by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 16, 2015
The 366-room Westin Austin Downtown has opened in the Texas capital. Paying homage to the city's musical roots, the lobby features a 12-foot-tall guitar made with charred wood blocks. Design elements throughout, such as the guitar-strap motif on the ballroom floors, continue the music theme.

"We wanted to pay homage to all Austin has to offer, and, of course, music is a huge part of that," said Kristofer Carlson, general manager of new property. "Most of the inspiration comes from vintage guitars, so you'll see many parts of the hotel subtly reflect various guitar components."

Azul, the rooftop pool and bar with sweeping views of the city, features cabanas and a fire pit, while the 24-hour Westin Workout Fitness Studio offers Westin's Gear Lending program, providing New Balance shoes and athletic wear for guests. A Run Concierge guides group runs of Austin's sites or recommends routes for guests.

"Filled with so much vigor and energy, it was only natural that our second hotel in Austin be in the heart of downtown," said Bob Jacobs, vice president, brand management, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. "The Westin Austin Downtown aims to provide guests and locals alike with an escape from the hustle and bustle, while still embracing the city's culture."

Eclectic Southern cuisine is on the menu at Stella San Jac, and the hotel will regularly host local musicians in the lounge area. More than 13,500 square feet of meeting space includes 16 breakout rooms named after musicians or venues, such as Joplin, Benson, Paramount, Continental and Moody.

"The new Westin Austin Downtown has already enabled us to make advances in both the size and quality of groups that we are now able to attract with the additional inventory," noted Bob Lander, president and CEO of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.