Just recently we had the opportunity to stay at the Fairmont ATX while experiencing the foodie culture of Austin Texas. But it wasn’t just BBQ and Mex-Tex, though we had plenty of that. It was a combination of luxury, summer fun and lots of food. While the main purpose of our visit was to experience the Fairmont and its dining, our secondary purpose was to also experience the Hot Luck Fest taking place that weekend. So this post reviews both our experience with the Fairmont and with Austin food in general.
Fairmont Hotel Austin
The Fairmont ATX opened up its doors earlier this year (2018) and is located in the heart of Austin Texas. This Fairmont hotel sports a gorgeous exterior, prime location, comfortable rooms and several restaurants on-site. There’s a pool deck on a rooftop and a special gold lounge with its own breakfast area and food bar that is open 24/7. Yes, your dreams of helping yourselves to jelly beans, coffee and muffins at midnight have come true. If you decide not to book one of the top floor rooms with gold lounge access, don’t worry, you’ll still have access to a dynamite buffet and crepe station in the morning.
Staying at the Fairmont Austin
Fairmont Austin has just over a thousand rooms each sporting comfortable beds, killer views and eclectic decor. Our room was on the 35th floor so our views were top notch. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that the hotel uses Le Labo for their bath products; it just added to the luxurious feel of the weekend.
While I don’t usually have the opportunity to enjoy a hotel pool while traveling, I made sure to do so here. The pool deck has two different pools which makes it less crowded feeling during holidays or weekends. We visited on Memorial Day weekend so understandably we weren’t the only ones who wanted to enjoy cool water and sun. The deck has cabanas that you can rent out and of course a bar where you can order drinks.
Breakfast at the Fairmont ATX was a dream. As I mentioned above, you can dine in the gold lounge if you have access to it or you can opt for the breakfast nook downstairs for all the other rooms. The gold lounge has an omelet station where an awesome staff member will whip up an omelet for you; it also has plenty of other foods to choose from including yogurt, coffee, cappuccinos, tea, eggs and a few other hot breakfast foods. They also have a vast amount of fresh cut fruit that you can help yourself to. You an also dine in-room. Alternatively, the breakfast nook downstairs (3rd photo below) has basically the same options and the restaurant next door offers a variety of crepes for you to choose from.
If breakfast hasn’t convinced you that the Fairmont ATX excels in the food genre, then maybe their 5 on-site restaurants will. We started off our Fairmont dining experience with Fulton, a beautiful bar located on the first floor that offers various cocktails and appetizers for you to choose from. This restaurant area also has live music playing on certain nights and it adds a special vibe to the space. *On the opposite side of Fulton, you can grab coffee to go at Good Things.
The evening continued with Revue and Garrison, located in a gorgeous area set up almost like a town where you can grab milkshakes at Petit Chocolate (you can also grab your breakfast crepes here) and a fabulous dinner at either restaurant. We got a BTS look at each restaurant and even got to watch the talented chefs creating their masterpieces as well as witness fresh pasta being rolled. The options are endless from Asian delicacies to Italian creations to all-American twists. The thing I loved most about the Fairmont was that not only did everything look so pretty and put together, but the dishes were complex and the food was delicious.
Our evening ended with Rules and Regs which is located on the same floor as the pool. This is a lounge area that offers cocktails and small bites to enjoy, especially desserts to end your evening on.
AUSTIN FOOD SCENE
Hot Luck Fest
The Hot Luck Fest is a foodie-focused festival covering an entire weekend. This was its second year in the making and we had the opportunity to visit two of its events, the opening event at Franklin Barbeque and the main event Al Fuego. This is a time when small starter-ups and well known chefs gather together to offer its visitors the best of the best. There is a lot of BBQ, beer, cocktails and totally surprising dishes like bao stuffed with beef and pork belly served on small toast. Franklins BBQ was an mainly an outside venue though they did have a few seats indoors. This place typically closes around 3pm every day because they run out of their famous BBQ but in this case they were open all evening long for those that wanted to experience its huge portions and fantastic food.
Al Fuego was held on a fairgrounds of sorts with wide open fields and space for lots of vendors, live music, hay bales and picnic tables. My favorite booth was the Tillamook Creamery offering beer s’mores floats. Not only was the beer a tasty snack but the camper van was adorable.
Garrison Bros Distillery
The Garrison Brothers Distillery boasts the best bourbon in all of Texas. Their tour takes you on a fun journey from the wheat-filled silos of bourbon making to the end product all bottled up. You have a chance to sample their bourbon in its various states and even though I’m not a bourbon connoisseur, I enjoyed the tour and the delicious iced tea you can get spiked at their main office.
Bicycle Food Truck Tour
I don’t know that there is actually such a tour but we did take bikes out on the trail weaving around the river in Austin and stop at food trucks in between. I can’t recommend this type of foodie tour enough. It was so much fun and if you’re feeling a little lazy, you can rent these awesome hybrid bikes that basically do all the work for you if you get tired or have to go up a hill. If you want to enjoy such exercise luxury, you can rent one from Rocket Electrics. A tour like this is also great because you can stop and take advantage of all the photo ops along the way.
Extend your Texas stay with a trip up to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It’s only a three hour drive and worth a visit. Here’s a day guide to Fort Worth.
*This post is written in partnership with the Fairmont ATX and does contain affiliate links*