South Congress Hotel
What it is
A hip 71-room, 12-suite retreat overlooking Travis Heights with five bars and restaurants chockablock with Austinites.
What it isn't
Lacking a pool. In a city where average August highs top out at 97-degrees, a cooling plunge is a must; this pool is flanked by blonde wood daybeds and has a full menu and cocktails from Cafe No Se (order the white negroni).
What we think
Austin’s hordes of cool kids flock to South Congress Hotel, and not just when they have friends in town. Each watering hole here is as sceney and Instagrammable as they could ever ask for, from Otoko (a 12-seat Omakase restaurant by award-winning chef Yoshi Okai) to Manana, a coffee shop in the leafy courtyard where just-made pastries include everything kolaches and grapefruit prosecco-flavored macarons that are nothing short of divine. That same attention to impressive detail can be found in the hotel’s rooms, with their king-sized pillowtop beds swathed in custom Matteo linens, rainfall showers, hardwood floors and mini bars stocked with made-in-Austin snacks and tipples. Insiders book the 600-square-foot Congress suite for a deep soaking tub and a private balcony that peeps out on buzzing South Congress Avenue.
You're here because
You’re a sucker for a well-curated hotel boutique, and the shops on-site here include Sunroom—home to women’s clothes and accessories made by Texas’s up-and-coming indie designers.
You’ve spent plenty of time in Tokyo, so you were surprised at how authentic you found Watertrade, the hotel’s omakase cocktail bar and its expert lineup of specialty Japanese whiskies. You can’t help but order a What’s Good cocktail: Roku gin, Shiso, and Yuzu that is, ironically, much better than good. It’s great.
Restaurants & Bars
Cafe No Se - An all day cafe featuring seasonal breakfast, lunch, & dinner fare.
Otoko - A 12 seat Japanese Omakase restaurant.
Lobby Bar - A gathering place for travelers and neighbors alike.
Central Standard - A classic American bar & grill.
Manana - A coffee, juice and bakeshop.
Rooftop Pool Bar - Featuring a full bar with poolside dining.
On Austin’s infamous South Congress Avenue, i.e. the hippest main drag in town. Within a couple blocks here: Allen’s Boots (where you can choose new kicks from some 4,000 cowboy boots) and Torchy’s Tacos, where chorizo-dusted Hillbilly Queso and chips is practically a required order.