5 Reasons to Book a Staycation at Hotel Zaza
Austin’s newest downtown hotel is an experience in design, service and indulgence
By Lauren Jones
Photographs by Ben Garrett
Austin has a new staycation spot that’s rising to the top: the newly opened Hotel Zaza. With locations in Dallas and Houston, Austin was long overdue for a Zaza of its own but one that, of course, payed tribute to the city’s unique charm. Designed in partnership with owner Charlie Givens and Dallas-based interiors firm Design DMU, the architecture of the glass-and-cast-stone building on Lavaca Street is a nod to the Warehouse District and the elegant structures of 1920s New York City. The effect creates a “monumental presence that gives the impression that the building has existed for many years,” Givens says. Inside, the array of art, glamorous textiles and surprising accessories are a treat for guests and visitors alike. Curious to visit Zaza for yourself? Here are our five reasons to book a staycation:
The Unexpected Interiors
As a whole, the Zaza brand is known for its over-the-top styling, an alluring mixture of pieces that culminate in a story that continues to unfold throughout a guest’s stay. The Dallas location has a French West Indies theme, while Zaza in Houston’s Museum District is a reinterpretation of the famous Warwick Hotel. But when it came to Austin, Design DMU’s Kimberly Miller was inspired by the aged aesthetic of the exterior choosing brick, plaster and hand-scraped flooring, plus graphic wallpapers for a modern punch. Without a specific look that needed to be achieved like its Houston and Dallas counterparts, it made the design even that more challenging. “We could do whatever we wanted, within reason,” the designer says. From the Money Never Sleeps art installation to the Victorian-esque all-pink lobby level restroom to the 130 colored sketches of actors, musicians and politicians which grace the hallways, “everywhere you turn there are unique pieces from all over the world,” Givens says.
The Customer Service
At check-in, guests are immediately welcomed – Texas style. The hotel staff is uber friendly and may just be the most accommodating in all of Austin. Enjoy a lollipop at the front desk, lounge on the brightly colored couches in the lobby or people-watch during happy hour at the ground floor restaurant, Perfect Strangers. Zaza is also dog-friendly!
The Magnificent 7
For those looking to take their staycation to the next-level, the hotel has themed suites: The Magnificent Seven. There’s the Orient Express, Collegiate (for all the Longhorn fans) and the girly Bungalow 6, which features retro artwork, mod furnishings, pastels and will transport you to Palm Springs. The ideas often come from book titles or a trip to some “off-beat location” remarks Givens, and each is entirely unique. Located on the top floor, the suites also offer the best views of downtown.
Zaza’s two-level beauty and wellness oasis, the ZaSpa, is just as gorgeous as the rest of the hotel and provides an array of services from massages to facials to the hangover-eliminating Morning After Scrub & Wrap, which includes dry brushing for optimal lymph and immune health, a detoxifying seaweed body wrap and full-body massage. That particular treatment also comes with an aromatherapy scalp massage and pressure-relieving facial massage. But the best part of ZaSpa? It may just be the ultra-luxe robes. There’s nothing better than spending a few quiet moments post-treatment in your robe before getting back to reality.
Come spring, the Zaza pool will be the place to be on the weekends. Facing downtown with views of Republic Square Park, the resort-style pool and cabana bar is situated right outside the hotel’s second restaurant, Group Therapy. There’s palm-leaf printed peach-and-blue lounge chairs, shaded Moroccan-inspired seating and even a DJ as sunny Austin days fade into night. It’s a nightlife destination with exceptional cocktails and food to boot.