Just days after two lavish Austin hotels, Commodore Perry Estate and Hotel Magdalena, made Travel + Leisure's best new hotels list, the newcomers were also named to the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List for 2021.
Both hotels, which exhibit the old-meets-new aesthetic of Austin's luxury market, came into being during the pandemic. The two made the list of just 69 hotels around the world and were part of only 29 hotels from the U.S. and Canada.
Here's a look at both properties, from Commodore Perry Estate's carefully manicured European-style gardens to the swimming-hole inspired pool at Hotel Magdalena:
Hotel Commodore Perry Estate: a European oasis with Texas twang
The grounds of Commodore Perry Estate may seem steeped in old-money royalty, but the estate is actually located minutes from Austin's fast-paced downtown in Hyde Park.
"It's easy to forget the surging tech-opolis of downtown is just 10 minutes away," wrote Mandy Ellis of Conde Naste.
The estate of many names was originally the vacation home for Commodore Edgar Perry and his wife "Nanny" but has also been a Catholic school and Roaring 20s event space.
Now, the vestiges of Catholic education are long gone and have given way to intricate designs by big-name designer Ken Faulk under the ownership of Auberge Resorts. Rolling, carefully manicured grounds can be sites for chef-curated romantic picnics, and an interior is illuminated by hand-painted frescoes by Deborah Phillips and dark, Texan-style wooden furniture.
The 10-acre property is complete with a mansion and an attached Inn and is host to weddings, events and get-togethers such as a southern-style Sunday Supper. Lodging, including mansion suites and inn rooms & suites, start at $355 per night.
Hotel Magdalena: a tribute to Austin music and lake culture
The latest from Austin-based Bunkhouse properties, Hotel Magdalena feels homegrown and is just minutes from the group's iconic Hotel San Jose. The hotel focuses on an elevated Austin feel- from the Barton Springs-inspired pool space to the lake culture-esque design.
Rooms include floor-to-ceiling windows, concrete floors and bathrooms splashed with bright, eye-catching tile. The estate pays homage to its location deep in the music-steep area of South Congress and was designed largely by women.
The property is embedded with native, sustainable plants including live oaks, bald cypresses and Mexican sycamores, and timbers holding up the property's tiered ceilings are made of sustainable wood. Those looking for entertainment can find plenty at the hotel's bold green bar or take a dip into the Austin food and music scene, with iconic eats like Perla's and Homeslice Pizza nearby and karaoke bar Ego's just down the street.
Each of the four buildings are connected by open-air breezeways and were decorated in part with works by music photographer Scott Newton. Guests can enjoy screened-in patios as part of the suites, double queens and studio rooms that start at $275 a night.
- What billionaires like Elon Musk look for in Austin real estate - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan sells Los Angeles home after moving to Austin - austonia ›
- SOLD: Mystery buyer purchases Austin's most expensive home ... ›
- Joe Rogan's new home is a $14 million mansion on Lake Austin ... ›
- A peek inside 7 of Austin's most elite condominiums - austonia ›
- What $10 million or more can get you in Austin luxury homes ... ›
- Austin luxury real estate market booms in pandemic - austonia ›
- Neighbors protest purchase of second homeless housing hotel ... ›
- Liz Lambert's hotel San José documentary tells the story of an Austin ... ›
- A look inside Soho House Austin, a luxe club for creatives - austonia ›
- Austin ranks among top cities for video game lovers - austonia ›
- Austin ranks among top cities for video game lovers - austonia ›
- Historic Hyde Park home offers mini farm—and community - austonia ›
- East Austin club, The Pershing, brings luxury and comfort to influencers - austonia ›
- These 14 Austin hotels offer pool day passes - austonia ›
- Carpenter Hall acquired by Austin's Bunkhouse group - austonia ›
- Calabasas or Hill Country? $11 million home hits Austin market - austonia ›
Austin's Delta 8 industry has been turned on its head after Texas health officials clarified that the cannabinoid is on the state list of illegal substances, though it was previously believed to be legal by most retailers, consumers and manufacturers.
House Bill 1325, which was signed in June 2019 by Gov. Greg Abbott, and the Farm Bill, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2018, legalized any hemp product containing less than .3% THC. The same bills were thought to have made Delta 8 legal, though the Texas Department of State Health Services added a notice on its website saying it was still a controlled substance as of Friday, Oct. 15.
Both the federal and state governments keep separate lists on what is considered a controlled substance. Marijuana is considered Schedule I, a category reserved for substances with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," both statewide and federally.
Austin-based CBD retailer Grassroots Harvest CEO Kemal Whyte, like many CBD shop retailers, was blindsided by the announcement. Many small businesses rely on Delta 8 for their sales—Green Herbal Care CBD said about 90% of its sales come from Delta 8—and Whyte said he is frustrated by the inconsistencies in the drug scheduling system.
Since 87% of Texans support the legalization of marijuana, at least for medical use, per a recent poll, Whyte said he wonders who this legislation is for.
"It's gonna have a massive impact on small businesses—there's just no way around it," Whyte said. "The reality is, we don't want to push out anything bad for our customers, we want this to benefit our customers and to help them. If we can make money while doing it, that's the American dream. What are we doing, whose benefit is this for?"
Delta 8 surged in popularity after the perceived legalization—consumers enjoyed its lower psychotropic potency, decreased anxiety while using it and the peace of mind as a legal way to get high. So in order to protect their products and livelihoods, both Grassroots Harvest and Austin-based manufacturer Hometown Heroes are taking legal action.
Whyte said Grassroots Harvest is suing DSHS, saying their action is creating negative effects in the market. Meanwhile, a Hometown Heroes spokesperson said the company is in the process of filing a temporary restraining order that would pause the ban on Delta-8 in the state of Texas.
Threats against Delta 8 are not new—DSHS lost a lawsuit trying to make "smokable hemp products" illegal last year and Texas lawmakers had been considering a bill that would make Delta 8 illegal, though it was dropped after the clarification was made.
Hometown Heroes released a formal statement in response to the DSHS rule.
"I need to be clear—we love Texas, we're just choosing to fight for the will of the people in regards to cannabis in Texas," Hometown Hero CEO Lukas Gilkey said in a statement. "(Texas DSHS) are using backhanded ways to create legislation and go against the will of the people."
Whyte laments the fact that it would be easier legally to "open up a strip club that also sells guns," and said he can't post customer testimonials that mention the benefits of Delta 8 without getting hit with a cease and desist from the Food and Drug Administration. Whyte said he isn't opposed to regulation—far from it—he just wants to see it go through the correct channels.
"The fact that they're stunting our ability to communicate with our clients that want to learn about this, you're preventing us from communicating with them and teaching them, or spreading information that we know," Whyte said. "I think that that in and of itself opens up a lot of questions."
Grassroots Harvest still has Delta 8 products on its shelves for the time being but for how long, Whyte doesn't know.
- Willie Nelson to host cannabis convention for 88th birthday - austonia ›
- First hemp vodka in Texas makes its way to Austin - austonia ›
- Travis County approves first Texas Hemp Harvest Festival - austonia ›
- Delta 8 has landed in Austin: what is it and who uses it? - austonia ›
Austin Public Health and other clinics around Austin are now providing booster shots for all three vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, to fully vaccinated individuals after both Pfizer and J & J were approved by the CDC on Wednesday.
APH and Austin clinics, which were already administering the approved Pfizer booster, will begin distributing shots as soon as Friday.
Those who received the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine more than six months ago are elligble to receive a booster if they are over 65 or if they are over 18 and:
- Live in a long-term care environment
- Have underlying medical conditions
- Work or live in high-risk settings, such as schools, hospitals or correctional facilities
Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a media Q&A Friday that APH is encouraging boosters just as much as they have urged residents to get their first and second doses.
"Boosters are incredibly important to keeping our community protected and hospitalizations low," Walkes said. "If we can stay on top of our vaccinations, we provide protections for our most vulnerable and make it that much harder for COVID to spread in our community."
Eligible residents are free to choose the same booster as their first doses or "mix and match," per the CDC announcement.
Those looking for another dose can simply bring their vaccination card to APH centers or the dozens of Walgreens and CVS locations in the metro, which began administering doses Friday.
Additional updated guidance from the CDC allows for all eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a "mix-and-match" booster dose. It is advised to remember to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card showing the original doses with you when going for booster shots.
- Austin downgrades to Stage 4 as COVID cases decline - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan incorrectly says vaccinated people cause mutant strains ... ›
- Everything you need to know about breakthrough cases in Austin ... ›
- After racing for a first dose of the vaccine, some Austinites find ... ›
- COVID in Austin: 9 ICU beds, alternate care site, booster shots ... ›