New Westin Hits a High Note

The Live Music Capital of the World is a muse and investors turn inventive to pay it tributes.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Austin’s vibrant music scene is a constant inspiration, and that influence is on full display at Westin Hotels & Resort’s second property in the city. Located at the corner of San Jacinto Boulevard and Fifth Street, the Westin Austin Downtown opened on July 16.

The 19-story hotel is a joint venture among White Lodging Services Corp., the Harry Whittington family, and REI Real Estate Services L.L.C.. Guests can choose from 366 contemporary guest rooms and suites and relax at Azul, the city’s tallest hotel rooftop pool and bar with cabanas and fire pit, and a fitness studio.

The hotel also features Stella San Jac, an Austin-American restaurant serving eclectic Southern cuisine. More than 13,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space are available, including 16 individual meeting rooms named after famous Austin musician or venues.

“We wanted to pay homage to all Austin has to offer, and, of course, music is a huge part of that,” said Kristofer Carlson, general manager of the property, in statement. “Most of the inspiration comes from vintage guitars, so you’ll see many parts of the hotel subtly reflect various guitar components.”

Simeone Deary of HKS Architects Inc. designed the hotel with distinctive music-themed elements, including a 12-foot-tall art piece composed of charred wood blocks that come together to form the body of a guitar; a vertical garden that mimics the cutouts of a Dobro; a guitar-string staircase; and a ballroom floor that evokes the patterns found on guitar straps.

“The new Westin Austin Downtown has already enabled us to make advances in both the size and quality of groups that we are now able to attract with the additional inventory,” said Bob Lander, president & CEO of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Images courtesy of Westin Austin Downtown