Continuing my long weekend in Austin, I relocated to the Austin Marriott Downtown for two nights after a quick stop at The Otis.
While I was pleasantly surprised by how fond I was of my time at The Otis, my move to the Austin Marriott Downtown put me closer to the parts of the city where I’d be spending the rest of my time.
In This Post
Austin Marriott Downtown – Booking
As a Marriott Bonvoy property, you can book a room at the Austin Marriott Downtown for 40,000–65,000 points. For the most part, expect to pay around 45,000–50,000 points.
As for cash rates, the hotel typically goes for $200–400 (USD) per night, with some outliers in either direction. Expect to pay somewhere around $250 (USD) for the majority of the time, and more during major events.
I was fortunate to score a price at the low end of the range for my two nights.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Location
The hotel is extremely central, well-positioned in the heart of downtown Austin.
As a visitor to the city, many of the areas worth exploring for dining and nightlife are within a 10 to 30-minute walk, including Rainey Street, South Congress, the State Capitol, Lady Bird Lake, and both West and East Sixth.
The property is across the street from the Austin Convention Center, the hub of the city’s annual South by Southwest festival and host of many other events.
Indeed, there are countless other name-brand hotels in the area, many visible from the building’s rooftop – including several other Marriott Bonvoy brands, plus a few Hiltons, Hyatts, a Fairmont, and a Four Seasons.
It’s a quick 15-minute trip by car to the airport, or around 45 minutes by public transportation.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Check-in
Arriving at the hotel, my Uber pulled into the covered driveway and dropped me off.
The high-ceilinged lobby is arranged as a long corridor, with the front desk to the right.
The friendly staff had a flawless grasp of my welcome choice and breakfast entitlements as a Titanium Elite member, as per the terms of the Marriott brand. I chose a $10 (USD) food and beverage credit per stay instead of 1,000 points as my welcome gift, figuring I’d find an opportunity for a drink at some point.
I arrived a bit early and my room wasn’t quite ready yet, but the staff set me up with a key card to access the lounge while I waited.
To get around the hotel, there’s a gargantuan escalator ascending to the first of five conference floors.
The modern elevators have no buttons inside. Rather, you choose your destination floor when you call for a ride, and the screen will guide you to your lift.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Studio Suite
Prior to my arrival, I’d been upgraded to an available Studio Suite by virtue of my Titanium Elite status. I stayed in Room 1706, which shares an alcove with the adjacent room, although they don’t adjoin directly from inside.
The spacious suite is laid out as a single large room, with a distinct sitting area to the right.
There’s an intriguing green chair, which proved to be deceptively uncomfortable, and was one of the less functional pieces of furniture I’ve ever sat on.
Thankfully, the sectional couch was a more suitable place to curl up.
The coffee table has a peculiar set-up, with amenities and water bottles stashed underneath, out of sight and easy to miss.
In fact, there were some other oddities about the suite’s configuration, despite being fully featured. For one, the mini-fridge and hot beverage caddy are underneath the nightstands beside the California king bed.
On the other hand, the bed itself made for a good night’s sleep. There’s a wall-mounted TV across from the bed, also with good sight lines from the suite’s couch.
Tucked into the corner of the room, there’s a desk by the window. The swivel chair doesn’t have wheels, which is something I never realized would be such an inconvenience.
The southward-facing vista of this particular room faces condominium towers, with views of kayakers and paddleboarders enjoying the nearby Lady Bird Lake.
On the interior side, opposite the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll find the doorway to the bathroom.
Inside, there’s a spacious dual vanity, a walk-in shower, and a toilet that’s housed in its own room.
Despite some shortcomings and peculiar arrangements, I had a comfortable stay in the room for two nights.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Executive Lounge
Breakfast for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members is served in the Executive Lounge, which is officially known as M Club. The lounge is located on the mezzanine, and is best accessed from a stairwell in the lobby.
The lounge is open throughout the day, with a variety of seating for eating, working, or socializing.
Morning fare is available from 6:30–10am on weekdays, and 6:30–11am on weekends. There are also hors d’oeuvres and alcohol service available in the evenings.
The self-serve breakfast buffet has a selection of fresh fruit, basic hot fare including scrambled eggs and either bacon or sausage depending on the day, pastries and bread, and yogurt.
- 1 of 7
- 2 of 7
- 3 of 7
- 4 of 7
- 5 of 7
- 6 of 7
- 7 of 7
Keen to save room for Texas barbecue and other compelling dining options around the city, I stuck to light bites here. While the quality wasn’t bad by any means, this lounge breakfast certainly lacked inventiveness.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Dining & Bar
The bulk of the hotel’s lobby is oriented around the restaurant and bar spaces, which sprawl into each other.
Heading from the entrance to the elevators, first you’ll pass by Lobbyist. A whiskey-forward bar, this seems to be a common theme in Texas and other parts of the American South, and certainly not one that I’d ever complain about!
Behind it, you can enter Corínne, the property’s primary restaurant. There’s a nice lounge atrium at the entrance, flanked by well-arranged walls of whiskey.
The cavernous lobby has a mezzanine level, with open views of Lobbyist and Corínne below. Up here, there’s an extension to Lobbyist which is only used for bar service for private receptions, but passing through the space was my primary access to the M Club.
There’s also a large pantry with snacks for purchase across from the front desk called Loaf and Vine, which I imagine gets a lot of traffic from event-goers.
Austin Marriott Downtown – Other Facilities
The heartbeat of the Austin Marriott Downtown is the seventh floor, a rooftop terrace atop the building’s conference facilities in the shadow of the guest room tower beside.
Here, you’ll find Zanzibar, a sprawling complex consisting of the pool and bar.
You can enjoy city views from the cabanas and in-pool loungers in and around the infinity pool, which is quite a popular space during daylight hours.
By night, the action shifts squarely to the bar, an expansive space featuring a prominent tiki theme.
I enjoyed a Feels Like Summer, one of many fruit-forward cocktails served in its own garish cactus-shaped glassware.
Of course, there are great views from Zanzibar. It’s a nice spot to catch a misty Austin sunset with a vibe perfectly paced by tropical house beats and a lively crowd.
The fitness centre can also be found on this level, with a good set of facilities to accommodate the hotel’s large size.
For a property that definitely feels like an event hotel, the Austin Marriott Downtown is much more than a simple place to rest your head after a long day.
I can see the place absolutely coming alive when brimming with the energy of a large crowd. The elegant touch of Lobbyist has a charm to it, but the rooftop bar at Zanzibar is the building’s crown jewel.
While the rooms might not be the most riveting, between its location and its facilities, the Austin Marriott Downtown is an enticing choice no matter what the purpose of your visit is.