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Austin Proper Hotel Is Downtown’s New Staycation Destination

Designer Kelly Wearstler achieves casual elegance of Austin living

As Austin’s skyline has changed drastically in the past few years, so, too, has the downtown experience. New living, dining and entertainment options abound, offering fresh ways to enjoy the city. One of the most important new spots to join the fray is Austin Proper Hotel.

Settled along Shoal Creek, the California import occupies a once sparsely populated corridor on the westernmost end of the warehouse district. Since the hotel broke ground in 2016, the surrounding area has developed rapidly, placing the Proper in the heart of the action—steps from ACL Live, Lady Bird Lake and numerous shops and restaurants.

Inside, the Proper is inviting and chic, with warm woods and meticulously selected décor. While Austin is the brand’s first location outside the Golden State, the goal, according to Patrick Pahlke, vice president of commercial at Proper Hospitality, “was not to bring a West Coast vibe or aesthetic to Austin. Instead, took cues from the city to direct the aesthetics and vibe of the property.”

And, boy, did she. Highly influenced by the eye-catching details of Austin’s most stately homes, Wearstler spreads details like a sculptural staircase installation of patchwork vintage rugs, arts and crafts motifs, joinery techniques and curious textiles throughout the property. Additionally, there’s an encyclopedic array of 20th-century furniture and accessories, plus fine art from local makers. The neon light fixture at check-in is reminiscent of Austin’s iconic neon signs, while Rick Van Dyke pottery, Barry Stone photographs and cypress shou sugi ban paneling are but a few of the thoughtfully executed details.

In the guest rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows create a feeling of spaciousness and each interior element invites maximum comfort. A bedside touch screen adjusts lights and window shades, while the bathroom is stocked with iridescent glassware, Aesop bath products and bespoke robes from Kelly Wearstler + Parachute.

Beyond über-comfy living quarters, a hotel stay includes exclusive access to amenities like the on-site gym, which features Peloton bikes, a bevy of top-tier equipment and access to a Rolodex of Austin’s best private trainers. (For added privacy, you can even have a Peloton delivered to your room.) The spa, which opens this month, will likewise be exclusive to guests and residents.

To cap off all the wonder, guests do not have to leave the premises for an outstanding meal. Hospitality stalwart McGuire Moorman has devised a food program with a stylish Mexican concept—La Piscina, opening poolside soon—as well as a Mediterranean concept, The Peacock, with a menu inspired by the cuisines of North Africa, Greece, Israel and Lebanon.

Perhaps the Proper’s most exclusive space, Goldie’s is a private cocktail lounge adorned with wallpaper featuring roses and golden warblers. With club chairs and comfy couches, capacity is limited to 30 guests. Launching this month, a live music series, Live at Goldie’s, promises a living room atmosphere of intimate, VIP performances.

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