Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lone Star Court Hotel Review and Photoblog - Winter 2014 (or Finding a Place to Stay in Austin)

December is one of the best times of the year to visit Austin, the weather is at a mild 50-60 degrees and it’s not a festival month so you can be assured that you won’t have to deal with crowded hotels, attractions and dining venues.  Austin is the capitol of Texas, it is a growing urban metropolis and many attractions are centered towards downtown, where you can find their famous live music scene on 6th street and hip vintage shops in the South Congress / Travis Height area.

Booking airline tickets is the easy part of planning a trip to Austin, finding a great place to stay can be a challenge.  Many hotels closer to downtown are expensive as they are typically chain hotels (think Hilton, Marriott, Embassy Suites) that cater to the conference crowd.  The rooms are decent, but nothing particularly unique as they are a chain but you will find the type of room and service you come to expect from these brands.  If you’d like to stay downtown, we recommend the Kimber Modern, see our blog post about them here!

When it comes to finding more affordable hotels on the outskirt of downtown, they are mostly chains, however we found a great gem of a boutique hotel called the Lone Star Court that exceeded our expectations in every way. 

Not only is it affordable (and a great option if you just don’t have time to search for something on Airbnb), but the rooms are spacious & beds super comfortable, the décor are as quirky as Austin can be, and the experience just pure fun.  The rooms at the Lone Star Court were about $129 per night plus taxes during December 2014.

Rooms at the Lone Star Court Hotel are spacious with a colorful and creative touch; we love the color block walls and super comfortable plush bedding
 Large bright bathrooms in every guest room comes with lots of towels, mason jar cups, and Lather bath and hair products
Admire the creative colorful and quirky decor in every room - we love the comfortable chaise lounge couch, and the orange warm and fuzzy felt fabric light shade
Artisan decorative touches can be found throughout the room - here we have custom leather coasters
This hotel has a courtyard that reflects the Austin lifestyle; outdoor fire places, bar-b-que grills, pool with sun bathing lounge chairs, grassy knolls with southwestern plants and flora landscaping, and of course live music in the hotel restaurant (they even have the schedules of the performers listed on the blackboard in the bar area).  And there are two permanent food trucks next to the hotel as well!

By night time, the hotel lights up the bonfire for guests to relax outdoors
Private central courtyard with beautiful desert landscaping
Outdoor hang-out space - grab some food truck treats nearby and enjoy them at the picnic tables in the central court yard
If you do check in and stay for the evening, we recommend grabbing a beer at the bar, enjoying the live music at the hotel, and lingering by the outdoor fireplaces they have in their courtyard.

Sit and relax by the outdoor fireplaces at night
Or rock on these chairs located right outside every hotel room
The Lone Star Court Hotel is located in an area on the outskirts of downtown called the Domain ‘Village’; it is about a 15 to 20 minute drive from downtown depending on traffic.  The Domain area features an upscale mall (with shops like Neiman Marcus) and modern, trendy low-rise apartment buildings that are mixed in with the mall area – this is the ultimate shoppers dream, living in a mall village where your apartment is right on top of the shops.  But unless you are inclined to shop, we recommend just staying within the Lone Star Court Hotel area if you’re in the Domain; there’s plenty here to keep you occupied if you’re looking for a break from your standard suburban experience. 

In Room snacks are placed in a decorative wine bottle box; an ode to the Texas Wine Country area nearby
All rooms come with a vintage Smeg refrigerator - comes with many local Texas beer brews to choose from - this is a big mini-bar!
If you can’t resist exploring the Domain, we do suggest that you venture out briefly into the urban planning experiment that is the Domain ‘Village’ just to see how the food truck experience can be like if you were to place them on super spotless-clean well manicured grassy knoll lawns right in the middle of a mall village.  Artificially utopian or a movie-set paradise – you decide.

Enjoy the Austin Food truck scene right in back of the hotel; great alternative for eating out-doors!
After our first night of staying at the Lone Star CourtHotel, we headed down to their restaurant for their delicious southern breakfast buffet, which also included in the cost of your stay!  This is not your typically continental breakfast.  We were treated to a healthy spread of fresh orange and grapefruit juice, vegetable scramble eggs, fresh biscuits with gravy, sausage, bacon, coffee, organic herbal teas and an abundant spread of fresh fruits (pineapple, watermelon, canteloupes, etc).  

A delicious gourmet southern breakfast is offered in their main dining room; while we were there we had the veggie scrambled eggs, fresh biscuits with gravy, and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
We enjoyed our stay at the Lone Star CourtHotel so much we stayed here again on our last night at Austin, it was a perfect way to round up our trip in Texas!

The Lone Start Court Hotel is run by the Valencia Group, which also operates boutique hotels in San Antonio, San Jose; check them out if you’re in those areas and seeking an alternative from standard mega-chain hotels.

We love hanging out in their holiday themed lobby area, you know you're in Texas when you see these cowboy boot stockings!

1 comment:

  1. I was simply amazed at the architecture of this absolutely beautiful venue!! The environment was unbelievable. I was fortunate enough to visit venues in DC like this, we found awesome things one after another after another.