10 Best Austin Hotels to Book for a Full ACL Fest Experience This Fall
Ready or not, for travelers, Austin City Limits Festival is just around the corner, and things book up quickly. The October event brings about 400,000 people to Zilker Park over two weekends, many of them Austinites, but many are expected to flock to hotels, perhaps unaware that P. Terry’s is a great choice for a late night snack well below festival prices.
As one can imagine, hotels in the city offer ACL deals, but they aren’t very publicized. Frankly, they don’t need to be, because people will find them. And quick. There are two long, official lists of hotels to be filled on the festival site, for courageous travelers who like to parade.
For everyone else, here are 10 great hotels and deals to get the search started, from budget finds to music industry favorites. Since rates are rolling with all room sizes and available dates, CultureMap compared each hotel’s lowest prices on the same four nights and assigned a dollar score:
$ — $250 or less
$$ — up to $500
$$$ — up to $1,000
$$$$ – above $1,000
Ultimately (literally), as long as a hotel is safe and comfortable, it’s ancillary to the ACL experience. But why not have a little more fun?
Hampton Inn — $
The lowest price on the entire ACL-sanctioned list, the Hampton Inn at 4141 Governors Row in South Austin will likely still require a paid ride to Zilker Park, about seven miles away. But it’ll be worth it to save hundreds with a few exclusive fare offers remaining. Even though those are sold out, it’s a reasonable option that’s very close to Congress South. It’s a mile and a half from Cosmic Coffee, a great place to wake up before a busy day.
Original Hotel — $
Origin Hotel, a four-city boutique hotel that just opened in Austin’s Mueller neighborhood in June 2022, is offering a special ACL rate. This deal offers a great opportunity to stay somewhere unique and worthwhile for about the same price as a status quo national chain. Origin also contains an all-day restaurant called Blue Lacy, something a little hard to find in Austin. Nearly six miles from Zilker will require a drive, but the more residential area will be a great escape close to locally loved restaurants.
Hotel Colton House — $$
The Colton House Hotel on South Congress, a new boutique hotel from January 2021, is offering a four-night special for ACL guests, with one night half off and free parking for anyone with tickets. In addition to its sleek, neutral rooms, the hotel has a private yoga studio, perfect for working those hamstrings after lots of walking. Zilker Park is about a mile from end to end. Use promotional code ACL2022 when booking online.
Hyatt Regency — $$
The closest official ACL partnership is the Hyatt Regency at 208 Barton Springs Road. It’s a direct hit to Zilker, with only about a mile and a half of walking. With great views and accessibility to Auditorium Shores and all of downtown, it’s a great option for guardians, partners, or friends coming along for the ride who haven’t purchased wristbands or tickets all days.
Hotel Moxy — $$
Moxy Hotels have a fun, youthful vibe in their many locations, with smart, space-saving room designs that help keep prices relatively low for their downtown locations. This one at 2552 Guadalupe St. is just over three miles from Zilker, but due to its location on West Campus, it’s very accessible to buses. Moxy doesn’t seem to offer ACL discounts, but check-in does come with a free cocktail (and sometimes other perks).
Hotel Indigo — $$
Airbnb isn’t the only option for pet owners who frequent festivals. ACL partner Hotel Indigo allows pets up to 50 pounds ($75) and is located on one of Austin’s busiest streets for Red River nightlife. This area is full of live music venues (great for a musical nightcap, which is sure to be a hit during the festival), and the hotel is right next to one of Austin’s quintessential bars, Cheer Up Charlies. Intrepid festival goers could technically walk the two and a half miles to Zilker.
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt — $$$
A special offer (weekend a and of them) from the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt combines a three-night stay with merchandising and two festival wristbands, for those who haven’t splurged yet ($2,850). Even so, the Rainey Street Hotel is a unique place to extend the musical experience to the point of breaking sanity. Geraldine’s, the excellent rooftop bar and restaurant, offers jazz brunches, a “record society”, daily guest artists and monthly artists in residence.
Soho House — $$$
Don’t count that option just for Southern congressmen yet – a Soho Friends Membership ($14 per month or $130 per year) is much more affordable than the whole shebang and allows visitors to book hotel rooms, bring guests, and save on dining and spa packages. Soho House’s ACL special includes welcome cocktails at the cool Dante’s HiFi vinyl bar, plus a luxurious Sunday brunch for two. And imagine rain forest showers after a long day.
Hotel Zaza — $$$
This boutique hotel can offer something invaluable during such a busy time: mobility. Hotel Zaza’s free three-mile shuttle takes guests anywhere they ask to go within its downtown radius. Between the ACL shuttle that stops on the same block as the hotel and the hotel shuttle starting at 3 p.m., guests may not have to pay for carpooling throughout their trip. Visitors for three nights or more receive a percentage discount.
Hotel Sainte Cecile — $$$$
It doesn’t offer any ACL-specific deals, but it would be a crime not to mention this musical hotel for visitors who really want to engage. The famed Hotel Saint Cecilia, tucked away behind South Congress, hosted the Foo Fighters on their headlining ACL tour in 2015, who later recorded a five-track EP there. Rooms are music-themed and feature loaner Gibson guitars. Although there is no ACL discount, there are four-night and pre-booking offers.