* Best Splurge: The Four Seasons Austin is better than ever after a multi-million dollar revamp. Settle into one of the airy guest rooms overlooking the lake, have the front desk schedule you a massage at the highly regarded spa, press the margarita button on your phone to have the drinks cart brought to your room, and then pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. The only thing that could make a stay at this hotel any more special would be billing someone else for it.
* Best For Music Lovers: Several hotels in town offer live music on-site now and then, but only the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt has a Director of Music, who programs the sounds that waft throughout the building (including in the pool), displays music art in the lobby, and books live performances nightly in Geraldine’s restaurant.
* 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, Austin’s hotel jewel. In the original building, where big cattle baron Jesse Driskill still surveys the scene in stone bust effigy, you’ll find suites that ooze character.
* Hippest Budget Hotel: Look for the classic neon sign for the Austin Motel, in the trendy SoCo district. Rooms done in bright primary colors, a kidney-shaped pool, and a tropical-themed reception area/gift shop give the place retro-chic cachet at (almost) retro prices.
* Best View of Lady Bird Lake: Lots of downtown properties have nice water views, but the Hyatt Regency’s location on the lake’s south shore gives it the edge. You get a panoramic spread of the city with the capitol as a backdrop.
* Greenest Hotel: Almost all hotels in Austin are eco-conscious to some degree, but no one takes earth-friendly policies nearly as far as Habitat Suites, which from its opening day has relied on solar electricity, practiced water conservation, and used all-natural cleaning products. Not only is this place ecofriendly, it’s also pocketbook friendly. Each large hypo-allergenic room has cooking facilities, and breakfast is included in the room rate.
* Best for Forgetting Your Troubles: Stress? That’s a dirty word at the Lake Austin Spa Resort. After a few days at this lovely, ultra-relaxing spot about 20 minutes from central Austin, 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.