While far-away beaches and distant tourist attractions are tempting vacation ideas, there's something nice (and hassle-free) about staying in Texas to get your travel fix. The Austin area is home to several renowned boutique hotels and resort getaways located less than a three-hour drive from Houston (if the traffic's not bad). We’ve rounded up six of our favorite local hotels that will allow you all the fun of traveling without the jet lag.
Take in all the beauty that the Texas Hill Country has to offer at this spa. Travaasa Austin, about a half-hour drive from the center of the state capital, offers a luxurious spa, horseback riding and cozy rooms perfect for a romantic getaway or a weekend adventure. For the more active traveler, Travaasa Austin’s two-step lessons and rigorous challenge course are sure to be staples on the itinerary. This splurge-worthy spot is the perfect way to tap into your inner cowboy — or girl — without actually roughing it. Travassa is a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence recipient.
One weekend at this dreamy boutique hotel and you'll never want to leave. The historical landmark was recently renovated and now features two stories of absolute chicness. Only minutes from downtown Austin, Hotel Ella is quietly nestled on Rio Grande Street in the West Campus neighborhood. Roam the property and find unique art, a gorgeous lap pool and Goodall's Kitchen, the quaint restaurant and bar. The Southern contemporary motif in the guest rooms will leave you feeling like Texas royalty. So go ahead, claim your rightful place on the throne.
Aloft at the Domain Austin
Channel cool downtown vibes at this North Austin gem. Located in the posh Domain shopping community, Aloft is an urban dweller’s dream. Situated just steps from stores like Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus, a well-needed shopping spree is inevitable. The colorful guest rooms and interior make for a fun stay and the Domain's bevy of restaurants and bars will ensure a weekend to remember.
Hotel San Jose
Hipsters, rejoice! This quintessential South Congress boutique hotel is the ideal destination for the eclectic traveler. Minimalist interiors and unique amenities like kimono bathrobes, customizable mini bars and specialty toiletries are certain to make your staycation as chill as South Congress itself. Enjoy a glass of Prosecco on the coolest patio in town or move your drinks poolside and enjoy a relaxing dip.
Located in the heart of the 2nd Street District, the W is a perfect mix of Austin hip and big-city style. Unleash your inner socialite during a stay at one of the many VIP suites and dine at lauded Trace Restaurant. Get some summer reading done in The Living Room while sipping a craft cocktail. And even if you don't book a room, you can battle the Texas heat by spending your Sundays at the Heat Wave Summer WET Deck Series. Trust us, this summer series rivals the famed Soho House for its fun and fab pool parties. For just $30, you can enjoy all the spoils of the W's uber chic pool area the first three Sundays of the month through August.
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Perfect your golf swing at this gorgeous resort. Situated in the Texas Hill Country, Omni Barton Creek is the ideal vacation spot for the men in your life. The four meticulously landscaped golf courses offer a backdrop fit for the most elegant of country clubs and the relaxing spa amenities are the best way to unwind after a day on the course. While the resort is full of activities and luxurious accommodations, the rooms are so posh you may never want to leave. The living quarters are decorated in traditional Southern motifs that ooze richness — and you’ll love soaking in every square foot.