South Congress Hotels
110 The Circle, South Congress
While it’s billed as a design-centric boutique hotel, Kimber’s seven mid-century modern guestrooms, minimalist courtyard, and common area, complete with kitchen, office, and fancy coffee station, strike us more as the trappings of a really well-appointed guesthouse. Its central location and not-too-big size not only makes it the ideal home base from which to explore the city, but a great option for hosting birthdays, family reunions, even weddings—reach out well ahead of time to book the entire space.
Hotel San Jose
1316 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
Smack dab on South Congress Avenue and originally built in 1939 as an old motor lodge, the 40-room property was revamped by hotelier Liz Lambert in the late 90s and has since developed something of a cult following along the way. Here, her minimalist aesthetic translates to a cool gray stucco façade, terra cotta roofs, a bamboo-lined lap pool, and Eames arm-shell chairs. The concrete-floored rooms are sparsely appointed (Sferra linens, Malin + Goetz products), but thoughtful. Slip on one of the custom striped kimono robes—conveniently also for sale at the hotel’s gift shop—and you’ll be hard pressed to take it off. An added perk: Jo’s Coffee next door will deliver your daily Iced Turbo or a breakfast taco right to your room.
Hotel Saint Cecilia
112 Academy Dr., South Congress
In the hospitality world, hotelier Liz Lambert is known for her Midas touch. Case in point: She hand-picked every item—from the silky drapes to the giant chandeliers—in this fourteen-room Victorian mansion with visiting musicians and creatives in mind. (The South Congress Hotel also happens to be named after the patron saint of music and poetry.) There are five suites, six poolside bungalows, and three studios—all outfitted with turntables, monogrammed bed linens, and Le Labo products, although each one has its own distinct character. Guests can borrow LPs from the library too. The hotel bar (for guests only) has a gorgeous view of the grounds—go at sunset and order a margarita. (Lambert's other hotel in South Congress, Hotel San Jose, also has great cocktails, and is a good option if you're looking for a busier atmosphere.) Bonus: The Hotel Saint Cecilia's fifty-foot pool is heated and open around the clock.
South Congress Hotel
1603 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
Fittingly located on South Congress, the street’s namesake hotel is as much a destination for locals as tourists, thanks to a comprehensive collection of restaurants (Cafe No Se, Otoko, and Central Standard) a low-key coffee shop (Mañana), and some of the city’s best stores (Sunroom and Revival Cycle), all under one roof. Design-wise, the rooms and lobby have a warm-but-modern Texas vibe, comfortably decorated with felt headboards, midcentury furniture, and leather poufs. Make time for a drink at the rooftop pool and bar, and a pedicure at tenoverten.