This is my second stay at the W-Austin in the last month. The accomodations are fine, and the staff is courteous and helpful, but the one thing that the W has that no other hotel, bar, or restaurant in Austin has, is master mixologist Joyce Garrision. I'm an avid foodie, and have traveled all over the world sampling great food and drink (yes, Austin rates very high), so I can say with a fair amount of confidence and experience that the W has a gem in Joyce. Any 22-something underweight hack with a goutee and tats can perform simple tasks like adding two-parts this with 1 part that, and mash in some green stuff with that muddler thingy... "here ya go, you wanna put that on your room?" In stark contrast, JG is not only invested in the craft of mixology, she's channeling some sort of mixology-host energy that transforms a drink at the bar into a really fun time - plus you get a great drink! Think of a polite and well-behaived Charlie Sheen with drink-making skills (take your time). OK maybe not, but you get the point. In my first stay, I happened to belly up to the bar when Joyce was "inventing" a new drink for some local contest here in Austin [I later found out that she won the event]. The theme was "Africa", so she was researching and experimenting with flavor profiles for various Afrian fruits, teas, etc. I think I tasted about 5-6 of her "...eh, this is missing something..." or "...no, this flavor is drowning out that one ..." trial drinks before I had to retire. But what a blast, and I got a free schooling in everything Rum - believe me, she knows her stuff. Michelin stars are the most sought after award for excellence in the culinary world, and oddly enough the rating system (from 0 to 3 start) is simple and effective: 1 star basically means "good for the category", 2 stars is excellent, and "worth a detour", 3 stars is exceptional, and "worth a special journey". Not sure how that translates into mixology ratings, but I can say that given the choice, I will choose to stay at the W-Austin every time. Not just because the W is a pretty cool place to stay, but because I might get a chance to have a drink and a laugh with a world-class mixologist.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel, located in downtown Austin, is next door to the famed Austin City Limits music venue. Our boutique hotel rooms are stylish and comfortable, we also offer over 10,000 sqft of event space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w Austin Hotel Austin