- Molly Gone Wild
Carpenter Hotel: A Reimagined Oasis in Austin, Texas
Updated: May 26, 2022
This hip, socially-conscious, eco-friendly hotel in Austin, Texas, is the perfect home base for travelers hoping to experience authentic Austin.
On the edge of Zilker Park and just blocks from the ever-popular Lady Bird Lake, Carpenter Hotel rests within the shade of an old pecan grove. Trendy yet understated, this South Austin hotel is truly an oasis in the heart of one of Texas’ most musical, most artistic, and most quirky cities.
While Carpenter Hotel is relatively new to the neighborhood, having opened in 2018, the history of the property stretches well into the past. The building that now houses the lobby, Carpenter Coffee Bar, and the onsite restaurant, Carpenters Hall, was originally built in 1948 and served as a carpenters union, Local 1266, until 2014. Rather than simply overwrite this unique history, Carpenter Hotel has reimagined the union property into a modern retreat with a heavy dose of nostalgia.
The heart of the property is a low, red-brick building, adorned with a carpenters union sign and flanked by full, green trees. Step through white and glass double doors into the lobby and you’re met with many more bits and pieces that hint at the building’s origins. Raw wood, earth tones, and natural textures complement the mid-century industrial space and lend an inviting warmth. Corkboards frame the check-in desk, advertising local happenings, while trinkets and souvenirs from local artists are displayed against peg-board and raw wood shelves. Lovingly worn leather couches entice you to sit and stay awhile.
Just beyond the lobby is the Carpenter Coffee Bar where you can enjoy hot drinks by morning and craft cocktails by night, with a happy hour every evening. The space is alive with activity in the morning as patrons pop in for a coffee and breakfast tacos or post up by the windows for a few hours of laptop work. Browse old records or just sit and chill for a while as tunes emanate from retro speakers. If it’s warm, order a latte and a croissant and head to the garden.
If you’re looking for a heartier meal, be sure to stop in at Carpenters Hall. In the onsite restaurant, you’ll find original doors and floors, as well as a menu that weaves together cultures and cuisines to create new Texas classics. With its wide array of fresh, flavorful vegetarian dishes, Carpenters Hall is truly a responsible traveler’s delight. Opt for a tapas-style meal with Rosemary Pecans, Labneh + Feta Dip, Shaved Zucchini Salad, Roasted Carrots, Broccolini, and Hummus. Wash it all down with a local brew or inspired cocktail.
Before you go, be sure to admire the bar top and ceiling installation repurposed from wooden floors pulled up from where the kitchen now sits. If the weather is nice, consider enjoying your meal on the patio. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Carpenters Hall also features a weeknight happy hour and a weekend brunch. Hotel guests can enjoy their favorite Carpenters Hall dishes poolside or delivered directly via room service.
Each of Carpenter Hotel’s rooms offers the same old-time charm as the rest of the property. The 93 rooms feature minimalist design, private terraces, curated minibars featuring local goodies, bathrobes, and full-size, refillable toiletries to cut down on single-use plastic waste. Guests have access to an outdoor pool, bicycles, onsite parking, and an assortment of garden seating. And, if you’re traveling with your furry friend, this dog-friendly hotel is the perfect spot. There is no pet fee and ample walking space nearby.
For out-of-town travelers looking for a socially-conscious, eco-friendly hotel in Austin, Carpenter Hotel offers a truly unique experience. From repurposed construction materials to a vegetable-forward menu to easy walking access to many of Austin’s top attractions, this oasis in the city enables visitors to experience authentic Austin while lightening their travel footprint.
When To Visit:
Austin, Texas, is a great destination year-round. If you’re eager to explore the city’s dozens of parks and miles of trails, consider visiting in the spring before temperatures rise too much. If you do visit in the summer, make sure to spend some time at Lady Bird Lake or Barton Springs Pool where you can find relief from the heat.
Getting To Carpenter Hotel:
Carpenter Hotel is located in South Austin, just blocks from the southern bank of the Colorado River. If you’re flying to Austin, you can get to South Austin by bus or car. Once you’ve arrived at Carpenter Hotel, many of Austin’s top attractions are accessible on foot or by bike. The city also has a seemingly endless supply of scooters and bikes available to rent on demand.
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