My husband and I have stayed at the SJH several times, most recently for 3 nites over the 2005 Christmas holiday. I am a native Austinite transplanted to the East Coast, and this hotel has achieved something very stylish and cool, and I think it's one of the things that's great about Austin. If you are into the luxe Four Seasons type of hotel, however, it is not the place for you. Even though I've stayed here before, I was a bit taken aback when there was no bellman to assist with the bags, no turndown service, no chocolates on the pillow, no concierge. On the plus side, there is a great collection of CDs from which you can borrow and a collection of DVDs that guests can rent for $2 bucks. And the grounds are very relaxing.
We've been coming here over the past five years, and I noticed on this visit that the hotel is getting a little scruffy and the rooms could use a bit of sprucing up. For example, one of the two rooms in which we stayed during our visit had a bathroom in which several of the bathroom floor tiles were missing, giving the room a rundown look. The windows were positively filthy. No problem for a hotel that charged half the prices of this one, but for these prices, I expect the place to be kept up meticulously.
ONE HUGE caveat, be sure and ask for the right room when you reserve. We reserved a grand suite, and most of the rooms in this category are located on the back side of the hotel. We were given this room upon checking in. There is currently construction going on near the hotel, and we woke up to the sound of jackhammers at around 8:30 am. The traffic is also quite noisy for these rooms. We asked to be switched to any different room and were initially told that the only room available was pretty much identical to the one we were in. But then we were switched to room 40 -- and it was a big improvement. The room is just much nicer, with its own private patio and a view into the hotel courtyard. In short, when reserving, I'd ask them to describe where the room is located, and ask for one that is away from the road and construction.
Also, I noticed that the prices appear to have been increased yet again. (We reserved in October, and got a significantly cheaper rate.) I travel quite a bit, and I think the hotel is or is just about to be at the point of being overpriced. A grand suite here is $285 over the weekend, with the Four Seasons (right down the road) charging $325 -- and this hotel isn't the Four Seasons.
- 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