Hotel San Jose
What We Love
- Key location on South Congress Avenue, Austin’s hipster central
- Minimalist chic, eco-friendly design
- Fab courtyard bar scene in the Lounge
- Read more about what to see and do in Austin in our magazine section
What To Know
- The hotel is about 10 miles from Austin Bergstrom Airport. A cab will run $25-30 and take about 20 minutes
- No restaurant on site, but you can get room service breakfast or charge to your room at Jo’s coffee shop out front
- WiFi, coffee service, eclectic movie rentals and parking are free
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Hotel San Jose anchors the South Congress district, where hip bars, music venues, eclectic shops and the occasional food trailer make the scene. Its collection of ivy-covered buildings of plain concrete with Spanish-tiled roofs is connected by ponds, arbor-lined walkways and bathtub-sized aluminum planters filled with horsetail bamboo for an Asian-via-Mexico aesthetic. It all encircles a courtyard and bar.
Bed and Bath
Rooms are minimalist cool with a modern hacienda vibe. White walls, polished concrete floors and platform beds create a loftlike backdrop for a globetrotting mix of textiles–think Indian block-print pillows, vintage Turkish rugs and cowhide accents. The vibe continues in the bathrooms, with shower stalls of simple white subway tiles; the San Jose gets both eco and fashionista cred for the large-size bottles of Malin + Goetz bath products. Custom robes are kimono-style and echo Mexican serapes.
More than just a bar, the hotel’s Lounge in its central courtyard is a meeting place for visitors and locals alike; order the Michelada. There are Wednesday DJ nights and occasional events from tarot readings to jazz brunch, and overnight guests can partake of breakfast here – continental to eggs ranchero – or have it delivered to your room. Digging on the hotel’s design? You can take home a piece of it courtesy of the lobby’s small boutique.
In the Area
Steps away, South Congress Avenue is ground zero for people watching and boutique shopping: South Congress Café does nifty takes on locavore cooking, and Guero’s Taco Bar serves up old-school Tex-Mex to everyone from businessfolks to families. A short drive away, Uchi serves innovative sushi and Elizabeth Street Cafe serves as both a boulangerie and Vietnamese restaurant. Avoid the fratty masses spilling out of the massive bars on Sixth Street (nicknamed “Dirty Sixth”), in favor of a bar crawl through hip East Austin, from neo-speakeasy the East Side Showroom to hipster honkytonk The White Horse. Right across the street from the hotel is famed music venue the Continental Club. And it should be stamped in airline tickets that visitors must congregate at the South Congress Bridge for the nightly bat migration; just show up at sundown.
How to Get There
Love all the little details in the space, from the mini bar area to the robes. If it was a bit warmer I would have much enjoyed the outside spaces. I also enjoyed the proximity to downtown, restaurants, and shopping all within walking distance. Would recommend to others.
The tiny black front doesn't look like much. And you might need to embrace minimalist hipster chic to truly appreciate the genius of Hotel San Jose. But as a place where the rooms are given the right amount of romantic Texas meets modern aesthetics, this may be the best stay in Austin.
Directly across from the Continental Club, you can fall out of your room and into a rock club that boasts great national as well as local talent. Behind the gates of the San Jose, there is a cocktail lounge that's more outdoor than indoor that's perfect for mingling and enjoying the early evenings in the open air. Whether seated around the pool or on the patio, there are cocktails and cervezas of all types, as well as fascinating people to watch while you're imbibing.
Across the parking lot is Jo's Coffees. Organic baked goods supplement the classic coffeehouse drink menu. There are also some lunch items. Locals flock there during intense shopping sprees uo and down Congress (check out Electric Ladyland for wicked cool vintage, Yardbird Gallery for outsider art, and Schepplers for cowboy boots).
In spite of the gogogo energy outside the door, the Hotel San Jose offers tranquil spaces, as well as serape striped cotton kimonos and comfortable beds to sleep in.
This hotel was in a great location and also very nice coffee shop next to it. I loved the unique room and the robes are so great, I bought one when I checked out. There is a cute little pool outside, too. The staff was very kind and I would definitely stay here again!
I am in my third night, staying in room 56 (direct path from the office, upstairs). It has been an enjoyable stay -- until this evening (when my colleague checked out and I got new 'neighbors') This is when I realized the walls are paper thin (can literally hear conversations and every click of heels) and their quiet hours start at midnight.....
This is when my experience dropped from a shaky 5 to a solid 3, and decreasing as the night wears on...
The meeting room we were in is a converted accessible room (putting the bathroom smack dab IN THE ROOM with you -- we all took bio breaks somewhere else, for privacy) The food provided was delicious and the coffee at Jo's next door is delicious. The location is great too -- -but the neighbor noise.
....book in the know.
Hotel is in the middle of the action in Austin surrounded by bars restaurants and clubs
It feels like a motel from the 60’s and in the warmer times must be a fun place to hang out
The rooms even the grand suite is pretty basic concrete floors small bathroom come closet and cold
No heating at all in the bathroom and the noisiest A/C heater in the bedroom that I have ever heard
If you want a comfortable room I would go elsewhere but you can’t beat the location