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“Immaculately clean, small boutique hotel with negatives” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Ella

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Hotel Ella
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1900 Rio Grande, Austin, TX 78705 (Formerly Mansion at Judges' Hill) (West Campus)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 191 Hotels in Austin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Immaculately clean, small boutique hotel with negatives”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Tread with caution! Friendly staff except for a some grumpy bartenders. The room was pretty small and the shower toilet area was tiny--for a larger person it could be considered unreasonably small. No tub, just a shower. The lighting over the sink was less than great and the adjustable mirror on the wall didn't magnify--at my age, I need magnification and light! Counter space on the sink was quite adequate. I wish they would have given more body soap than the tiny bottle allotted for the two of us in the shower.

The bed was comfy for me, but my husband complained his back hurt in the mornings. Plenty of pillows and a nap blanket provided during the day and early evening--before turndown service. We got chocolates on the nightstand only the first night--odd that it wasn't an every night thing.

The internet was a bit shaky and I have no clue as to why. Even with the password for the WiFi I couldn't get the internet the first evening, but it was there in the morning.

A big negative was that we had to go outside to retrieve our car or go to the bar, to the restaurant and to the front desk. We had good weather till the last day and it must be really annoying if it's raining. Not a long walk, but enough to get drenched and mess up a finely coiffed hairdo.

Quinn who worked the front desk was outstandingly helpful and pleasant as were the valet guys. They were the shining star in our whole experience.

As friendly as they were, I don't think I would go back again. The price was high and not worth it. A bigger room for less could have been found elsewhere with a nice restaurant and everything inside.
I will say the place was immaculately clean EVERYWHERE! The pool area looked nice but not something we used. Location was good for the university, Capitol, (and walking downtown--if you don't mind a good walk; Congress Street was a bit of a hike cut doable). We didn't try the restaurant but I checked pricing before we arrived and it was in the upper price range for an elegant dinner.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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152 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    110
    25
    9
    6
    2
See reviews for
25
60
3
36
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Got here late one night and valet still on duty to help us out. Check in was fast and the main building is gorgeous. Room was nicely done and had a great smell in it. Went to a reception there and was put together wonderfully. Centrally located and convenient to everything. Would stay here again.

Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Dear Carmen W:

Thank you for your review of Hotel Ella. We are glad to hear that your check in was fast and that you found the main building to be gorgeous. We are also glad that you found the reception to be put together wonderfully and that our location was convenient to everything. We look forward to welcoming you back to Ella soon!
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Georgetown, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The most impressive thing about the Ella is the people who work there. I have never encountered staff at a hotel who went so far out of the ordinary to make our one-night stay as perfect as it could have been. We were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, and when we mentioned that to the lady who checked us in, they brought a cold bottle of prosecco to our room just a few minutes after we got moved in. At check-in they asked if we needed transportation anywhere in downtown Austin, and when we mentioned a restaurant where we had dinner reservations, they immediately volunteered to take us there and to pick us up after dinner, all at no charge. (The Austin Cadillac dealer has provided them with a new SUV for the purpose!) Breakfast, which is not included in the room rate, was served in the huge main room of the beautifully restored 1900-era mansion which is the heart of the transformation that forms the Ella's main building. The woman who served us was friendly, intelligent, and took time to make us feel at home.

Our room, a "deluxe king" was large, comfortable, quiet and tastefully furnished, with a very nice bath, including long, soft white bathrobes on hangers in the shower area. The TV was large and better than most I've encountered in hotels. There was no desk nor was there a really inviting place to sit, with only two chairs flanking a small table. The view out the window was a small parking lot and some rather run-down, crowded and unattractive apartment buildings. You should make sure you get a room overlooking the attractive pool area, on the other side of the building.

The Ella is very centrally located,near the campus of the University of Texas and a very pleasant oasis in the middle of the busy downtown area, where there is almost always something going on. The Ella is a very pleasant and inviting refuge for the time when you will be ready for such.

Room Tip: Get a room that faces inward, towards the pool area.
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Dear RAH_Sr:

Thank you for taking the time to write such a rave review of Hotel Ella! We pride ourself on our service, so we appreciate hearing that the most impressive thing about thee hotel is the people who work there and that you have never encountered staff at hotel who went so far out of the ordinary to make your one-night stay as perfect as it could have been. We are glad to have had the opportunity to help you with your transportation needs during your stay. Also, we are very pleased to hear that you found Ella to be a very pleasant oasis in the middle of the busy downtown area. Thank you for sharing your special anniversary with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!
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Jersey, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2015

I really loved this hotel... it's location, the staff, the rooms, the bar, well all of it really! I stayed in the mansion itself and had a room with doors to the main terrace. The rooms are just what you would expect from a five star luxury group but without being cookie cutter. Great furnishings with a fantastic bathroom, lovely crisp linen with full turndown service. My only small niggle is that I had to move the bedside table closer to the bed so I could use the lamp at night - but that took just a moment to fix! So with all of the above in mind I really enjoyed Austin and am looking forward to returning to the Hotel Ella and it's wonderful team who made my stay so comfortable!

Room Tip: I stayed in the main hotel which was superb. I didn't see the other rooms that are based outside...
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, January 21, 2015
Dear Richard_T_Hall:

Thank you for your wonderful review of Hotel Ella! We are pleased to hear that you really loved the location, the staff, the rooms, and the bar. We also really appreciate that you mentioned that our rooms meet expectation for a five star luxury group but without being cookie cutter. We are so glad you enjoyed Austin, and we look forward to welcoming you back next time you are in town!
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Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

The Hotel Ella is well situated near the University of Texas campus in a well appointed historic mansion with several additions that make it a fabulous hotel to meet most any needs. The valet provided a warm welcome and had my car available when needed, the front desk was extremely helpful and ensured the room was exactly what was required for the stay. Upon arrival, some time was spent in the intimate yet classy bar just off the lobby where all drinks were hand made but a skilled bar tended, creating a pleasant ambiance free of the noise of electrical appliances. The mansion art was splendid, highlighting local artists and celebrities.

The rooms are all very well appointed and restored to a standard appropriate of the historic mansion, with some accessing shared balcony areas which would be fabulous on warmer mornings for breakfast, or evenings for a nice social hour or dinner. Food at the restaurant was exemplary with a very Texas feel to it, particularly the diving poached eggs served over a grits biscuit.

While it was not used due to the cold snap during my stay, the pool area was fabulous and welcoming; while not an athletic pool, it would be ideal to cool down on a hot Texas summer day or simply lounge around whiling away an afternoon with one of the hand-made rink specials from the hotel bar.

Room Tip: The suites are definitely among the best and located in the mansion house itself rather than the add...
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, January 14, 2015
Dear Derek G:

Thank you for your wonderfully written review Hotel Ella. We are so pleased that you found Ella to be a fabulous hotel to meet most any needs. We are also glad that you took notice of the mansion art highlighting local artists and celebrities and that you found the rooms to be very well appointed and restored. We would love to welcome you back to enjoy the shared balcony areas and the pool area when the weather is warmer. We look forward to having you back!
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2015 via mobile

I wanted to experience some of the "old charm" of Austin Texas. This hotel has it! Austin is rapidly growing and all the big hotels are moving in - building sleek modern but
boring rooms. I found this hotel on the Internet. Because it is boutique it is not advertised widely. It is not in the downtown, but buses are nearby. The hotel staff do offer to drive you into town but only at limited tines. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. I wanted a room in the historical section but they did not get that part of my request from the online booking agent. It is best to ring and check this in advance to be sure.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, January 7, 2015
Dear Wendy S:

Thank you for your review of Hotel Ella. We are happy to hear that you found our bed to be one of the most comfortable you have ever slept in and that you found some of the "old charm" of Austin that you were looking for. We apologize that you did not get to stay in the historic section during your initial visit, but we invite you back to stay with us in the mansion. We look forward to welcoming you back!
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015

My husband and I stole away for a quiet night in a nice hotel. We were not disappointed. There are plenty of niceties such as the crispest sheets ever, upscale toiletries, beautifully appointed very very quiet rooms, luxurious robes, complimentary WSJ, super nice bar with generous happy hour and a yummy little restaurant (see review about Goodall's Nutella creme brûlée). Another plus is the hotel's Escalade that is provided for complimentary drop/pick up anywhere in downtown (was very nice to over imbibe at dinner and not worry about parking/driving).

The downside was that it was raining and we had to exit the hotel to access our room. Also, there's no provisions for coffee/tea in room. The rooms are small but it's like any classic building, you appreciate the character of the space and cozy up to your roommate.

The staff were perfect and the turndown service was a nice surprise with a full ice bucket, water carafe and a yummy chocolate to boot.

Stay at Ella. You'll be glad you did.

Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ella_General_Manager, Manager at Hotel Ella, responded to this review, January 7, 2015
Dear barry b:

Thank you for your review and recommendation of Hotel Ella. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the crispest sheets ever, upscale toiletries, and the character of the space. We are glad you had an opportunity to experience our restaurant and that you found the bar to be super nice. We hope you to be able to welcome you back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ella

Address: 1900 Rio Grande, Austin, TX 78705 (Formerly Mansion at Judges' Hill)
Location: United States > Texas > Austin > West Campus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Austin
#4 Luxury Hotel in Austin
#10 Family Hotel in Austin
#14 Romantic Hotel in Austin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ella 4*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the heart of downtown Austin and within walking distance of the University of Texas, Hotel Ella is a stylish boutique hotel housed in the historic Goodall Wooten House, one of Austin's original landmark estates. Constructed in 1900, the Greek revival-style mansion underwent an extensive renovation in 2013, and now offers a picture-perfect setting for vacations, staycations, weddings, meetings and more. With 47 guest rooms, a cabana-lined pool, and a wrap-around veranda overlooking our front lawn, Hotel Ella features beautifully designed outdoor and indoor spaces-including a recently renovated ballroom-that will add timelessness and simple elegance to any event. In true Texan style, guests will be treated to a superior level of personalized service and exceptional dining during their stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mansion At Judges` Hill Hotel Austin
Mansion At Judges Hill Austin

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