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Last minute SXSW help needed.

Dubbo, Australia
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Last minute SXSW help needed.

Hey, we are 3 Aussie females who are going to be in Austin on the 14th March for 2 x Nights. Due to a major stuff up on my behalf the hotel we were staying at wasn't secured so now we are in a situation where we need a place to stay when most are already booked out. Not interested in couch surfing or anything, but don't particularly care if 2 star or 5..

I've done a lot of searching and am just wondering if there are other areas/suburbs around that we could stay at that have their own little nightlife scene?. Aiming if we could secure a hotel that would still be in a decent place for walking to some restaurants/bars - and then one night cab it in to Downtown to experience the festival entertainment....

Is there such a place?

Esther's Follies
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Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

There is a brand new hotel that just opened in The Domain which is a big designer type store Mall in North Austin. The hotel is right in the middle of all the "action" which would also be restaurants. There is a city bus that you can catch to take you in the vicinity of some clubs about a mile away or there is a bus also at that Domain stop that takes you downtown for $1.00 each way.

The hotel is pricey, but I'm sure you know that from your first booking research. I didn't have time to browse any more tonight. If this doesn't work, get back to us.

http://www.lonestarcourt.com

http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIAKtUhwqMQ

Just took a look at Aloft Hotel also in the Domain. They have a PrePay in Advance for $300

http://www.aloftaustinatthedomain.com

djr
Austin, Texas
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2. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

The Domain would be a good choice if there's nothing downtown. Aloft normally has a lot going on for their guests and there's a good selection of shopping and restaurants within walking distance. There is a metro rail stop (Kramer) that's about a mile from the Domain (Aloft may provide a shuttle during SXSW -- it wouldn't hurt to ask). Although metro rail runs more on a commuters schedule, Capital Metro (www.capmetro.org) has slowly figured out they need to provide extended services during special events and will publish information about later schedules closer to March.

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

The Domain is going to be your best option, if you can find a hotel in that area that is in your price range. While suburban cities and towns may have some nightlife (bars, restaurants open late, etc.), unfortunately most suburban hotels are along the interstate and not within walking distance of the main parts of those towns. Cabs would also be very expensive from any of the suburbs into downtown Austin.

Austin, TX
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4. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

I had friends stay out by Lakeline Mall and take the train into town for SXSW last year. We went with them for one day and had a blast. The trains ran until midnight last year. Lakeline La Quinta is probably the closest, 1.1 miles from the train station, and has rooms for $179 a night. There is not a lot to do out that way, but there is a mall and restaurants within about 1/4 mile.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

I think The Domain is your best Plan B if for sure you can't get anything downtown.It is an open air type of shopping, not an inclosed mall. There are restaurants and very small sites for some upscale shops. Nice but not the Austin you've heard about. Try, try, and try again to find something downtown.

With several of you splitting the fare, I'd definitely suggest a taxi to downtown rather than a bus if you do wind up in the Domain.

If all else fails and you're still hotel looking, I don't recommend anything along I-35. There are some nice hotels there but you need a car and almost nothing is within walking distance.

The train from Lakeline Mall is a good idea but probably not for your purposes. Try,. try for downtown!

Welcome to Austin!

ps- did you consider the Firehouse Hostel? It's on Brazos right off 6th and is getting very positive reviews.

Pearland, Texas
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6. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

The Domain area also has a number of trendy and popular restaurants and bars.

Dubbo, Australia
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7. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

Thanks so much for your help everyone. I have found one option - The Casulo Hotel... anyone recommend that one? Seems to be in a fairly decent location.. but I really can't tell without being there..

I'll have a look at The Domain. What kind of area is it? Reason I ask (and now I'm being picky when I can't afford to!) is because I don't want to be surrounded by chain shops and upper class restaurants, do they have any cool smaller live music pubs around that area? If we don't feel like making the trek into downtown .. And, in comparison which place The Domain or Lakeline Mall would offer more to do of an evening? We like small pubs and live music (not clubs)...

Dubbo, Australia
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8. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

And I did look at Firehouse, it looked perfect for us but of course - was booked out :(

We are not overly interested in SXSW - have heard it's a bit over the top... but figure if we are in Austin we may as well experience it for a bit.. so that's why I'm thinking we'd be best to maybe stay in a different area. We don't mind forking out some cash for a hefty cab fare between the three of us as a one off...

Is there any suburb outside that has a good separate little music scene? I'll keep looking into Lakeline and Domain, but it seems to be a whole lotta shopping..? - which we are not overly keen on.. I could be wrong on that though...

djr
Austin, Texas
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9. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

The Domain is mainly chain restaurants and a mix of upscale and regular shopping. The benefit is that it is very walkable from Aloft, and reasonably close to the metro rail to get to downtown. http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain You'll see mainly chains -- they're good chains, but they're chains.

Lakeline is even more suburban, I doubt you'll see anyone walking except from their car to the mall. Again, there will be chain restaurants.

Casulo - I don't have any direct experience, but looking at the map you're right on the freeway. There is nothing walkable in the area -- you would need a car or a cab to do anything. However, you are closer to South Congress and downtown and a cab ride should be less expensive (I presume you won't have car?).

Avoiding SXSW is almost hard to do in Austin during that week. Music venues pop up everywhere. There will probably be music in different neighborhoods -- but you'll generally need a car. You could call cabs, but there will not be cabs available in the suburbs-- and they'll be very busy downtown. I can't think of any suburbs known for their music -- there are venues here and there,but they almost all require a car.

Austin, Texas
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10. Re: Last minute SXSW help needed.

I just looked at Casulo rate for March 11-6 and I say grab it. You are just a few miles via inexpensive cab from downtown. With you all sharing expenses, this would be a great find. I can't believe it's not full.

You are not near anything for food or clubbing, but just hop in a cab and do all your dining/clubbing downtown, even breakfast where I recommend Cafe Java on 2nd Street.

Here is URL for 2nd Street District which I love. Huge # of casual eateries, moderate restaurants and lots of shops.

http://www.2ndstreetdistrict.com

Edited: 30 December 2013, 23:13