Austin's lively center is right over the bridge. The city is home to America's largest population of bats, counting over 1.5 million, which live under the Congress Avenue Bridge.
The iconic phallic-shaped vintage neon sign lights up the Austin skyline at night, as it did back in 1938 when it first opened.
In 2016, hotelier Liz Lambert decided to give this rusty roadside motel a new life.
The 1930s building got a refreshing new look, and the interiors are sparkling with unique details like artistic wallpapers, retro decorations, and big muscular beds.
Proud and colorful, Austin Motel's bright neon lights lurk you into their retro-cool hideout, including the goodie-filled gift shop in their lobby.
Instead of the traditional room service you find in hotels, the motel's gift shop has a selection of protein bars, candies, local craft beers, and wines.
The lobby is open 24/7, so you know where to head if you are craving a snack or a drink.
The exterior has a classic motel layout. You drive to your spot, right in front of the door to your room.
The advantage of staying at a motel is a free parking spot per reservation. So, you don't have to tip a valet or pay ridiculous prices for storing your car.
Apart from the new color scheme showcasing a refined taste in design and a quality facelift, the building looks original.
Plus, unlike traditional cheap roadside motels, this one comes with pretty plants dotted along the entrance doors.
Austin Motel has 41 rooms packed with retro-cool features like dial-up phones, sometimes in the shape of voluptuous female lips.
When the hotel was built in 1938, these rooms were carports, and later they were enclosed by walls and converted into comfy traveler guest rooms.
The boutique motel rooms come in three different bed setups: full, queen, and king.
What's the difference? The width and even the length of the beds:
Full: 54 inch x 74 inch (137 cm x 188 cm)
Queen: 60 inch x 80 inch (152 cm x 203 cm)
King: 76 inch x 80 inch (193 cm x 203 cm)
The room offering the most space is the Suite with 500 square feet (46 square meters) - like the size of a million-dollar apartment in New York City.
Joann's Fine Foods, which shares space with the motel, is a restaurant with breakfast, weekend brunch, and all-day menus.
It features Tex-Mex classics, like enchiladas and fish tacos (handmade tortillas), and they have a mezcal (alcoholic beverage made of agave) collection.
The motel's courtyard is full of character. Surrounded by picturesque greenery and cozy light bulbs, it's a charming evening spot to grab a tasty retro margarita cocktail and nachos with a house-made dip.
Austin Motel's Pool
The picture-perfect kidney-shaped outdoor pool is open for guests daily between 7 AM and 10 PM. The only exception is if you reserve the whole space for an event.
Once, it must have been a place of dodgy dealings, but today you will be slurping your handcrafted cocktail on a stylish red-and-white striped sun lounger by the poolside bar - how things change!
The pool area is the best spot to hang out, where 'motel' is the last word popping into your mind when looking at all the well-designed beauty.
The poolside by is the cherry on the cake, or in your cocktail, to be precise.
So, how about a refreshing plunge before you head out to explore Austin's vibrant cultural life?