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“Almost perfect. But not quite”

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Omni Austin Hotel Downtown
Ranked #43 of 201 Hotels in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 24, 2006

My husband and I were headed to my hometown of Austin for Christmas, but did not want to stay with family. I wanted to have a nice quiet place to retreat to after the festivities were complete.

I got a great rate through Expedia, and hadn't been to Esther's Follies in about 15 years, so thought it would be fun to share that with my husband. And the Omni is VERY close to the happenings on 6th Street.

The valet staff and the front desk staff were all very accommodating and courteous. They were all eager to provide directions and local help (which we didn't really need, since I'd previously lived here for twenty years).

Our room was on the 5th floor, overlooking the inside of the atrium. We arrived Friday afternoon, the 22nd, and really liked the look of the lobby/atrium area. Mr. miselainis wanted to try out the wireless, and also wanted to kick back for awhile with a beer, so he headed to the bar and did a little surfing.

I wanted to grab a quick room service meal before heading to the Follies. He was still full from lunch. I ordered the mixed greens salad with the lemon rosemary vinaigrette, and also asked the person taking room service orders (who sounded as if English was her second language) if the side of fruit on the children's menu was all melon; that I'd like a side of fruit, and some yogurt, but I didn't want all melon because I don't like it. She said no, that there were other fruits on the dish. Fine.

Room service was delivered, and the wrong salad sat on my tray. It was a spinach salad, which was still good, but not what I ordered. The lemon rosemary vinagrette dressing was quite good. However, she had obviously misunderstood my request for NO MELON of any kind, since that was the only type of fruit on the plate-- honeydew, canteloupe, and watermelon. I was annoyed.

Upon our return from the follies, we hit the sack pretty hard and found the bed to be very comfortable, the pillows nice and fluffy, the room clean and tidy, and the room temperature was easily adjustable.

The toiletries are from Institute Suisse, and the lotion, shampoo, and conditioner are each based on a different botanical substance-- like ginseng, aloe and honey, or chamomile. The shower pressure was good the three times I was in it. The toilet pressure was not quite as good-- often requiring two or three flushes.

We tried the restaurant, Ancho's, Saturday morning. The same problem seemed to be present there with a waiter whose first language was not English. I ordered the egg white omelet listed on the menu, which included bell peppers in the contents. I asked the waiter specifically several times for NO PEPPERS in the omelet.

I also asked if I could get a side dish of fruit, but that I wanted NO MELON. I also repeated this at least twice, since he didn't seem to be making notes about my special requests.

Sure enough, the omelet arrived laden with peppers (which I picked out). This then left the food cold. And the side plate of fruit contained, once again-- honeydew, canteloupe, and watermelon, plus one small chunk of pineapple. Which was especially frustrating since my husband's pancakes arrived with berries decorating the periphery of the plate. Which was what I wanted.

I told him that I had specifically asked for no melon, so he looked at me quizzically. I said, "Could you at least remove the canteloupe from the plate? I get sick from smelling it. Maybe put some strawberries on it?" Which he did. But by then, breakfast was ruined for me. I barely ate half my omelet which was completely tasteless AND cold by now. Plus I fnished the pineapple and strawberries, and was still famished when we left.

When we returned from a day out with my mother, we ordered room service again. I get very tired very easily, and sometimes it is just easier than having to go out to eat while I'm traveling. The roast chicken and mashed potatoes were delicious, well-prepared, and most importantly, they were what I ordered. Coincidentally enough, the order had been taken by a native English speaker.

When we tried Ancho's again the next morning (Christmas morning-- not many other places open), I decided to make my order less complicated, and had the Eggs Benedict, which were very good. I also got wise and asked for a side dish of MIXED BERRIES. Our waiter was a native English speaker, and got the order totally correct. He was friendly, efficient, and did a good job.

I'd love to give the hotel an Excellent rating. But quite honestly, based on the meal service I got within about a 12 hour period the first night and day there, I can't. I would suggest that they use waitstaff and room service employees who can fully understand the orders they are taking. Customers shouldn't have to try to figure out how to phrase their orders so that they are understood.

Stayed: November 2006
2  Thank miselainis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,785 - 2,791 of 2,865 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2006

Let me start off by saying that the customer service at the Omni Austin Downtown was superb, bar none. My friend and I stayed at the Omni for a girls weekend from Dec 15-18 2006. My experience with Omni started when my flight was canceled and I called the Omni to ask that my roommate be allowed to check-in without me (I had reserved the room), not only did they allow her to check-in early but also upgraded our room. When I finally arrived at the hotel, (without my luggage of course!) I was given a glass of champagne within seconds of entering the lobby. When my luggage finally arrived it was delivered to my room. Of course I could not find the key to my bag and when Hotel maintenance arrived to cut the lock, he would not even come into the room without asking if it was okay to enter. The guest services manager, Milad and all of the staff were extremely helping in offering suggestions for things to do and planning our itinerary. From finding a place to rent bikes and calling them for us, to storing the bikes, and even offering sandwiches when they saw us out and about during their lunch break. When my friend went out for a jog, she arrived back at the hotel to a cold bottle of water offered by the valet parking attendant! It was like having our very own vacation support team, everyone was onboard to make sure that we had a good time. Now I have to be honest, it was not all peaches and cream. The rooms are basic hotel rooms, nothing spectacular. The water pressure in the sink disappeared and our TV turned off and would not turn back on. But after calling about the water, we arrived back in our room to find a lovely assortment of cheese, crackers, fruit, and bottled water with a note apologizing for the inconvenience. When maintenance arrived to fix the TV (apparently this is a known problem), we were offered a free movie. So while we did have minor inconveniences, the overall customer service was so fantastic that it made up for it. The Omni Austin is in a great location downtown, so there is no need for a rental car. We paid $189 and that included a full breakfast for two daily through room service or in the resturant. You can walk (almost) everywhere in Austin. It is a block from the Driscoll and the Intercontinental, Congress Ave and 6th St.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank Fabdiva1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2006

My wife and I needed a place to get away for a short weekend trip. We were going to Austin to do our Christmas shopping and I decided to treat ourselves to an above average stay. After searching this site I decided on the Omni Downtown. Man, am I glad I did! The hotel is truely an awesome experience and the staff makes the place. Upon reserving our room I contacted customer services and spoke with Mr. Richard King, I relayed to him my desire to do something special for my wife. He suggested roses, champane, and chocolate covered strawberries. In addition he made reservations for us at a steakhouse, Dan McClusky's, Fantasitc food. a table in the window so we could people watch on 6th street.
But the best thing of all, upon check-in. we were upgraded to the penthouse suite. Fantastic views, wonderful suite.
Mr. King went above and beyond as did his coworker,(whom, I am ashamed, I don't remember his name). Both of these gentlemen treated my wife and I like royalty, even though we are just everyday working people.
There was a small mix up with the roses,(delivered to the wrong room due to the upgrade) Which was immediately taken care of. Mr. King even interrupted his evening (he was off property) to call and tell me he was sorry for the mix up.
The only unflattering comment I have is that there was a Christmas party in the atrium that was, at times a little loud, Yes we could hear it up on the 19th floor. Not that I am complaining, The party ended at 11:00 and my wife and I slept peacefully.
Would I return to the Omni? In a heart beat, especially with employees like Mr. King and his coworker. (If you read this I am sorry I have forgotten your name) Both of ya'll deserve a raise!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank boydk2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2006

First of all I am sorry for the delay in writing this review. My husband, teenage daughter and I went to Austin in April to watch our older daughter play tennis. We booked directly through Omni, which was chosen because of reviews on this page.

I was very specific when I book the room: non-smoking, 2 beds, and I did upgrade from the basic room. (Note to all: always bring your paperwork from online confirmation. Do not bring only your conformation number).

Check-in: We arrived at the hotel at 12 midnight. I called the day prior to check in to confirm our reservation and time of arrival. All was well. When we arrived however it was a different story: They lost our reservation. Out came our paperwork. And yes, they had a room...smoking and a king bed. My husband said, very quietly..no. Then they offered the lowest non smoking, king bed with rollaway. No, thank you. Then we were offered an upgraded room, one night only. (Did I mention that it is now 12:30 at night, we were tired and hungry?). My husband and i were very polite, as was reception. They were really trying to find us a room, when the supervisor came out (everyone working behind the desk was YOUNG, probably college students), and pointed to a room. It was an upgrade, for the whole weekend. We said thank you. And went upstairs to a two bedroom, two bath suite! It had two balconies and a full kitchen (which I didn't visualize using, but we did). Our bellman said that room service was closed but he could get us chicken caesar salads and soda. Again, thank you. We ate and slept..

It is amazing how a nice room can lift the spirits on even the reluctant teenager.

The staff was very helpful with directions and restaurants. They recommended Stubbs, just a few block way away. (with the caution that you had to cross over at one street because of a honeless shelter, not a problem).

Food was just so so for breakfast. We ordered off the menu once, and had the buffet twice. But the staff again was quite nice.

We experienced our first real lightning storm with storm warnings. A bellman heard us discussing it...(I made the comment that at least you had warnings as opposed to here where earthquakes just happen.) and told us while there would porbably not happened, should alarm bells go off procede downstairs and we would be taken care of for the duration.

All in all, the Omni was a really good choice for location, staff interaction, and especially for the price we paid.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
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10  Thank ellebud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2006

Maybe I'm getting old and fussy, but being awakened repeatedly by drunken sorority girls yelling and slamming doors after 2am is not acceptable. Yes, it was a Saturday night, and yes, this hotel is walking distance of the bars on 6th street, but I still expect to be able to get a few hours of sleep. Will try the Hilton next time.

Stayed: September 2006
10  Thank johnreeves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2006

I stayed in the Omni Oct 16 thru 18 for business. I am usually very sensitve to noise at night. A was very pleasantly surprised at how quite the room was. I was on the 12th floor and I had an outside window. I never noticed doors slamming, etc, and these usually bother me.

The room was quite spacious. Bed was comfortable, and the free wireless internet was great. The concierges were quite attentive and always answered questions accurately (I lived in Austin for a while and am familiar with the area). The hotel location is in a safe place. I enjoyed pre-dawn walkes along Congress - always felt safe. Being close to 6th street is a plus, provided the rooms are insulated from the street noise.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank MTBtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2006

My wife and I stayed for two nights. As a native of Austin, I have a fair bit of insight and experience with Austin hotels. The downtown location is a definite plus. This is a pefectly adequate hotel, but not quite on par with other Omni properties in the U.S. The room is clean, and bed was quite good. Plenty of workspace is available. Bathroom was fine but not outstanding. The room was not the most quiet we've had; hallway and adjacent room noise was distracting. Room service food and attention were above average. While we'd stay here again and would have no problems recommending the hotel, there are better options in Austin (Hyatt and Renaissance among them).

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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12  Thank Andaltex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

Address: 700 San Jacinto at 8th Street, Austin, TX 78701
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Austin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Austin
#18 Luxury Hotel in Austin
#27 Romantic Hotel in Austin
#28 Family Hotel in Austin
Price Range: $173 - $458 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Omni Austin Hotel Downtown 4*
Number of rooms: 375
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Omni Austin
Austin Omni

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