Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hotel San Jose


Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to drive over to Austin; at the last minute. Saturday morning we just decided to take-off, of course it took us about 3 1/2 hours to just "take-off". As it turns out, the weather turned bad, and we had to deal with pouring rain. So because of the rain, I wasn't able to do much on Saturday. (For my friends over at Home Girls, I wanted to come by; but just ran out of time). Luckily, Sunday was a truly glorious day. I drove over to the shops on South Congress (probably the funkiest part of Austin). I've been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to write about the Hotel San Jose. This place is so cool and beautiful, I've never seen a hotel quite like it. The Spanish colonial hotel, was originally built in 1936, and was a bustling business until the 1960's. For decades afterwards, the hotel was used for everything from a brothel, bible school, and a shelter. A few years ago the amazing architects of Lake/Flato,reworked the structure into the funky and serene hotel it is now.
I need to add that if anyone is planning to stay at the San Jose, don't assume that a room will be available at the last minute (trust me on this). Because our trip was so last minute, I was not able to get a reservation. So, instead I walked in and snapped a few photos, including a couple of shots taken on the sly. When you first walk on to the grounds, there is a sort of maze of courtyards, covered in ivy and native plants. Even though the hotel is directly on busy Congress street, the courtyards are very quiet and peaceful. I love the very creative use of colors and materials both inside and out. There is an art gallery on the site, that features a rotating selection of artists. Also, when you are needing your latte fix, there is Jo's coffee directly next door. Hopefully, next time we drive over to Austin, I will do a little bit better job of planning ahead. If I ever do, I will be able to write more about what the service and atmosphere are like.




9 comments:

Mary Jo Matsumoto said...

This hotel looks so fabulous! Love those gorgeous leather pouffes!

caroline : my pocket said...

Wow, that hotel... I love the greenery on the front, the wooden details, simple flooring, the mosaic tiles and the colourways. Beautiful - must have been wonderful to stay there! Glad you had a great weekend break :) xoxo

Paloma said...

What a great hotel! My husband and I always try to stay in boutique hotels. We prefer them over large chain hotels because of the design and better service.

paigepop said...

SoCo is the bomb! I love the San Jose!

LondonCalling said...

San Jose is so special! And I LOVE the coffee at Joe's...being able to sit outside(the only place to sit) and people watch on South Congress!!!

Cote de Texas said...

Whenever we go to Austin = it's a family fight!!! San jose or Four Seasons. San Jose is always booked up though so we end up at the Four Seasons more, but still - it's a toss up. I love the peppermint soap, Dr. Bonners, just everything about the hotel. Great post, thanks!!

Carolina Eclectic said...

Joni: How funny, I completely understand about the San Jose being booked.

Carolina Eclectic said...

MJM: The hotel is even more fabulous than my photos show!
Caroline: I think this hotel would be right up your alley.

Carolina Eclectic said...

Paloma: I LOVE boutique hotels too. Their design often is very cool. Unfortunately, now that I have Liam, I find they are not always kid-friendly.

Paigepop: Thanks for your comment. I like your blog.

LC: You are right about the people watching on S.C. there is nothing quite like it.