We arrived after an early morning flight from Washington DC, looking and feeling a little worse for wear. In spite of our appearance, the staff was all smiles and swiftly checked us in. Meanwhile our luggage had disappeared but was delivered to us in our room within minutes. I began to understand that at The Driskill, you really do get what you pay for. The service is incredible, and the presentation of almost everything here is top class. Our quiet ninth floor room was cosy and well outfitted. Monikered bathrobes hung in a closet next to an iron and ironing board. In the opposing cupboard I found the television and mini bar. The plush double bed was decked in bright white linens and in the chequered tiled bathroom I found luxury Molton Brown toiletries.
Built in 1886 by cattle baron Jesse Lincoln Driskill, the hotel remains a landmark architectural showpiece of downtown Austin. The bar area, decked with mounted cattle heads and draped with cowhides is a direct reminder of the original owner’s roots. The Driskill was also the one time home of the Texas state legislature, as they waited for the Capitol to be completed in 1888.
After the speedy delivery of our luggage, I wanted to take advantage of our room, which we would sadly spend less than 24 hours inhabiting. I passed on the mini bar but jumped at the chance to wash off the airplane dust and try out the complimentary shower accessories.
To prolong the luxury experience, we stopped in downstairs at the Bakery and Café for a decadent lunch of chicken potpie and pecan pie and to admire the dazzling cake display.
After a walk around town and dinner at Stubb’s, we returned to our room, which by now had been subjected to their turndown service. It’s not something that I’ve experienced before and I’m not convinced of its value but it’s yet another indication of the attention to detail when it comes to providing perfect service at the Driskill. The curtains had been drawn, towels rearranged and a card left on our bed with details of the weather forecast for the following day.
The Driskill is a hotel from another era but the real beauty is that the staff is so open and friendly that I felt right at home in spite of the grand surroundings. It was also well set up for business travelers with a snug office area just off the lobby where I was able to print out boarding passes for onward flights the following day.
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