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Plus, a highly-anticipated restaurant from a Top Chef winner — and even viewing areas to see the city's famed Congress Avenue Bridge bats. 

Zachary Coppola
July 16, 2018

With the opening of the LINE Austin, a design-minded new hotel on the edge of Town Lake, there has never been a better time to take in the dynamic cultural scene and natural beauty of the eclectic Texas capital. Set inside a modernist mid-century building — originally home to the historic Crest Inn, and later, a Radisson — the new property has undergone a thoughtful, but comprehensive, renovation that seamlessly forges the classic with the contemporary.

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This is the exciting third property from LINE Hotels, joining one in D.C. and the flagship in L.A.’s Koreatown. Created by the Sydell Group, the masterminds behind other ultra-trendy brands NoMad and Freehand, LINE has a commitment to developing unique architectural spaces and becoming a part of the communities they inhabit.

The interior spaces of the Austin property invoke the surrounding landscape through a modern lens. A lobby lounge offers visitors stunning views of the lake through floor-to-ceiling windows framed by suspended gardens.

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“For the guest rooms, we were influenced by space and time, taking cues from the eroded landscape, swimming holes, and underground aquifers,” designer Sean Knibb told Travel + Leisure. “We created materials and relief sculptures in furnishings that spoke to those processes.” For example, the wooden headboards, sandblasted with a winding topographical pattern, are a nod to the unique ecosystem surrounding Austin.

The LINE Austin also embraces the city’s artistic community, utilizing the work of local artists wherever possible. Over 500 unique works from Central Texas artists are displayed throughout the hotel, including a wooden bar handcrafted by Michael Wilson of nearby Bastrop, TX. Guests also have easy access to one of America’s liveliest and most diverse music scenes, with close proximity to Rainey Street and the Red River music district and frequent live programming at the hotel.

In keeping with its sister properties, the LINE Austin has an expertly curated food and beverage program. The hotel’s primary restaurant, Arlo Grey, serves dinner in a casual setting with gorgeous views of Town Lake. Helming the kitchen is Top Chef season 10 winner Kristen Kish, who looks to Austin for inspiration for her menus.

“We want to tell our personal story through food while being inspired by the city around us – and to that end, we support some terrific urban farms right in the city of Austin,” said Kish in a statement to T + L. “All of our meats are local and each day I’m learning more about the traditions and culture of Austin and looking forward to welcoming you into the space to add more to our story.” Local cuisine and ingredients are prominent in dishes like the large-format Texas ribeye and a Texas tomato salad with roasted garlic and orange vinegar.

Another buzzy opening in the hotel: an Austin outpost of Los Angeles-based coffee shop Alfred, an all day café serving up Stumptown roasts, grab-and-go lunches, and a variety of inventive pastries. Food and cocktails are also served at the infinity pool overlooking Town Lake. Opening soon at the LINE Austin are a rooftop lounge and a burger restaurant opening out onto bustling Congress Avenue.

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With an abundance of green space in the midst of a thriving urban center, Austin is the perfect setting for all kinds of active experiences. LINE Austin offers boat rentals, paddle boarding, immediate access to hiking trails, and even yoga classes above Town Lake on the property's docks.

Another one-of-a-kind outdoor experience? Bat-watching, a favorite summer pastime in Austin. The city's Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the worlds largest urban bat colony; from March through October, guests can take in the creatures' nightly flight from both the central bar and the soon-to-be-completed bat-viewing platform located directly outside. 

To book: thelinehotel.com, doubles from $275

Our series Reasons to Travel Now highlights the news, events, and openings that have us scoping out plane tickets each day.

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