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“Hip Trendy, Snobby Staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel San Jose

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Hotel San Jose
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1316 S Congress, Austin, TX 78704   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Announcement
San Jose Spring Brunch
Ranked #21 of 191 Hotels in Austin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Placitas, New Mexico
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Hip Trendy, Snobby Staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

After reading the reviews of this hotel on TripAdvisor I felt I knew what to expect of this hotel. Other reviews commented on the fact that this was a very hip, trendy hotel for the see and be seen set. Other comments were in regard to the hotel staff being very full of themselves. I booked a garden suite in this hotel because of the location and style as I was coming to Austin to get ideas for my business (restaurants)
I arrived in Austin around 11am. I went to the hotel to check in. I knew I was way early, but wanted to just let the hotel know that I was arriving and if there was some slim chance my room was ready it would have been nice to drop off my luggage before setting out to explore Austin.
Before uttering even a friendly hello the front desk person said "IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CHECK INTO YOUR ROOM BEFORE 3PM". I thought back to the reviews on TripAdvisor and thought "yup, exactly as I expected". After I explained that I did not expect to check in that early that I just wanted to give my info this man changed his tune. He then tried to be overly syrupie to make up for his rudeness. It seemed very fake and I didn't buy into it. The other staff members I encountered were very friendly however. But some of the staff could use some customer service lessons! All the first guy needed to say was "I apologize, your room is not quite ready" and I would have been pleased. He did offer to call me once the room was ready. They called at 1pm....so it WAS possible afterall to check in before 3pm!
The grounds of this hotel are spectacular. Very nice, very well designed. The rooms are very stark. Hard, bare, concrete floors. Uncomfortable modern, IKEAlike furniture. We asked for an ironing board and were given a college dorm styled, small ironing board. This would have been ok if there was anything to place it on near a plug. We ended up putting it on top of the bed, very inconvenient. The TV is mounted on a wall with a swing arm, nice touch, but it can't be watched from the bed and sitting area at the same time.
The location could not be better. South Congress is a very cool area of Austin. Loads of fantastic restaurants and shops within walking distance.
The pool area becomes a nightclub type setting at night with DJ's spinning music and uber trendy types sipping wine and beer. I'm glad I didn't have a room facing this area as it would have been way too loud as this goes on to midnight.
Overall, the Hotel San Jose is what it is and if you're the type of person that enjoys style over comfort and don't mind paying for it, this place is for you. I love good style, but for $300 a night I'll stay at a 4 star hotel next time.

Room Tip: ask for rooms away from the pool area
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

The hotel is gorgeous. They've done a really incredible job of renovating it to make it a modern, oasis-like boutique in the center of South Congress. The rooms are very sleek and clean. The beds are dreamlike, they are so comfortable. Staff is eager to please. I love the implied privacy and the lush landscaping most of all.

The hotel is in the center of a bustling nightlife area. This is excellent for a short walk to dinner, drinks, entertainment, and a short (if not sober) walk back to bed. But it's not so excellent for sleeping once you get there. The walls almost seem to be paper-thin. I think this is mostly because there is no carpet on the floors (which actually seems cleaner) or elaborate wall treatments to insulate the noise. The hotel is so wonderful, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to visit it again...I'd just be sure to bring ear plugs with me to sleep at night.

Oh and make sure to check out their lounge at night. Under the stars, drinking a delicious sangria--it's divine.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

A friend and I stayed here over president's day weekend. Hotel San Jose is definitely a fun, funky hotel in a cool, hipster area, with lots of boutiques, bars & restaurants nearby, and hosts a nice outdoor lounge where you can get beer/wine and small snacks. the room was fine, but with cement floors and minor rugs, it just felt a bit cold & sparce. Also, the hotel is all on street level, and since our room faced the street, we couldn't leave our blinds open unless we wanted all passerby's to see our business. That being said, the bathroom hosted great bath products (shampoo/conditioner, shower gel & lotion). The bed was comfortable, but nothing special. I'd probably stay again, but it's more of a party hotel than a long-term kind of place, and for the rates you pay, you might as well be closer to downtown & have something included in your stay...

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

WHAT I LIKED: The location is fantastic -- in the heart of a cool neighborhood with more bars, restaurants and shops (and all good ones) than I could have possibly visited in a couple of weeks, let alone 3 days. The staff were very helpful and nice but low-key. The maid/cleaning service was flexible and thorough. The rooms were neat and trendy, as was the hotel itself.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The room was small, dark (except for the bathroom), and cramped for the price. There was no restaurant, though given the plethora of nearby places this is a small complaint. The pool was very, very small and there were lots of mosquitoes.

In general, I liked the hotel for its unique feel, nice furnishings, friendly staff, and amazing location. These are the reasons I'd recommend it. But I did feel that I had paid too much for what I got.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

When in Austin for leisure, it's pretty amazing to be able to stay right on S. Congress, which has shopping, dining and entertainment all within close walking distance. You pay a price for this luxury, particularly here due to its upscale, modern design. Make no mistake, this place is NOT for people who want to be pampered. It's not a luxury hotel. The room reminded me a bit of staying in a Los Angeles apartment for a couple of days. It's spare, it's a little cold, but it's really, really cool.

The grounds are lovely. There are lots of places to gather, to eat a quick bite from Jo's Coffee (great coffee and pastries), to have a glass of wine.

Above all, the most negative thing about this place is the noise level. We were in a room close to S. Congress, which is a very noisy street until after the bars shut down. We were kept up by cars growling down the street, drunk kids screaming on the sidewalk and live music from nearby venues. It seemed to die down by 1 a.m. Other hotel guests weren't very respectful either, screaming and playing music until late in the night, but we didn't complain to the hotel, so that's our fault. I guess you could say this place attracts a less-than-respectful clientele.

In all, though, we enjoyed our stay because of the location and the novelty. I'm not sure we'll be back, but it's worth at least one stay if you have the right disposition.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

A lot about this place I L-O-V-E. It is a very interesting and “hip” place in a great location (South Congress). But, they lack some comfort and modern conveniences. Our room was extremely small and “cell-like.” If a stainless toilet was in the corner, that would make it an upscale cell. The two small, hard chairs made any kind of dwelling unpleasant. I suggest they add at least two upholstered chairs to the room. There is very little storage for clothes or anything that I felt like I needed to straighten up and clean up constantly, which I resent while on vacation. I think they provided 6 or 8 hangers on a metal rod—no closet. Two drawers in the bathroom. There is missed opportunity here, because there is room for more storage, even though it is a very small room. I’ve stayed in rooms as small, but they used the space wisely (like using nightstands that had drawers). We originally planned 6 nights, but cut our trip short to 4 nights after having enough of the cramping luxurious camping. It was unusually cold while we were there and rain ended our stay. Not their fault of course, but the concrete floors made things more uncomfortable. I assume in the summer those floors are welcomed! There was only one small trash can in the bathroom, which proved to be insufficient. Another negative, 72 hour cancellation policy! That is unreasonable, IMO.

Now for the good. The grounds are charming! Gardens and a small adorable pool enclosed by lots of bamboo and plantings. They have a cute outdoor bar area, which we didn’t explore much. The location is killer with great restaurants, music, and eclectic shopping very close. The bed and bedding was extremely comfortable. We slept very well every night, especially since our room did was not road front. The products they provide and the way they provide them are sustainable and reasonable and of very good quality. They secure reusable bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion to the walls in refillable containers. Very “green” and likable. It is not clear if they allow you to reuse towels or bedding, though, as there are no postings about that and they collected all towels, whether hung or not.

All in all, there is much to like about this unique spot in a great location. Right across the street from the infamous Continental music club, with live music every night starting at 6:30 p.m. Young or old, you can enjoy great live music and slip across the street, even to drop your coats off in the room! I would not rule it out for your next Austin getaway, especially if you want the SoCo experience!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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cincinnati, ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2010

Austin was on my boyfriend and I's to-do list forever and when we finally had the chance to go, we wanted to make sure that we stayed somewhere that gave us a true taste of the area. Hotel SanJose was the perfect base to checkout the city. It is easily in walking distance to the unique shops, bars and restaurants on South Congress. We booked rather late, so had to stay in one of the shared bathroom rooms for two nights, and then in the most expensive room for our third. We honestly didn't mind the shared restroom, and maybe we just lucked out, but I never even saw another person coming or going from the bathroom! The room was small, but unique, comfy, and super clean. The suite we stayed in the third night was awesome, but we were there to bum around the city, not hang in the room, so we probably didn't take advantage of hanging out there enough. The hotel bar was one of the best bars we visited in the city and the sangria was to die for! I have since recommended this place to friends and have heard nothing but great feedback! Can't wait to go back and would not stay anywhere else in Austin!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel San Jose

Address: 1316 S Congress, Austin, TX 78704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Austin
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Romantic Hotel in Austin
#54 Business Hotel in Austin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel San Jose 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel San Jose is located on South Congress Avenue, a few blocks south of where the Colorado River runs through downtown Austin. Originally built in 1939 as an "ultramodern motor court," the San Jose has since been transformed into a secluded urban bungalow-style hotel in the heart of one of the city's most beloved neighborhoods. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Jose Austin
Hotel San Jose Austin
San Jose Hotel Austin

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