Instead of staying within walking distance of SXSW this year, I ended up at Homewood Suites NW (stayed at Four Seasons for the last two SXSW conferences). Turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Short answer: For the price, this is a great hotel, and the staff is amazing. 5-star service without the extra cost.
Free wi-fi (this is such a refreshing change of pace, especially for business travelers).
Staff consistently, absolutely awesome. All of them, but Tom and Esther in particular helped me out more than once. Went out of their way to help SXSW guests overcome the challenges of being far from convention center. Even used their own van to ship guests downtown when the official SXSW shuttle service, R&R, wasn't coming by as often as they said they would.
And even though they were fully booked on my departure date, they provided a late checkout, and when the main cab company in Austin, Yellow Cab, was totally unreachable, the staff found additional services to help guests get around Austin.
Free Wi-Fi. Reliable, too.
Breakfast included (nice!), and they have a small shop with snacks, sweets, drinks, frozen foods, etc. available 24 hours a day (also nice in a pinch if you find yourself arriving back at your room at 2am and in need of a late-night snack - not uncommon for SXSW).
Happy hour available during the week, but I was never back in time to check it out.
Rooms were clean, nicely decorated, and flexible when it comes to working (outer room has table with power plugs right next to it at waist height (not a foot off the floor), extra chairs, sofa, etc., and plenty of room to rearrange things if you need to). The bathroom in my room was spacious.
Did I mention free wi-fi?
No room service and not much within walking distance, but since the rooms have kitchenettes, that may not be an issue. Sam's Boat restaurant right next door, though, so you aren't totally out of luck.
Overall, the decor is great, but once in a while, you'll find something out of place (the shelf in my closet had been repaired but in a makeshift kind of way (walls not repainted, etc.)).
Had a first-floor interior room facing the courtyard. Got some noise in the morning a few days which prevented me from sleeping as late as I preferred.
Never used the pool.
I was really worried about the extra hassle of being away from the convention center, but my interactions with the staff always eased the stress of navigating the chaos of SXSW.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Austin Arboretum Northwest is designed to make you feel at home, whether you're traveling for a few nights or longer. All guests can enjoy free WiFi, daily hot full breakfast and evening social, featuring a complimentary snacks and beverages Monday through Thursday evenings. Unwind in your one- or two-bedroom suite with separate living area and kitchen. Prepare Tex Mex recipes in the suite's fully equipped kitchen. Our suites have room to work and relax.Enjoy a workout in our fitness center or a refreshing swim in the pool. Our business center and meeting spaces offer an office away from home. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Hilton Hotels Direct, Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Travelocity, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Homewood Suites by Hilton Austin-Arboretum / NW reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Homewood Suites By Hilton Austin-Arboretum / Nw Hotel Austin
- Homewood Austin
- Hilton Austin
- Austin Hilton
- Austin Homewood Suites
- Homewood Suites Austin Arboretum