Kate Hennessy

Heywood Hotel

  • Where:Austin, Texas
  • Why:Getting to know Austin after the SXSW circus leaves town.
  • When:Mid-March 2018.
  • Who:Me
Get a

As sun sets the upstairs patio is kinda like being in one of legendary light artist James Turrell’s skyspace installations.

East Cesar Chavez Street: piñatas, taco trucks, tattoo joints and speciality coffee. Not bad!

Chill in a hammock out front and people-watch. Beware: Texans are chatty. You’ll make new friends.

The lamps, cushions, art and wall design differ in each room but all room have the same luxury bed, pillows and linen. Ahhhhhh.

Original furniture has been re-born - and re-upholstered!

The makers of most cushion covers are known to staff - so you can take one home too.

Joyous succulent gardens on the upstairs patio.

Delightful array of local artisan wares available at the counter.

The Heywood beacon by night.

Welcome: a note and some excellent local chocolate.

Lounge around in the 302 square feet of the King Deluxe room.

Original fireplace and a vintage touches.

Highs & Lows

  • The Heywood is a modernized 1920s bungalow that’s kept its original look. You could not feel more like an East Austin local. None of my Uber drivers even knew the hotel was there.

  • The all-female staff take concierge service to mean attentive, in-the-know and sunny- spirited, while keeping their chill Austin touch. A particularly welcoming vibe for solo female guests.

  • The Scandi-style bed bases are handcrafted from walnut wood, the mattresses are next-level comfy and the linen is butter soft. For street-facing rooms a white-noise machine is on the night table just in case the light traffic noise bothers you. They care. A lot.

  • Waste and water is minimized by large pump bottles of (sulfate- and paraban-free) toiletries (no little plastic bottles, yay!), real coffee mugs and green cleaning processes.

  • Every detail is lovingly selected– from the coffee to the tea, high-quality body lotion, exquisite lampshades, cushion covers, succulent gardens, mohair lap blankets and books on Texan art and parks. It’s like being in a cool local person’s cool local home.

  • A place to handwash and dry clothes and/or a laundry service for travellers who’ve been on the road a while would be nice.

  • No ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for people who don’t want the hospital corners re-done on their bedding. (Or people who’ve done a sneaky underwear handwash they’re drying in the bathroom!)

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 41/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Boutique hotel

  • Vibe

    Minimalist Texan chic amid laid-back luxury.

  • Location

    The East Cesar Chavez nook of hip East Austin.

  • Rooms


  • Music

    Common areas intentionally quiet, but rooms are a choose-your-own adventure of tunes with fun internet radios that feature curated playlists from staff.

  • Year Opened


  • Designed By


  • Pool/Gym

    No. Free bikes and gyms/yoga close by.

  • Restaurant


  • Bar


  • Minibar

    Eclectic mix of nuts, jerky, chocolate and health bars. Nothing over $5. Two free beers to sample the local Zilker brewery.

  • Children

    Little space to run around or be noisy so, erm, probably not. (Unless they’re over 10. Or unnaturally quiet.)

  • Price

    Fair for boutique and unique.

A block from the Heywood. Closes at 3pm.

Eat at Veracruz taco truck

Veracruz All Natural Food Truck, East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX, USA

A block from the Heywood. Closes at 3pm.

See a band in a legendary small Austin venue.

Red River Road

Red River Street, Austin, TX, USA

See a band in a legendary small Austin venue.

Swim in the springs.

Barton Springs Park

Barton Springs, Austin, TX, USA

Swim in the springs.

Heywood Hotel

Heywood Hotel, East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX, USA

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