- Best for Conducting Business: Located near the high-tech companies of northwest Austin, the Renaissance Austin Hotel, 9721 Arboretum Blvd. (tel. 800/HOTELS-1 [468-3571] or 512/343-2626), has top-notch meeting and schmoozing spaces, not to mention fine close-the-deal-and-party spots.
- Best Place to Play Cattle Baron: If you want to imagine you've acquired your fortune in an earlier era, bed down at the Driskill, 604 Brazos St. (tel. 800/252-9367 or 512/474-5911), where big meat mogul Jesse Driskill still surveys (via stone bust) the opulent 1886 hotel that bears his name.
- Hippest Budget Hotel: Look for the classic neon sign for the Austin Motel, 1220 S. Congress St. (tel. 512/441-1157), in Austin's cool SoCo district. The rooms have been individually furnished, many in fun and funky styles, but the place retains its 1950s character and its retro prices.
- Best New Arrival: Hotel Saint Cecilia, 112 Academy Dr. (tel. 512/852-2400), is a small one-of-a-kind hotel in the heart of SoCo. It has beautiful rooms, beautiful grounds, and amenities like no hotel in Austin, including mattresses that could have been made by Swedish elves.
- Best View of Lady Bird Lake: Lots of downtown properties have nice water views, but the Hyatt Regency's location, 208 Barton Springs Rd. (tel. 800/233-1234 or 512/477-1234), on the lake's south shore gives it the edge. You get a panoramic spread of the city with the capitol as a backdrop.
- Best Place to Tee Off: Austin isn't a major destination for duffers, but you'd never know it if you stay at Barton Creek Resort, 8212 Barton Club Dr. (tel. 800/336-6158 or 512/329-4000), featuring courses designed by a pantheon of golf greats -- two by Tom Fazio, one by Ben Crenshaw, and one by Arnold Palmer -- plus a golf school run by Austinite Chuck Cook.
- Greenest Hotel: Several hotels in Austin take ecoconsciousness beyond the old "we won't wash your towels" option, but no one takes it nearly as far as Habitat Suites, 500 E. Highland Mall Blvd. (tel. 800/535-4663 or 512/467-6000). Almost everything here is ecofriendly.
- Best for Forgetting Your Troubles: Stress? That's a dirty word at the Lake Austin Spa Resort, 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd. (tel. 800/847-5637 or 512/372-7300). After a few days at this lovely, ultrarelaxing spot, you'll be ready to face the world again, even if you don't especially want to.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.