Tag Archives: Texas

The W in Austin, TX: A Yuppie Haven

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Lyndsi and I just returned from a long weekend in Austin, TX, where we attended a wedding. I’ll be sharing our adventures in several posts, but first up is a review of our hotel the first night.

As Lyndsi and I strolled through the lobby of the W in downtown Austin, TX last weekend, I said, “This place feels like yuppie central.” Modern, sleek, hip, over-the-top, pretentious … yet perfect for these two yuppies looking for a fun hotel in the city. I immediately noticed the “whatever/whenever” concierge desk when entering. Our friend Brian later found out that’s no joke after picking up the phone by the elevator and immediately connecting to the desk.

The halls were dark, hip, modern, moody with dark colors contrasted by red. A perfect combination. The elevators are full of mood lighting and mirrors. Perfect for narcissistic yuppies who enjoy nothing more than checking their hair in the mirror (definitely not us…). The walls by the elevator are made of gorgeous wood.

Hotels like the Austin W (opened in 2010) are all about style over function. Yet for leisure travelers, it’s perfect. When you enter the room, the first thing you notice is a built-in shelf in the room with nice cups illuminated with mood lighting (which also lit above the bed with blue hues). There’s the typical flat-screen, floor-to-ceiling windows with impressive city views, and a bed that was simply heavenly.

The bathroom was … interesting. The room with the toilet was only partially private, with two french-style doors sliding together, leaving gaps on the sides (and the doors in ours didn’t lock). The shower water would spill into the center of the bathroom by design. Oh, and two strategically-placed mirrors in the shower were a nice touch. Because if your narcissistic self enjoys looking at yourself in the elevator, the shower has to be 10x more appealing.

Just don’t valet park unless you enjoy spending $31 for one night of parking. Oops.

So what is it about expensive hotels like the W (dropped close to four benjamins all included) that makes them worth it? The little things. The lighting, the feel of the floors and bed sheets. It all comes together to make you feel safe, clean, comfortable … content. Whereas in typical hotels you sometimes feel  grossed out by the bathroom or bed comforter, in exquisite hotels like the W, everything feels clean and welcoming and quality. It’s things like the recessed lighting in the bathroom, the blue mood lighting above the bed, the unique mirrors, the complimentary newspaper every morning, the HDTV with real HD channels … I could go on. Call me crazy, but I appreciate the little touches. I’ve been cursed with expensive taste.

And compared to the quality of hotel we experienced later in Austin, it made us appreciate the W even more. Stay tuned.

If you plan on traveling, here are some options for cheap cruises, Hawaii flights, Los Angeles flights, Bali flights, and Fiji flights.

~ Marc

 

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Coolin’ Off in the Joule Pool (Dallas, TX)

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Last July, Marc gifted me with a trip to Dallas, Texas for my birthday.

We stayed at the Joule, located in the heart of Dallas. Formerly the Dallas National Bank Building, the building was constructed in 1927 and it’s one of the last remaining examples of gothic revival high-rise buildings in the city. Its location is ideal since it’s within walking distance of restaurants and nightlife.

The Joule is contemporary and perfect for any traveler who likes modern and chic style. Our room was small and boxy with next to no view at all. The bathroom was super tiny, but we absolutely loved the glass shower and sleek sink. I instantly ranked our bed a 10. The comforter was plush, the pillows met my high standards, and the linens were soft and fresh. We also enjoyed using the Bose Wave iPod dock that was conveniently placed on our nightstand.

The Joule immediately became a fine masterpiece once I saw the 10th floor pool. It extends over the edge of the building and features a glass wall that provides an excellent view of the street below. The pool area features a full bar and lounge chairs wrap around the pool. It was impossible to get a chair, but we were okay with that given the 107-degree temperature that day. We were quite content standing in the pool beneath the refreshing misters. Ladies: forget about your hair looking perfect.

Once we left the pool to go out for the night, we were impressed with the complimentary Cadillac Escalade that took us to my brother’s place in Dallas. The driver was fantastic and provided us with historical facts on the city, as well as information on where we should go out. He seemed like a true expert on the area, not just a driver. Kudos to him.

That night, we all headed over to West Village, which is located in the heart of affluent uptown. It’s an evolving dining and shopping district, an ideal location for urban dwellers. We ate at Mi Cocina and it was delicious! When you dine there, make sure you go on an empty stomach because the portions are huge. After dinner, we made a quick stop at Lemon Bar (also located in West Village) since we noticed they had a hookah patio. The hookah was okay, pretty much what we have come to expect of hookah bars. Finally, we journeyed back to the Joule to celebrate my birthday at PM Nightlife Lounge. Marc loved it! I loved it, too, because my brother and Marc kept taking turns buying me drinks!

A stay at the Joule wouldn’t be complete without dining at Charlie Palmer. We ate there for dinner one night. Regrettably, since the trip was over a year ago, I don’t recall what I ordered. I just remember that it was remarkable. In fact, I’m pretty sure I refused to let Marc have a bite (I don’t share good food).

All right, time for me to brag about a celebrity sighting when we were at the Galleria. A group of us were in Bebe shopping so I could find something fun to wear out in Dallas. Since my brother obviously wasn’t desperately trying to find an outfit in Bebe, he found a star instead. Quick hint: these boots are made for walking

YES! JESSICA SIMPSON! The jerk (my brother I love so dearly) didn’t tell me because I’d “overreact.” Luckily for me, he told Marc and, being the sweet man he is, came over to me and whispered the secret in my ear. I looked up and literally lost my breath. After a minute or so of constant staring, Marc shook me and said, “You can’t keep staring!” Oh yes, yes, I can. I didn’t approach her and I didn’t stalk her for the rest of the day, but I did watch her the entire time she shopped in Bebe!  I utterly enjoyed seeing her in person. Oh, and for the record, this was at the time she was being criticized by all the tabloids for being “fat”… Girl was not fat at all. She was likely a size 2.

Not a bad birthday present. I still owe Marc for this one!

~ Lyndsi