Club room at front of hotel

Opened during Covid in what could have or should have been a terrible time for hoteliers and the hospitality industry in general, Colton House Hotel has come out of that awful time unscathed.

What sets this gem apart from the plethora of hotels, AirBnb’s, and homestay residences in town is a cozy elegance at once modern, not “trendy,” and not quite classy in the traditional sense. The hotel offers excellent amenities, such as a yoga studio and fitness room with Peloton bikes, rooms fitted with filtered tap water in the sinks and showers, a kids’ playroom decorated out of a Lewis & Caroll book, a rooftop terrace overlooking the city to the north, and east with a vast green area, and electronic doors where one presses a button from the inside to indicate red (for no disturbance) or blue for yes come on in and clean this room.

The founders are Dave & Simona Krug, who are into music, as evidenced on the ground floor of Simona’s, where music books lay on coffee tables and posters of musicians adorn the walls in funky frames. Other owners are part of the Inherit Hotel Group. Simona Krug did a bang-up job with the interior decoration.

Established in Jan 2023, the drinks menu highlights Austin’s music scene. Each drink is named after a song. The bar lead, Caitlin McDougall, curated the menu with the assistance of her bar team. Upon the recommendation of the Assistant Manager, Kaitlyn, I had a flight tasting of bespoke cocktails. Worried I might become woozy, I sipped cautiously.

From left to right, I started with Drop It Like It’s Hot, made with Deep Eddy lemon vodka, Lillet Rose, serrano, honey, passion fruit cordial, and cardamon bitters tajin.

Exotic. Second was Purple Rain, made with Austin Reserve Gin, Italicus Bergamot, Licor 43, lemon, chamomile, butterfly-pea thyme, and orange oil. Kait made this creation. Amazing! The Blowin’ Smoke is a bestseller here but not for this chickie. I’m not a Bourbon or whisky drinker, and this cocktail consists of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, smoked rosemary, blood orange cordial, cinnamon, lemon, smoked orange peel, and peach bitters, on to the next. Wake Me Up! It is another bestseller with my stamp of approval. Made with Dripping Springs Vodka, Kahlúa, brown sugar, and espresso, all this was missing was freshly made whipped cream, and it would’ve been ten times tastier than the best Irish coffee.

For short- or longer-term stays, Colton is a fine choice for families and couples exploring the greater Austin region, including Hill Country. They can choose from 80 suites with modern kitchenettes and living areas in rich color palettes from indigo to deep purple or rose. Details are attended to precisely for sophisticated yet understated luxury, from the plush carpeting to the sideboards lining the hotel.

The on-site coffee and craft cocktail bar at Simona’s provides respite for the quiet solopreneur who gets to work in a lovely environment, beset with an outdoor shaded area adjacent to the pool that has stringed lighting for a subdued evening away from the triple digits of Austin’s summer temperatures. Or go upstairs for a lively business or pleasure chat and enjoy the hand-made bespoke cocktails. I will celebrate my birthday on the second floor this month, as the lounger/bar is split-level.

Parlor room at Simona’s
Club room at front of hotel

By Elise Krentzel

Elise Krentzel is the author of the bestselling memoir Under My Skin - Drama, Trauma & Rock 'n' Roll, a ghostwriter, book coach to professionals who want to write their memoir, how-to or management book or fiction, and contributing author to several travel books and series. Elise has written about art, food, culture, music, and travel in magazines and blogs worldwide for most of her life, and was formerly the Tokyo Bureau Chief of Billboard Magazine. For 25 years, she lived overseas in five countries and now calls Austin, TX, her home. Find her at, FB: @OfficiallyElise, Instagram: @elisekrentzel, LI: