Some say Austin is the new Portland, Oregon—but with a thriving, quirky arts scene, the Texas capital has long been marching to its own beat. Befitting of a city that calls itself the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, Austin’s new Hotel Van Zandt is part boutique accommodations, part live performance venue, and part homage to music.
Situated in the Rainey Street Historic District, chockablock with early 20th-century bungalows and brew pubs, the city’s newest hotel contains lyrical references like photographs of iconic musicians and horn-inspired chandelier that dominates the high-ceilinged lobby. In the 319-room property adorned in a steampunk palette of bronze, blue and chocolate, music isn’t just decoration, but an integral part; with a dedicated director of music and social programming, the hotel not only delivers soundtracks throughout its common areas like the outdoor pool and intimate living room-lounge, but also boasts a nightly lineup of indie musicians.
Its eatery Geraldine’s, helmed by chef Frank Mnuk (formerly of local Japanese hotspot Uchi), takes a fresh perspective on Texan classics and ingredients such as Gulf snapper served with tangerine, barbecued short ribs lightened with furikake. And yes, even the restaurant has live performances by its own artists-in-residence.