Our suitcases were packed, the grandparents had arrived and pizza was on the way.
For the first time in years, including a pandemic season that required being quarantined at home with our six kids, my husband and I were getting out for a night.
Sure, in reality it was only about 16 hours––all we could squeeze in between soccer games and cheer practice as life began to slowly creep back to normal––but still, we couldn’t wait. And there was only one hotel at the top of my list for this rare night away: Archer Hotel Austin.
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Located in the heart of Domain Northside (and directly across from the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM), Archer is gorgeously appointed, from the fresh-cut flowers that greet visitors to the stunning iron and crystal chandelier and grand staircase just beyond the lobby. The contrast of Western imagery with bright pops of color only adds to the unique Austin aesthetic.
Our 408-square-foot king suite featured a modern sofa, platform bed with high-thread-count bedding and special touches including a copy of “Black Beauty” as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. After checking in, we headed for a drink by the pool, which is adorned with a wide Lone Star and is flanked by a crackling fireplace and chic cabanas.
You could easily enjoy several days at the hotel and never leave––it also houses Austin’s popular Second Bar + Kitchen––but we decided to take advantage of its prime location by spending our evening window shopping, followed by dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse. To walk through the Domain, which was bustling with a mix of couples, college students and groups of friends on this March Saturday night, was to be reminded of many evenings out on Sixth Street in college. While everyone was masked, it was a definitely sign that the world was starting to open up.
After the best sleep I’ve had in months, we grabbed coffee in the lobby the next morning and took a quick stroll through the Domain’s Rock Rose district, which was much quieter in the light of the morning and included a pop-up mural installation by Hope Outdoor Gallery.
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And then, just like that, it was time to head home. Short, sweet and unforgettable, our staycation at Archer was a much-needed breath of fresh air after a long and exhausting year and rare time away that we’ll never forget.
If you’re heading to the Domain, here are some places to check out. As always, call ahead or check websites for COVID-19-related regulations.
Erin Condren: This flagship store for the Erin Condren lifestyle brand features planners, notebooks, journals and gifts. Don’t miss the rainbow-hued staircase, which is perfect for selfies. https://www.erincondren.com/austinstore
Kicking It ATX: Do you love sneakers? Do you love meeting other people who share your interest? This fun store, with its walls lined in the trendiest of shoes, is the place for you. https://kickingitatx.com/
Limbo: If you love Austin and you love Austin-made gifts, you’ll love Limbo. This is an ideal one-stop shop for hand-crafted jewelry, shirts, totes and more. https://limbojewelrystore.com/
Yeti: Those who depend on Yeti’s coolers, mugs and tumblers to protect their favorite drinks will want to stop by their Domain outpost, where it seems like there’s always a new color to discover. https://www.domainnorthside.com/stores/yeti
Wonder Bar: This bar was literally built for Instagram. Expect bananas, rubber ducks, stripes, disco balls and much more. http://wonderbaratx.com/
If You Go
Archer Hotel is located in the heart of the Domain Northside and steps from the Rock Rose entertainment district. https://archerhotel.com/austin
Shop and Eat:
Both the Domain Northside and Rock Rose are brimming with unique boutiques and restaurants. Learn more at https://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain.