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“Hip & Cool but a bit sparce”
Review of Hotel San Jose

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Hotel San Jose
Ranked #67 of 201 Hotels in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Hip & Cool but a bit sparce”
Reviewed 6 April 2011

A friend and I stayed here over president's day weekend. Hotel San Jose is definitely a fun, funky hotel in a cool, hipster area, with lots of boutiques, bars & restaurants nearby, and hosts a nice outdoor lounge where you can get beer/wine and small snacks. the room was fine, but with cement floors and minor rugs, it just felt a bit cold & sparce. Also, the hotel is all on street level, and since our room faced the street, we couldn't leave our blinds open unless we wanted all passerby's to see our business. That being said, the bathroom hosted great bath products (shampoo/conditioner, shower gel & lotion). The bed was comfortable, but nothing special. I'd probably stay again, but it's more of a party hotel than a long-term kind of place, and for the rates you pay, you might as well be closer to downtown & have something included in your stay...

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 229katharinep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2011

WHAT I LIKED: The location is fantastic -- in the heart of a cool neighborhood with more bars, restaurants and shops (and all good ones) than I could have possibly visited in a couple of weeks, let alone 3 days. The staff were very helpful and nice but low-key. The maid/cleaning service was flexible and thorough. The rooms were neat and trendy, as was the hotel itself.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The room was small, dark (except for the bathroom), and cramped for the price. There was no restaurant, though given the plethora of nearby places this is a small complaint. The pool was very, very small and there were lots of mosquitoes.

In general, I liked the hotel for its unique feel, nice furnishings, friendly staff, and amazing location. These are the reasons I'd recommend it. But I did feel that I had paid too much for what I got.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Yeppers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2011

When in Austin for leisure, it's pretty amazing to be able to stay right on S. Congress, which has shopping, dining and entertainment all within close walking distance. You pay a price for this luxury, particularly here due to its upscale, modern design. Make no mistake, this place is NOT for people who want to be pampered. It's not a luxury hotel. The room reminded me a bit of staying in a Los Angeles apartment for a couple of days. It's spare, it's a little cold, but it's really, really cool.

The grounds are lovely. There are lots of places to gather, to eat a quick bite from Jo's Coffee (great coffee and pastries), to have a glass of wine.

Above all, the most negative thing about this place is the noise level. We were in a room close to S. Congress, which is a very noisy street until after the bars shut down. We were kept up by cars growling down the street, drunk kids screaming on the sidewalk and live music from nearby venues. It seemed to die down by 1 a.m. Other hotel guests weren't very respectful either, screaming and playing music until late in the night, but we didn't complain to the hotel, so that's our fault. I guess you could say this place attracts a less-than-respectful clientele.

In all, though, we enjoyed our stay because of the location and the novelty. I'm not sure we'll be back, but it's worth at least one stay if you have the right disposition.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank saracHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kentucky
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2011

A lot about this place I L-O-V-E. It is a very interesting and “hip” place in a great location (South Congress). But, they lack some comfort and modern conveniences. Our room was extremely small and “cell-like.” If a stainless toilet was in the corner, that would make it an upscale cell. The two small, hard chairs made any kind of dwelling unpleasant. I suggest they add at least two upholstered chairs to the room. There is very little storage for clothes or anything that I felt like I needed to straighten up and clean up constantly, which I resent while on vacation. I think they provided 6 or 8 hangers on a metal rod—no closet. Two drawers in the bathroom. There is missed opportunity here, because there is room for more storage, even though it is a very small room. I’ve stayed in rooms as small, but they used the space wisely (like using nightstands that had drawers). We originally planned 6 nights, but cut our trip short to 4 nights after having enough of the cramping luxurious camping. It was unusually cold while we were there and rain ended our stay. Not their fault of course, but the concrete floors made things more uncomfortable. I assume in the summer those floors are welcomed! There was only one small trash can in the bathroom, which proved to be insufficient. Another negative, 72 hour cancellation policy! That is unreasonable, IMO.

Now for the good. The grounds are charming! Gardens and a small adorable pool enclosed by lots of bamboo and plantings. They have a cute outdoor bar area, which we didn’t explore much. The location is killer with great restaurants, music, and eclectic shopping very close. The bed and bedding was extremely comfortable. We slept very well every night, especially since our room did was not road front. The products they provide and the way they provide them are sustainable and reasonable and of very good quality. They secure reusable bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion to the walls in refillable containers. Very “green” and likable. It is not clear if they allow you to reuse towels or bedding, though, as there are no postings about that and they collected all towels, whether hung or not.

All in all, there is much to like about this unique spot in a great location. Right across the street from the infamous Continental music club, with live music every night starting at 6:30 p.m. Young or old, you can enjoy great live music and slip across the street, even to drop your coats off in the room! I would not rule it out for your next Austin getaway, especially if you want the SoCo experience!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank kswilli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cincinnati, ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2010

Austin was on my boyfriend and I's to-do list forever and when we finally had the chance to go, we wanted to make sure that we stayed somewhere that gave us a true taste of the area. Hotel SanJose was the perfect base to checkout the city. It is easily in walking distance to the unique shops, bars and restaurants on South Congress. We booked rather late, so had to stay in one of the shared bathroom rooms for two nights, and then in the most expensive room for our third. We honestly didn't mind the shared restroom, and maybe we just lucked out, but I never even saw another person coming or going from the bathroom! The room was small, but unique, comfy, and super clean. The suite we stayed in the third night was awesome, but we were there to bum around the city, not hang in the room, so we probably didn't take advantage of hanging out there enough. The hotel bar was one of the best bars we visited in the city and the sangria was to die for! I have since recommended this place to friends and have heard nothing but great feedback! Can't wait to go back and would not stay anywhere else in Austin!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kruppee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 November 2010

Like the surrounding neighborhood, the Hotel San Jose is a place to enjoy at a slower pace. In fact, we drove right by it the first time. The signage is subtle from the vantage of a motorist; you're more likely to notice the ivy-covered exterior or the coffee-sipping crowd gathered at Jo's next door. But once you find the place, it slowly reveals its secrets, like the Asian-inspired indoor/outdoor courtyard with vine-covered trellaces, koi-filled water features that double as bird baths for the local grackles, and the sparsely yet tastefully modern-decored rooms. I enjoyed writing postcards while gently rocking in the bright orange Eames rocker. Unlike most hotels these days, which scalp you for in-room entertainment, this one takes a page from the B and B world and offers FREE DVD (and music CDs) rentals from a thoughtfully curated selection of films available from the front desk. Think Texas/border films, music and on-the-road related, and some classics. We watched John Cusak's High Fidelity and Gary Oldman in Sid and Nancy. The other cool thing is that Hotel San Jose's courtyard hosts a chill DJ'd happy hour that's open to the public, with beer and wine for purchase. We had a pre-dinner wine and watched an oversized neighborhood cat slink around on the roof and tree near where we sat. Overall, the hotel was a bit pricey (so we stayed mid-week and moved elsewhere for the weekend), but it's an excellent homebase for exploring South Congress on foot.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank clamsplat98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2010

Hooked up with friends at this hotel for three nights while they were driving across the south. I stayed in one of the 3 rooms with the shared bath above the desk/check in building (a great deal if you don't mind sharing). They did warn me before hand when I made the reservation that the room over looks the main drag, but they do offer ear plugs. The room was great, very clean with a hip decor. The street noise didn't bother me, I didn't think it was as bad as they described it ( I have more noise on my street here in San Francisco).
The grounds of the hotel are just stunning, simple and beautiful. The staff was great, and very helpful with our questions regarding what to see and do. Great location... Jo's Coffee across the parking lot was a big plus, near cool shops and restaurants that you can walk to, with the downtown area being a short cab ride away. It's not far, even if you want to walk to downtown like I did one day... just a straight line. In all the years I have traveled, this is one of the best hotels I've ever stay in.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swellpad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel San Jose

Property: Hotel San Jose
Address: 1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-2433
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > Austin
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Austin
#54 Business Hotel in Austin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel San Jose 2.5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel San Jose is located on South Congress Avenue, a few blocks south of where the Colorado River runs through downtown Austin. Originally built in 1939 as an "ultramodern motor court," the San Jose has since been transformed into a secluded urban bungalow-style hotel in the heart of one of the city's most beloved neighborhoods. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Jose Austin
Hotel San Jose Austin, Texas
San Jose Hotel Austin

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