Hotel Saint Cecilia
What We Love
- Travelers can borrow records from the front desk to play on turntables in their rooms
- The hotel’s quiet exclusivity: Only guests (and with prior notice, a friend or two) are allowed on property
- Individually designed rooms with plush touches such as Hästens mattresses, letterpress note cards and Glassybaby candleholders
What To Know
- Signature cocktail prices start at $16
- There's free parking in an enclosed lot
- Up to two dogs are permitted at an additional cost of $25 per day
- Read more about what to see and do in Austin in our magazine section
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
You’ll want to steal the look book of ideas from the Saint Cecilia’s public and private spaces, all of which exude an air of sophistication with an undercurrent of rock and roll. There’s a white peacock perched over the elegant bar in the main lounge, where you’ll also find royal blue walls, patent leather couches and a stark white fireplace stained with ribbons of smoke. At the check-in desk there are bookcases loaded with books, DVDs and records for guests to borrow. The outdoor areas are dotted with marble tables, red wicker chairs and lanterns that hang from live oak branches.
Bed and Bath
Each of the 14 guestrooms, which are split between the grounds’ original 1880s mansion and a slew of contemporary bungalows, is individually designed with an edgy, sophisticated aesthetic. Think original art, marble breakfast tables, blown glass light fixtures, Persian rugs, fireplaces and mohair headboards. All have Hästens mattresses from Sweden (this is the only hotel in North America with these feather-soft beds) fitted with Rivolta Carmignani sheets, and Rega turntables and Geneva soundsystems for playing the LPs that guests can borrow from reception (among them are Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and the Police’s Synchronicity). The minibars are stocked with tasty picnic provisions and Italian delights such as goat cheese, prosciutto and hazelnut cream–filled wafers. The bathrooms are equipped with indigo-dyed batik robes, fluffy Anichini towels and Le Labo bath products.
Travelers can retreat to the handsome lounge to nosh on charcuterie plates and white bean, artichoke and parmesan salad, or sip cocktails that are often dressed up with fresh fruit or housemade bitters and served in vintage classes. Jasmine and fig vines climb up the walls around the rectangular 50-foot pool, which is surrounded by white loungers and black-and-white striped umbrellas. The tone in the public spaces is set by a hip soundtrack, and there’s also a vintage neon sign that spells out SOUL and a new pavilion designed by San Antonio-based architecture firm Lake Flato. Guests can also check out cruiser bikes and buzz around the neighborhood.
In the Area
The Saint Cecilia is ideally located off South Congress Avenue, a hip central thoroughfare loaded with some of Austin’s best restaurants and independent boutiques. Head to the San Jose, the hotel’s sister property, for a refreshing michelada (beer mixed with hot sauce and lime juice). For oysters on the half shell and fresh fish, snag a patio seat at Perla’s. For pop and fine art, visit Yard Dog. And if you’re in the market for cowboy wear, stop by Allen’s Boots. While the Sicilian pizza at Home Slice is good, the turkey subs topped with hot cherry peppers on warm sesame buns are even better.
How to Get There
Stayed here over Easter and they were quite welcoming to our dog, grounds are lovely, and hotel is well located to DT Austin and easily walkable/bikeable around Travis Heights neighborhood for shopping and dining. Easy small park directly across from the hotel for walking your dog. Other "pros" are the comfy, cool decor and gorgeous aqua bath tiles set in generous bathrooms.
The less-than-fantastic is that our poolside bungalow (#9) had some fencing, but also plenty of 3'+ wide gaps so that we couldn't let our dog out unattended, even briefly. Dogs and small children were off leash at the pool area while parents were indulging in cocktails and we were left to fend off both while trying to get in and out of self closing, heavy gates with our luggage. The gates are required for pool safety but geeze they need a notice for parents to please mind their toddlers and pets so as not to have anyone slammed in the gates. Maybe a quick mention at check-in? Not our job to keep everyone in and safe, and not the hotel's job either, but it was pretty annoying. And the bungalow next door to us played late night music through open doors while people milled about, dogs barked, and kids played & cried- when I called the front desk at 1 AM to ask for help with noise control the hotel was on it right away and we were then able to sleep. A+ for the help, but wish it had been reigned in by a more on top of it staff. Not sure that hotel should "police" their guests. However, the circumstances made it so that I won't return and I can't recommend this hotel to others. Finally, a negative for us, but maybe not for the 30-early 40 crowd (we are late 40's) was the super soft, squishy bed and the lack of sufficient lighting in the room and bathroom. I wanted to love this hotel, instead we left early.
staying at St Cecilia is one of my favorite experiences in traveling.
the rooms, grounds, and staff are transformative. Try and book the apt not attached to the main building. it will make you feel like a boss.... a hipster boss
Stopped in for a quick drink at the hotel bar while waiting for friends at a nearby event. Bartender refused to serve us because we weren’t saying at the hotel.
We then went to have a seat at a far table to wait for our friends. We werent making any noise, were quiet, and not distrubing anyone.
A second waitress comes over to ask if we were guests, and then promptly tells us that we must leave the property since we werent guests.
We left without making a scene or fuss.
I actually would have considered staying here given how cool the property looks like.
But I could never stay on a property that screens every guest before ordering a drink or entering the property.
Not going to play the R-card, but I felt some strange vibes from their staff that would never fly in more civilized parts of the country.
A bit on the funky side, but rather charming. Set in the midst of a garden with a huge live oak. We switched to a poolside room from a suite because of some construction noise at a neighbouring property. Friendly staff. our only meal at the hotel was breakfast, but it was very good. Our only complaint: the lighting in our room was on the dim side which made reading rather difficult for ageing eyes!
Stayed here over night in one of the Bungalows. It was charming, eclectic and comfortable.
BUT, for the egregious amount of money it takes to stay here there are a few ridiculous peccadilloes that the hotel needs to address.
First of all, NO FREE COFFEE except between the hours of 5am and 7am. Are you kidding me? I stayed at the lovely Hotel Emma (liked it more) in San Antonio and you are received in the lovely library with coffee, tea, yogurt and muffins.
At St. C, we ordered to our room a completely awful breakfast of 2 boiled eggs, a dinky croissant, charred bacon and coffee and it was $62 with tip. Left a literal bad taste in my mouth. We had to walk over to Manana at the SoCongress Hotel to have a yummy Quing Amman pastry and more coffee. That is just ridiculous.
So, for my money, would not stay here again.
For these prices, I should have been met with a glass of champagne at check in. At turn down service, instead of getting a jug of tap water, I should have received flavored peanuts and macarons like I did at Hotel Emma.
I really cant believe they get away with this.