It’s now 2013, the new year has arrived and for the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about the twists and turns my life and work have taken recently. I’ve realized I have so much to be thankful for, my job over the last two years has truly become something dreams are made of. How do I know? Because A) my dream to travel around the country for sporting events has turned into reality and B) People tell me everyday how lucky I am to have my job and they wish they too had it. Both are very valid reasons I know I have a dream job, and remain simple yet constant reminders that I should be thankful. Among other things.
Last year I had the joyous pleasure of traveling often to Austin, TX. Austin is somewhere in my top 3 favorite cities in the US and the W brand hotels is one of my favorite hotel brands, so it seemed only fitting to start off the new year by listing the Top 10 Things I am Thankful for at the W Austin:
Although there is a fee, which usually discounts a “pet-friendly” endorsement from yours truly, the little extras from the staff at the W in Austin made it uniquely pet-friendly. When I visit Austin, I am non-stop and always on the go – more so than usual. When I travel with Denali, my 23lb teacup Chihuahua, my on-the-go status can easily become an issue, but not here. The dog-walking service and the staff’s eagerness to hang out with him in the lobby allow me to gallivant around downtown Austin as I normally would.
2. Free UT Shuttle (with beer!)
Aside from the fact Austin is one cool city, there are two main reasons I visit Austin so much. We have a boat in Austin and love to spend the summer weekends out on Lake Austin or Lake Travis (the closest this east coast girl can get to a beach on a regular basis) and Longhorn football games. Darrell K Royal Field is located approximately one mile from the W in Austin, but the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to and from the games, which is key for a fun-football-filled weekend. There is also beer inside the shuttle.
3. Complimentary Wake Up Bar
I would be rendered completely useless without coffee, and complimentary coffee just makes it that much better. Whether waking up with a hangover or a busy day ahead, the wake-up bars located in the lobby are a caffeinated welcome start to any morning.
4. In Room Dining (Breakfast All Day!)
I’m a sucker for a few things: soft vintage sports t-shirts, Chandon champagne, Ding! fares on Southwest and breakfast! The W in Austin has an incredibly delicious and varied menu for in-room dining, but the best part (I just learned this) is that you can order from any portion of the menu at any time: including breakfast! Although the hours printed on the menu may indicate otherwise, if you’re patient (the staff says to allow 15 extra minutes), you can get an omelet and toast at 2am. Or 2pm.
If you’re in the mood to go out for breakfast and have already eaten at Trace Restaurant, which is also great, the W is less than a block away from a local favorite breakfast spot, Jo’s. There is usually a line and the food isn’t the fastest on the block, but it’s well worth the wait and gives you a fun Austin experience.
6. ACL Next Door
If you’re a fan of live music, then Austin is most definitely a place you want to be. The Live Music Capital of the World boasts a great music scene, and Austin City Limits venue is actually connected to the W, which is something to be thankful for.
7. St. Bernard’s
Not the dog, the store. Located one block behind the hotel sits one of my very favorite stores in all of Austin. Sporting apparel, bikinis, cocktail dresses, game day clothes – it’s all there!
8. Wet n Sweat
A sucker for good branding, good packaging and good naming, Wet n Sweat at the W brand is always something that puts a smile on my face. The pool area (the “Wet”) at the W in Austin is a great mid-city oasis to relax, catch some rays and it’s definitely a fun scene with cabanas and a full bar.
9. Cookies at Midnight
Yes, the same hotel I’m thankful to lay out in a bikini, I’m also thankful for being able to eat warm cookies and milk at midnight. At the bar! My friends think I’m crazy, but it’s the perfect end to almost an always-perfect night in Austin.
10. Bar Scene | Living Room
Whether you’re a guest at the W in Austin or not, odds are you’ll want to swing by their lobby bar, which branches off into a few different rooms. Thanks to the great location in Austin (just blocks away from 6th street with all the great bars, cute boutiques, live music venues and Zagat rated restaurants), the bar at the W has become a prime destination for locals and tourists alike to grab a drink and strike up a conversation.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.