Ready or not, for travelers, Austin City Limits Festival is right around the corner, and things are booking up fast. The October event brings approximately 400,000 people to Zilker Park over two weekends, many of them Austinites, but many who have to make their way en masse to hotels, perhaps not knowing that P. Terry’s is a great move for a late-night snack well below festival prices.
As one might imagine, hotels around town offer ACL deals, but they’re not very well publicized. Frankly, they don’t need to be, because people will find them. And fast. There are two long, official lists of hotels with vacancy on the festival website, for plucky travelers who love to scroll.
For everyone else, here are 10 great hotels and deals to springboard the search, from budget finds to music industry favorites. Since rates are slippery with all the different room sizes and dates available, CultureMap compared the lowest prices from each hotel on the same four nights, and assigned a dollar-sign rating:
$ — $250 or less
$$ — up to $500
$$$ — up to $1,000
$$$$ — above $1,000
At the end of the day (literally), as long as a hotel is safe and comfortable, it’s auxiliary to the ACL experience. But why not have a little extra fun?
Hampton Inn — $
The lowest priced of the entire ACL-sanctioned list, the Hampton Inn at 4141 Governors Row in South Austin will likely still require a paid ride to Zilker Park, about seven miles away. But it’ll be worth it to save hundreds with a few exclusive rate offers remaining. Even if those run out, it’s a reasonable option that’s very close to South Congress. It’s a mile-and-a-half from Cosmic Coffee, an excellent place to wake up before a busy day.
Origin Hotel — $
Origin Hotel, a four-city boutique hotel that just opened in Austin's Mueller neighborhood in June of 2022, is offering a special ACL rate. This deal gives a great opportunity to stay somewhere buzzworthy and unique for roughly the same price as a status-quo national chain. Origin also contains an all-day diner called Blue Lacy, something a little hard to find in Austin. Almost six miles from Zilker, it’ll require a drive, but the more residential area will be a great escape near locally loved restaurants.
Colton House Hotel — $$
Colton House Hotel on South Congress, a new boutique hotel as of January 2021, makes a special offer for ACL guests of four nights, with one night at half off and free parking for anyone with tickets. In addition to its stylish, neutral rooms, the hotel maintains a private yoga studio, great for working on those hamstrings after lots of walking; Zilker Park is about a mile from end to end. Use promo code ACL2022 when booking online.
Hyatt Regency — $$
The closest of the official ACL partnerships is the Hyatt Regency at 208 Barton Springs Road. This is a straight shot to Zilker, with only about a mile-and-a-half of walking. With great views and accessibility to Auditorium Shores and all of downtown, this is a great option for guardians, partners, or friends coming along for the ride who haven’t bought a wristband or tickets every day.
Moxy Hotel — $$
Moxy Hotels have a fun, young vibe in their many locations, with smart, space-saving room designs that help keep prices relatively low for their downtown locations. This one at 2552 Guadalupe St. is just over three miles from Zilker, but because of its West Campus location, it’s very accessible to buses. Moxy doesn’t appear to offer any ACL discounts, but check-in comes with a free cocktail (and sometimes other perks).
Hotel Indigo — $$
Airbnb is not the only option for festival-going pet owners. ACL partner Hotel Indigo accepts pets of up to 50 pounds ($75) and is located on one of Austin’s busiest streets for nightlife Red River. This area is full of live music venues (great for a musical nightcap, which are sure to be raging during the festival), and the hotel is right next to one of Austin’s quintessential bars, Cheer Up Charlies. Intrepid festival-goers could technically walk the two-and-a-half miles to Zilker.
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt — $$$
A special deal (weekends one and two) from the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt combines a three-night stay with merch and two festival wristbands, for those who haven’t splurged on them yet ($2,850). Even if you have, the Rainey Street hotel is a unique place to extend the musical experience to the point of breaking sanity. Geraldine’s, the excellent rooftop restaurant and bar, has jazz brunches, a “record society,” daily guest artists, and monthly artists in residence.
Soho House — $$$
Don’t count this South Congress members-only option out yet — a Soho Friends membership ($14 per month or $130 per year) is much more affordable than the whole shebang, and allows visitors to book hotel rooms, bring guests, and save on dining and spa packages. Soho House’s ACL special includes welcome cocktails at the very cool Dante’s HiFi vinyl bar, plus a luxurious Sunday brunch for two. And just imagine the rainforest showers after a long day.
Hotel Zaza — $$$
This boutique hotel can offer something priceless during such a crowded time: mobility. Hotel Zaza’s free three-mile shuttle brings guests wherever they ask to go within its downtown radius. Between the ACL shuttle that stops on the same block as the hotel, and the hotel’s shuttle starting at 3 pm, guests may not have to pay for a rideshare throughout their entire trip. Visitors for three nights or more receive a percentage discount.
Hotel Saint Cecilia — $$$$
It doesn’t offer any ACL-specific deals, but it would be a crime not to mention this musical hotel for visitors who really want to commit to the bit. The famous Hotel Saint Cecilia, tucked behind South Congress, played host to the Foo Fighters during their 2015 headlining ACL run, who then recorded a five-track EP there. The rooms are music-themed and have Gibson guitars on loan. Even though there is no ACL discount, there are four-night and pre-booking deals.