We wanted to check out the famed party/art scene in Austin and based on other reviews, this sounded like a comfortable place right in the middle of the action. It is both - very comfortable and extremely close to all the 6th St fun!
Things started off perfectly when we found a prime parking spot (metered) right out front, and the girl at the front desk advised that if we paid the meter thru 5:30pm it would be free for the rest of the weekend. So, we didn't have to pay for the valet or the garage! Score! We actually didn't even pay for the room, we used our Priority Club rewards points, so MEGA-SCORE!
The room was a very good size, big kitchen with full-size fridge and attractive cupboards (also a dishwasher). There was a nice desk with free internet, a couch and chair, TV, comfy bed, big closet, etc. The sink area is separate from the bathroom, which is nice so one person can get ready while the other takes a shower. The water took a LONG time to get hot, I don't know if it was because we were on the 7th floor but it literally took at least 15 minutes for the shower to get hot! It did get hot, though, so no harm no foul.
As another reviewer mentioned, you can hear the music from 6th St if you're in a north-facing room, but we didn't find it especially loud or annoying. It was actually kind of a nice bit of melodic white noise, we liked it! We liked being able to walk to and from all the fun stuff that was going on up there. There was also a sports bar called Champions right inside the hotel (on the Courtyard side) that had stellar cheese fries and lots of great beer options. Plus they let us watch our home team play in the Stanley Cup finals, even after a very popular UFC bout had started and they were charging all the other customers a $10 cover!
The breakfast is pretty amazing: anything you could ever want! From cold cereal & fruit up to sausage, bacon, eggs, and freshly made belgian waffles shaped like Texas! Also they have a little "store" right across from the front desk where you can get anything from a Q-tip to a frozen pizza. I wanted a Coke Zero and the cashier couldn't make change, so she just let me have it for free!
On our last night there, some hooligan pulled the fire alarm at 3am and a loudspeaker urged everyone to evacuate the building! After a few minutes (the time it took us to get dressed and go to the bathroom) the alarm turned off so we figured it was not a real emergency. In the hallway we met some other tired/irritable guests, and overheard someone say that some frightened guests had run outside naked! After a few more minutes, they sounded the official "all clear" and we went back to bed. Management slipped a written apology under everyone's door and the girl at the front desk apologized sincerely when we checked out. Hey, it wasn't their fault - people are idiots sometimes.
Also on our last day, the elevators started going REALLY slow. The front desk knew it was a problem and advised some alternatives, saying that someone was on the way to work on it. Sort of inconvenient for checkout from the 7th floor, but overall wasn't that big a deal for us; we only had a few duffels so the stairs were a faster option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Explore virbant downtown Austin, Texas while retreating to the Residence Inn Austin Downtown/Convention Center. Guests of our hotel are served complimentary breakfast every morning before guests attend conferences, trade shows and networking events at Austin Convention Center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Austin Downtown / Hotel Austin
- Austin Residence Inn