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NOTE – this review was originally written last fall and is only now getting published. Make sure to check with the hotel for up-to-date information.
Recently I went to Austin Texas for a conference and ended up breaking up my stay into two different hotels. First of all, I stayed one night at the Hyatt House Austin/Downtown. After one night there, I switched hotels to the Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center. In this Hilton Austin hotel review, we’ll take a look at the cost, location, food options, wifi and amenities. I’ll share my experience and that hopefully will help you figure out if the Hilton Austin makes sense for you for your next stay in Downtown Austin.
Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center Location
The Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center is, as its name suggests, in Downtown Austin, right near the Austin Convention Center. There is a covered walkway between the Hilton and the Convention Center (on the 6th floor of the Hilton), but that was closed when I was there in September 2021. The Hilton Austin Downtown address is 500 E 4th St, Austin, TX. It is one block north of the Austin Convention Center, on Neches Street in between 4th and 5th streets. I was given a north-facing room on the 25th floor, and you can see the view below.
The Hyatt House where I stayed my first night in Austin is directly north a few blocks, and you can catch a glimpse of the Texas State Capitol building to the northwest. 6th Street, which is a main corridor for nightlife, is just a block north and then to the west.
Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center hotel review – Cost
I booked the Hilton Austin through a conference rate of $189 / night, but your rates are going to vary dramatically based on when you’re booking. In looking at some random dates, it was rare to see rooms under $150 / night, and many nights were pushing $200-$300 or more. Hilton now does not have a set award chart for points redemptions, which means that the redemption rate in points also varies with the cash rate. Most nights I saw were 50,000 points or higher, which is not a great redemption of Hilton points for a random hotel in the middle of a city.
Hilton Austin review – Room
I booked a standard King Bed room and due to my Diamond status was “upgraded” to an executive room on the 25th floor. I asked for a room with a river view but they said “ooh suerie” and instead gave me a north-facing room with an uninspiring city view (pictured above). The bed was comfortable.
There was not a desk – instead it was just a table in the room. That worked okay for me but might not work as well if you had more than one person wanting to use a flat surface for computer work.
The bathroom was small but the shower had good water pressure.
One thing that I found ludicrous was this sign that was on the bathroom sink.
I mean I understand that hotels are cutting housekeeping as a cost-saving measure, and that’s fine. I generally decline housekeeping anyways because I don’t like tipping and I don’t need someone to come in and make my bed every day. But to take something away and then TELL ME IT’S FOR MY OWN COMFORT is a bit galling. But whatever…
Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center WiFi and Amenities
WiFi at the Hilton Austin is complimentary both in the lobby and in the guest rooms. I found the Hilton Austin wifi speed to be quite good
There is a pool / spa / fitness area on the 8th floor. There are actually two different exercise rooms on the 8th floor.
The pool is outdoors and there is also a hot tub next to the pool. There is a poolside restaurant here where you can use your daily food and beverage credit. I’m sure it’s overpriced but perhaps not as overpriced as the restaurant in the lobby. I did not use the pool and forgot that there was a restaurant here so I did not check out the prices.
There is not a separate business center – instead, there is a computer and printer in the lobby on the 1st floor.
Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center Executive Lounge
There is a Hilton Austin Executive Lounge, on the 25th floor, but it was closed while I was there (in September 2021). I asked about this at the front desk, and the gentleman I spoke to confirmed that it was not due to any labor shortage but instead due to COVID. Now, I am as cautious as anyone regarding COVID and more cautious than most, but keep in mind that literally EVERY OTHER RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD IS OPEN. So I’m having a hard time believing that this is anything other than a(nother) cost-saving measure. Generally there would be breakfast, drinks and some sort of evening snacks here for Gold and Diamond members, but I cannot report on that for my Hilton Austin hotel review as it was closed.
Hilton Austin Review – Food
As I mentioned, Hilton is no longer offering complimentary breakfast for Gold and Diamond members. Instead there is a daily food and beverage credit. At the Hilton Austin it is $12 for you and up to one guest. It can be used at Cannon&Belle (the lobby restaurant), the Skyline Rooftop Bar (on the 8th floor next to the pool), Starbucks or room service.
Here’s a little pro tip that you may or may not want to take advantage of. There’s generally not a price difference if you have one or two guests on your reservation, so if you are staying by yourself, you might want to add a 2nd guest to your reservation… $12 is not really enough to buy anything more than a drink and snack at Starbucks (if that). $24 would cover almost all of the breakfast buffet (with tip my total was about $26) and I did a to-go order of a hamburger for lunch on my other two days. Both the breakfast buffet and hamburger were good, but were they $24 good? No, they were not.
A few housekeeping notes on how the daily food and beverage credit worked. First of all, it did seem like you had to use your $12 (or $24) each day. The front desk was very clear that you couldn’t just save it all and use it on the last day. I’m not 100% sure that is accurate but based on how the final bill was outlined, it seemed that was correct. You also don’t get to roll over any of your credit between days. You also get it for the number of nights you’re staying. I was there for 4 days / 3 nights (Wed-Sat), and so as it was explained to me, I could use my credit on Wednesday (the day I arrived), but then I wouldn’t be able to use it on Saturday (the day I checked out). I ended up just using it on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Examine your bill when you check out – my final credit was not on there so I had to have them redo the bill.
All in all, my Hilton Austin hotel review is that it was a pleasant stay, though it’s disappointing that the executive lounge is still closed. It is conveniently located if you are attending a convention, but as usual, I don’t prefer “nice” hotels.
Have you stayed at the Hilton Austin? What did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
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