We stayed in the Guest Nest unit for five nights, and overall we recommend it with 3.5 out of 5 stars with a few caveats for light sleepers. It is located in the rear of the same property as the Guest Cottage and Loft Hideaway, but the Guest Nest has a private “yard” / patio area separated from the Cottage by a privacy fence. We uploaded photos which show some minor changes to the property compared to the photos shown on their website.
1. For two people, the size is good -- not overly spacious but cozy and enough space. It's in a relatively quiet (note: see caveat below in The Ugly section) neighborhood and is only a short drive from UT.
2. We liked the interior design and minimalist style as it's different from most hotels in the same price range.
3. The amenities are great -- fridge with freezer, fully stocked kitchen with everything you need to cook for two, and a washer and dryer for laundry is in the closet.
4. We had no problems with the wifi Internet connection and the desk had a stereo with an iPod docking station.
The Bad (1/2 star deduction):
None of these items are complaints (and didn't really bother us that much) but rather they are observations that should help others make an informed decision based on their personal preferences.
1. There is no dining table -- instead you use TV trays and the reclined black chairs. The angle of the chairs is great for watching a movie but made it more likely that one might spill food on one's clothes while eating.
2. Kitchen sink is difficult to rinse given that it's flat-bottomed and not sloped -- a sprayer on a hose would make a nice addition to the kitchen.
3. The ceiling fan can be controlled only via a remote controller and the sensor does not pick up the commands if you are in the bed -- you have to get out of the bed to get to an angle where the sensor picks it up.
4. In the bathroom, the sink has a cool design but it does have a flaw. The faucet should be closer to the sink because if you try to get a stream of low pressure water, then most likely the water will hit the sink lip and spill onto the counter (this happened to us several times).
5. A deadbolt is installed on the inside of the gate in the courtyard, but the gate sags and this requires you to lift up the gate if you wish to lock / unlock the gate.
6. If you're going to turn left onto Red River from either 43rd or the Hancock Center parking lot, you have to fight an obstructed view due to bushes and a curve in the road when looking for an opening in southbound traffic. There is a light you can use at 41st and Red River, but you have to snake around to it behind the HEB which is annoying.
7. Finally, the A/C is a window unit. It worked fine for us (just have to give it some time to cool the room) in October but during a Texas summer it might take quite a while to drop the indoor temperature.
The Ugly (1 star deduction):
If you're a light sleeper, this might be a deal breaker.
1. The row of windows above the kitchen does not have a shade / blinds and therefore it lets in light from the HEB parking lot / loading dock during the night. Trucks unload during the night with lots of flashing lights and loud noises. We always travel with eye masks and ear plugs, so this wasn't a major problem for us but I know many light sleepers who would hate it.
2. Finally, despite it being a relatively quiet neighborhood, there are many cars that use Bennett all day and most of the night to access the HEB parking lot which resulted in quite a bit of traffic right out our front door. Other reviewers indicated that they were surprised that there wasn't much traffic from the shopping center but our experience was different from those reviews.
All said, this is a good place. If we go back to Austin, we'll probably stay elsewhere but that's because we'd want to see a different part of the city and not because of dissatisfaction with this location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hancock Cottages Austin are perfect for SXSW, ACL, F1 Races, UT games, graduations, weddings, and family gatherings. ... more less