REVIEW: Four Seasons, Downtown Austin
By Simon Henry
- Location Downtown Austin, overlooking Lady Bird Lake
- Bed comfiness 10/10
- Pool Sun drenched and not too crowded. Full service and wifi. Disabled access
- WIFI Good, available everywhere. Free
- Parking $28 + tax per night
- Best thing? Location
- Worst thing? Not wanting to leave...
- The all-important plug by the bed? Yes!
It was my first time in Austin and I’d read a lot about the lively bars, hip music scene and opportunity to thrift shop until my heart’s content. I knew little about the area or where best to stay for my week in the city that prides itself in weirdness. I found researching a hotel in Austin complicated. I wanted to explore the cool side of South Congress, be walking distance to 6th street and Rainey Street for a few boozy night’s out but also be able to enjoy the famous Lady Bird Lake, and the migrating bats who live below Congress Avenue Bridge. There was one hotel that seemed ideally placed for all of this, the Four Seasons. It certainly wasn’t the cheapest joint in town; in fact, the hotel is one of Austin’s most luxurious properties, but after such a great experience at the Four Seasons Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona, I couldn’t resist.
To say it was worth every penny was an understatement. The hotel didn’t simply enhance our debut experience of Austin, it made it. From the shady hammocks swinging in the beautifully kept gardens, to views of the lake, the busy bar and the live music at dusk – this was one of my favourite ever hotel stays. The Four Seasons is one of the few hotels in Austin that have room for an outside pool to enjoy the Texas sun (essential for us Brits!) and that, coupled with the sprawling garden, gives more of a resort feel than a city hotel.
Our room, which had a flawless view over Lady Bird Lake, including the must-see bat migration, was fantastic. Thanks to the Four Season’s mattress menu service, we were able to choose our preferred style of mattress and pillows in advance. A bit boring I know, but since the standard FS beds are like a dream anyway, I was happy to stick to basics and go with that and it didn’t disappoint. The huge bathroom with a separate bath and shower cubicle, decorated with lush L’Occitane toiletries was a further delight.
Downstairs, the TRI) restaurant had a sensational menu and we actually ended up eating here two nights of our five night stay – unheard of for me! I never usually like to eat at hotels but this fine-dining restaurant has its own identity and exquisite plates. We shared a bacon beef porterhouse on an outside table at sunset. Our waiter also recommended another fabulous restaurant (Lenoir, in south congress) which ended up being a further highlight of our stay. The Lobby Lounge bar is really busy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with excited tourists and locals winding down (always a good sign). Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConnoughy, who both have homes in Austin, are said to be spotted in there quite often. We didn’t catch a glimpse of them but we did bump into Keanu Reeves in the lobby – as you do!
If the hotel suits your budget, I couldn’t recommend the Four Seasons, Austin highly enough. We probably spent more time lounging around in the pool and gardens than we planned to, but it was the perfect antidote to the energetic pace of the city outside – a secret oasis! I can’t wait to go back.