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“Not Hip Enough” 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   |  
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Tiki Tuesdays
Ranked #20 of 191 Hotels in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Huntington Beach, California
Top Contributor
329 reviews 329 reviews
100 hotel reviews
Reviews in 132 cities Reviews in 132 cities
253 helpful votes 253 helpful votes
“Not Hip Enough”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

I loved this place but quickly came to realize, I am not hip enough for the place.

This would be the place I would have loved to have been 25 years ago. The rooms are minimalist, austere and bare. Functional, yes, but not overwhelmingly cozy. I dare say this is the Generation Y, or X, or whatever letter we are on today, version of a boutique hotel.

Let's start with the floors; concrete. Move to the walls; one picture. Head into the bathroom; via a rolling barn-door. The desk, suspended from the wall. The common area; patio with craft beer (for purchase) sucked down by young people with iPads chain smoking as they make plans for the evening.

The hotel (as I am sure other reviewers pointed out in more detail than I can) is a series of one and two story buildings surrounding a number of walkways made of sand. Plants and waterfalls pop up sporadically in random locations to give the impression of walking through a garden. There is a narrow pool tucked into a space off the patio. There is an office which oversees all things hip & cool, with hip & cool personnel who are very friendly and accommodating. Might be a cult, but I think they were just hip & cool.

The hotel is in the "up & coming" area of South Congress (SoCo for the hip & cool). Right next door sits its own coffee shop, Jo's. Across the street is Amy's Ice Cream for a late night treat. Up a couple doors is the famous Continental Club where many a musician got there start. Within walking distance are many new restaurants just getting their stars on Yelp. A hip& cool place to be.

I liked the location, I liked the amenities, I didn't balk at the price (roughly $200.00 mid week) and thought service was excellent. I just felt like I was a little over-aged for the place. But maybe that says more about me than about them!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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277 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    144
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14
105
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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 (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Santa Clara, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Customer service, uinque, low maintenance rooms. The coffee in the morning as well as the ambiance of the place is great.
I like the minimalistic approach. The rooms are comfy with high-end products for the shower.
This is a great place for a business trip. Easy access to your car (no valet!), wi-fi is consistent and complimentary. And the coffee...wait, I already mentioned it.
But, warning - this place may not be your gig. See minimalist above. The rooms are not carpeted, they are cement. I love this place, but my parents would hate it. Pretty hipster, but simple.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

I took a picture of this hotel two years ago while walking around So Co and have wanted to stay here ever since! On my last visit to Austin for work it was during South By Southwest (unbeknownst to me) and when I called for reservations they just chuckled and said they were booked. I made my reservations early this time and after the drive from Houston was happy to finally arrive. I somehow missed the parking lot that sits between Hotel San Jose and Joes coffee but found a spot on the street right in front and just stayed there. Check in was easy and I found my room easily. It was a corner room right on the street and at first I thought the noise might bother me but windows were thick and I liked having windows on two walls and the natural light that streamed in.
Yes, the decor is very "minimalist chic" and may not be for everyone, personally I loved it...from the concrete floors to the Malin and Goetz toiletries. It's everything my country dream cottage would be!
The pool is small and I didn't find it very inviting but that isn't what I was there for.
Location is terrific and in the middle of everything...I highly recommend The Snack Bar two doors down (especially for the live entertainment al fresco on Wine Down Wednesday). Joes coffee the next morning was also a treat!
I will plan my trip far in advance again so that I have a chance to stay here!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Boise, Idaho
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Lots of hype for the San Jose. Cool, buzz, hip, etc. But, don't be fooled -- it is still a Motel. Concrete floors, no irons in the rooms and a bathroom that wishes it had the luxuries of the bathroom in your college dorm. Spartan decor, tiny beds and poor lighting. Lots of handle-bar moustache attitude at the front desk. Very little customer service attitude at the front desk. If you want to overpay for the buzz, you'll do it here. Priced like a boutique hotel but, presentation like a roadside motel. If you want just a teeny bit more luxury, try a Hampton Inn or Hilton Garden Inn or just about any hotel that is a hotel. And not a motel. Way disappointing and wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

My partner & I stayed here in August and had a great time. The staff are very laid back and helpful, if anything is needed then they do their best to accommodate.
The rooms were nice simple but effective. The concrete floor was great to have in summer 42 deg ! But don't know how happy i would be with it in winter. One point about the hotel was that there was no safe in the room. I think this should be rectified.
Bike hire is fantastic way to see the city and surrounds.. Get back to the hotel and have a dip in the pool (small but still wet). The music at night is not in your face..might be a D.J. spinning some tunes or a local artist but very relaxing to sit outside in the warm air and have a few cold beers.
Lots to see and do in Austin. Some great food to be had and you MUST !!!! I repeat MUST go to Hopdoddy possibly the best burger bar on the planet.

Coffee at Joe's next to San Jose is great-i think the hotel owns it. But very good..outdoor seating and a great place to people watch and meet some of the locals.
We had a great time in Austin and the hotel had a major part to do with it. It was really nice to come back to.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the back if you are a light sleeper..some comment on the music keeping them awake.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fargo, North Dakota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

I have never provided a hotel review on trip advisor and I travel frequently but was so disappointed in the service that I felt the need to let people know. Charming hotel, great location doesn't also include great customer service at this hotel. Stayed at the San Jose a year ago and enjoyed my stay so decided to spend my money again with this hotel. I was traveling with a friend who typically stays at Marriott's and other larger hotels. When she checked in, no one offered to help her with her luggage so she hauled her 3 suitcases to her room herself. You have to be okay with rolling your suitcases on gravel and hauling luggage upstairs because there isn't an elevator. We ordered room service breakfast to be delivered between 7:00 and 7:15 am so my traveling partner could enjoy coffee before business meeting. The coffee arrived at 7:25 after time to leave for business meeting. Our room was next to the courtyard/bar area and the noise can keep you up at night. We checked out on Saturday morning. I realized that I forgot to return my room key (brass, nice, engraved, thought they would be happy to have it back) so made a trip back to the San Jose to deliver the key on Monday around noon. Since I had an hour to kill before heading to the airport, I asked if they could hold onto my small roller carry on suitcase while I shopped for a bit. I was told that there isn't enough room to store the suitcase and it is a safety issue. If I had checked out that day and asked them to store luggage after checkout, they would do so. But 2 days later, no can do. TSA is alive and well at the San Jose. I was shocked actually. They didn't even try to look me up in their system to validate that I had stayed at the hotel and spent $1,800 for my room. I won't return to this hotel and am really disappointed because I have mentionied the San Jose to so many people with praise.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, PA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

This hotel is so fun. You must stay here. Once an old motor lodge, this hotel has been transformed into a green oasis in the middle of the South Congress neighborhood of Austin. Each room opens onto its own section of an amazing garden. The bed is very comfortable, the room is super clean (not huge but very clean), great restaurants and entertainment are just outside the vine covered walls of the hotel. And if you want to go to downtown it is just one mile up the road. I recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask to be placed in the rear of the property, away from the road. We had a pleasant stay in #36.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 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:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Austin
#55 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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