Convenient downtown Austin location near Lady Bird Lake
Within walking distance to convention center and downtown attractions
Spacious rooms and suites with mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers
Suites may have big sleeper sofas, extra bedrooms, and city views
Lobby bar serving drinks and casual Southwestern dishes
Free generous breakfast buffet with omelet station
Modern indoor pool with whirlpool, plus well-equipped gym
Evening reception with free drinks and snacks
Grab-and-go market open 24 hours holding an ATM
Kid friendly with cribs, high-chairs, and coin-operated laundry
Free shuttle service within two-mile radius
Despite “Embassy Suite” name, not all rooms are suites
Parking costs an extra fee
In-room Wi-Fi only free if you join HHonors' free program
While unmistakably a chain hotel, the 259-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin - Downtown/Town Lake makes a strong showing amongst Austin’s array of upper-middle-range hotels with its fashionable lobby, spacious rooms, and excellent freebies. Standout features include a free evening reception and a generous free breakfast buffet with a well-liked omelet station. There’s also a 24-hour grab-and-go market and a lobby bar serving drinks and casual dishes. The hotel has a nicely equipped gym and a modern indoor pool with stone accents and a whirlpool. Rooms and suites are spacious with mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, and TVs with premium channels. Parking cost extra, and free Wi-Fi requires joining the chain's free loyalty program. Guests can walk to the heart of downtown in about 10 minutes, but those who prefer to be in the thick of things might consider the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton - Austin.
Big, upper-middle-range chain hotel with lots of stylish lounging spots
Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin is housed in a boxy, two-winged nine-story building, which dates back to the 1980s. It feels a little staid from the outside, but a massive, mid-2016 lobby renovation has transformed its interiors into something chic and contemporary (if still a bit chain-like). The massive atrium lobby holds several stylish nooks for guests to lounge about, many of them separated out by open-framed dividers that carve out more intimate spaces. These include living-room-like sitting areas, some with a dash of southwestern flair, featuring brown faux-leather couches or high-backed armchairs gathered on teal or burnt-orange and brown chevron rugs. A rustic wood bar offers plenty of seating, and the free manger’s reception and buffet ensure guests come out and mingle. Guests of the hotel range from business and convention guests to tourists, including families who make use of the spacious multi-room suites.
In downtown Austin near Lady Bird Lake’s famed Bat Colony
This Embassy Suite outpost has a convenient location, just south of downtown Austin’s central business district, a three-minute jaunt from Lady Bird Lake (aka the Colorado River). Butler Park is adjacent to the hotel, where the Long Center for the Performing Arts hosts concerts and other events (seven-minute walk) and where hiking and biking trails run along the river. Getting to downtown requires a 10-minute walk across Lady Bird Lake via the South Congress Street Bridge, home to a world-famous bat colony. The Austin Convention Center is a 12-minute walk, and the heart of the Sixth Street Entertainment district can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. The Texas State Capitol is a good 20-minute walk, but driving can take as little as five minutes. The popular Barton Springs swimming hole is about a 10-minute drive. Trips to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic, and can be reached by bus in about 30 to 35 minutes. Embassy Suites offers a free shuttle service with drop-offs and pick-ups within a two-mile radius of the property. On-site valet- and self-parking are available, but both cost extra fees.
Spacious rooms and suites with mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers
While Embassy Suites is not actually an all-suite hotel, it offers a generous share of two-room suites as well as spacious and well-equipped guest rooms with amenities like microwaves and mini-fridges. Decor is generic, neutral, and not quite as fashionable as the lobby. But it's pleasant nonetheless with cream-colored walls, brown wall-to-wall carpeting, wood furniture, and beige upholstery used throughout. The modern bathrooms are also a bit bland with beige tiling in walk-in showers, though the wide wood vanities are a nice touch.
Suites may feature roomy living rooms with queen-sized sleeper sofas and dining areas, in addition to separate bedrooms with queen, double, or king-sized beds and one to two bathrooms. Ninth-floor Executive Rooms have extras like bathrobes and gourmet coffee. Some suites situated on higher floors display views of Lady Bird Lake or downtown.
All rooms are comfortably appointed with air-conditioning, blackout curtains, 200-thread count sheets, and work desks with ergonomic chairs and accessible outlets, in addition to MP3-connectable radios, electronic safes, and flat-screen TVs with premium channels like HBO, CNN, and ESPN. Coffeemakers, microwaves, mini-fridges, and irons and ironing boards also come standard. Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and free individual toiletries. Those looking for free Wi-Fi will have to join the hotel's HHonors loyalty program (which is free to join); otherwise in-room Wi-Fi cost an extra daily fee.
Great free breakfast, free manager’s reception, pool and gym, and lobby bar serving food
What sets the Embassy Suites brand apart from competitors is its popular freebies, which include a generous breakfast buffet, free evening reception, and free local shuttle service. But there's also a lobby bar, nice pool, and decent gym on the premises.
All rates include a generous hot and cold breakfast buffet. Expect everything from breakfast tacos to a cooked-to-order omelet bar, plus all the continental standards. The hotel also has a nightly reception with free drinks and snacks. There’s no typical full-service restaurant, but the lobby bar, @SOCO Bar + Bites, offers a decent menu of Southwestern-inspired casual fare, like shrimp and grits, chicken sandwiches, tacos, and burgers. It’s open after breakfast into the evening, and offers take out for in-room dining. The brand’s trademark “24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market” offers grab-and-go items, like soft drinks, pre-made sandwiches, and local speciality snacks. Guests can also find an ATM here.
On-site wellness facilities include a gym and a pool. The gym is situated in a rather nondescript, windowless room, but it’s generously equipped with modern cardio equipment, a full rack of free weights, and exercise accoutrements like yoga balls and medicine balls. The indoor pool area is pleasant and modern, if a bit closed in, but it's spruced up with exposed stone accents and mini-waterfall details, in addition to a separate whirlpool.
The hotel also has five meeting rooms and a modern business corner with two computers for guest use. For guests traveling with kids, there’s cribs, high-chairs, and coin-operated laundry. Guests complain about the extra fee for parking, but the hotel does offer free shuttle service that will pick up and drop off guests within a two-mile radius of the property. Those looking to avoid paying a fee from in-room Wi-Fi will have to join the HHonors loyalty program (which is free to join). Or guests can stay off the mailing list and incur and extra fee. Reception is open 24 hours, and staff offer concierge services.
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