What We Love
- Cocktails such as the cucumber and jalapeño lemonade, made with local Deep Eddy Vodka, or the green bee, which uses honey sourced from the hotel’s rooftop hives
- The people-watching at Trace restaurant’s plush outdoor lounge, surrounded by trees with twinkling lights
- The W’s signature Bliss lemon-sage amenities
What To Know
- Overnight valet parking is $31 a night
- Print your airline tickets in advance: To do so in Wired, the business center requires an Internet fee
- While WiFi is free in public areas, it comes at a charge in the guest rooms
- Read more about what to see and do in Austin in our magazine section
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In a city known for its casual vibe, the W Austin stands out as a playground for those who want to strap on stilettos and sip martinis in a swanky spot. Guests can take their pick of lounges: In the Living Room, colorful throw pillows, a wall of vinyls, and modern art dress up cozy couches and chairs, while in neighboring spaces, guests pull out computers in a natural light. Exposed concrete pillars anchor the soaring tower, giving every room an industrial edge.
Bed and Bath
Of the hotel’s 251 rooms, snag one of the 27 Cool Corner Suites for expanded views, as well as their spacious bathrooms and additional living rooms. All rooms touch on masculine and feminine design thanks to their cool palettes and splashes of color. Fashionable accents (bright red chairs, blue wine glasses, modish light fixtures) also grace the space. W-branded beds are cocoons of comfort, and Bliss sage-and-lemon bath products are hard not to hoard. Don’t miss locally inspired minibar snacks.
Foods are sourced locally whenever possible at Trace restaurant, divided into indoor and outdoor dining rooms, where standout dishes include the housemade charcuteries, goat rib-eye and seared, diver-caught scallops. Don’t skip dessert: drunken donuts (they come with a bourbon dulce de leche and vodka-spiked whipped cream) are a whimsical take on Café Du Monde’s famous fried dough. Work off your meal at SWEAT gym, a spacious workout facility that overlooks the city. For those who would rather relax, head to the WET pool surrounded by lounge chairs, or get spoiled with a massage or facial at the sprawling Away Spa with its seven treatment rooms.
In the Area
Guests can’t stay at the W without seeing a show or Austin City Limits taping at Moody Theater, attached to the hotel (check with the Insider, or concierge, to see if you can snag last minute tickets or a tour of the space). Around the corner on Second Street, order a cup of locally roasted Cuvée coffee at Jo’s, an Austin staple. If you want to go shopping, don’t miss jewelry by local designers such as Shaesby at Eliza Paige. Also close by, La Condesa is a top restaurant for haute Mexican cuisine and excellent margaritas.
How to Get There
Full disclosure: I would happily give this hotel chain 3 stars but ALL swanky hotels have now begun including their bar reviews with the hotel reviews. That is rather deceiving.
What has happened to my precious W?
11 years ago I stayed in my first W in New Orleans. As a private hotel chain, Starwood and its hotels were AWESOME. The W was all about service. Everything inside was free. Free WiFi, free snacks in the room, free parking, you couldn't tip the bellmen or concierge, even a free drink upon checking with a cheese plate. You could easily book, cancel, and change your stay without fees until the last second. The bar was awesome and the rooms ultra-quiet. The place was fully booked all the time.
Fast forward to today in 2019. Marriot bought Starwood in 2016 and almost immediately started milking its loyal customer base for money.
The W is now an exercise in taking as much money as possible from you. They really do not care about service or the customer anymore.
I have no problem with paying well for a premium room in a premium location. But then, I was constantly fleeced for every nuance from WiFi, to parking, to the water in the room, to extra towels, to a rollaway, to an extra person stay over. It is tiresome.
Worse, gone is the time when you could easily change your booking or cancel a room last minute (or even just a night). They want your money and make no mistake, they do not give a damn about you.
Lets talk about THIS Austin W. The rooms are tiny, there is no bathroom door (hope you’re close), there is no water pressure, the hot water never got above luke warm, the room smelled like dogs, the walls would vibrate when a door was closed in an adjacent room, the staff are very pretentious and fail to respond to even simple requests, the hotel does maintenance during all hours on the elevators so it is very difficult to sleep. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
So, sadly, I must say to AVOID the Austin W if you plan to stay. The bar is still awesome, just don't expect the rest of the hotel to be anything other than a dressed up Marriot with demeaning staff.
For true service, there are few places left where you are safe anywhere in the world. I can strongly recommend the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, any Trump International, any Sofitel, and any Mandarin Oriental. A Waldorf Astoria is a second good pick. The W is no better than a courtyard Marriot except for the bar...
Goodbye W...My wife warned me...Self note: you should always listen to your wife.
This was the worst hotel stay we've had in years. It's one thing to pay $600 a night for a luxury room, but quite another to pay for a small, poorly designed room that constantly booms bass all day and night long. We splurged for the rooms with the outdoor balcony, over the pool, but the sun made it so hot out there that no one ever sat on their balconies (the hotel was completely booked) and they could have easily shaded them. We were surprised that everyone sitting at the pool was in their early twenties (how do they afford this place?), but we didn't want to hang there because they were being obnoxious in the pool for the entirety of our 5 day stay. Also, the pool was freezng and it was 90 degrees outside. To our dismay, they informed us that the pool was not equipped with a heater....we chose this hotel because we swim for our exercise and it looked like a beautiful lap pool. Who ever heard of an upscale hotel not heating their lap pool. It wasn't just us...everyone at the pool was only dipping their feet in and we heard a lot of other people complain about it. The decorating was tired, dark, and depressing. I felt like the designer was going for "convention hotel meets Chinese opium den." On our last night, the desk clerk wouldn't reissue a key to me, despite the fact that they said hello to me several nights before. I had to wake up my mother and send her downstairs to sign for me. Ridiculous. I'll give them two stars for cleanliness and the valets were nice enough.
Hotel seemed wonderful online... not impressed with it in person. Concierge booked me a blow out for my birthday day evening before a nice meal. Went to salon and they said they had called back and cancelled it because the stylist was sick. I never received this message from the hotel and didn’t receive a call.
Took the luggage guy 45 minutes to come get our luggage so we could leave and valet 30 minutes to retrieve the car... and that’s even when we told them the night before what time we needed the car by AND called that morning to remind them.
Spa area was gorgeous and the gym had a wonderful view out onto the city... also every piece of equipment you could want!
Excellent location in downtown Austin with walkability to shopping, restaurants, and some music. A short Uber ride gets you everywhere. The hotel has a nice bar, friendly staff, and decent food. We booked it for the pool and were disappointed that at $700 a night, it was not heated. Not pleasant unless you like an arctic swim. The rooms are very poorly laid out with no drawers, little closet space and no place to put your toiletries unless you are not sharing the room. No tub. A big stretch of entry that could have been used more efficiently. For a weekend, fine. For more than that, stay two nights at any other hotel and have more interior comfort.
As they say, it’s not about a problem during a stay, but how the problem was handled.
My first night was horrible - something loud clanging that kept me up at all hours. An elevator perhaps, I’m unsure.
When I asked for help, Brian the manager was quick to offer a solution. I was very appreciative of the communication and the response.
- excellent downtown location walkable to many restaurants
- clean, comfortable rooms
- typical “groovy” W ambiance
- good food on site
- friendly staff
- nothing since my concern was addressed