Hotel Magdalena

Designed by Bunkhouse and Lake|Flato, Hotel Magdalena is located on Music Lane in the popular South Congress neighborhood of Austin. The 89-room hotel takes inspiration from the natural green space of central Texas, Barton Springs in Austin, and early 1970s lakeside culture.

  • rooms 89
  • Year 2020
  • Location Austin, Texas, United States,
  • Type Hotel,
  • Opened in fall 2020,  is the newest hotel from Austin’s acclaimed Bunkhouse hospitality company in collaboration with renowned architecture firm Lake | Flato.

    The hotel features four new, distinct buildings connected by exposed elevated walkways and courtyards, creating a treehouse feel inside the grounds. Complete with a pool, restaurant and event space, the property sits at varying elevations, an homage to the slopes of Barton Springs, and the lush landscape by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects is features native Texas species including Bigtooth Maples, Redbuds, Meyer Lemon Trees, Yaupon Holly, and Little Gem Magnolia. Hotel Magdalena is the first mass timber hotel constructed in North America; assembled in pieces, this renewable resource is visible in the hotel room ceiling design and the exterior walkways. The sunny and spacious second floor lobby features a tambour front desk and a custom terrazzo floor, with expansive windows that look onto the century old heritage Oak. The guest-only pool bar surrounds a 900-square-foot pool with design elements that include a terracotta and terrazzo bar and stamped concrete tile walls.

    The restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane, is helmed by Executive Chef Jeffrey Hundelt (previously the Culinary Director for Launderette and Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon restaurants) and is inspired by the casual sophistication that defines a lake house weekend. Focusing on grilled local meats and seasonal vegetables with bold accompaniments and bright salads, the menu features straightforward cooking taking cues from old school hospitality and slow food mentality, but with an Austin sensibility. Inside, the restaurant surrounds an open kitchen with a live-fire grill and rotisserie, while the large covered outdoor patio is perfect for an ice cold cocktail. The beverage program will boast a vast selection of bold wines with a focus on sparkling varietals including organic and biodynamic producers.

    The hotel’s 89 guest rooms feature windows at both ends, allowing for a cross breeze and natural light at sunrise and sunset, as well as poured concrete floors with exposed aggregate inspired by the river rocks of Texas. The rooms are finished with custom Spanish tile in one of four colorways – red, blue, yellow, or green – that inform the color scheme of the room, custom walnut wood built-in beds and inlay desks, Sferra bed linens, and Santa & Cole lamps.

    Sitting on the same location as Hotel Magdalena and Hotel Saint Cecilia in the mid-1950s and 1960s was the Terrace Motor Hotel and its ritzy Summer House, a poolside restaurant with musical acts – and the inspiration for the name Summer House on Music Lane. This 14-acre stretch off South Congress that included the Terrace Motor Hotel eventually came to be owned by legendary musician Willie Nelson, and in the 70s, he started Austin Opry House, a famous 1,700-seat music venue, and also built apartments for musicians and traveling road crew. A regular Austin Opry House photographer, Scott Newton, provided his iconic images to Hotel Magdalena for both the guest rooms and common spaces.

    In keeping with Bunkhouse’s ethos of creating community-driven experiences, Hotel Magdalena celebrates the history of the place and the area’s culture through its programming, which will include live music, nature walks, and local partnerships. The hotel is situated on Music Lane off of the infamous South Congress Avenue amidst Austin’s most vibrant culture and history, overlooking Downtown and the Capitol, and steps away from sister properties Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San José, Austin Motel, and Jo’s Coffee.

    Design: Bunkhouse
    Architect of Record: Lake|Flato
    Photography: Nick Simonite