This W has all the sleek special features you'd expect of the popular brand. Rooms are spacious, clean, and cool, with mod decor. But what makes this W better than most is its location along Second Street, aka Willie Nelson Boulevard, where Austin's hottest bars can be found. West Second Street is practically door-to-door boutiques, too, so the location is perfect for the W's usual clientele, the young and affluent. I especially like this property because it sits adjacent to the new Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, where the famous music television show is filmed and headliner concerts are held. The über-hip hotel bar stays packed, especially after shows, and restaurant TRACE is sophisticated and stylish—a great spot to enjoy a champagne brunch or a hot date. TRACE welcomed Chef Thomas Riordan as its new executive chef in 2013, and Executive Pastry Chef Janina O'Leary was recently named a James Beard Award nominee. TRACE keeps a professional forager on staff to seek out the freshest local ingredients for the kitchen. Another don't-miss spot at the W is on the fourth floor: The WET pool deck features private cabanas, lounge chairs, tanning shelves, and a fireplace. Snacks and drinks are available at the WET Bar near the pool. The W staff is attentive, warm, and genuine—a combination that's in keeping with Austin's laid-back charm. I'd choose a "cool corner suite," as they call it, on a high east-facing floor with views of Congress Avenue or West Second for my next stay.
W Hotel Austin
Restaurant, bar, concierge, health club, heated outdoor pool, room service, spa, valet parking ($31), pets allowed with $100 fee/$25 per day, Wi-Fi (fee)Web site W Hotel Austin
Map200 Lavaca St. Austin
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