Hotel San José
- Style Made-over motel
- Setting Stylish South Congress
With a prime location right on South Congress Avenue, Austin’s Hotel San José – often touted as the original American boutique hotel – couldn’t be any closer to the action. But inside this impressively remodelled roadside motel, the atmosphere is completely chilled-out, with understated minimalist décor, soothing greys and blues and spiffy mid-century touches like Eames’ arm-shell chairs. Austin's signature quirkiness comes out through extras like old working typewriters to tap on, Polaroids to play with, and bicycles to borrow.
Need to know
- Rooms 40, including 14 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $155.00, excluding tax at 15 per cent.
- More details Rates exclude breakfast (from US$15).
- Facilities DVD and CD library, iPods stocked with tunes, free WiFi throughout, bikes for rental, typewriter and Polaroid camera for guests’ use. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, free bottled water and a minibar of gourmet treats including pistachios and cola gummies.
- Poolside The slim, rectangular pool in the courtyard has white banana seats dotted around for stylish poolside lounging.
- Check–out Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Check-in, from 3pm.
Children Welcome – travel cots are provided for babies, extra beds are US$10 a night and babysitting is available (book 24hrs in advance).
- Eco‐friendly A hotel to make your eco halo glow – food is organic and locally sourced, biodegradable cleaning products are used, the hotel subscribes to Austin’s renewable energy programme and makes monthly donations to community funds.
- Also Smokers can light up on the outside patio. Dogs are welcome too (as long as owners keep them close by and clean up after them), for $10 a day.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms The spacious Courtyard Suites have lofty ceilings, large arched windows overlooking the pool, cow-hide rugs, vintage BB King and Bobby Womack posters, and vivid red and orange accents. Room 50 has a tempting day-bed, positioned by the window and dressed with vintage cushions. For a quiet, secluded stay, book up one of the Grand Suites, located at the back of the hotel near the garden. If you’re going to book a Grand Standard, go for Room 44, which has its own patio by the courtyard.
- Packing tips Sheet music and a guitar for impressing guests during impromptu jams; a dog-eared Penguin Classic to enjoy in the courtyard.
- Also Ask front desk to organise a massage, manicure or pedicure for you.
Food and drink at Hotel San José
- Hotel restaurant You have the perfect excuse for a lie-in here, since there’s no restaurant – breakfast is delivered to rooms in Bento boxes. There are six different options, including a choice of cold and cooked goodies. The champagne breakfast features strawberries and cream, French toast and a bottle of fizz.
- Dress code Pyjamas, shorts and surf Ts – nothing is too casual.
- Top table Your own plump pillows and duvet-draped bed.
- Last orders The bar is open from 5pm to midnight every day, and you can have breakfast delivered from 7am to 11am.
- Room service Your Bento-box breakfast and multi-snack minibar should compensate for the fact that you can’t order in.
- Hotel bar The Wine and Beer Lounge is a neat, cube-shaped space by reception. You can sit inside, but tables by the garden are a more bright and breezy affair. The courtyard’s simple granite floor is studded with chunky wooden chairs, benches and communal tables, designed for dawn-till-dusk discussions. At night, the fire pit is lit, the pergolas twinkle with lamps and musicians play alfresco – on Wednesdays, house DJ Waxploitation draws in the crowds. Rock ’n’ Reel events are equally popular, teaming live music with a movie under the stars.