New Downtown Digs

2 new hotels open in downtown Austin — with 3 hot spots for dining and drinking

2 new hotels open downtown — with 3 hot spots for dining and drinking

Aloft Element Hotel 2017
The dual-branded Aloft Austin Downtown and Element Austin Downtown is now open. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Aloft Element Hotel Caroline restaurant 2017
Caroline is a modern American restaurant on the ground floor. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Aloft Element Hotel Upstairs at Caroline restaurant 2017
Upstairs at Caroline is an urban playground perfect for happy hour. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Aloft Hotel 2017
Aloft has loft-like rooms and an impressive live music calendar. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Aloft Hotel 2017
Aloft's guestrooms are quirky and dog-friendly. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Element Hotel 2017
Element's guestrooms are laid-back and relaxing. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Aloft Element Hotel 2017
Aloft Element Hotel Caroline restaurant 2017
Aloft Element Hotel Upstairs at Caroline restaurant 2017
Aloft Hotel 2017
Aloft Hotel 2017
Element Hotel 2017

Austin nabs new lodging and dining options this month with the dual-branded Aloft Austin Downtown and Element Austin Downtown officially opening its doors. The hotel (two unique concepts under one roof) brings with it a restaurant, Caroline; open-concept bar, Upstairs at Caroline; and the Coffeehouse at Caroline.

Aloft Austin Downtown offers a tech-forward, modern experience, while the Element Austin Downtown appeals to guests looking for more of a zen vibe. In both properties, a streamlined and polished style comes through in the design and shared amenities.

Located at Congress Avenue and Seventh Street, the hotels reside inside the same building and welcome visitors to Caroline, a modern American restaurant serving the neighborhood and downtown crowds. The casual feel and uncomplicated food make it a popular lunch and dinner destination, while 21-plus urban playground, Upstairs at Caroline, is a cool hangout for happy hour after a long day.

“We are excited to make our mark in the vibrant weekend brunch scene with regularly scheduled live music performances in addition to games such as foosball, cornhole, Jenga, and billiards,” says general manager David Meisner. “Upstairs at Caroline is the outdoor social environment everyone craves for both after-work and weekend play.”

For a quick coffee on-the-go and fresh-baked pastries, guests can stop in at the Coffeehouse, which also serves custom espresso and coffee blends from local roaster Little City Roasters. For those choosing to linger a bit and pull out their laptops, no earbuds are needed with the rocking playlist from sun up to sun down.

Aloft and Element share an oversized 24-hour fitness center and nearly 1,380 square feet of meeting, and they offer free Wi-Fi.

Aloft features loft-like rooms and an impressive live music calendar. The brand will continue to support live acts through its Live at Aloft Hotels music program, as well as hosting local musicians at Upstairs at Caroline. The dog-friendly hotel offers quirky perks such as cowboy boot rentals and SPG keyless features, and it’s the first one in the world to have Chive TV for the latest in viral videos.

Element, on the other hand, offers a more relaxing feel with open-concept airy studios, spa-inspired bathrooms featuring rain showers, and a modern design. Rooms will also offer fully-equipped kitchens, as well as the signature Heavenly Bed and workspaces. Green from the ground up, Element focuses on work-life balance and mindful living. Guests can benefit from the brand’s Bikes to Borrow program and enjoy complimentary extras like the Rise breakfast, and Relax evening reception.

Element Austin Downtown has received a two-star rating in the Austin Energy Green Building Program for its eco-friendly implementations such as water-efficient faucets and fixtures, green cleaning products, energy-saving appliances, and an impressive recycling program.

Valet is available for all hotel guests, including guests of Caroline, Upstairs at Caroline, and Coffeehouse at Caroline.