Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
How did it strike you on arrival?
Named for singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt, a country music legend, this hotel fits right into the Live Music Capital of the World. Musical touches are everywhere: chandeliers made from French horns; a lobby bar record player that pipes tunes into the elevators; artwork in the shape of flying birds made out of vinyl.
Nice. What’s the crowd like?
The hotel is situated in the heart of the city near Rainey Street, which thrums with bar-hopping hipsters. Expect a mix of first-time visitors to Austin, young professionals traveling on business, and wedding parties.
The good stuff: Tell us about your room.
Every room has an impressive view of either the city or Lady Bird Lake and is done in a stylish palette of gray and dark blue. While the furniture is Restoration Hardware, the artwork is bespoke: Framed replicas of vintage concert posters and a historic map of Austin as wallpaper.
We’re craving some deep, restorative sleep. They got us?
Mattresses are on the firmer side, but the sheets are Frette, so we'll let it pass.
How about the little things, like mini bar, or shower goodies. Any of that find its way into your suitcase?
The in-room yoga mat and boot jack speak to Austin culture. As do the Topo Chico mineral water () and barbecue-flavored almonds ().
Please tell us the bathroom won’t let us down.
Slather on the fig-scented Atelier Bloem lotion before slipping into a striped Frette robe with terry cloth lining.
Maybe the most important topic of all: Wi-Fi. What’s the word?
Superfast Internet is available for a day.
Room service: Worth it?
The hotel restaurant is known for its brunch, so don't skip morning room service. The brioche French toast (), short rib quesadilla with fried egg (), and hibiscus tea are standouts.
Staff: If you could award one a trophy, who gets it, and why?
The staff that manage the free daily happy hour in the lobby (wine, beer, skinny margaritas) are extremely friendly.
Anything stand out about other services and features? Whether it’s childcare, gyms, spas, even parking—whatever stuck with you.
Book a cabana at the fourth-floor pool deck (each one has a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator). Dive in the pool and you'll realize the underwater sound system is playing different tunes.
What was most memorable—or heartbreaking—about your stay?
Kickstart your tourist trek on one of the loaner bikes, just be back in time for free daily happy hour.
Bottom line: worth it, and why?
The excellent location makes this hotel worth every penny.