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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Inn Of The Hills Resort & Conference Center
The renovated rooms that open onto the pool were a lovely surprise; they were among the nicest we saw in town. However, the unrenovated rooms have a lot of catching up to do, so make sure you know what you're getting when you book...
A hostel in downtown Austin? Finally! And a pretty darned spiffy one, at that...
Every city should have a beautiful old historic hotel made out of native stone, preferably built in the late 1800s by a wealthy cattle baron...
El Paso Suites Hotel
This is the only independent hotel in town – but it used to be an Embassy Suites, so the rooms still have that generic chain-hotel feel. Still, it's a bargain, especially considering you get two full rooms...
Texas design guru and hotelier Liz Lambert could make a radish look cool...
First opened in 1907, this 52-room place clings to its cowboy past with Western-themed art, cowboy-inspired rooms and a grand Old West lobby with lots of leather...
The Holland Hotel
Some renovations suck all the charm out of a historic property, and some don't go far enough. But sometimes they get it just right...
Befitting its up-and-comer status, Austin's East Side (formerly 'The Land that Lodging Forgot') finally has a hotel to call its own. The Heywood is a seven-room gem that puts equal emphasis on design and comfort...
Just two miles west of downtown, this stylish 1940s bungalow hotel is a fabulously low-key antidote to Dallas' flashier digs, with a touch of mid-century modern design and more than its share of soul...
Inn On The Riverwalk
Presided over by a venerable pecan tree, this B&B is in a beautiful, peaceful setting by the river. Each cheery room has its own private bath, with the more expensive digs equipped with a Jacuzzi, private porch or balcony.
Rodeway Inn Downtown
You could walk to the Alamo and Riverwalk, which are just one mile away, but you don't even have to because the downtown trolley comes right to your door...
Wanna Wanna Inn
South Padre Island
Much remodeled, the low-rise Wanna Wanna has but 15 rooms, some with excellent views of the gulf from this beachfront location. Units have either microwaves and fridges or kitchenettes...
An architect's dream, this mod, solar-powered, 11-room inn is rife with airy decks, spiral staircases and sunlight. Think organic mattresses, in-room Jacuzzi tubs, private decks and iPod docking stations. Owners also rent two nearby apartments.
Captain's Quarters Inn
Right across from the harbor, this motel-style place offers comfortable rooms, all with fridge and microwave. It is close to the ferry and has a walled pool area.
Downtown, there are several waterfront hotels; Bayfront Inn has the best basic-motel deals with a view of the bay. Numerous condos are for short-term rent on the island.
The Ashton Hotel
This 39-room six-story boutique hotel in a turn-of-the-century building off Sundance Square offers hush-hush elegance without an ounce of snootiness. Parking is valet-only.
Texas White House
A large historic home with contemporary Texas style near downtown. The five rooms are well equipped; larger suites have fridges and microwaves.
Gruene River Inn
This is a traditional style B&B with quilts and antiques – think Grandma’s house – but the real draw is the private decks overlooking the Guadalupe River.
La Salle Hotel
Come nightfall in Bryan, lay your head at the historic 1928 LaSalle Hotel where the deep-blue and magenta colors and comfy beds exude a relaxed boutique feel. Bonus points for the free beer and wine reception and evening cookie buffet.
Architecture- and design-lovers will dig the uniquely shaped Abigaile’s, which does indeed resemble a tree. Four deluxe rooms look out onto leafy, manicured gardens; the Eagle's Nest has a great deck. Spa services available.
This locally owned nonchain motel has character. You can lounge around on a large redwood deck surrounding the indoor pool – perfect during a winter blast. Rooms have fridges and microwaves...
Fredericksburg Inn & Suites
Tops in the midpriced-motel category, this place was built to look like the historic house it sits behind, and it succeeds...