An Austin Getaway, Not That Far Away

November 13, 2015
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Photo via Sonesta

My husband and I recently spent a romantic night away in a luxury hotel. We sent the kids to their friends’ houses, packed our bags, got in the car, and headed to the Sonesta in Bee Cave, Texas (population 3,000). The drive took us two minutes. Because we also live in Bee Cave, Texas (population 3,000). Of course, that doesn’t mean I still wasn’t exhausted by the time we got there and needed a quick margarita to refresh myself. Traveling is hard.

We’ve lived in the city of Bee Cave for over 12 years now, and love it. It’s about 15 miles from Congress Ave. in downtown Austin, and is pretty much the last bit of civilization before the Texas Hill Country begins. (“Civilization” = “Wine bars.”) Like most of Austin, our area has changed dramatically over the past few years, with thousands of homes being built, new schools, the addition of the bustling Hill Country Galleria, and even larger projects on the horizon. What was once our little quiet city has now become a Destination.

And what does every Destination need? A unique hotel like the Sonesta.

A generic chain hotel would have stuck out like a sore thumb in a place as special as Bee Cave, so we were excited when the boutique Sonesta opened as an anchor to the Hill Country Galleria. As soon as you enter the lobby, it’s obvious that the hotel designers took pains to incorporate the essence of the area into the decor with rustic, yet chic, Hill Country touches.

Photo via Wendi Aarons

Photo via Wendi Aarons

The hotel offers 195 guest rooms, including five suites and nine preferred corner king rooms, most overlooking the swimming pool and courtyard, or the nearby Hill Country. We stayed in a corner king room, which was incredibly quiet, and really relaxing in its minimalism. I almost slept on the floor just so I wouldn’t disrupt the gorgeous bedding. Almost.

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All of the artwork in the rooms is true to Austin, but I admit that this one made me way too hungry. It also caused me to dream about brisket, but that’s certainly not unusual to my REM cycle.

Photo via Wendi Aarons

Photo via Wendi Aarons

The night we stayed was a gloomy, rainy one, but I’d love to come back in the summer and swim a few laps in this inviting pool. Wait–did I say “swim a few laps”? I meant “watch other people swim a few laps from a chaise lounge.” I have a policy to only swim when I’m being pursued by a shark or a pirate. But the courtyard also boasts a pretty pergola area that would be perfect for receptions under the stars.

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Speaking of receptions (segue!),the Sonesta has already hosted quite a few special events like charitable foundation and school district parties, corporate shindigs, conventions, weddings, etc. More info on that here, but feast your eyes on this fanciness. I think I’m going to just throw myself a party in this room and live there until I die of glamour-itis. (It is so a thing. Look it up on WebMD.com if you don’t believe me.)

Photo via Sonesta

Photo via Sonesta

What makes Sonesta a great getaway for locals is that it’s just far enough away from the craziness of downtown Austin, but there’s still plenty to do. You can walk to the Hill Country Galleria that offers shopping, a Whole Foods, many restaurants and a big movie theater. Or take a short drive to a really cool Texas bar like Poodies Hilltop, or the Spicewood Winery, or even Deep Eddy Distillery. (The hotel offer complimentary shuttles, but I’m not sure of the distance allowed.) Of course, if you prefer nature to drowning your sorrows in suds, the incredible Hamilton Pool is less than 10 minutes away. I know, isn’t Texas ugly?

Photo via Sonesta

Photo via Sonesta

However, all of that said, you can instead choose to spend your stay at the Sonesta IN the Sonesta the whole time, and that’s exactly what we did. Mostly at Meridian 98, the rooftop patio bar/restaurant on the top floor. I admit that we’ve gone there quite a few times when we weren’t hotel guests, too, because we love their farm to fork food so much. And how can you not want to hang out in a Bee Cave, Texas patio bar that has bee hive lamps like this? Gorgeous.

Photo via Wendi Aarons

Photo via Wendi Aarons

Meridian 98 resembles an authentic British club, which made me insist that my husband call me “Nigel,” but that didn’t last too long. Luckily, there were many wonderful specialty plate concepts by Executive Chef Patrick Newman, including seasonal dishes that are locally sourced from 30+ Texas farmers and fisherman, to distract us. I had Gulf Shrimp & Dirty Grits with Andouille and Jalepeno Sauce, plus one of their craft cocktails called “The Pollinator”–Titos vodka, fresh orange juice, pineapple juice and Chambord. Bzzzzzzzzz.

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A few other items of note on the Sonesta:

  • For the business traveler, 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, well-equipped to host gatherings and events.
  • Over 18 power outlets in every room for charging, plus robust complimentary high speed internet access throughout the hotel, including all rooms, conference rooms, meeting spaces and public areas
  • On-site audio-visual resources
  • Signature catering & customized menu options
  • Two meeting rooms adjacent to the Boardroom
  • 6th-Floor space available to rent for special events (lounge, outdoor deck and 2,000 square feet of glassed-in space with panoramic Hill Country views; great for corporate events and weddings.
  • Complimentary, local-area shuttle services
  • Located just over 20 miles from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
  • At the epicenter and is in closest proximity to all of Austin’s greatest, highest-end and most exclusive golf courses and resorts. Omni Barton Creek (9 mi); Spanish Oaks (1 mile); The Hills of Lakeway (5.1 miles), Austin Country Club (12.1 miles), and Austin Golf Club (13.5 miles and closest hotel). All five of these clubs are located at an average over 20 miles from downtown Austin, but less than 8 miles from the hotel.

We really enjoyed our dinner and drinks, and got amazing sleep in the room, then woke up the next morning and headed back up to Meridian 98 for their farm to fork breakfast buffet. It was so incredibly delicious that I may just sneak over there on the weekend when my family is sleeping. Keep that plan to yourselves, friends.

Photo via Wendi Aarons

Photo via Wendi Aarons

If you’re an Austinite or local in need of a quick staycation, head on over to Bee Cave and check out the Sonesta. If you’re coming from out of town for either fun or business, check it out, too, because it’s only 20 minutes from the airport. And then once you arrive, be sure to give me a call. I’ll buzz right over.

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1 Comment

  • Reply John December 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    June- Quite a beautiful place! With great acroutrements . . .

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