Monday, March 4, 2013

Funky SXSW Hotels, Film and Festivals in Texas

Traveling to Austin, TEXAS for SXSW? American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Music, Film and Interactive Festival (SXSW). Use promo code 6533EH for 10% off your AA flight.

I rediscovered the Renaissance Austin Hotel, I have not stayed there for a few years but thought I would give them a try again and was glad I did.

2013-02-27 11.13.11They have renovated the lobby and added Cowboy boots in the design (as seen in photo above) to show off the personality of the Lone Star State. I love the cool white boots but do not like the loo paper roll next to it. But Ok… the arty types get carried away sometimes, but it’s too funky for me.

The Hotel is located in the Arboretum shopping area, near the University of Texas, LBJ Library and Austin Bergstrom International Airport, and just 10 minutes from the State Capitol building. TX hotel provides a tranquil environment surrounded by trees in the Texas Hill Country. If you don’t valet park, you can self park for free. Previously, they had computers that you could rent in the outsourced business center but no WiFi. That has been resolved and wireless internet is now available in the Lobby and For a daily rate of $12.95 you get high speed internet, in your guest room, though it’s free if you are a Plat Elite Marriott Rewards member. The Arboretum Austin restaurant is a cybercaf√© with wireless service, gourmet coffees, specialty wines and beer, fresh-baked pastries, made-to-order pizzas and sandwiches.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love the W Hotel in Austin but they don’t have a heated pool at the W  whereas the Renaissance has a heated Indoor pool and an Outdoor pool (Seasonal) plus a Whirlpool. They also have a really nice Concierge Lounge serving free food vs no lounge at the W. I’m grateful for the upgrade to the spacious renovated room and I hate to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but I’m not so keen on the Jetson style white chairs with plastic cushions. And the other minor peeve is that they forgot to put a bath tub in. They have the space because they could have put one instead of the bathroom cupboard, especially since the cupboard has no rail to hang clothing on. Anyway I hung my clothing in the ample room closet.

It was a great deal: My stay at the Renaissance for 1 Night, Category 4 Hotel costs me only 20,000 points. I earned the Platinum Elite 50% Elite Bonus above the base earnings, and got the Platinum Arrival Gift Bonus of 500 points

2013-02-27 11.31.12

SXSW Attendees are overwhelmed at all the locations for events. Events are not only at the Convention Center and surrounding venues but spread out all over the city. I will be at American Airlines on Sixth Street by the “NewAmerican”, Oasis having a massage. AA will have this Oasis with fresh juice, and you can print your Instagram shots from an interactive photo booth.

Its getting bigger every year and my invitations to Parties are arriving even from retail stores! As SXSW's t-shirt sponsor, Gap Stores will join the festivities with three multi-city, in-store events. Every year in March, creative’s of all stripes, gather in Austin to Party, share and inspire the visions that will galvanize the filmmakers and ideas of tomorrow. You'll also have access to Hotel shuttles, which run all day and into the wee hours of the morning, so I’ll stay in the tranquility of the Renaissance Arboretum, away from the maddening crowds.



  1. if you want luxury.. the best Austin hotel is the four Seasons Facing Lady Bird Lake, this business-district hotel is a 5-minute walk from Congress Avenue shops, nightlife, and restaurants. The well-known 6th Street entertainment district is nearby. The Congress Avenue Bridge, home to the famous bat colony.

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