(Photo: patio www.heywoodhotel.com)
For modern design lovers, a hotel is more than just a place to rest your head. A thoughtfully designed hotel is a playbook of ideas created by people who are invested in delivering comfort with style. This summer, if the idea of reducing your carbon footprint dovetails with thoughts of avoiding TSA lines, then a vacation closer to home, the type of break surrounded by inspiring design, could be the perfect option.
Modern design, whether that’s defined with a capital “M” or a lower case “m”, isn’t always about the idea of form and function either in building design or interiors. In hospitality, a modern hotel is one that brings a fresh, “modern” approach to the ideas of comfort and leisure expressed in furniture style and placement as well as attitude in guest options. And for anyone interested in modern design, these hotels are reassuringly familiar while simultaneously forward-thinking and inspirational.
(Petite Suite photo: www.sanjosehotel.com )
Austin residents planning staycations have several design-driven options to explore. Perhaps the best known, with a reputation that extends far beyond the city limits, is one of two hotels created by hotelier Liz Lambert. Located in the heart of South Congress Avenue, The Hotel San Jose was built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motor court. The hippie-style minimalism of the hotel, its focus on custom reclaimed hardwood furniture and spare design, is the result of a collaboration between Lambert and Lake/Flato Architects of San Antonio. The renovated bungalows that comprise the hotel rooms offer different options in both size and styling. Guests will discover a pool and a lush courtyard from which to hide from, or peer out at, the happenings on South Congress.
(Photo: White Suite www.kimbermodern.com )
Tucked away just off South Congress Avenue but close enough to walk anywhere you need to go, the Kimber Modern is Kimber Cavendish’s creation of an art-focused urban modern hotel. If clean, all white interiors, floor to ceiling glass, Philippe Starck and Duravit fixtures, and Arne Jacobsen chairs call your name and resonate as “home” for you, then you’re unlikely to want to stay anywhere else. This boutique hotel has a select number of rooms that will fit into a modernist’s vocabulary.
Located on Austin’s hip East Side the Heywood Hotel is a small property of only 7 rooms in a renovated and extended bungalow. With a focus on craftsman furniture and local artists, the hotel is the foundation from which to explore the area while remaining connected to downtown Austin and Rainey Street. Just one of the many hotel features is an eco-friendly and green cleaning process, including “free and clear” laundering of all towels and bedding.
Mark Vornberg, the lead architect for Dick Clark + Associates, created the newly opened Hotel Eleven on Austin’s East 11th Street with his wife, Shelly Leibham. Neighborhood considerations were important in the construction and build out of this new hotel, and the hotel does not serve hard liquor or loud music and therefore seeks to integrate itself into the cultural dynamics of the many restaurant and bar options in the area. Instead, the husband and wife couple focused on every detail of the 14 room hotel, to include and highlight arts and crafts by local crafts people.
A much-lauded addition to South Congress Avenue, is the South Congress Hotel, a chic minimalist mid-rise with 83 guest rooms, a pool, and three on-site restaurants. Designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and MAI Studio the hotel’s blend of Californian style meets Mid-Century in Austin, is expressed in leather, denim, fine woods, and multiple details may just inspire a home makeover.