Holiday in Town
The Inn at Pearl Street809 W. MLK@Pearl, 78701
The Inn at Pearl Street betrays little of its semisecret history as Slacker set, slacker co-op, or scene of legendarily debauched early-Eighties dance parties. Although it's been all those things, the formerly decrepit, possibly haunted, manse on the hill is now an eclectically renovated, comfortably appointed, and surprisingly unfussy neighborhood travel lodge -- more Party of Five than Addams Family -- aimed at business travelers and power tourists who want a cozy-but-convenient place to lay their busy heads. Service is efficient but low-key, giving the feel of a nice central-city family home with the amenities of a better hotel: Each of the inn's six bedrooms has a theme (Oriental, French, Gothic, etc.), carried out in fairly restrained fashion, plus king- or queen-sized bed, phone/voicemail, cable TV/VCR, blow dryers, fluffy robes and turndown service; coffeemakers, little fridges, beverages, and snacks are widely available throughout the house. Most rooms have a private deck or porch, and the Gothic Room boasts a Jacuzzi and a happy little sunroom with an extra daybed. There's a video (and book!) library, fax machine access, and, for the socially minded, a huge family-style den with proportional huge-screen TV, a music room, and a large communal deck. Full breakfast is served only on weekends; weekdays it's go-go bagels and the like. For access to downtown, the UT campus, and sightseeing in Central Austin, a better location would be hard to find; the Inn also offers concierge-style services and can recommend and arrange activities in the area. Or just lie on the bed with the windows open, listen to giggles and murmurs waft in from the deck below, and reminisce about the days of yore, when life was simple and you could afford to live in a place like this.