A facial that’ll put you to sleep, a suite with a view, and dinner at Fairmont Austin
Aug 27, 2022
Fairmont Austin

This is the sitting room of a two-room suite on the 21st floor at the Fairmont Austin. Pam LeBlanc photo

I snorted myself awake yesterday, after falling asleep while getting a facial at the Fairmont Austin Spa.

Apparently, that’s not such a bad thing. The aesthetician who was massaging a series of serums, tonics and balms into my skin told me that meant her work was successful. And if the goal is utter relaxation, it certainly was.

The Fairmont Austin invited me down to visit the spa, eat dinner at their fine dining restaurant, and spend the night. They didn’t tell me they were putting me up in a two-room suite with glass windows that gave me views of the city in three different directions.

The Fairmont Austin’s Spa

I arrived just in time for my 4 p.m. facial appointment. I’ve had massages, but this was something new. I joke frequently that my face collapsed about six years ago, probably because I spend so much time outside under the searing sun. A facial might be good, but at $185 at the Fairmont Austin Spa, it’s something that doesn’t fit into my budget. (The Fairmont footed the bill for my visit.)

Sadly, I slept through half of the nearly hour-long procedure, but it felt good (and smelled good!), and the aesthetician didn’t ridicule me when I snored myself awake.

Afterward, I spent 30 minutes enjoying the hot tub, sauna, and steam room. I also stretched out briefly on a lounge chair that overlooks the city.

My city? Dang. I felt like I was someplace else, surrounded by skyscrapers and neon lights.

I had to skedaddle, though, so I could find my husband and get ready for dinner.

Fairmont Austin

Pam LeBlanc sips champagne in her suite at the Fairmont Austin. Chris LeBlanc photo

A room with a view at Fairmont Austin

When I got back to the room (or rooms, as the case may be), someone had delivered a bottle of prosecco and a plate of meats and cheeses under a glass dome. We poured ourselves a glass, then took in the birds’ eye view. From our east window, we could spy on the people at the swimming pool 15 stories below.

After a while, we headed down to the lobby to take in the action before reporting for our 7 p.m. dinner reservation. The lobby is loud and filled with artificial oak trees that look so real that the only way I could tell they weren’t growing was that every single leaf on the tree was green. I tapped on the trunk to confirm my suspicion.

Fairmont Austin

The view of the swimming pool from the suite where Pam LeBlanc stayed at the Fairmont Austin. Pam LeBlanc photo

Yup, fake.

We lingered for a while, listening to live music, and watching the people, who were predominantly young, stylish, and beautiful.

Dinner at Fairmont Austin’s Garrison

At the appointed time, we walked across the lobby to Garrison, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant. We settled into our seats and listened as the server explained that just about everything on the menu is cooked over an indoor grill fueled by Texas post oak wood. He pointed to one side of the dining room, where we could see a team of chefs wielding sharp-looking tools wrangling steaks, fish filets and vegetables.

It looked good. We started with ember roasted beets because I love beets. Thumbs up for the smoky flavor.

For the main event, I ordered the Akaushi wagyu eye of rib, and Chris picked the whole grilled branzino. Both were delicious; the branzino was out of this world mild and tasty. (But I didn’t appreciate it when Chris pointed the fish’s head in my direction; it looked like it was grinning.)

After we cleaned our plates, the server brought us each a glass of dessert wine (tasted like honey dew melon and honey), and then a series of desserts, the best of which was a pecan-infused souffle with an egg-sized scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Fairmont Austin

The room is equipped with a record player and a record. Pam LeBlanc photo

Back in our room, we fired up the record player. I love the crackly sound of vinyl, and the hotel thoughtfully left a record for us to play (and take home if we wished.)

Thumbs up for the Fairmont Austin

The Fairmont gets a thumbs-up. I’d recommend it for a romantic staycation or night of celebration. But if you book a room and land a dinner reservation, bring a well-padded wallet. It’s a splurge.

For more information go to  Fairmont Austin

 

 

 

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