Hotel Saint Cecilia

112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA

A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress Avenue, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and ‘70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that rock stars smash guitars and throw ragers here (unless they rent out all 14 rooms, of course); unlike at its nearby sister properties, Hotel San José and Austin Motel, only guests and club members are welcome at the lounge, a laid-back affair with a Parisian-café–style patio, chesterfield sofas and a fireplace indoors, and craft cocktails and gourmet small plates. Between the 1888 Victorian main house—originally inhabited by a descendent of Davy Crockett—and verdant grounds that hide private porches and a serene pool, the hotel feels more like an impossibly stylish artists’ retreat than a celebrity getaway.

Each distinctively decorated room is larger than many an apartment, and seems ripped from the pages of a fashion magazine photoshoot. Every detail has been thought through, from the refreshing Grown Alchemist body care products to the Swedish Hästens mattresses (the hotel is the only one in North America with them in all rooms) to the impressive library of LPs to borrow. Everyone’s a rock star, here.

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Stay in St. Cecilia's Singing Halls

“She’s the patron saint of music, so we pay homage to St. Cecilia by offering guitars to borrow and outfitting each of the 14 guest rooms with a turntable,” says Lambert of her hotel. “We’re planning on adding six guest rooms sometime in 2017.”

Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin, Texas

Named after the patron saint of music and poetry, the Hotel Saint Cecilia mixes Southern comfort with rock ’n’ roll style. Ringed by old oak trees, the estate includes five suites in the original Victorian-era clapboard house, six poolside bungalows, and three studios. The main building has an extensive vinyl record library, and each room comes equipped with a turntable.

Southern Charm at Austin's Hotel Saint Cecilia

I love that the Saint Cecilia is steps away from the busiest strip of downtown Austin, but it feels like it is in an entirely different zip code. The hotel attracts an epically cool clientele. You might take a midnight swim in the kitschy pool with a rock star like Jack White. There is a bartender on hand to make drinks for guests pretty much all night. The staff are so sweet. I had a rough night once staying there and asked the front desk for Advil. They went the extra step and went off property to get me coffee from Jo’s, which was a small but unexpected and appreciated gesture.

Drinks at the Saint Cecilia's Lounge

The one catch with the Saint Cecilia’s awesome bar is that it’s only open to guests (of which, if you come any time near one of the big festivals, will probably be a rock star whose music you’ve worshiped). Stocked with top-shelf booze and a bartender, it’s the most quiet and cozy place in town to pre-game before a night out or dinner.

A Musical Ode

The Hotel Saint Cecilia, named for the patron saint of music, is Austin’s most exclusive address. Only hotel guests are allowed on the lush property, in walking distance to Austin’s hip South Congress Avenue. The hotel itself is the epitome of cool: Owner Liz Lambert drew inspiration from artists, musicians, and writers from the 1960s and 70s in her individually designed rooms and public spaces. The garden grounds have a 50-foot pool, and guests can curl up with a cocktail under a century-old live oak tree. The property’s 14 rooms are split between an 1880s mansion with front and side porches and modern, two-story bungalows with lofty ceilings flooded with natural light. Rooms also have Swedish Hästens mattresses, letterpress note cards, and Glassybaby candle holders. Stop by the front desk to borrow some records to put on your in-room turntables, and enjoy the music while spending a night in.

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