It’s not every day one stays in a hotel room with a vinyl record player as an amenity—unless that day is spent in a guest room at The Otis Hotel in Austin.
Every room at this hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, has a record player. Alongside is a pair of records from Texas artists: Janis Joplin, who was a student at the University of Texas; and Leon Bridges, a contemporary jazz artist from Fort Worth.
Guests can also hit up the Vinyl Ambassador in the lobby for music suggestions or to browse selections from the extensive vinyl library. I spent most of the next morning listening to some Nina Simone deep cuts from a couple of her lesser-known albums.
Located just west of the University of Texas campus, the hotel certainly gives off a youthful, collegiate vibe. Guest rooms could best be described as “Dorm Room Luxe”. They’re on the cozy side, with old-school touches suggestive of campus residency like bulletin board fabric-covered wardrobe doors and midcentury-inspired statement chairs.
The wooden barn door that slides to separate the bedroom from the entry and bath of the guest room also comes in handy keeping the sounds of late-night joviality confined to the corridors.
When it’s time to dine, Acre 41 turns out elevated American fare without any hint of “hotel food” drudgery. Think blue crab and artichoke dip, a lovely seared ahi salad, and a nicely grilled NY Strip, or possibly Skillet Cornbread with zucchini, green chile, and white cheddar. Biscuits are in order at breakfast, while guests who like to sleep in can indulge in weekend brunch when additional evening entrees like gulf shrimp and grits make their way back onto the menu.
If the view from the guest room isn’t inspiring enough, guests can wander upstairs to the rooftop pool, and take in the view of the UT campus and downtown Austin from lounge chairs or rentable pool cabanas with convivial seating. In the evenings, the bar turns into Otopia Rooftop Lounge, with craft cocktails and light bites. Think crab rolls, pork potstickers, shrimp cocktail, or Wagyu Carpaccio. There’s also plenty of seating, from bar-height seating along the outer railing to couches and cocktail tables heated by lamps and a fire pit during the cooler months.
When it’s time to retire for the evening, guests can relax with spa-inspired Guild + Pepper amenities (the Warm Oak fragrance sublimely compliments the exposed wood accents in the room) and relax with a number of customizable soft lighting options.
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As expected in a new build, places to plug in electronic devices abound throughout the space, and televisions are wired to stream content from a number of streaming services using a guest’s existing account.
But with the old-is-new novelty of a provided record player, perhaps it’s better to spend the evening rediscovering old favorites in their original medium.
A delightfully upscale choice in the West Campus neighborhood, in the heart of all the youthful excitement, but with amenities and comfort that are decidedly mature and playfully sophisticated.
I’ve seen rates as low as $195 per night plus tax
Get a shot of that vinyl record player or a Texas sunset from the rooftop, and followers will be hooked.
Good to Know
The hotel offers valet and self-parking for a nominal fee; valet is a good value.
The hotel is dually branded with the AC Hotel Austin-University; they have adjacent but separate entrances and lobbies.
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