I spent a week in Austin and that gave me the opportunity to complete a Hampton Inn and Suites Austin downtown review.

https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ausdthx-hampton-suites-austin-downtown-convention-center/

Hampton Inn and Suites sign

Front entrance

I was there for a convention so there was a premium on hotel rooms in the area. The rooms were around $240 at the start of the week and $300 once the convention started. The Hampton Inn is in a great spot only one block away from the convention center as well as being 2 blocks away from the Ann Richards Bridge, famous for the ‘flocks’ of bats that emerge at sunset ¬†When it comes to meal time the hotel is in an optimum position. Directly across the road is Gus’s World Famous fried chicken, PF Changs Chinese restaurant, a great sushi restaurant, a good Thai restaurant and a coffee shop. Next to the hotel is a crepe restaurant and to the side are 2 smart steakhouses. Downtown Austin does have a lot of places to eat.

On arrival the first thing I saw was the small valet stand. Valet prices are $12 for 2 hours, $22 for an 8 hour day or a high $52 overnight.

Valet parking rates

Lobby and check-in:

I stay in 40 to 50 hotels a year so I start categorizing them according to expectation upon entering the lobby. Some hotels do not put much into a lobby, it is just a place to enter or hang out while waiting for a ride. Other hotels have fancy lobbies with large check-in areas and big lounges, maybe even a lobby bar.

The Hampton Inn and Suites Austin downtown is one of the former. A small lobby with a staircase on the left going up to the second floor breakfast and office area. There is a really interesting large round sofa against the stairs which is very comfortable. On the right is a small 2 person check-in desk and just past that is a small area with drinks and candies for purchase.

sofa, stairs, upstairs office

Round staircase in lobby

Office facilities

Entrance to the elevators

Front desk

Check-in went quite smoothly. Gave him my Hilton number and was given a bag with 2 bottles of water and a bag of nuts – Oh the perks of status!

Luckily I sleep through anything so I don’t have to ask for a room away from the elevators or the ice machine. I do normally request a high room and on this occasion was given the 9th floor out of 16. Later riding up with some of the other guys I work with I saw they had rooms ranging from the 5th floor to the 15th so I am not sure if my request meant anything.

9th floor and the room:

Hallway artwork

On exiting the elevator I saw that the ice machine was right next to the elevator. Oh I wish all hotels did this. I have sometimes spent 10 minutes searching for the ice machine in some of the bigger hotels I stay at.

Machines for ice and water

About 20 yards away was room 911, my home for the week.

Room 911

On entering the room a small counter with coffee machine and ice bucket is on the left just past the bathroom door.

This counter also contained the half size fridge. Hooray for the fridge, it means I can keep milk, cheese, soda and other small items cold.

Fridge

The room is pleasant with wire basket drawers, a couple of footstools, a desk and all the other room facilities.

Cupboard, iron, ironing board, safe

Wire drawers

Chair and table

Desk and chair

 

Foot rests

Bed and side tables

Pretty bathroom:

The bathroom has a lovely basin with a wide counter and toiletries in wall mounted plastic bottles by Zero% Natural Kind Formulation.

towels

soap and remover

shower gel, conditioner, shampoo

 

sink and hair drier

Nice art work

Breakfast area:

The Hampton Inn and Suites Austin downtown is one of the Hampton Inns that provides a free breakfast. It is quite a comprehensive breakfast too, cereal, oats, scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, waffles with strawberries and nuts, toast, fruit and a coffee and tea station. It was really nice to be able to pop in and get something every morning on the way to work.

fruit baskets

cheese omelettes and potatoes

 

tea and coffee station

Part of the breakfast area

Other facilities:

There is a nice pool available on the 4th floor as well a complete gym.

pool area

Gym

In the lobby is a small snack store named Treats, with a variety of items such as ice cream, wine, candy, drinks, Hot Pockets meals and Keep Austin Weird t-shirts.

Treats unique store

Austin bat bridge:

You might have heard of the bat bridge in Austin. The Ann W Richards Congress Avenue bridge is known for the millions of bats that fly out every evening after sunset. It felt like bit of a gyp the day we went though. We stood on the northern bank on the alcove landing that juts out over the river. There were a lot of people that stood near us. There are people that stand on the bridge, on the other bank, and many people that are on the water in kayaks or boats or charter boats. Many companies take visitors out on the water every night.

Austin bat bridge

Boats on the river

The photos were taken almost an hour before the bats came out. We stood in a really bad place because it seems the bats fly out from the opposite side of the bridge and we could hardly see them against the dark sky. The boats know as they are there everyday so if you do go make sure you stand near the boats. Those bats also flew out quite a time after sunset so it had become quite dark and hard to see them. The videos of the bats you can watch on the internet will show you much more than you will see in person.

Credit for the video to Bat Conservation International.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwWGvf38TVM

Overall impression:

Overall it was actually a very pleasant stay. The facilities in the room are nice and useful and the pool, the gym, the free breakfast area, the store, the office area and the vicinity to the Convention Center all make a great experience.

The Hampton Inn and Suites Austin downtown is well recommended.