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Equipment Room.
Nick Simonite

11 Enticing Hotel Bars in Austin

Enjoy well-made drinks and top-notch hospitality whether as a hotel guest or a visiting local

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Equipment Room.
| Nick Simonite

Hotel bars serve an important purpose in cities throughout the world, whether it takes the form of dimly-lit boîtes, airy rooftop spaces, lively drinking halls, or low-key cozy pubs. The spaces provide a refuge where travelers can unwind, enjoy a drink and a snack, and gear up for whatever comes next. In Austin, local hotel bars also seek to attract hometown imbibers with fancy cocktails, pretty aesthetics, and welcoming vibes. With that, here are the best hotel bars in Austin, each with different types of menus and energies, but all with excellent drinks and top-tier service.

For related dining and drinking, check out Eater Austin’s picks for the best hotel restaurants, best private dining room spots, essential cocktail bars, and new cocktail bars.

With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.

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Parlor Bar at Hotel Ella

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Just north of downtown near campus, Hotel Ella offers a quaint boutique space with an antique-ish look and feel. The hotel bar is a cozy off-lobby area with velvet banquettes, a sleek marble lobby, and a rightfully beloved happy hour with solid discounts on draft beers, select wines, and classic cocktails like Negronis, margaritas, and Old Fashioneds. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Driskill Bar at the Driskill Hotel

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An old-school Texas tavern tucked into the lobby of the historic Driskill Hotel, this downtown bar nails its visual theme by incorporating leather furniture, dark wood paneling, Lone Star symbols, and even a mounted steer’s head into its decor. The result is a comfortable and quintessentially Austin place to relax with a cold beer, a classic cocktail (like a Sazerac or a Hemingway daiquiri), or one of Driskill’s own drinks (like the Samantha’s Ghost, which features mezcal, tequila, lemon, and orange liqueur). There are indoor dine-in services.

La Piscina at Austin Proper

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Downtown hotel Austin Proper’s food and drink program is the work of local restaurant group McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality, so it stands to reason that the West Second Street spot’s restaurants and bars were created with specific looks, quality drinks, and enjoyable environments in mind. While some of the bars are only available to hotel guests and residents, the poolside bar and restaurant La Piscina, is open to the public, giving everyone the chance to enjoy frozen margaritas and tasting flights of small-batch tequilas and mezcals. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Nido at the Loren

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The Loren, a luxury hotel right off of South Lamar Boulevard, recently opened with a sleek rooftop restaurant and bar, Nido, offering direct views of the river and the downtown skyline. The terrace provides an excellent vantage point for these vistas, and the bar’s inventive craft cocktails —like its version of the Penicillin with a honey-ginger syrup — only heighten the special-occasion nature of this spot. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.  

P6 at the Line Austin

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The Line Austin Hotel is directly adjacent to Lady Bird Lake, which provides its downtown rooftop lounge with an unparalleled view of the water, the boats, the birds, and the bats (during the right season, of course). Other bar perks include comfortable rattan chairs on the outdoor terrace, appetizers, and cocktails designed for open-air sipping with a strong focus on fresh herbs and aromatics. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Rules & Regs at the Fairmont

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The Fairmont may be located around the corner from Rainey Street, but if you’d prefer to avoid the bar district’s chaos while still grabbing a drink, then the downtown hotel’s chic rooftop bar has you covered. The cocktail list is full of Latin and Caribbean flavors and ingredients. Popular libations include the Acapulco Breeze with sotol, blanco tequila, banana liqueur, lemon, cucumber, and prickly pear; and the Bird of Paradise with gin, mezcal, Cocchi Rosa, green chartreuse, orange, raspberry, and chocolate mole. Bar bites like chips and guacamole, ceviche, and tacos with suadero or carnitas are also available. Cigar enthusiasts can partake in the loaded cigar menu too, which includes recommendations for spirits pairings. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Geraldine's at Hotel Van Zandt

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Downtown views, live music, and lively spins on classic cocktails are all on offer at the Hotel Van Zandt’s rooftop bar and restaurant. It succeeds so impressively at all three that it’s easily one of Austin’s most popular hotel drinking destinations. A barrel-aged Vieux Carre; a take on the Cosmopolitan made with strawberry vodka and lemongrass; and a sweet gin and tonic with lavender bitters serve as examples of its creative cocktail know-how. The bar also pays close attention to its zero-proof drinks, with options like the Octopus’s Garden (aromatic zero-proof spirits, lime, basil-honey syrup, cucumber, zero-proof Mediterranean tonic). The food menu is also excellent. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Equipment Room

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What’s fun about this cocktail/listening bar within the Hotel Magdalena is that it isn’t obvious that it’s part of the hotel. Instead, you enter through a door near the entrance (look out for the red light), and inside, you’ll experience top-notch cocktails — like the Alone in Kyoto made with a rice milk kasu, vodka, a simple syrup made with chrysanthemum flowers, cardamom bitters, and apricot, lemon, and vanilla flavors —while enjoying a curated soundtrack of fun vinyls. There are also high-quality nonalcoholic drinks and snacks. There are indoor dine-in services.

The Courtyard Lounge at Hotel San José

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There are no major signs leading to Bouldin Creek spot Hotel San José’s garden bar, which gives it an iykyk cache that adds to its charm. Just walk off of South Congress into the hotel’s lobby, order a frosé from the petite but efficient bar counter, and step out onto the surprisingly spacious patio with nicely coiffed landscaping that makes it feel miles away from the busy neighborhood that surrounds it. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Watertrade at the South Congress Hotel

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Accompanying the very tiny Japanese omakase restaurant Otoko within the South Congress Hotel in Travis Heights is this adjacent cocktail bar that’s just as intimate and expertly run. Japanese whisky and sake figure prominently, where the spirits are combined with seasonal ingredients to make balanced and engaging drinks that pair with the ever-changing bar bites menu created by the Otoko culinary team. There are indoor dine-in services.

Simona's Coffee + Cocktails at the Colton House Hotel

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At the Dawson neighborhood’s Colton House Hotel, this all-day cafe welcomes families but still pays close attention to its cocktail, beer, and wine offerings. There’s both a comfortable indoor space with jewel-toned furniture and wood-paneled walls and an expansive outdoor patio with bistro tables, lush lawns, and scenic trees. The cocktail menus (both with alcohol and zero-proof) rotate out on a seasonal basis, and the Boozy Blues section highlights coffee and tea drinks with spirits, like the Walkin’ on Sunshine, with Texas bourbon, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, espresso, chocolate bitters, and cinnamon. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Parlor Bar at Hotel Ella

Just north of downtown near campus, Hotel Ella offers a quaint boutique space with an antique-ish look and feel. The hotel bar is a cozy off-lobby area with velvet banquettes, a sleek marble lobby, and a rightfully beloved happy hour with solid discounts on draft beers, select wines, and classic cocktails like Negronis, margaritas, and Old Fashioneds. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Driskill Bar at the Driskill Hotel

An old-school Texas tavern tucked into the lobby of the historic Driskill Hotel, this downtown bar nails its visual theme by incorporating leather furniture, dark wood paneling, Lone Star symbols, and even a mounted steer’s head into its decor. The result is a comfortable and quintessentially Austin place to relax with a cold beer, a classic cocktail (like a Sazerac or a Hemingway daiquiri), or one of Driskill’s own drinks (like the Samantha’s Ghost, which features mezcal, tequila, lemon, and orange liqueur). There are indoor dine-in services.

La Piscina at Austin Proper

Downtown hotel Austin Proper’s food and drink program is the work of local restaurant group McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality, so it stands to reason that the West Second Street spot’s restaurants and bars were created with specific looks, quality drinks, and enjoyable environments in mind. While some of the bars are only available to hotel guests and residents, the poolside bar and restaurant La Piscina, is open to the public, giving everyone the chance to enjoy frozen margaritas and tasting flights of small-batch tequilas and mezcals. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Nido at the Loren

The Loren, a luxury hotel right off of South Lamar Boulevard, recently opened with a sleek rooftop restaurant and bar, Nido, offering direct views of the river and the downtown skyline. The terrace provides an excellent vantage point for these vistas, and the bar’s inventive craft cocktails —like its version of the Penicillin with a honey-ginger syrup — only heighten the special-occasion nature of this spot. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.  

P6 at the Line Austin

The Line Austin Hotel is directly adjacent to Lady Bird Lake, which provides its downtown rooftop lounge with an unparalleled view of the water, the boats, the birds, and the bats (during the right season, of course). Other bar perks include comfortable rattan chairs on the outdoor terrace, appetizers, and cocktails designed for open-air sipping with a strong focus on fresh herbs and aromatics. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Rules & Regs at the Fairmont

The Fairmont may be located around the corner from Rainey Street, but if you’d prefer to avoid the bar district’s chaos while still grabbing a drink, then the downtown hotel’s chic rooftop bar has you covered. The cocktail list is full of Latin and Caribbean flavors and ingredients. Popular libations include the Acapulco Breeze with sotol, blanco tequila, banana liqueur, lemon, cucumber, and prickly pear; and the Bird of Paradise with gin, mezcal, Cocchi Rosa, green chartreuse, orange, raspberry, and chocolate mole. Bar bites like chips and guacamole, ceviche, and tacos with suadero or carnitas are also available. Cigar enthusiasts can partake in the loaded cigar menu too, which includes recommendations for spirits pairings. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Geraldine's at Hotel Van Zandt

Downtown views, live music, and lively spins on classic cocktails are all on offer at the Hotel Van Zandt’s rooftop bar and restaurant. It succeeds so impressively at all three that it’s easily one of Austin’s most popular hotel drinking destinations. A barrel-aged Vieux Carre; a take on the Cosmopolitan made with strawberry vodka and lemongrass; and a sweet gin and tonic with lavender bitters serve as examples of its creative cocktail know-how. The bar also pays close attention to its zero-proof drinks, with options like the Octopus’s Garden (aromatic zero-proof spirits, lime, basil-honey syrup, cucumber, zero-proof Mediterranean tonic). The food menu is also excellent. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Equipment Room

What’s fun about this cocktail/listening bar within the Hotel Magdalena is that it isn’t obvious that it’s part of the hotel. Instead, you enter through a door near the entrance (look out for the red light), and inside, you’ll experience top-notch cocktails — like the Alone in Kyoto made with a rice milk kasu, vodka, a simple syrup made with chrysanthemum flowers, cardamom bitters, and apricot, lemon, and vanilla flavors —while enjoying a curated soundtrack of fun vinyls. There are also high-quality nonalcoholic drinks and snacks. There are indoor dine-in services.

The Courtyard Lounge at Hotel San José

There are no major signs leading to Bouldin Creek spot Hotel San José’s garden bar, which gives it an iykyk cache that adds to its charm. Just walk off of South Congress into the hotel’s lobby, order a frosé from the petite but efficient bar counter, and step out onto the surprisingly spacious patio with nicely coiffed landscaping that makes it feel miles away from the busy neighborhood that surrounds it. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Watertrade at the South Congress Hotel

Accompanying the very tiny Japanese omakase restaurant Otoko within the South Congress Hotel in Travis Heights is this adjacent cocktail bar that’s just as intimate and expertly run. Japanese whisky and sake figure prominently, where the spirits are combined with seasonal ingredients to make balanced and engaging drinks that pair with the ever-changing bar bites menu created by the Otoko culinary team. There are indoor dine-in services.

Simona's Coffee + Cocktails at the Colton House Hotel

At the Dawson neighborhood’s Colton House Hotel, this all-day cafe welcomes families but still pays close attention to its cocktail, beer, and wine offerings. There’s both a comfortable indoor space with jewel-toned furniture and wood-paneled walls and an expansive outdoor patio with bistro tables, lush lawns, and scenic trees. The cocktail menus (both with alcohol and zero-proof) rotate out on a seasonal basis, and the Boozy Blues section highlights coffee and tea drinks with spirits, like the Walkin’ on Sunshine, with Texas bourbon, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, espresso, chocolate bitters, and cinnamon. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

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