Native plants, old-growth trees, and organic gardens surround this environmentally friendly lodging that feels more like an apartment complex than a budget hotel. A member of the Green Hotels Association, it's won a number of awards for sustainability. The outdoor pool, surrounded by landscaped greenery, is sanitized with a bleach-free salt generator, solar panels are affixed to the roof, rooms are cleaned with nontoxic products, and the breakfast buffet features organic, macrobiotic selections. Suites are roomy one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens; most have fireplaces. Breakfast and evening cocktail receptions are complimentary.
The suites look like your friend’s 80s condo if your friend really cares about sustainability and environmental harmony. The bedding is hypoallergenic, the mattress is organic and and non-toxic chemicals are used for cleaning. The furniture and decor is basic but comfortable.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Every suite features a plant to help purify the room.
Though the bathrooms are relatively standard, they are outfitted to be energy efficient and come with 100% natural bath products.
You might think you’ve walked into a yoga studio, which seems about right. The ethos of this place is to appreciate yourself and the environment. Vaulted ceilings, fireplace and natural color palette make for a warm and inviting introduction.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests can purchase at the front desk in-room massages or yoga passes for local studios.
Located in a courtyard featuring lush greenery of purposely planted native plants. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests are encouraged to try the edible herbs and fruits planted in the garden.
Complimentary hot breakfast is served with an emphasis on nutrition. Fair trade coffee, organic fruit and a rotating menu of healthy hot dishes like egg toast are available every morning. In the evenings, free wine, beer and snacks are offered.
Located near the highway and removed from the city’s epicenter means taking an Uber or renting a car is your smartest option. For those wanting to stay green, a 10-minute walk will bring you to the Highland stop of the city's limited light rail service, and because the hotel is located next to a community college, the public bus swings by often.
Peruvian fare is scarce in Austin, so that’s why Lima Criolla (6-minute walk) is a treat. Make sure to try their famous ceviche or arroz con pollo. The atmosphere lacks, but you’re not there to take pictures. You’re there to eat. For the nerd at heart, Vigilante Gaming Bar (4-minute drive) offers nightly board and computer games along with eats such as tempura chicken tenders and banh mi sliders.
Neighborhood diner Royal Jelly (3-minute drive) features small plates and inventive cocktails like the Blood Orange Paloma and the Rosemary-Ginger Cooler. Happy hour is from 4-7 and on Wednesday night there is a $7 burger and $3 whiskey special. Keeping in theme with sustainability, Black Star Co-Op (5-minute drive) restaurant and brewery is member owned and pays their employees a fair salary.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Not the fanciest décor you’ll see in Austin, but that’s not the point. This hotel cares about its customers and the environment, and it’s nice knowing that your room hasn’t been cleaned with harsh chemicals, your linens are hypoallergenic and the in-house food is organic. Habitat Suites feels like a hippy’s home, and we love it for that.