Capital CDC’s REAL (504) Borrower Heywood Hotel Continues to Shine

Hotel Review: Heywood Hotel in Austin, Tex.


Rooms from $199.

The hotel inhabits a refurbished 1925 Craftsman bungalow. Credit Casey Dunn


An elegantly refurbished 1925 Craftsman bungalow in newly revitalized East Austin, the Heywood Hotel is thoughtfully set up to celebrate the best of this eclectic, evolving neighborhood. Guests have free use of bicycles for urban exploration, and the hotel shop features printed tote bags, wood vases and cheeky ceramics by local artists and designers. Opened in December 2012 by the husband-and-wife team George Reynolds and Kathy Setzer, the two-level boutique hotel has seven one-of-a-kind rooms — some with private outdoor patios and street-facing balconies, others with skylighted bathtubs and wet bars. You can expect warm, personalized service; upon check-in, the front-desk staff pointed me toward a beloved nearby spot, a vegan Mexican cafe and bakery, for a hibiscus agua fresca and a late-afternoon snack.


East Austin, just a mile from downtown and a 12-minute drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The hotel is within walking distance of bars, taquerias, galleries, shops and all manner of food trucks.

A patio. Credit Casey Dunn

The Room

All rooms have walnut platform beds handmade by Mr. Reynolds (complete with plush pillow-top mattresses and white bedding). The floors are reclaimed longleaf pine. The flat-screen television wasn’t working when I arrived; the apologetic staff promised that the cable guy would come and fix it that evening (he did). My room was tastefully appointed with tweed-upholstered midcentury Danish armchairs and tiny ceramic flower vases; a shared outdoor patio was strung with romantic white lights. A wood-slat door that opens to the patio could be closed for privacy around a smaller sitting area with a table, two chairs and a trellised wall — a nice option for warm nights when you want to sit out with a cold beer from the in-room fridge (a choice of Shiner Bock or Firemans 4 Blonde Ale, both made in Texas).

The Bathroom

Modern, with gray ceramic floors, gleaming white bath tile and oak cabinets designed and built by Mr. Reynolds. Natural light filters through a skylight and ceiling-level windows into the glass-partitioned shower, adjacent to a deep tub; the room isn’t big, but the space is used well. Soaps and lotions are by Archipelago Botanicals, while the aromatic Kakadu plum hair products are also by a high-quality line, Kevin Murphy.

One of the seven rooms. Credit Casey Dunn


Free Wi-Fi, bicycles, Internet jukebox radio. Bowls of fruit are placed throughout the property, and a refreshment station at the top of the lobby stairs has refillable glass bottles that can be used for cold filtered tap water.


Just coffee service, but it’s the good stuff: an in-house “Heywood blend,” roasted in the neighborhood, is served piping hot at the refreshment station at 7:15 a.m. No room service is offered, but the neighborhood abounds with tasty food. Across the street, you’ll find the Veracruz taco trailer — it opens at 8 a.m., and hotel staff swear by the migas breakfast taco: scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, avocado, cheese and pico de gallo — and Cenote Coffee, two stoplights away, makes every coffee beverage imaginable, plus a killer egg, cheese, bacon and avocado breakfast sandwich with salsa, for $7.

Bottom Line

A stay at this comfortable, stylish hotel feels like a visit to a good friend’s house — a friend with good taste, that is.

Heywood Hotel, 1609 East Cesar Chavez, Austin, Tex.; 512-271-5522;

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