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Bidding on Austin hotels (or other Austin ideas)

Bidding on Austin hotels (or other Austin ideas)

Jan 17th, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Bidding on Austin hotels (or other Austin ideas)

I did do a search, but the most recent info I came up with was a couple of years old, so I thought I'd post again since things can change!

I'm going with two friends to Austin on Presidents' Day weekend - a first trip for all of us, so we're not at all familiar with the geography. Downtown hotels seem to be quite expensive, even on Hotwire and Priceline (over $200 - we'd love to stay under $150, and of course less is even better!). Are there other areas of town which are good (or not good) for a typical tourist visit? I'm assuming we'll rent a car, so we wouldn't necessarily have to be walking distance to much, though that would be nice. We're at various points in our 30s, mainly interested in food, usual tourist things, generally checking out this town we've heard is so great. We're up for some nightlife, but don't need to be in the middle of Sixth Street or anything.

These Hotwire zones seem to be most central:

Airport
Downtown/Lake
North Austin
Arboretum

or further out, areas like Round Rock or Barton Creek. Any thoughts on areas with good value or places to avoid?

Any other Austin suggestions are welcome! I've found a few trip reports here that I'll be looking at. This all just came up yesterday, so it's a relatively spontaneous trip. Thanks in advance!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2013, 12:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Hyatt Place-North Central 12 miles from Downtown has a nice breakfast and snacks in the evening.
Lunch- Whole Food Market- everything from a wine tasting station to desserts
Matt's El Rancho for a margarita (nice outside patio if not too cold)
Bob Bullock Museum
Round Rock- Round Rock Donuts largest in TX
gigi11 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2013, 01:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 231
I live in Austin and think you would be happiest staying downtown. There is great shopping and people watching on S. Congress, also lots of restaurant choices. The airport a and north areas are not what I think of as central.
enewell is online now  
Jan 17th, 2013, 01:25 PM
  #4  
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Thanks, y'all! gigi, I'll definitely check out that hotel and the rest of your list. We're from Nashville and have a Whole Foods here - is the Austin one (being a flagship) something to experience even if you're familiar with the chain?

enewell, downtown would be ideal, and I'm hoping we can find something in our budget. But if it's $100 more a night (which it seems to be), we'd be willing to make a tradeoff, driving downtown and parking for the day (or night). For example, I'd tell most Nashville tourists to stay downtown if they can, but if a 15-minute drive would save them that much, for Nashville it's not that big a deal. That's kind of what I'm after - whether there are less expensive areas not terribly far away. It seems like we'd be in the car every day anyway - am I likely right about that?
jent103 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2013, 07:31 PM
  #5  
 
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I used Priceline and got the Sheraton which was about a 4 or 5 block walk to the 6th St area. I'd suggest trying that after doing a little research on betterbidding.com
Suki is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 06:33 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Try the Austin Motel:

http://www.austinmotel.com/home.html

It's on South Congress which is a great place to be located near downtown. If at all possible, stay downtown! Traffic in Austin is horrible and even worse when you don't know the area.

Agree with Suki, you need to do more research before you use Priceline. You should definitely do better than $200 a night. February isn't a busy month here.
AustinTraveler is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 07:25 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much, y'all - AustinTraveler, that motel looks like a good possibility. I just found out that there are at least four and likely five of us going now (this is what happens when you go on trips with more-the-merrier extroverts!); if there are five of us, Priceline probably won't work since we couldn't specify a rollaway. One of the girls said she found some places on VRBO, which surprised me, so I'll have to see what all that involves!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 09:26 AM
  #8  
 
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VRBO is definitely a great option, especially for 5. Good areas to look into are Travis Heights, Clarksville, and of course Downtown. If you have questions about the location of any places you find, just ask.
AustinTraveler is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 12:26 PM
  #9  
 
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DD and I did lunch at the Whole Foods during our trip in November--it's incredible! You'll love it! Next door (or across the street--don't recall) is a great local bookstore, but all cool cities have those I suppose.

Right across the street is Waterloo Records--they sell new and used stuff so it's a good place to get deals on CD's and sometimes they have in-store live performances so definitely check their website or FB page to see what's coming up. A bonus during our visit--a Ryan Gosling sighting! Around the corner (same strip center) is Amy's Ice Cream which was tasty fun.

For shopping we LOVED LOVED LOVED South Congress!!!

Another fun lunch place is Chuy's on Barton Springs--it's a small chain now (there is one in Nashville), but this location is the original--we ate there our first day and had a great time.

You might look at the Embassy Suites Town Lake for your group if you all don't mind being cozy...with two double/queens plus the sleeper sofa, everyone could be in one room--that location is great--you can walk to South Congress plus when I stayed there they had a free shuttle to take you within a certain radius--nice if drinking might be involved and no worries about finding a place to park. I love Austin!
musicfan is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 01:32 PM
  #10  
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AustinTraveler, thanks for the specifics! This one looks promising - what do you think of the location? It's in Travis Heights.

http://www.vrbo.com/441369

musicfan, thanks so much for the suggestions! I bet the bookstore you saw was BookPeople? I have a friend who used to work there. Those all sound great, and Amy's was already on my list. Any time Ryan Gosling is involved, I'll listen. Thanks for the hotel tip. We definitely don't mind being cozy; two of the girls going spend lots of weekends backpacking, so a sleeper sofa is the lap of luxury in comparison!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #11  
 
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I would agree with the embassy suites suggestion, we've stayed there plenty of times for ACL. The cooked to order breakfast and free manager's reception in the evening are an added bonus. It will sleep 5 and if you are willing to share just one bathroom, you'll be good to go. You'll be right across the street for bat viewing too. When in Austin, and since you'll have a car, this is always a great touristy thing to do. http://www.oasis-austin.com/

Also, the area of 4th & Colorado are a bit older crowd (6th street=college kids)for nightlife. ...unless you prefer that, that is. ;-)
maria_so is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 01:49 PM
  #12  
 
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That VRBO location is great. Seeing the bats is great but those smart guys are sunning themselves in Mexico this time of year.
AustinTraveler is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Oh, and you can rent canoes at Zilker park if you are into that. http://www.zilkerboats.com/
maria_so is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #14  
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Bummer about the bats, but thanks, AustinTraveler, for the location advice! I'm leaning that way, but we'll see what the rest of them have to say. Embassy Suites looks great, but at the web site rates it's double the price!

maria, how can we miss the Sunset Capital of Texas? And thanks for the tip on 6th Street! Duly noted.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:18 AM
  #15  
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What do y'all think about these other options? One of the other girls had been researching too, and came up with these. We've written for quotes to a few.

http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacat...als/62401.html
http://www.vrbo.com/436620

And this is the one I'd originally picked, just for reference:
http://www.vrbo.com/441369

Any thoughts would be great!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:55 AM
  #16  
 
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All three look fine. The first and last look closer to the places. Didn't check amenities, just locations.

Sorry about the bats. I forgot what time of year we're talking about.

Also, not sure if you want to venture out for an afternoon outdoors but this is really gorgeous and not that far from Austin. Try going early though, the line to get in can get long...but it's worth it. Bring your swim suits!

https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/fin.../hamilton-pool
maria_so is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:19 AM
  #17  
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Thanks, maria! We went ahead and booked the original one - with the special they're running it was too good a deal, and we got the thumbs up from a couple other people on the location. The owner has been very quick to respond so far, which is great.

Now we can research the really fun stuff... like where to eat. A friend of mine told me about a doughnut truck. This can't be bad.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #18  
 
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There are some great food trucks in Austin--the South Congress neighborhood has a parking lot full of them but go on a weekend when they are all open.
musicfan is offline  
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