Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Thompson Austin

1 Sep 2022 by Hannah Brandler
Thompson Austin exterior

Background

Hyatt’s Thompson and Tommie hotels debuted under the same roof in Austin in January. Thompson is a luxury upper-upscale brand in Hyatt’s portfolio. Tommie is under Hyatt’s JDV brand and targets a younger traveller with a smaller budget. This dual-branded property has 212 Thompson rooms and suites, along with 17 residences, and 193 Tommie rooms.

Where is it?

At the intersection of San Jacinto Boulevard and East 5th Street in downtown Austin. It is close to music bars, such as Antone’s nightclub, and a 20-minute drive to the airport.

Thompson Austin lobby. Credit Chase Daniel

What's it like?

The skyscraper has a split-level design by Bkl Architecture, with a rooftop on the fourth floor. It neighbours several other high-rise hotels.

The Thompson entrance features an oversized door, giving the impression that you’re about to enter into an exclusive club. Inside it has a dark, moody, industrial-style décor by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group, with mahogany furnishings, concrete walls, plush sofas and a simulator fireplace (it was 40°C outside).

Despite it being fully booked, there were no queues and it never felt crowded. Check-in was easy and my room was ready early.

Tommie has a more social check-in experience in the adjoining café space where baristas double as reception hosts. It’s a fun idea, though perhaps not quite so practical when people are queuing for Americanos in the morning.

Thompson Austin, corner view room. Credit Al Argueta

Rooms

Thompson and Tommie rooms are located on each floor, with a different colour scheme in the hallways to distinguish them.

My Thompson corner suite had a similar mid-century design to the rest of the property. Rooms feature copper accents throughout, exposed concrete ceilings, wooden floors and leather furnishings.

It’s a very attractive and functional accommodation with floor-to-ceiling windows on various sides of the room along with plenty of stylish light fixtures for when night falls. 

While I wanted to explore the city, the room was also perfect for catching up on work thanks to a very comfortable desk area opposite the bed, with a marble-topped table, comfortable mahogany leather chair, and an extension lead with sockets beneath the table. The downside was that the wifi cut out a few times, but it was quick to reconnect.

Given its location near the buzzy East 6th Street, it’s not ideal for light sleepers. It wasn’t the music that kept me up but rather cars revving their engines at the stoplights. Thompson doesn’t shy away from this and leaves a set of earplugs beside the bed. 

Rooms also feature a large TV, QR code for room service, a minibar with local treats, two complimentary water bottles, a safe, shoehorn, and lovely large bottles of DS and Durga amenities.

Thompson Austin, Wax Myrtles. Credit Jackie Lee Young

Food and drink

The hotel has three dining venues which are all worth visiting. The two ground-floor venues are led by James Beard Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey and partner Johno Morisano, while the fourth-floor Wax Myrtles is from Land and Sea Dept and executive chef Nick Erven.

The ground floor is home to the stylish Diner Bar with its sleek, wraparound counter, and the all-day The Grey Market to the right. The latter is a spin-off of Bailey’s Savannah original, and serves hearty Southern cuisine, such as biscuits and gravy, fish and grits, and fried chicken sandwiches. There is also a shop selling grab-and-go items and merchandise such as The Grey Market-branded tote bags.

The Greyhound Austin

Breakfast here was full of Southern hospitality charm. Grab a seat at the counter for a peek at the open kitchen along with a soundtrack of The Cure and David Bowie. I opted for the fish ‘ruben’, a delicious rye sandwich filled with pastrami-spiced fish, sauerkraut, provolone, ‘comeback sauce’, and served with triple-cooked wedges.

Wax Myrtle’s is an indoor-outdoor space with sharing-style plates, described as Tex-Med rather than Tex-Mex. I had my best meal here: pistachio-encrusted feta with truffled honey and a shrimp tostada.

Wax Myrtle's Austin

Leisure

There’s a very large 622 sqm fitness centre with Peloton bikes, private fitness rooms and a sports simulator, open to guests and residents alike. The fourth floor is also home to the rooftop pool, which is exclusive to guests.

Thompson Austin, Wax Myrtles, pool deck. Credit Al Argueta

Meetings

There is over 929 sqm of private events space on the second and fourth floors, with both indoor and outdoor options.

Verdict

This is an excellent luxury hotel, with stylish design, friendly staff and delicious eateries which attract locals and guests alike. 

Fact Box

Best for

Warm Southern service and characterful dining experiences

Don’t miss

Tex-med sharing plates at Wax Myrtles

Price

Internet rates for a midweek stay in October started from US$492 for 1 King Bed

Contact

506 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78701; +1 737 787 1234; hyatt.com

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