Think you know Austin? Think again. With so many new hotels and meeting spaces opening, you may not recognize the cityscape. Add in new restaurants, nightlife spots, shopping destinations and cultural happenings, and you’re going to find it hard to keep up with us. No worries, though. We’ve provided a hit list to help you keep track!
New Hotel Openings
Opened April 2017
Hyatt House Austin Downtown/University 901 Neches St.
The 10-story Hyatt House hotel features 190 rooms and a 139-space parking garage. Hyatt House, an upscale extended-stay hotel chain, already has one location in the Austin area.
Opening Summer 2017
Hyatt Place Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
The Hyatt Place hotel, located in a new retail complex, will include 139 rooms, meeting space, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a resort-style pool.
Opening July 2017
Aloft & Element Austin Downtown Congress Avenue and Seventh Street
A new downtown project features a 32-story tower that will be home to the upscale Aloft and Element hotel brands, with 422 rooms in total (Aloft 278, Element 144). The project will aim at “younger, hip” business and leisure travelers, and will include a full-service restaurant, outdoor lounge and meeting space.
Opening October 2017
Fairmont Austin 101 Red River St.
The luxury Fairmont Austin hotel will feature 1,048 guest rooms and 42 suites with picturesque vistas of Lady Bird Lake and the city skyline, plus direct access to the Austin Convention Center. It will also offer state-of-the-art meeting space and a huge outdoor deck with space for 1,800 guests. At 37 stories, it will be the second-tallest structure in downtown Austin.
Boutique hotel brand Hotel ZaZa will be opening the doors to their very first Central Texas location in late 2018. Plans are in the works for a 24-story tower with 200 luxury apartments and a 160 room hotel.
Proper Hotel Austin
This luxury high-rise development in downtown Austin will be home to a 245 room hotel, along Lady Bird Lake. The hotel will feature two rooftop swimming pools, a wellness center and spa and two new dining concepts curated by McGuire Moorman Hospitality, which manages local restaurants such as Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar, June's All Day and more.
Marriott Austin Downtown
This full-service property will be situated in a prime location across from the Austin Convention Center and will include 30 stories, 615 rooms, 65,000 square feet of meeting space, an underground parking garage, outdoor pool, three bars and a full-service restaurant.
Recent Hotel Renovations
Projected Completion, May 2017
AT&T Hotel and Conference Center
Having completed guest room renovations in February 2016, in May AT&T plans to unveil a new ballroom with a 5,500-sq.-ft. pre-function space and dedicated banquet kitchen.
End of 2016
This ambitious project included a full renovation of the hotel’s lobby, public areas and meeting space. Two new restaurants, an event venue and a coffee shop were added. An additional 80,000-sq.-ft. meeting space includes a banquet hall with indoor/outdoor space.
Hyatt Regency Austin
This renovation included overhauled guest rooms and meeting space.
JW Marriott Austin
The renovation project here included the Spa by JW.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
The Four Seasons completed its meeting space redesign.
Downtown’s Red Ash Italia is quickly climbing “best of” lists for its creative take on Italian classics.
Wu Chow is packing ’em in with eclectic Chinese cuisine and weekend dim sum service.
Butter coffees and bone broths top the innovative menu at paleo-focused Picnik in North Austin.
L’oca d’Oro in Mueller may look unassuming, but the house-made pastas are gaining a following.
Boiler Nine serves wood-fired fare and curated beers across three levels, including a rooftop and a “subterranean cocktail laboratory.”
Eberly specializes in contemporary American cuisine, but the jaw-dropping interiors are as much of a draw as the food.
The food hall craze hits Austin in 2017 with Fareground. The design-forward hall will inhabit the lobby of One Congress Plaza downtown.
A Clockwork Orange-themed Moloko pours daily drink specials amid psych rock in trendy East Austin.
With an expansive menu of Trappist beers and lambics, Mort Subite became Austin’s first Belgian beer bar in late 2016.
At Fleet, small-batch coffee meets experimental concoctions like the Saturday Morning Ritual – Fruity Pebbles-infused milk and espresso.
Stonehouse Coffee + Bar will serve Cuvee Coffee and pastries during the day, and craft beer and wine after dark in a newly renovated historic landmark.
The Contemporary has reopened at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, with 7,000 more square feet of installation space and a roof canopy housing the new permanent installation, Jim Hodges’ With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress).
Shopping & Entertainment
Domain Northside opened its doors in late 2016, creating an upscale shopping destination for North Austin with tenants that include Nordstrom, the Archer Hotel and a handful of local brands. Within Domain Northside, the newly unveiled Rock Rose district rivals downtown for entertainment options and local flavor, from creative cuisine at General Tso’Boy to late-night drinks and dancing at 77 Degrees.
Another mega-development is taking shape across town in South Austin. St. Elmo Public Market, a new mixed-use district set to open in early 2018, will house creative workspaces, a live music venue, hotel and the market itself.
Music & Theater
Located across from Austin City Hall, 3TEN is the 350-seat sister venue to ACL Live, and hosts cozy, intimate performances.
November 2016 saw the inaugural Sound On Sound, an eclectic indie music festival held in Sherwood Forest. The fest has plans to return on November 10-12, 2017.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has expanded nonstop service to more than 50 cities in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Europe with 350 daily flights. The $250 billion east terminal expansion will increase the airport’s annual capacity from 12 million to 15 million in 2019.