This was my husband's and my first trip to Austin, and also to Barton Creek. I'd read many mixed reviews of this hotel, and I agree, it could use some updating. The bathroom was on the small side, and there was no counter space for our toiletries. I pulled out the ironing board and used that as our counter! The toilet also flushed very slowly. There was a fireplace in the large room, and it added a nice touch. The view was beautiful of the rolling hills and tennis courts. The room was quiet (we were on the top floor) and the most we heard was other doors banging shut when people left. One of the elevators was very creepy; it shuddered as it moved and definitely needed servicing! The mattress was comfortable, but the pillows too soft for my liking. I used another pillow that was in the closet to boost up the one I had.
The food was excellent. We enjoyed the buffet breakfast, and 3 dinners as part of our convention. I loved the different pancakes or waffles and egg preparations that changed daily. There was an omelet station, and also a pianist played at dinner and on Sunday morning. The service was always very hospitable in the bar, the front desk, and at all the venues. I cannot say enough about Texas hospitality! When we realized my husband has left a very expensive pair of sunglasses in the room after we checked out, he called the hotel. They called him back a few hours later, and said they had found them and were mailing them back to us at their expense!
We were about 1/2 hour outside of Austin, but had shuttle buses as part of our package, so it wasn't a big deal to get into town. We loved Austin, the cool vibe, the great music, and the selection of restaurants and bars. If you want to be closer to downtown, this may not be the place for you, but if you want a quiet and scenic spot, then this is perfect.
We didn't use the spa or gym, or golf, so I don't know about the level of service at those places, but my husband enjoyed the nature trail for his walks.