Off Interstate 35, about 10 minutes to downtown attractions
Spacious rooms with coffeemakers and mini-fridges
Heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, plus 24-hour fitness center
24-hour business center with internet access and printer and copier
Executive-level lounge serves weekday breakfast, drinks, and snacks
Free shuttle service within a five-mile radius, plus free parking
17,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 1,000 people
Full-service restaurant and separate lounge
Concierge services include valet dry cleaning and laundry
Guest laundry facilities are on site
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Smoking is allowed in select rooms (con for some)
Outside of the downtown area, with little in walking distance
Rooms are a bit dark, and bathrooms are small
Breakfast is not included in standard rates
Public areas look dated
Somewhat isolated, with little within walking distance
The upper-middle-range Crowne Plaza Austin is a good alternative to the city’s downtown hotels. It’s right off Interstate 35, about 10 minutes north of downtown. There's not much within walking distance, but a free shuttle will take guests to area restaurants. Other highlights include free parking, 17,000 square feet of meeting space, 24/7 business and fitness centers, outdoor pool and whirlpool, and concierge services. A full-service restaurant and lounge serves meals as well, though breakfast isn't included in rates. Its 293 rooms are spacious and include mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. However, this is an older building, and the public spaces look dated. Rates are attractive, especially when compared with downtown hotels, but it may be worth comparison shopping with the nearby Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, which has similar amenities and rates.
A busy business hotel in an older building with a spacious lobby, restaurant, and lounge
This busy, business-oriented hotel is in an older building, and it shows in the rather dark lobby with low ceilings. It’s decorated primarily in deep green and rust combinations, including several rust-colored columns and clusters of similarly colored sofas and armchairs. The registration area is quite somber, with a black granite counter atop a large wooden desk. The tan floor tiles attempt to brighten the space a bit, as do some potted tropical plants, but overall the vibe is downbeat. This green and rust motif continues into the restaurant and lounge, which feels even more dated, with drab ceiling tiles and older furniture. But like the lobby, they are spacious, so guests should feel comfortable and not cramped, even when the hotel is hosting major meetings.
Off Interstate 35, about 10 minutes north of downtown Austin
The Crown Plaza is located north of downtown Austin on a road right off Interstate 35 where it intersects with Highway 290. From a walking standpoint, the hotel is pretty isolated, with only one seafood restaurant within a five-minute walk. Several other restaurants -- including an IHOP, Denny’s, and a Tex-Mex eatery -- are a few minutes away by car or hotel shuttle. Downtown Austin and its many attractions, including the Sixth Street Historic District, Austin Convention Center, and Texas State Capitol, are about a 10-minute drive away. The University of Texas at Austin is also about a 10-minute drive, and the upscale retail complex, the Domain, is about a 15- minute drive. Lake Travis is 30 minutes away by car, and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a 20- to 25-minute drive away.
Spacious, with free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers -- but dark overall
The Crowne Plaza Austin's 293 rooms are decorated in soft earth tones, but the absence of bright colors and strong lighting makes them seem dim. Covered in zigzag-patterned carpeting in multiple shades of brown and beige, the rooms have espresso-colored bolster pillows and bed runners. But the dark-brown bed skirts and furniture -- including dressers and nightstands with black-granite tops -- tip the light scale balance toward the dark side. At 325 to 350 square feet, they're spacious and include desks, desk chairs, and wide armchairs with matching ottomans. Beige-tile bathrooms are on the small side, but they have roomy tan-granite vanities with magnifying mirrors, and shower/tub combos. While rooms are generally well- maintained, some past guests have reported leaking from air-conditioning units and tubs that could use a tougher scrubbing.
Amenities include 37-inch flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, free bottled water, free Wi-Fi, and magnifying mirrors. Some rooms allow smoking as well. Standard Rooms have single king beds or two double beds. Executive Rooms include access to the Executive Lounge, where weekday freebies include a continental breakfast and afternoon hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. The rooms are generally quiet, but some ambient noise can be heard from neighboring rooms, hallways, and the freeway.
Free shuttle service and parking, outdoor pool and whirlpool, fitness and business centers, and meeting space
The Crowne Plaza may be underwhelming in terms of location and looks, but when it comes to features, it packs them in. For dining, the hotel's Crossroads Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a focus on American cuisine with a Southwestern flair. The spacious Crossroads Lounge, separate from the restaurant, opens each afternoon and has several TVs for watching sports. Between meals, a snack shop in the lobby sells food and drinks.
Plenty of recreational amenities are on-site as well. A 24/7 fitness center has several pieces of Life Fitness cardio equipment and free weights. And the heated outdoor pool offers a spot to take a dip as does the neighboring whirlpool. Loungers and covered tables give a spot to drink in the fresh air. For those attending to business, the Crowne Plaza has 12,000 square feet of meeting space in 13 rooms -- enough to accommodate groups of up to 1,000. The 24/7 business center has two computer stations with internet access and a printer/copier. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Other perks include a free shuttle service within a five-mile radius, concierge services including valet laundry and dry cleaning, and a guest laundry room. Parking is free on a surface lot.
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