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Hotel San Jose
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359 - 364 of 386 reviews
Reviewed April 6, 2006

The San Jose is probably one of the nicest and certainly the most distinctive hotel in Austin. Austin is not awash in great hotels - lots of humdrum chains and older properties save for the Four Seasons - so the place is a breath of fresh air. It's well located on South Congress along an eclectic strip of shops (galleries, vintage furniture), restaurants, and clubs. It is adjacent to a popular coffee bar run by the hotel and just down the block from El Sol y la Luna, a popular Mexican restaurant.

I love the design - very well done, very Austin, very environmentally sensitive. The rooms are in a few buildings arranged around a courtyard that has a small pool (I mean SMALL) and an area with tables and chairs. The courtyard attracts a bit of a scene, not at all loud and very much reflective of the laid-back vibe for which Austin is justly known.

My gripes are two: the minimalism of the rooms and the price. I say this from someone who loves modern design and enjoys boutique hotels if they are comfortable, but this felt a little like a cell (and mine was a deluxe room). As you'll see from my pictures, room features include a poured cement floor, outdoor patio runners used as rugs, and a single wooden shelf that serves as a shelf in lieu of a dresser (there is a small drawer next to the open closet in the bathroom. There are sliding doors leading to a simple bathroom. My room also had a small private patio which was handsome but not really very useful.

If this was $89 a night I'd sing the hotel's praises. Since my roon was $189 a night, I won't. It's just way overpriced, and I say this as a New Yorker who is used to paying high prices for just about everything. The only thing that justifies this is the demand; it's obviously popular, especially with a younger crowd.

A few other random notes: There was also a bit of snootiness at the front desk. The parking lot is crowded; I often got the last parking space and it's a tight fit. They have great bathroom amenities (maybe this is why they charge so much). My deluxe room off to a corner was quiet, but I hear that rooms facing the courtyard or street can be loud.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled on business
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12  Thank Bookistan5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2006

My fiance and I stayed here for one night before moving on to San Antonio for a wedding. We really loved it and encountered none of the issues mentioned by other reviewers. It could just be that we are part of the intended demographic. We are in our midtwenties, love modern design, appreciate quirky details. I guess we don't care much about formality or need people to handle our bags. Maybe this hotel is expensive for texas (150 per night?), but it's rare you'd find a deal like this in another big city.

The hotel itself was beautiful (see pics). I loved our room and bathroom so much I wanted to live there! The shower was rad. At night the bar was fun and reasonably priced. We had a room near the back corner--request being back there if you are worried about noise. It was very private, with no noise at all.

This was my first trip to Austin and I think i prefer the south congress area to downtown (the hotel is definitely NOT walking distance to 6th street). We browsed antique stores and got a feel for the neighborhood. I found a cheap nail place for a pedicure with no appointment! The ladies at the hotel desk were not rude at all. They were sweet and gave us many recommendations. If you like Italian, try Vespaio. It's just up the street and has great food.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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6  Thank cpmt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2005

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.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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16  Thank Buben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2005

Many of the reviews I've read indicate that the SJH is the only place to stay in Austin.

This is a very cool hotel. My girlfriend and I (urban and 30ish) spent the weekend in Austin to relax during the day and take in some shows at night. The room we had was very relaxing. The beds were incredibly comfortable. The decor and lighting of the room lent a very relaxing vibe. The staff was courteous. The hotel has a great coffee house in the parking lot with a great outdoor scene.

The area is touted as the hippest part of Austin, which gave me visions of a smaller Lower East Side, Wicker Park, Cambridge, etc.. However, the area is somewhat suburban with just a handful of resale stores, restaurants and bars (most notably the Cafe Continental) over a few long blocks that quickly transition into a residential area. You can't hail a cab on South Congress, so it makes getting downtown or anywhere else a pain.

It's a great hotel, but if you're planning on spending your time downtown and like to make your travels by foot, you should consider a downtown hotel (especially if the price is lower).

Last, the hotel bar is overrated for the out-of-town guest. The scene consists of small groups from the neighborhood who stick to their own table. You're not going to meet anyone interesting, since there's no social interaction between the tables.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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6  Thank cwa123654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
san jose, california
114
Reviewed August 8, 2005

Do you like to sleep on vacation? If your answer is yes, run as fast as you can from the Hotel San Jose. Paper thin walls and floors above. The bar, which can be a very nice scene for the bar patrons, precludes your use of the pool unless you enjoy exhibitionism. Trendy decor and design, tres hip, alas tragically so for a good night's rest.
Do you like your concerns given some attention or at least acknowledged. Forget it at the Hotel San Jose. A request for an extra pillow was initially denied followed by a very begrudging offer of one pillow for two people. Two e-mailed comments to the manager following our stay were both ignored.
Please spend your money elsewhere.

14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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