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Driskill Hotel

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visiting the Driskill Hotel in Austin, don’t miss the opportunity to take the unofficial tour; the best time is mid-morning on a weekday when it's less crowded. Also, be sure to ask the staff about the hotel's storied past—they often share intriguing stories not found in guidebooks."

What is Driskill Hotel?

The Driskill Hotel stands as a landmark of Texas hospitality in the heart of Austin. It's not simply a hotel; it's a piece of local history and an architectural marvel that has played a significant role in Austin's social scene since its doors first opened in 1886. With its opulent interiors, the Driskill offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the past, while still providing the comfortable amenities that modern travelers expect.

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As someone who knows every nook and cranny of this grand dame, I can tell you that the Driskill is not just a place to stay—it’s a place to be experienced. From the storied bar to the grand staircase, every detail tells a story of a bygone era that still echoes through its halls. It's a favored spot for politicians, celebrities, and discerning travelers alike who desire a taste of Texas charm mixed with luxury.

History of Driskill Hotel

Built by cattle baron Jesse Driskill in 1886, the hotel was envisioned to be the finest in the South. The history of the Driskill is as rich as the leather that lines its lobby chairs. Jesse Driskill’s dream was to create a grand hotel that would serve as a center for Austin's social life, and he succeeded grandly—initially. However, despite his wealth, Driskill's hotel venture had challenges, and he lost the property only a short time after it opened due to financial troubles.

Over the years, the hotel has witnessed a multitude of notable events. It served as a central hub for the inauguration of Texas governors, hosted inaugural balls, and even became the campaign headquarters for President Lyndon B. Johnson. It's rumored that Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, had their first date at the Driskill's dining room and the President often used the hotel as his base of operations while in Austin.

The hotel has gone through several ownership changes and renovations, each contributing layers to its history. It survived threats of demolition in the 1960s, thanks to a preservation campaign led by a dedicated group of Austin citizens. Today, it's recognized not only for its historical significance but also for its revival as a modern-day luxury hotel that pays homage to its storied past.

Why is Driskill Hotel Important?

The Driskill isn't just important for its stunning architecture; it's a living museum of Austin's history and Texan culture. It represents the ambition of the city's founders and the progress that has marched alongside Austin’s own growth. The hotel has weathered economic downturns, ownership battles, and the ever-changing tides of public tastes, yet it remains a stalwart symbol of elegance and endurance.

It's not often you can walk the same halls as past presidents, legendary musicians, and countless dignitaries and feel the weight of history around you. The Driskill is important not only for its direct links to historical figures and events but also for being a living piece of history where you can create your own memorable experiences. It stands as a proud testament to what Austin was, what it is now, and what it can aspire to be.

Allow me to share an intriguing tidbit: the Driskill is said to be one of the most haunted places in Austin, an elusive allure for those curious about the supernatural. Whispers of ghostly encounters in its rooms and corridors add an extra layer of intrigue to the hotel, making it a cornerstone not only of luxury but of local lore too.

Things to Do & See at Driskill Hotel

Upon entering the Driskill, you'll immediately feel enveloped by its old-world charm. The lobby alone is worth a visit, with its lavish marbled floors, stained glass dome, and intricate woodwork. Be sure to stroll through the grand public areas and take in the historic photographs that line the walls, telling the visual story of the hotel's rich past.

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The Driskill Bar, with its leather sofas and classic Texan decor, is the perfect place to enjoy a craft cocktail or local beer. Tip your hat to tradition and ask the bartender about the signature drink, the 'Batini,' named after Austin's famous urban bat colony. Not to mention, the Driskill Grill offers a fine dining experience that matches the grandeur of its surroundings, with a menu that pays homage to Texan flavors and ingredients.

For those looking to delve deeper into the legend of the hotel, ghost tours are offered for the more adventurous souls. Several rooms are famously associated with tales of paranormal activity—if you're feeling particularly brave, inquire about the history of room 525. Besides, the hotel often hosts live music events, reflecting Austin's status as the 'Live Music Capital of the World.' Enjoy the sounds of local artists in a venue soaked in history.

Frequently asked questions

What is the historic significance of the Driskill Hotel in Austin?

The Driskill Hotel, opened in 1886, is one of the oldest operating hotels in Austin and is known for its architectural beauty and historic significance. It was built by cattle baron Jesse Driskill and has hosted numerous dignitaries and celebrities over the years.

Can you tell me about the architecture of the Driskill Hotel?

The Driskill Hotel boasts a Romanesque architecture style with intricate masonry, soaring columns, and a grand staircase. The interior has luxurious marble floors, stained glass dome, and opulent furnishings, reflecting the wealth and grandeur of its time.

Are there any ghost stories or legends associated with the Driskill Hotel?

Yes, the Driskill Hotel is famously known for being haunted with several ghost stories and legends, including tales of spirits from its past, such as the original owner Jesse Driskill, and a young girl who is said to roam the corridors.

What amenities and services does the Driskill Hotel offer?

The Driskill Hotel offers a range of amenities including luxury accommodations, dining options like the Driskill Grill and the 1886 Café & Bakery, a fitness center, event spaces, and a commitment to providing exceptional service and a memorable experience for its guests.

How can I book a room at the Driskill Hotel and what should I expect in terms of cost?

Rooms at the Driskill Hotel can be booked through their official website, travel agencies, or online booking platforms. Prices vary depending on the time of year, type of room, and availability but expect a premium for the luxury and history associated with the hotel.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps