This is one of my favorite hotels in Austin because it has what is perhaps the best downtown address. The historic Driskill stands at the corner of Sixth Street near Congress Avenue and is quintessentially Texan—in the best rich-oilman, old-cattle-baron sense. First opened in 1886, the Driskill is a national historic landmark, and Austin's grand dame hotel. In March of 2013 it became part of the Hyatt chain, but the Hyatt is being careful to honor the iconic hotel by not changing much. The plan is to restore and enhance it a bit, without losing the unique and classic qualities for which the Driskill is famous. The hand-painted ceilings in the ballrooms, the broad balconies overlooking the street scene below, a dark bar with live music, and the inviting 1886 Café make a stay here special. The intimate, gleaming Driskill Grill offers superb cuisine, and  is one of the best fine-dining spots downtown. The Driskill has two sections—the historic original 1886 building, and the 1928 "traditional" addition. The "traditional" part sometimes offers a better deal, but the historic section's rooms have higher ceilings. All rooms have big windows, warm colors, good lighting, nice furnishings, and understated Texas touches. The Senate room is a favorite of mine, with its oversized windows, and the bridal suites offer king canopy beds. Standing just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol, the Driskill has seen its share of politicians and important moments of history-in-the-making. For instance, Lyndon B. Johnson stayed here on the night he was elected president of the United States, and some say his ghost still haunts the hotel. Texas Rangers used the hotel as a base as they schemed to ambush Bonnie and Clyde. Behind every marble pillar hides a good story. The hotel sits on Austin's lively Sixth Street, so some of the historic rooms aren't immune to street noise. All rooms have been recently refurbished and feature new mattresses and flat-screen televisions. The Driskill has also been awarded the Five Dog Bone Award for pet friendliness by "Animal Fair" magazine, and pets are welcome—for a price.