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Former union hall turned hotel acquired by Austin's Bunkhouse Group

The Carpenter Hotel is joining the Bunkhouse family as its ninth operating hotel. (Bunkhouse Group)

Sometimes the real gems are in our own backyard.

Take, for instance, Austin's Carpenter Hotel. The latest addition to Austin-based Bunkhouse Group, this hotel is nestled in an old pecan grove on the edge of Zilker Park in South Austin—an easy stroll to Lady Bird Lake and the draw of downtown.

The hospitality company behind Hotel Magdalena and Hotel Saint Cecilia has taken reigns of the historic property that former Ace Hotel group co-owner Jack Barron made into a hotel in 2018.

This 93-room getaway spot nurtures strong ties to Texas' past. The hotel lobby, cafe and restaurant were constructed in the former Carpenters Local 1266 Union Hall, built in 1948. And traces of the bygone era remain in the vintage stadium speakers retrofitted to play music at the front desk or the Biergarten furniture scattered around the property.

Guests will see the mid-century-utilitarian design of the Carpenter Hotel in the lobby. (Bunkhouse)

The hotel shows off airy walkways and a bright, naturally lit interior. Other than some minor small design updates throughout the property, Bunkhouse says it plans on keeping the property's character and spirit intact. It also plans on adding "new cultural programming and retail offerings."

All rooms come with their own terrace, and visitors can drift away the summer days by the hotel's pool, expansive lawn and pavilion. An in-house cafe serves coffee, kolaches and tacos, and an on-site restaurant, Carpenter's Hall, fashions itself in the same retro feel as its hotel counterpart—serving, as the website puts it, "New Eyes on Old Texas" cuisine.

"Our end goal for Carpenter Hotel is to achieve the totality of the experience that creates a neighborhood anchor: live music, the arts, activism, retail, culinary, one-of-a-kind events, deep community engagement," Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard Hotels and Bunkhouse Group, said.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway