by Monika Kowalczyk - 65 Reviews - 40 List
So you descend upon Austin with briefcase, front-pleat slacks and agenda in tow, but where does a seasoned business traveler go after the meeting's over? From power lunch spots to lounges for letting loose (while still maintaining an ounce or two of professional dignity), we show you where industry folk eat, sleep and drink merrily in Austin.
Updated: September 02, 2010
This majestic Austin hotel is both romantic and business-savvy, containing all elements to keep even the most hardcore business traveler well rested, fed and connected. The lobby here has seen events ranging from inaugural balls to SXSW rockers lounging between sets, and the piano bar and gorgeous architecture set the backdrop for both serious and recreational table talk.
This landmark hotel embodies historical restoration, yet the refreshingly modern amenities keep in step with even the most tense powersuiter. With 189 guest rooms, health club, lap pool and access to Austin's pulse points, the InterContinental on Congress Avenue fills up quickly. The bar, Stephen F's, is a customary rendezvous spot for clients and lobbying local state reps, while its view of the Texas State Capitol is unbeatable.
Energy flows and personalities mingle in a setting that combines urban-influenced design, accessible technology, and a social scene that's always abuzz. Nestled within a high-end outdoor shopping center and short distance from corporate HQs, mixing business with pleasure is inevitably A-Okay here.
Easy distance from the Capitol and downtown offices, this particular Four Seasons is rightfully popular with politicos and businessmen and women. Trio, the hotel lounge, is a notorious movers-and-shakers congregation point, with tables a good distance apart (affording privacy during those off-the-record biz chats).
Quite literally a stone's throw from the Austin Convention Center, the Hilton is one of the more common and convenient pit stops on a business trip itinerary. Ample meeting space, numerous conference rooms and top-notch amenities add to the allure, so be sure to book early in advance.
This grand colonial mansion has been restored into a stunning boutique hotel, perfect for first-time visitors in Austin for business. The 48 well-appointed rooms are decorated with deco and antebellum touches and include Edwardian-style furniture, high-speed Internet, 310-thread count sheets and high-end bath products. Is it too early to admit that you may be having fun on this work trip?
It's every bit as cool and colorful as the guests who check in. At Hotel San Jose, musicians are the norm, as are visitors who want the true Austin experience. The 40 rooms and suites are stylish and comfortable, and serve as the perfect oasis for those double-booking a business trip with a personal vacation. Amenities include a stylish pool, on-call massages and bike rentals.
If you insist on taking a quick break from panels, meetings and whatever heart-wrenchingly boring events your company has in store for you on your business trip, stroll on over to Eddie V's (right next door to The Marriott) for its great wine list and serious steak.
Conveniently situated along the beaten path of wandering business folk, Halcyon inherently earns visits from those seeking a bit of an oasis from the outdoor ballyhoo. Coffee shop by day, swanky lounge by night (and super popular with the locals), Halcyon is the prime place to loosen up that tie.
Mirroring its flagship location in Scottsdale, the Roaring Fork's rock walls, leather accents, antler chandeliers and thriving fireplace create a rugged yet inviting western feel. The crowd? College kids and other happy hour revelers fill the casual saloon's barstools and couches. The main dining area, which features a more upscale setting with a black-uniformed wait staff, hosts a mix of locals, legislators and business guests.
Music industry folks, in their ubiquitous business-professional dress code of flannel and Chuck Taylors, commonly grab lunch breaks at this no-frills cantina. Nearly adjacent to Emo's, El Sol Y La Luna (previously of South Austin fame) brings you all sorts of Latin American fodder that's notably vegan and vegetarian-friendly.