SXSW 2015


Hotels during SXSW aren't cheap, but with such a high demand they don't have to be. Book your room as far in advance as you can, and make sure to go through the festival's Hotel Service, they've blocked off chunks of rooms at hotels around Austin.

A good way to be part of the action though not spend too much money is to split your trip between two hotels. Stay slightly further out from Downtown during the week days for cheap, then move to a more central (and more expensive) hotel on the weekend when there are more events.

View Cultivora's Guide to SXSW 2014 in a larger map

  • Hilton Austin

    There really is no place better to spend SXSW than at the Hilton Austin, if you book it far enough in advance, that is. Located less than a block away from the convention center that hosts the SXSW conference, surrounded by make-shift outdoor venues, and two blocks from famed North 6th Street, it truly is ideal. You'll find all the amenities expected of a Hilton plus the added benefit of being so immersed in the action you'll never have to get a cab and can always run back to your room during the day and night.

    Amenities: Business Center, Spa, Laundry Service, Room Service, Lobby Café, Fitness Center, Outdoor Pool, Sauna, Bar, WiFi, UPS Store

  • Hotel Saint Cecilia

    A boutique hotel in Austin's South Congress district, Saint Cecilia is a 10-15 minute walk from Downtown Austin. It's named in honor of the patron saint of music and poetry, making it an appropriate base for festivalgoers and music lovers. Each room is unique, using a different music legend as a muse. The property is composed of five suites, six bungalows, and three studios. Music lovers rejoice: every room has an iPod hook-up and a turntable. Head down to the front desk to borrow a few LPs from their collection during your stay; you could be DJing SXSW's hottest afterparty.

    Amenities: Pool, Business Center, Free Airport Shuttle, Free WiFi, Turntables, Geneva Sound System, iPod Connector

  • The Driskill Hotel

    Housed in a Romanesque-style building in the heart of Downtown Austin, The Driskill Hotel, which opened in 1886, is the oldest hotel in Austin, and its old-school southern hospitality is still intact. The Driskill Bar is known for its cocktails and celebrity sightings. The Driskill is also said to be haunted, with alleged supernatural activity occurring throughout the building. Among the spirits lingering? The hotel's founder, Colonel Driskill.

    Amenities: Business Center, Laundry & Dry-Cleaning, In-Room Dining, Complimentary Town Car Service, Pet Program, Bike Rentals

  • Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

    Centrally located in Downtown Austin, the Omni is an affordable option for SXSW attendees. The rooms are large and clean, and they have a fantastic breakfast buffet. You'll also be able to cool off from the SXSW heat while enjoying the Austin skyline in the rooftop pool.

    Amenities: Heated Rooftop Pool, Fitness Center, Business Center

  • Hotel San José

    Hotel San José is a small, eclectic, and trendy boutique hotel in the heart of South Congress. It may not be in the heart of the action, but its laid-back, eco-friendly, modern/retro design ensures a relaxing refuge from the SXSW madness. Rooms come in all shapes and sizes, but most importantly, at realistic prices. The famed Continental Club is located right across the street, and Downtown Austin is a short cab ride or leisurely stroll away. If you want to stay at a luxury hotel on a budget, this is it.

    Amenities: Breakfast Bento Boxes, Music Library, Video Library, Bike Rentals, Typewriters, Polaroid Cameras, Swimming Pool, Free WiFi, On-Call Massage, Dry Cleaning, Shoeshine

  • Hampton Inn Austin South

    While a little removed from the Downtown Austin action, the Hampton Inn South was only a short drive away from both the airport and the convention center. It is on SXSW's hotel shuttle route and, if you call ahead for a cab, we guarantee there'll be other festivalgoers staying at your hotel more than eager to split it with you. The lobby area hosts a free continental breakfast with fruit, breads, cereals, waffles, and coffee.

    Amenities: Business Center, Complimentary Breakfast, Room Service, Laundry Service, Coin Laundry, Pool, Fitness Room

  • Kimber Modern

    This boutique hotel is jaw-droopingly gorgeous -- every minute detail of the building has been carefully thought out and expertly executed. This hotel is tucked away in the hip district of South Congress, moments away from the action in Downtown Austin. Rooms are not cheap, but you're spoiled with high tech luxury and fabulous artwork in an intimate setting. Full breakfast is included in your stay from 8am‐11am daily.

    Amenities: Complimentary Breakfast, Happy Hour, WiFi, Parking, Keyless Entry, iPod Docks

  • Hyatt Regency Austin

    Just across the South Congress Avenue Bridge, The Hyatt Regency features breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake and Downtown Austin. The rooms are simple and fairly small, but the attentive staff helps make your stay hospitable.

    Amenities: Business Center, WiFi, Fitness Center, Outdoor Pool, Bike Rentals, Yoga

  • Firehouse Hostel

    This new boutique hostel, opening in September 2012, is a great option if you're traveling on a budget. The building was built in 1885, making it the oldest standing firehouse in Austin. Located just off 6th Street, Austin's main thoroughfare, the hostel has eight bunk rooms, two European-style rooms that share bathrooms, and two suites with private bathrooms. The adjacent Firehouse Lounge features classically prepared cocktails, meat and cheese boards, and other delectable accompaniments, served in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

    Amenities: Free Internet, Free Healthy Breakfast, Communal-Use Kitchen

  • Air BnB

    Not only do hotels sell out quickly during SXSW, they are also extremely expensive. Air BnB is a community marketplace for short-term house, apartment, or room rentals. The website features customer reviews, photos, and a secure payment system. This can be a great way to save money, but you have to do your homework -- our friend arrived in Austin for SXSW 2012 only to discover that his Air BnB rental was located in the worst neighborhood in Austin.