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This is where we spent the 2nd night on our surprise trip to Austin. The Intercontinental Austin is located smack in the middle of everything at Congress and 7th. If you aren’t familiar with Austin, this is a great location, near the nightlife, but also walking distance to the Capitol building and the River. The Intercontinental Austin is named after Stephen F. Austin, who is known as the “father of Texas” and also who the city of Austin is named after. The first night we actually stayed at two hotels, the Driskill, and the JW Marriott. If you’re interested in our “experience” check out the Driskill review of room 525.
I ended up using my free night from my IHG Chase card, which if you don’t have IT.IS.A.MUST. $49 annual fee and I got this night free, which would have cost over $300 ( including taxes). The official site is here if you’d like to read more
- When – September 2016
- How much – FREEEE courtesy of the Chase IHG card
- Typical cost: 50,000
- Room Type – King
- Loyalty: IHG
- Status: Platinum
- Other benefits – upgraded to Deluxe King
Swift and pleasant. Intercontinental has their own loyalty program named Ambassador. It’s a fee based program, costing $200 the first year and $150 every subsequent years. I’ve definitely flirted with the idea of joining, but haven’t made the plunge. I know quite a few people that believe the program is well worth the investment, but I’ve aligned my stays more with Hyatt and Marriott and haven’t found it a value to me. There was a guest checking in after me, and they were pitching Ambassador to him, saying they would give him Club Level free, and also put him in a suite. Pretty good swag – WHY DIDN’T THEY ASK MEEEEE. I prolly would have bitten. Anyways…I did receive a 1 category room for being an IHG Platinum which was unexpected.
Our upgraded room: King Deluxe
We were really pleased with the room. There are quite a few suites in the hotel, but the King Deluxe basically serves as a Junior Suite. So unless you specifically want/need a suite with a separate seating area this room is plenty big. We were also offered club access for $45 which we took.
The club room is located right next to check-in. It offers afternoon drinks, champagne, tea, and breakfast in the morning. We ultimately didn’t make it to breakfast so I can’t report back on how good it is, but from the menu it looks pretty solid. If you think you’d have any drinks and/or breakfast, the $40 charge for club level is a good deal.
The afternoon presentation:
The Bar and Outdoor balcony
I think the outdoor balcony is the coolest part of the hotel. We spent a few hours there just enjoying the weather and sipping a drink. It’s a unique aspect of the hotel, and makes me think back to when the hotel was first built over 60 year ago. It’s really cool sitting up above Congress and just enjoying the day or night.
The Gym and Pool:
The gym has just about everything you could possibly want from a hotel gym. The only downside is that it’s in the basement which gives it a sliiiiiiightly depressing feel, butttt the gym does look straight into the pool which made Miles happy. Had we been there a bit longer I would have definitely made use of the facilities, but we were too busy having FUN!
I really enjoyed the Intercontinental Austin. It’s a solid 4 star hotel with an outstanding location and cool history. If you’re looking for a more modern feel I would highly recommend the JW Marriott, but this hotel was superb. I mean…it was free – aside from the $40 club level upgrade. I suppose if you think about it I did pay $49 for the annual fee, but I’ve also accumulated over 130k bonus points from the sign up ( 70) and priceless surprises promotion ( I netted roughly 60k) in roughly a year’s time. Not bad.
This experience illustrates one of the reasons I most love this obsessive hobby. It creates opportunities to have incredible experiences at a cost that most people can swallow.
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