Last September, when the Austin Marriott Downtown celebrated the building’s completion, in lieu of raising the final beam, the property raised three barrels of Garrison Brothers bourbon onto the hotel’s roof via crane. It was a symbolic moment for the uniquely Austin property because just like bourbon takes on the characteristics of the wood in which it ages, the Austin Marriott Downtown encapsulates the spirit of the city in which it lives.
“We’re a convention hotel and group business is a big piece of who we are, and we wanted to create something that has a very authentic Austin feel,” Fernando Estala, director of sales and marketing at Austin Downtown Marriott, tells PCMA.
Every detail throughout the 613-room hotel reflects the surrounding landscape. The walls and driveway leading up to the property are made of limestone, the material on which Austin is built. The ceilings are made of cedar, with black metal casings, paying homage to the city’s iconic Moonlight towers, built in 1894 and made famous by the ‘90s cult classic Dazed and Confused. Circular lights inside the hotel also allude to the towers, which were originally built to illuminate the city at night. There’s even an exhibit hall named Moontower Hall, which is flooded with natural light during the day, and offers dazzling views of the city lights at night.
Other features throughout the property reflect Austin’s roots. The main foyer, for instance, offers sweeping views of Austin through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It was important for Marriott to incorporate as much of the city as they could, which is why there is so much indoor/outdoor space on the property. They wanted to create an “urban oasis in the heart of downtown,” Estala says. In August, the hotel — which offers 64,000 square feet of meeting space — will debut its tropical-inspired rooftop bar, adding to its unique outdoor event offerings.
All of the meeting space on the property, in addition to the two-story lobby, is stacked rather than spread out, and conveniently connected via escalator, making it easy for attendees to navigate. And because it’s in the heart of downtown, delegates will be within walking distance of the Austin Convention Center, and the city’s famed 6th Street, featuring tons of restaurants, coffee shops, cocktail bars, and entertainment venues.
When the Marriott Austin Downtown opens its doors later this year, the hotel’s first guests will finally get to try the whiskey in the Garrison Brothers barrels on the rooftop — reminding them of the property’s roots, and giving them a taste of the best Austin has to offer.