiques wouldn’t even register as upscale in Houston or Dallas; here in Austin it’s clear at a glance that this is the place to stay.
A half-mile south of downtown, in Austin’s authentically funky South Congress neighborhood, the San Jose perfectly fits its location: it’s unpretentiously stylish, relaxed and comfortable, and surprisingly easy on the budget, cheaper even than the big chains downtown. Once a Thirties motor inn, it’s been renovated in a sort of Texas-Zen style, with bare concrete exterior walls under red tile roofs and crushed granite walkways traversing a courtyard garden planted with native vegetation. The former motel rooms and bungalows have been redesigned in a stripped-down modern style, with queen beds, sparkling white bathrooms stocked with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, writing desks with Eames side chairs, and not much else.
Five-star amenities, of course, are not what this place is about. Here you have a shot at seeing some honest-to-goodness local color, whether socializing in the lobby lounge or sipping iced coffee with the locals at Jo’s, the coffee stand/sandwich shop across the parking lot, with outdoor seating and a front-row view of South Congress. The essentials are all covered: high-speed internet access, room service breakfast, even a modestly sized swimming pool in the courtyard.
Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; three times is brand identity. The Sydell Group’s third LINE Hotel once again transforms a faded mid-century chain hotel into a hip and contemporary boutique hotel, this time in Austin, Texas, on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. To be fair, the old Crest Inn’s exterior has more than a little bit of retro appeal — but it’s thanks to architect Michael Hsu and designer Sean Knibb that the LINE Austin is as stylish as it is today, mixing classic modernism and industrial-chic textures with some subtle nods to the geography and geology of Austin and the surrounding Hill Country.
The rooms all look out over either the lake or downtown Austin through full-length windows, and while they’re sparse and simple, they’re by no means uncomfortable. Equally important are the public spaces, like Arlo Grey, where Top Chef winner Kristen Kish applies a bit of French and Italian influence to American comfort food, and Alfred, a café with roots in Los Angeles. Coming soon is a rooftop bar with a view of the lake — and the LINE’s location, just on the north side of the Congress Bridge, places it within easy reach of an almost unimaginable amount of nightlife.
New hotels are popping up left and right in Austin. One of the most promising is Hotel Van Zandt. It’s by Kimpton, purveyor of hip boutique hotels in urban settings across the country, so you already know part of what to expect: plush guest rooms, local character, an impressive list of complimentary amenities, from the popular evening “social hour” to in-room yoga mats. Indeed, the Kimpton recipe works as well in Austin as it works everywhere else. Each of their hotels has a destination-inspired theme: at Hotel Van Zandt, as the name might suggest, it’s Austin’s famous music scene.
Retreat into silence — or plug into the Bluetooth speakers, this being a rock’n’roll hotel — upstairs in one of Hotel Van Zandt’s sleek guest rooms. Luxurious but laid-back, with a crisp white and charcoal gray palette, they’re outfitted in dark wood with warm bronze detailing. Standard amenities include free wi-fi and the aforementioned yoga mats. Suites have extras like soaking tubs, seating areas, and views of Lady Bird Lake. You can bring your dog along — like other Kimpton hotels, it’s a pet-friendly place — and order a steak at three in the morning, as room service is offered 24 hours a day. What’s more Austin than that?
It sort of seems like this was inevitable all along — how could Austin’s hippest hotelier and Austin’s hippest throwback-kitsch hotel not end up together eventually? Now that Liz Lambert, the boutique-hotel queen of Texas, has taken over the Austin Motel, all is again right with the world. That distinctive sign, which has been drawing double-takes along South Congress since 1938, is now backed up by some equally distinctive retro-themed interiors, and it’s all set to join the Saint Cecilia and the Hotel San José as part of South Austin’s trifecta of exceptional lodgings.
As usual, good taste is about taking your inspiration just far enough, but no further. This is true in the bedroom as well, where the bright orange beds match the bright orange wallpaper and countertops — and are tempered by minimalistic furniture and clever little details like Tivoli radios, rather than going for full-on Space Age kitsch. The parking lot, once the indispensable centerpiece of a roadside motel, has been replaced by an open-air lounge space, and the old pool is as charming as ever, joined by a brand-new poolside bar. It’s down-to-earth, unpretentious, and hip in a welcoming rather than an elitist way — a description that fits any of the Bunkhouse hotels, come to think of it....
There are no shortage of pet-friendly hotels in Austin, Texas. Here is every pet-friendly hotel in Austin:
If you have any questions about the rules and regulations about bringing your pet to a pet-friendly hotel, you can always contact our Travel Specialists for specific information. Below are a few frequently asked questions.
Usually a pet-friendly policy applies to dogs and cats, but sometimes only one or the other is allowed — and sometimes other types of pets (birds, lizards, unicorns), are allowed as well. Please note that certain hotels may also have a weight restriction for pets.
When we say pet-friendly, we mean a policy that allows pets -- but often there is a nightly or flat fee (sometimes called a "cleaning fee") as part of the policy.
Certain hotels specify that you may not leave your pet unattended. However, some offer daycare or dog-walking services.
Oftentimes, a pet-friendly policy will allow your pet outdoors at the hotel but not in public areas. You can always bring them a doggy bag.
Especially pet-friendly hotels provide pet amenities like food and water bowls, special beds, or treats. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.