Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel
2200 S. Interstate 35, Austin, TX, USA
austincityhotel.com - Reservations: (800) 434-7378 | Local: (512) 444-0561
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Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel Reviews
Modern Vibe South of the City Dec 19, 2014
For my latest birthday trip, I decided to visit friends and family in Austin, TX. After much searching and concern that I wouldn't find a reasonably priced hotel this close to the holiday season (I was travelling in mid-December), I found the Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel.
The hotel is in a great location right off I-35 only 10-15 minutes south of downtown. [Note on directions – The hotel sits on the southbound access road for I-35. If headed south on I-35, you can take the Oltorf St exit. If headed north on I-35, you will need to go past the Oltorf St exit and take the Woodland exit, looping back around underneath the highway to the southbound access road.] It’s either newly remodeled or very well-maintained – with the exception of the printers in the business center. Only one of the three was working when I needed to print my shuttle pass for the Trail of Lights.
The staff was very friendly, helping me find a bakery to satisfy my kolache craving (The Kolache Factory – I recommend the lemon). The manager also tried to upgrade my room when I arrived after hearing that I was staying for 6 nights. Unfortunately all the king rooms were booked, so I remained in the queen room. Their fitness center offers a weight machine and five cardio machines, two TVs, water and towels. [If you plan to use the fitness center, you will need to get a separate key card from the front desk.] There is also a pool, but it wasn't quite warm enough for me to take a swim.
There’s a connected bar & grill, The Blue Moon, that offers a nice dinner menu and live music. I had a great chicken Caesar wrap for dinner one night. It’s also where you’ll go for breakfast. The breakfast buffet was pretty standard – eggs, bacon or ham, hashbrowns or biscuits, waffles, cereal, juice, coffee, etc. What was nice about this buffet is that the menu did vary a little bit from day-to-day. Scrambled eggs one day, biscuits and gravy the next, even breakfast burritos.
The room was pretty standard – comfy bed, TV, desk, armchair, microwave and refrigerator. What was a little awkward was that the bathroom was what I heard described as “Hollywood style.” What that means in this case is that the sink is separate from the toilet and shower. Very convenient if there’s more than one person in the room. What wasn't so convenient was how the doors were placed. When open, the door to the sink blocked the door to the shower. So to shower I needed to open the door to the sink, close the door to the sink, open the door to the shower then close the door to the shower. Pocket doors people, pocket doors!
So would I stay here again? Maybe. While I love the location, the vibe and the staff, one thing makes me wonder and that’s the fact that all the corridors are outside. Rooms are directly accessible from the outdoors. To get from my room to the front desk, the fitness center, the restaurant, etc. all required going outside. In the morning, that meant pulling on a jacket to go to the fitness center or to breakfast. Minor inconvenience, I know. But at night, knowing that all that stood between me and whoever might be wandering around was a single door was a little unsettling. (Yes, I have direct access to the outdoors at home but I’m further from the people walking past and my front door doesn't open to my bedroom. ) Not to imply that I felt the area was unsafe – not at all. Just that my personal preference is for internal corridors and hallways that require either walking past the front desk or a hotel key card to access. So if my next trip to Austin involves a travelling companion, then Best Western City Hotel is definitely on the list. If not, I think I’ll keep an eye out for a more traditional hotel.
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