The hotel is part of the Kimpton group, and manages to deliver consistently stellar service along with a healthy serving of local flavor. There’s a beautifully appointed lobby that is effortlessly comfortable. More often than not, you’ll find well-behaved dogs lying at their owners’ feet or relishing in the attention of passersby. A daily happy hour brings guests to the lobby to mingle over gratis cocktails and local craft beer.
The hotel’s art is subtly arranged in public spaces, most of it an homage to Austin’s music scene or the legacy of Austin diplomat Isaac Van Zandt through his great-grandson Townes Van Zandt, who was a singersongwriter in the 1960s and 1970s. In one installation, a flock of birds sculpted from Townes’ original vinyl records take flight from a vintage phonograph. And if guests look up, they’ll see light fixtures made from musical instruments, like trombones or flutes.
Some of the best views are on Hotel Van Zandt’s upper floors. Lefty’s Suite, a 900-square-foot corner suite on the hotel’s top floor, has a fully equipped poker table, a vintage upright piano and a sitting area with a record player and an on-point collection of LPs. A kitchenette with Gaggennau appliances and a separate bedroom with a king bed and oversized bathroom with a soaking tub notch up the luxury. The room’s best feature, however, is the view. You’ll have a nearly aerial view of Lady Bird Lake. Watch kayakers or, at sunset, see the largest colony of urban bats in North America take flight from under the Congress Avenue bridge.
Hotel Van Zandt’s five presidential suites—Poncho’s, Rainey, Lefty’s, Loretta’s and the Van Zandt Suite—are great places to get a view of the city, too. Hotel Van Zandt truly is a venue with a view.