Why so darn good? "Hotel San Jose has an awesome wine bar and patio with some great appetizers and a beautiful pool. Lots of local Austinites come to hang out on warm evenings. The rooms are eclectic and chic, with ipod docks and good bath products, and there are three cheaper rooms with shared bathrooms if you’re on a budget."
Location: "Located smack in the middle of an artsy neighborhood in South Austin, the Hotel San Jose is across the street from a great live music venue and right next to Joe’s Coffee with its outdoor seating. First-rate shopping at Austin boutiques and a lovely jogging path along Town Lake (local speak for the Colorado River) are nearby. Plus you’re not far from the Congress Street Bridge, where bats fly out from under the bridge every night"
Rooms: "The hotel has three rooms with shared bath for under $100, and an assortment of more expensive options, some with patios and choice spots overlooking the pool and wine bar. All rooms are minimalist and austere with polished concrete floors and white walls, but with perfect details, like pictures of famous beat poets, hipster art, and framed poems."
Food: "The garden patio is where it’s at. With outdoor seating, a small pool, a selection of wine-friendly hors d’oeuvres, like olives and edamame, and yummy desserts, it can sometimes be hard to snag a table. The white wine sangria and the ultra-refreshing champassions (champagne and passion fruit and floating raspberries) are my favorites."
Vibe: "Funky, chic Austin vibe."
Keep in Mind: "The least expensive rooms border Congress Avenue right across from the live-music venue Continental Club, so they can be noisy."