First, to get the celebrity news out of the way: Louis Vuitton, the uncharacteristically friendly (semi-)resident feline at this appealing eastside property, was featured in the book Hotels with Cats. Among the other reasons to stay at this boutique hotel: It was built from scratch by architect/co-owner Mark Vornberg and decorated by his wife Shelly Leibham, who is also the general manager; they both drew on their favorite travel experiences to create stylish but warm guest rooms with all the mod cons, as well as inviting public spaces; these include a rooftop deck with expansive city views, and a friendly downstairs bar and lounge, which feels like a mini-“Cheers.” Everyone may not know your name there right away but at least one person will: You’ll get a handwritten welcome note awaiting you in your room, as well as a personal greeting from Shelly, who can help acclimate you to the neighborhood. You’ll be within easy walking distance of downtown sights like the Capitol, and even closer to such East Austin attractions as the Texas State Cemetery, not to mention to several food trucks and restaurants. It’s right near Franklin Barbeque; if you don’t want to wait in line for several hours, find someone to hold your place and text you back in your room when the ’cue’s ready.  

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