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“Classic comfort in this 19th century mansion, Austin's best kept secret.”
Review of Star of Texas Inn

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Star of Texas Inn
Ranked #11 of 36 Austin B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 20, 2009

I'd seen pictures online of the Star of Texas Inn bed and breakfast (www.staroftexasinn.com) before I left for my weekend stay in Austin, but none could prepare me for the splendor and beauty found inside this charming B&B.

The garden and wrap-around porch give the mansion a "tucked-away" feel, unusual because it's only minutes from downtown, the University of Texas, cultural points of interest, fine dining and blocks from two major streets.

Immediately one is immersed in peace and quiet, a benefit of this B&B's lifestyle versus a stay at a cramped hotel, the Star of Texas offers ten rooms, with so many common areas there is no need to fear loud late-night hotel patrons here.

My room included a wonderfully comfy king size four-post bed, antique claw-foot tub, and cable television. The staff exceeded my expectations as bring both helpful and friendly, intent to create a comfortable stay for guests.

The space doesn't lack of beauty in fact the traditional decor reflect the designer's sentiment for the mansion's hundred-year-old history. Like each room, the entry, parlor (complete with white wine and complimentary soda) dining and sitting rooms were carefully designed with the past in mind---a time when all things grand and comforting were known to occupy these amazing structures.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank sandrabeckmeier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 - 95 of 109 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 2009

Didn't have any bad experiences as reported by some. It's not a typical B&B. The owner is not around. Check in is via a note on the mailbox and you let yourself in. It's self service for pretty much everything-- some drinks in the fridge, food is buffet style, call if you need help. Good things for me were the comfortable bed and the old fashion tub for soaking. Breakfast was excellent and the dining area was like a small restaurant setting. Wireless connection was excellent- very fast and reliable. Didn't care too much for the Victorian style, but it was comfortable.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank poidog7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2009

I went down to Austin with a couple of friends to see a concert and we looked around for a place that was both a bed and breakfast and could host four of us in one room and I came across The Star of Texas. This house is beautiful, and while I didn't meet the proprietors, I don't mind as we were left alone and enjoyed it that way. Our room was in the attic and had some nice antiques and a huge bathroom with a clawfoot tub, there was also a great selection of movies. There was a girl on staff though and she was more than helpful in recommending things and giving us things such as towels or what have you when we needed them. I loved sitting on the porch at night enjoying a beer under the fans or on the lower porch rocking in the porchswing and enjoying southern iced tea. I never wanted to leave Austin or this Inn. Breakfast was pretty good and there was a large selection of hot and cold food every morning and there was always juice and homemade cookies available for us to eat. I would definitely recommend this place to travelers young and old looking for a romantic weekend or a fun getaway with friends. It is very close to the university and about a block from the bus route which will take you pretty much anywhere in the city but we found it easy to walk downtown and enjoyed walking most places and taking in the sights. You could feel the southern charm everywhere in this house and it was part of the reason I instantly fell in love with Austin, Texas.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Swansing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2009

I REALLY wanted to like this place, but I just can't give it a good review for several reasons.

Before I say anything negative, let me say something positive about the B&B: it was nice to be able to sit on the porch right outside of our bedroom in the morning and read the paper, there were cookies placed out on the hallway table that were really good, and the bed in our room was reasonable comfortable.

Now, for the details of our trip: We came to visit during Austin City Limits. During this time, there was also a big convention, and a football game. As such, ALL accommodations in the city were booked. This goes for B&B's, hotels, motels, hostels, and pretty much everything else.

When we made our reservations at the B&B, we booked for 3 nights. We confirmed our dates with them, both over the phone, and via email. When we arrived, we were late due to our plane being delayed. When the taxi dropped us off in the B&B's parking lot, a guy (presumably the owner) pulled up in a very expensive sports car, and said to us "I thought you'd be here earlier". Startled at his less than warm greeting (where's the Southern hospitality we heard so much about?), we followed him into the B&B.

He very quickly gave us the lay of the land, and showed us to our room. When we mentioned to him we were in Austin for 3 days, he said to us no that we were only booked for 2 days. After some back and forth, we realized that even though we both emailed and phoned in our requested dates, they had not booked us for the full 3 nights. So, we panicked. The entire city of Austin was booked, and we had no where to go. He said he'd make some calls to see what he could do about the situation, and then, he was off in a flash! He said he was going to meet some friends to drink and play golf or some other sport, and apparently he was gonna be late. (Geesh, sorry your B&B guests get in the way of your beer drinking and sport playing).

After the owner left, we unpacked and tried to settle in. As we took stock of the room, we noticed that the ceiling was stained and cracking, and that the doors/doorknobs to the bathroom and the room itself were filthy (see photos i will post soon). Gross!

We decided to look around the B&B, but it was empty of people. The way it is set up, there is a "sitting" room, but it just didn't feel very welcoming, and it didn't seem that people often used it. So, we just grabbed our bags, and headed out for the evening.

The next morning, we came downstairs for breakfast about 1/2 way through the allotted meal time. All we found were tables that were full of dirty dishes. There was not one clean & empty place to sit. Then, we looked at the food table (food is put out on a main table, and you grab what you want buffet style). ALL of the food was gone. No eggs, no bagels, no toast, no fruit. Nothing. Then, we went to pour ourselves some juice. Empty. Then, to pour ourselves some coffee. Empty again. Then, to pour a glass of water. Empty. At this point, my travel partner almost lost it. I, trying to stay calm, tracked down the one young girl who seemed to be on staff that morning, and explained the situation to her. I have to say, she wasn't overly nice, or even apologetic. But, she did eventually come and bring us some coffee/juice (but no cream or sugar, as that was empty too).

The next morning, we woke up, hoping for a better breakfast experience. Again, we went downstairs, even earlier this time, and while we did manage to find 1 clean & empty table, we again had the issue with the food/beverages being practically gone. With the owners conveniently no where to be found, we just sat down and picked at the food that seemed to be left over after the other guests had taken their fill.

Since the B&B messed up our reservation, we now had to pack up and re-locate to the next B&B. Seeing as how the Star of Texas was the one that made the error, we thought we'd get an apology, or an offer of a way to transport ourselves and our luggage to the new place. Nope. No such luck. In fact, the owner of the Star of Texas never even admitted the mistake was theirs! Rather, he said that WE should have red the fine print of our email confirmation to catch HIS mistake, even though we told him both in writing and over the phone the correct dates we wanted. In his mind, the error was ours. Nice, huh?

The best part about staying at the Star of Texas Inn was actually leaving. If the owner hadn't made the mistake on our reservation, we would never have experienced the bliss of the place we spent our last night. Thankfully, the woman who owned the other B&B had a guest leave a day early, and one night opened up just for us. The experience on our last night was entirely different from the Star of Texas, and was what a B&B "should" be.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm sure the Star of Texas is fine for some people. Those types of people: don't mind staying in a place where you never see the owner, don't seem to care about service or quality, don't mind being kept up at night by noisy frats/sorority kids on the street below, don't mind dirty rooms that are in disrepair, and don't mind paying for all of this luxury for only $200 a night!

I know it sounds harsh, but this was just our honest experience. Maybe it was the exception, rather than the rule for this place. We'll never know because we'll never stay here again. But for those who choose to give it a go, we hope your experience is better than ours!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank ShutterBugSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2009

I decided to stay at the Star of Texas Inn recently because it was one of the few B&B's that did not require a Saturday night stay on the weekends. That should have been my first indication to steer clear of this establishment. First, the good: it is conveniently located in the neighborhood just west of UT's Central campus in a residential area, and it has a small but adequate parking lot. However, that's all this inn has to offer. It is the WORST B&B I have ever stayed in, and I've been to a lot.

First, no one is on staff after hours at the inn. There is a number you can call for emergencies, but basically you are on your own. Anyone can get into the inn: if someone just takes one of the slips of paper left on the mailbox for late guests, they then have the code to get into the inn. So much for security. There was a young college student who was coming and going for a while who did identify herself as working at the inn, but she seemed to indicate she spent more time at the sister property, the Austin Folk House across the street, only until 7 PM.

Next, the rooms are way overpriced for what you get. Yes, the bed and bathroom are basically clean. However, the drapery, decor, rugs, furniture, windows and walls could really use a good cleaning. There was heavy dust on the curtains, the walls could use a serious wipedown and fresh coat of paint, the furniture old and in need of cleaning and polish, and the televsion is so ancient that even hotels in 3rd world countries have newer sets. Some serious renovation is in order, both in the rooms and common areas. Also, the tub is a clawfoot and is very difficult to get in and out of, especially for someone who is older and less mobile. Also, for such a high priced inn, you would expect some nice travel-sized toiletries. Instead, you have Sam's Choice body wash, regular shampoo and generic lotion in giant sizes so that you feel like you're showering at someone's old house who shops at bulk food stores instead of a B&B. Could the owner's cut any more corners? Also, the inn is located on a bus route, so be prepared to hear the buses whizzing by frequently. There were earplugs available downstairs but they don't help.

Probably the worst part about our stay was the food. When we arrived we saw a plate of cookies and we were famished so we tried them. However, most were burnt and way too hard to eat. In the morning you are woken up with the pervasive smell of bacon, which normally would not bother me but it is really, really strong. Next, you get down to the breakfast area and have to scrounge around the tables to find a clean dish, set of silverware, napkins and glasses. It appears the woman on staff does very little do make sure the place settings are cleared and replaced for the next guests. Then on to the food, or what's left of it. A frittata in a clear pyrex dish and some sort of baked good, along with unripe fruit is left on the buffet without a cover or anything to keep it warm. We came down to breakfast at 8:50 one morning (breakfast ends at 9:30) and found almost all of the food gone. When the cook came in to the breakfast area, she told us there wasn't any more left. With 40 minutes left for breakfast, all the food is gone? Are you kidding me? The coffee was absolutely horrible. It was worse than anything you get at work or a greasy gas station. I observed one guest force a cup down because there were no other options. The water from the filtered jug smelled. Most people drank orange juice. On the next day, we decided to get down to breakfast when it first started - 8:30 on weekends. Again, the food was stone cold. At least this time she put out bananas. Basically, the only decent things to eat were the bananas and Yoplait yogurt. The same tired old bagels and grocery bagged breads were sitting on the counter untouched, the food cold, wet, and tasteless, and the man eating the granola at the next table sounded like he was going to break his teeth on it. Who knows how long it was sitting there in the glass jar. The food was absolutely horrible. We had to get our own coffee and breakfast after trying to eat there. The owners could at least invest money in some sterno or if hot food is difficult, how about some nice breads and pastries from a local bakery?

For $391 for two nights, this place is a rip-off. I advise anyone who wants to stay at a B&B in that area to go over a few blocks to the Carriage House Inn on 22 1/2 St. Tressie's rooms are cleaner, cheaper, the grounds nicer, and the breakfasts made to order and delicious. Avoid the Star of Texas Inn - you'll be glad you did.

  • Stayed: April 2009
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2  Thank rxrgr8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2009

My mom, sister and I stayed here in 2 rooms (#15 and #19). We were in town for a diving meet at the Univ of Texas swim center on campus. We loved the location. There is a parking lot if you have a car, but we chose not to rent one and just took a cab to and from the airport, about $32 each way with tip. We walked everywhere. The pool complex was a 10-15 min walk away, but the closest part of the UT campus was only 2 minutes away.

Room 19 is quite large with a high king-sized bed. Might be a problem for someone with mobility issues, but was fine for the 2 of us. Mom stayed in #15 upstairs, which was smaller and had a smaller, lower bed. It did, however,have a great rooftop deck with a view of the UT Tower, which is beautifully lit at night. It was too cold and wet during our stay to sit out there at night. Very nice sheets and towels. There were 3 nice public rooms, including one with a computer for guests' use, a breakfast room, and a lounge with couches and chairs. A nice addtion in the lounge would be a coffee table, as we played cards there both nights. We built a makeshift table out of a luggage rack with stacks of magazines on top. It was nice to have an area to socialize outside of the bedrooms, especially when you are a group in more than one room.

Breakfast was fine and the 2 main hot items changed each day. The first day there were chocolate chip pancakes and a potato egg casserole. The second day there was a fresh baked caramel nut coffeecake and scrambled eggs with peppers, onions and spices. In addition both days there was bacon, several cold cereals, yogurt, bread and bagels for toasting, sliced fresh fruit, coffee, tea, milk and juice. The hot food was all put out at the beginning - 7:30 and not kept warm. We needed to heat up in the microwave. Great cookies available all the time, as well as hot tea and cold sodas and wine. Very homey atmosphere. I liked the security of the locked front door with keypad keyless entry. The only downside was the lack of individual room thermostats. We were at the mercy of the timer and temperature setting of the management. A couple of times we were either too cold or too hot. A space heater for the bathroom would be nice!

All in all, a great B&B! We didn't go into the sister property, the Austin Folkhouse just across the street and up a couple of houses, but it looked nice also.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Suzanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2009

My husband and I stayed three nights in this B&B just a few days before Christmas 08. The room was cute, but a little chilly and on the small side. The bathroom was nice and clean. We had a separate entrance which was great since we had a ton of luggage. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast each morning. The cookies in the entrance were great!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank txsunshine06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Star of Texas Inn

Address: 611 West 22nd Street, Austin, TX 78705
Location: United States > Texas > Austin > West Campus
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 36 B&Bs / Inns in Austin
Price Range: $160 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8

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