The Driskill is a landmark not to be in Austin, Texas. Originally conceived as a showstopper, the four-story Romanesque-style building occupies almost half a city block in the heart of downtown Austin on Sixth Street, and it is one of the most famous hotels in Texas. The historic hotel was built in 1886 by a cattle baron, and throughout its long history, the location has seen its ups and downs and played host to many famous people, including US President Lyndon Johnson. Today, The Driskill has been restored and refurbished to its original glory, offering luxurious accommodation in the heart of Austin.
The hotel is located within walking distance to most of the city’s major attractions, including the Texas State Capitol, Lady Bird Lake, and the famous 6th Street music scene. It is also near many of the city’s top-notch music venues, a must-see given Austin’s reputation as the live music capital of the world. It is a perfect launch pad for music lovers as well as couples who are looking to spend a lovely evening immersed in good music.
1.The Driskill Hotel Rooms & Suites
The Driskill has 189 guestrooms and suites that promise a New World meets Old World experience. The rooms have retained much of the hotel’s 125-year of historic grandeur with original 1886 architectural elements and opulent art deco design. Yet contemporary furnishings and amenities such as plush linen, flat-screen TVs and wireless access punctuate these historic details, ensuring guests can luxuriate in comfort.
All the rooms have cityscape views over Austin, but for the best views of the live music and entertainment scene on the historic Sixth Street, ask for the Historic Balcony King guest room, which has a balcony with patio seating that overlooks the area. Situated in the original wing that was built in 1886, the room is between 350 to 400 square feet with a king-size bed and luxurious bedding that ensures comfort all-night long.
History buffs will relish in the Heritage Bridal Suite, which was previously exclusively reserved as the personal suite of former US President Lyndon Johnson. President Johnson and his wife were frequent guests at The Driskill, even making the hotel his campaign headquarters during his congressional career. The Heritage Bridal Suite features hardwood floors, high ceilings, a king-sized bed with ornate tapestry bedding, and a balcony with wicker patio furniture. The large bathroom has a jetted tub and a marble vanity table made extra special with a custom stained glass window.
2.The Driskill Hotel Restaurants & Bars
Dining in The Driskill is a unique experience in and of itself, where quality meals are served in a luxurious historic setting. The hotel offers a variety of meal options that would cater to most needs, ranging from an evening tipple to a date night. The highlight of the hotel’s culinary offering is the award-winning fine dining restaurant, The Driskill Grill.
The Driskill Grill is Austin’s top restaurant, and it is an AAA four-diamond award recipient since 2013 and has been rated by Zagat’s as the top 25 US hotel restaurants in 2011. The establishment has been around since 1929 and was also where US President Lyndon Johnson had his first date with his wife Lady Bird Johnson. Its menu changes on a daily basis to reflect its use of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, including a bounty of Texan produce and game that are prepared in creative ways, from crispy soft-shell crawfish to filet mignon. Pair the dishes with a selection from the extensive wine list that has been awarded by Wine Spectator, America’s leading wine appreciation magazine. The bottles have been carefully selected from small-production wineries, particularly from California, France, and Italy. Diners can enjoy more than 500 selections available in the restaurant.
The 1886 Café & Bakery provides all-day dining options in a comfortable but elegant setting in what was originally the hotel’s former salon and billiard hall. It dishes up classic Texan comfort food, including its Hangover Burger and signature Cheese Soup, as well as a daily selection of freshly baked bread and pastries such as croissants and buttermilk biscuits. The café also offers full bar service.
The Driskill Bar has been recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the best US hotel bars, and Garden & Gun magazine also ranks it as one of the top 50 Southern bars. It has a hunting-themed venue with rustic Texan décor that includes tufted leather sofas and gilded ceilings. Living up to the city’s reputation as the capital of live music, the bar also offers the city’s best local music gigs six nights a week, allowing guests to enjoy local tunes with a carefully crafted cocktail in hand. The restaurant’s commitment to Texan ingredients also extends to its bar, with its signature drink using locally distilled Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with hibiscus and agave.
3.Spa and Fitness
The Driskill has a range of massage services provided by registered massage therapists. Some of the services include Swedish massage, sports massage, and aromatherapy massage. The treatments are available in 50 and 80 minutes sessions and will need to be requested through email or concierge services at least 2 hours in advance.
The hotel also has a fully equipped fitness studio that is available 24/7. There is a whole host of equipment, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, recumbent bicycles, and stair-steppers, as well as two private steam rooms, showers, and dressing rooms.
4.The Driskill Weddings and Conference Facilities
The Driskill provides banquet rooms for holding special occasion events such as weddings, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, and family gatherings in a grand historic setting. Its location in the heart of downtown Austin also helps makes it a convenient and accessible location.
Location aside, The Driskill is also in contact with event management experts who can cater to special needs, from customizing dance floors and banquet decorations to providing hand-drawn menu cards. For weddings, the hotel provides a comprehensive range of wedding planning services and packages that are intended to take the stress off couples by taking care of food and beverage catering, venue styling services, and other administrative logistics.
Over the century, The Driskill has hosted formal events for US Presidents Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush, as well as the inaugural ball for Texas Governors Sul Ross, William P. Hobby and Dan Moody. They are among other dignitaries and artists who have held formal and social events at the hotel, which is equipped with more than 18,000 square feet worth of meeting space.
Apart from nine meeting rooms, there is also a stunning 2,500 square feet ballroom that used to be the hotel’s original Grand Salon. It features a vaulted tromp l’oeil dome with a crystal chandelier centerpiece and will provide a perfect backdrop to any meetings and events. Old school charm aside, all meetings rooms are fitted with state-of-the art audiovisual equipment and high-speed Internet access, while wireless Internet is also available in public spaces. There is also a fully equipped business center that is open 24-hours daily to fulfill the needs of traveling executives. Secretarial services are also offered upon demand.
5.Pet-friendly and Other Services
The hotel is also a pet-friendly establishment with a special pet package that provides pet beds, gourmet pet treats, bottled spring water, and pet dishes. Only dogs under 75 pounds are allowed on the hotel premise and guests have to pay a one-off fee of $100 per pet. During the reservation process, owners will also be required to provide their pet’s name, weight, and breed for identification purposes.
As the live music capital of the world, Austin is jam-packed with dive bars, honky tonk saloons, and theatres showcasing a wide variety of music gigs that cater to different tastes. And The Driskill puts you right in the middle of the city’s thriving music scene. It is within walking distance of several famous establishments, including Antone’s and The Parish, which are some of the city’s most famous music venues that host the annual world-famous SXSW Music Festival.
A short walk away is the Lady Bird Lake, which is the perfect destination for a morning jog or an evening walk. Outdoor enthusiasts can also engage in a range of water sports, including swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking, or hiking and cycling around well-marked trails in the park. Every night from March to November, crowds also gather in the park to watch Austin’s famous urban bat colony as they swoop out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge to hunt. During spring and summer, the Lady Bird Lake is also home to numerous music festivals and open-air concerts.
Doubles start at USD $315 per night.
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 7870,
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Romantic Texas Getaway: The Driskill Hotel in Austin