One of Austin’s newest boutique hotels—and one of the first in the trendy East Austin neighborhood—the Heywood Hotel feels more like an achingly cool designer friend’s house than a hotel, and in the best possible way. The husband-and-wife team renovated and expanded upon a 1920s Craftsman bungalow and outfitted each room with his handmade furniture, and art and textiles by local artisans. They also added the most comfortable beds they could find, Kevin Murphy’s Kakadu plum hair products, and Internet jukeboxes (a necessity in music-loving Austin). No, there isn’t a restaurant, or even a bar, but there’s a front porch and a courtyard patio where you could eat local snacks or sip beers, and a team of local experts on staff who have an endless supply of suggestions for drinking, dining, and exploring in the up-and-coming neighborhood—just like a friend would.
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Located in artsy East Austin, blocks from both downtown and the river, the Heywood Hotel offers a local’s Austin experience while still being convenient to major sights. East Austin is full of urban farms, street art, and coffee shops, and fun events like pop-up outdoor movie theaters are par for the course. Favorite local spots include Hillside Farmacy, a bar and farm-to-table restaurant set in a 1920s pharmacy, and Franklin Barbecue, arguably the city’s best barbecue joint. The water sports at Lady Bird Lake and the scenic running trails of Town Lake are within walking distance of the hotel, as are the Austin Museum of Art and the renowned music venues on Sixth Street, like Emo's.
Need to Know
Rooms: Seven rooms. From $179. Check-in: between 3 and 7 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The hotel does not have any on-site dining options, but fresh fruit is available throughout the day, and a morning coffee service in the lobby features the superb, roasted-in-the-neighborhood Heywood Blend. There are a myriad breakfast options nearby. Rooms are also stocked with free tea and Heywood coffee, and the minibars are filled with local gourmet snacks and beers. Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither a spa nor a gym, but bicycles are available to borrow.
Who's it best for: Artsy, design-conscious travelers interested in a more personal experience. Children must be at least 10 years old to visit with their parents. Our favorite rooms: The colorful Queen Balcony room—room seven—has a private, second-floor balcony overlooking the hotel’s front garden. Also on the second floor, but facing the interior courtyard, the whimsical King Patio room—room four—has a patio with a clever open skylight that feels especially private. Local highlight: The Heywood might not serve breakfast, but the Veracruz All Natural taco truck parks across the street and is open daily from 8 a.m. Pop over for smoothies and $2 breakfast tacos to bring back and enjoy on the patio.