By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor
Austin isn’t associated with the kind of Texas bragging that, say, Dallas is, but the college city’s newest hotel can boast of a few superlatives: AccorHotels’ Fairmont Hotels & Resorts just opened the 1,048-key Fairmont Austin, which is the world’s second-largest Fairmont, the largest Fairmont in the U.S. and the largest hotel in Austin.
“A strategic opening for AccorHotels, Fairmont Austin is the first in a series of high-profile luxury developments. marking a time of significant growth for the Group and its brands in North and Central America,” said Kevin Frid, COO, North & Central America, AccorHotels.
The 37-story hotel is sited next to Palm Park and Waller Creek and has direct access to the Austin Convention Center via the Red River Canopy Walk. Its “lighted crown” can be programmed with an array of color options, and a 170-foot tall spire, illuminated in the evenings, reportedly makes the building visible across much of central Texas.
The property features nearly 140,000 square feet of meeting and event space, five restaurants and bars, downtown Austin’s largest outdoor pool and full-service spa, and a fitness center.
The dining options include Garrison, a modern American grill house; Revue, whose menu offers Italian and Asian cuisines, seafood and artisan pastries; Rules & Regs, a seventh-floor drinking establishment; and in the main lobby, Fulton, which offers daily live music.
The hotel’s guestrooms and suites are done in cool shades of blue, bright white and honey beige, inspired by the Texas Hill Country landscape.
Plenty of supply, even more demand
Increasing diversification in Austin’s economy, including that driven by events and leisure activities (Austin City Limits and SXSW) and by expansion in the tech sector (Apple and Dell, among others), has helped to give the metro strong, mostly steady RevPAR growth since about 2011, according to a recent report from HVS.
Though supply growth has been “robust” over that period, HVS notes that the city should be able to absorb this new inventory, with increases in ADR likely to moderate as the market reaches equilibrium in 2019.
Just last month, ground was broken on a 613-key, 31-story Marriott hotel in downtown Austin. When completed, the property will complement the nearby 1,012-key JW Marriott Austin (the world’s largest of that brand), which is itself barely three years old.
Image courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts