PHOTO: Jake Holt

Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Ella

1900 Rio Grande St., Austin, Texas, 78705, United States See on Map

Lauren Modery

Historical elegance and modern amenities converge in this 47-room boutique hotel, formerly Mansion on Judges’ Hill, which reopened in 2013 after an extensive renovation and ownership change. The Goodall Wooten mansion, a Texas Historic Landmark completed in 1900 on the south edge of UT campus, still shines in all its Classical Revival glory. But updated extras, like high-speed Internet in every room, twice-daily maid service, 24-hour fitness room, and complimentary car service within 3 miles, make the difference. Mansion rooms retain the most charm, with junior suites offering private verandas and Carrera marble tiled bathrooms. There's a small lap pool and garden courtyard, plus fine-dining eatery, Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar, on the main floor.

Double Queen
Photo: Double Queen / Jake Holt

room

There are 47 guests rooms featuring custom-made Victorian-modern furniture, tall windows that let in the sun and breeze, and carefully curated art.

Double Queen
Photo: Double Queen / Jake Holt
Photo: Jake Holt

bathroom

Marble, glass showers, large mirrors and gold fixtures make the bathrooms shine, and guests are treated to terry bath sheets, microfiber bathrobes, and bath products by The Vintage Round Top.

Photo: Jake Holt

lobby

The original design of the 1900-built mansion has been kept intact, but the addition of custom contemporary artwork, pops of color in the décor and generous guest services modernizes the place.

Take advantage of the overnight shoe shine service.

pool

A small but inviting lap pool located in the hotel’s courtyard. Lounge chairs and topiary frame the place, and direct sun makes it easy to soak in some rays.

Photo: Jake Holt
Photo: Pool season is imminent ????????? . . . #austin #hotelella #pool #travel #texas #hotel
Goodall's Kitchen
Photo: Goodall's Kitchen / Jake Holt

dining

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at Goodall’s Kitchen. The carefully curated menus feature lively American dishes such as chicken salad tartine and linguine with gulf shrimp.

Goodall's Kitchen
Photo: Goodall's Kitchen / Jake Holt
Parlor Bar
Photo: Parlor Bar / Jake Holt

drinking

Small plates, cocktails and wine are available in the Ella Parlor Bar, a studious room with velvet seating, portraits of TV heroes and bright windows.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Tea is served from 3-5PM, Saturdays and Sundays, at Goodall's Kitchen. They offer a fine selection of tea sandwiches and pastries. Please make a reservation 48 hours in advance.

Parlor Bar
Photo: Parlor Bar / Jake Holt

LOCATION

Getting Around

A complimentary 3-mile radius shuttle is available. Because the hotel is located in the middle of town near The University of Texas at Austin, it’s easy walk to nearby attractions. For those who want to venture further, public transportation is plentiful here, and so are Ubers and taxis.

Restaurants

Austin’s popular Indian restaurant, The Clay Pit (10-minute), is located just a short walk away. Located in a turn-of-the-century stone building, the long-standing eatery is known for their bustling lunch buffet and fine dinner options. An upscale take on Southern fare, Olamaie (7-minute walk) serves up boiled peanuts, pork chops and pound cakes in an elegant vintage homestead.

Bars

Because it’s located near UT, the bar options are a little more college student. However, a few stand out. Freedmen’s (11-minute walk) is housed in a century-old stone structure with string lights, a beer garden and a fine spirits list. Don’t let the name fool you--Dive Bar & Lounge (8-minute walk) isn’t as divey as it sounds. Though it’s small, the inviting bar has an impressive list of inspired cocktails.

WHY WE LIKE IT

It’s easy to feel at home here, even if the place is a little opulent. We love how comfortable and luminous the accommodations are, and the high ceilings and big windows make us feel invigorated. The beautiful courtyard and pool surrounded by regional foliage remind us that Austin is indeed one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Texas.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Intimate
Central
Casual Chic
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 512-495-1800;

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