Austin is a place of constant entertainment, great cuisine, and good music every day of the week. With so much going on, it can be hard to be intentional about taking time with your friends for a true getaway. For the ultimate girlfriend weekend, I researched some of the best girly accommodations, activities, drinks, and pampering just for you and your bestie squad.
We started our weekend by checking into the modern new addition to Domain Northside, the Archer Hotel Austin. Sadly, I didn’t bring my four legged ladies, but I did bring my two sisters to enjoy a girlfriends’ getaway (away from our husbands, that is). Walking into the lobby we immediately experienced the lively atmosphere of the hotel – Second Bar + Kitchen is the hotel’s restaurant, located on the first floor right off of the lobby and open to the public, with patios on the sidewalk providing great people-watching opportunities. We were early for our room, so we sat under the oversized chandelier and took in our surroundings – the horse-wallpapered giant staircase, the plush velvet furnishings, the contrast of lush greenery with soft textiles, the fashionable trends walking through the hallways, all while sipping on some chilled drinks brought to us by the friendly staff. Every detail of the hotel oozes elegance and Austin charm, and though there is a modern equestrian theme infused into the design, the result is miles away from your stereotypical Texas aesthetic.
We got our keys and headed up to our suite, which was decked out with double king-size bright red beds outfitted with luxurious linens, goodie bags including skin care, slippers and designer candy from Sugarfina, but the centerpiece was the “Welcome” bucket of champagne and dessert board pretty enough to make our mouths water.
Without pause, we got into our cozy robes and into the chocolate cake, with the excuse that we would be heading to Orange Theory momentarily, so the calories didn’t count. If you haven’t heard of Orange Theory, here’s the scoop: It’s a fitness class that feels like a party. They put heart monitors on all of us, and the instructor explained how it all worked to the newbies, aka us, still dazed from a chocolate coma. The class is 60 minuted long, cycling through four parts including cardio, plyometrics, weight lifting, and intervals, but the loud music and energy really made it feel like 15. We all burned over 600 calories, with the class show-off burning over 900. It really can be tailored to any fitness level, and you can push as hard as you want, or pull it back when you need to as well. All in all, the class was the best way to get our energy levels high for the weekend.
After leaving Orange Theory, we headed back to our hotel room to shower and get ready for a little afternoon of shopping, and again there was more champagne waiting for us. Archer Austin really spoils their girls! As a lucky journalist, I had the chance to preview their Girlfriend Getaway package, which surrounds itself around the concept of ages and stages. Every group of girls is different, and Archer Austin aims to cater to the different age groups and life stages of each guest. The best thing about a custom getaway at this hotel is that it can pair your group up with a decade-specific hostess to map out the perfect itinerary, whether that means getting blow outs and manis, going wine tasting, dancing until 2 AM, or being in bed (kid-less) by 10 PM. You can consult with your hostess, who will be similar in age to your group, about the best cocktails, best stores to find the perfect going-out dress, as well as reserving your cabanas for later that afternoon and spa treatments for the next morning. You can book luxe accommodations that sleep four adults, and add on connecting rooms and private balconies to customize your stay, as well as enjoy a 2-hour Happy Hour at Second Bar+ Kitchen and many other hotel amenities. The package will be launched by the end of May, but guests can inquire about it for a preview before its official debut.
We dined at Second Bar + Kitchen, choosing to order several small plates and share. We ordered some extra wine at the end and brought it back up to our room to freshen up before heading out for a night out on Rock Rose. With many new restaurants, bars and pubs popping up in the last year, Rock Rose is a revised version of the popular West 6th Street. A bit more polished than the historic street and more civilized being in the center of a shopping center, Rock Rose has come up to become one of the hottest nightlife scenes in Austin. Staying at the Archer put us right in the middle of the action and allowed us to walk everywhere from our hotel room.
We came back to our rooms and promptly got back into our Frette robes and put on the Nespresso. We may have had 2 king beds, but in true girlfriend form we all huddled under one fluffy comforter and chatted for hours into the night. Our sleeping styles finally forced us to separate (I am a free-styling sleeper while my sisters like their sheets tucked), and after enjoying some face masks courtesy of Archer, we all had the best night of sleep in a long time. We did wish we had brought our pets when we noticed the beds have inserts for pet beds, but there is always next time.
The Archer brand has many reasons to hold its reputation, and the Austin franchise did not disappoint. Second Bar + Kitchen allows non-guests to experience the hotel in part, and the scene at Domain Northside adds a twist to the already unique atmosphere found here. Nightly rates start at $209 for double king rooms, and sleeps up to four adults, making for the perfect destination for a group of girls.
The next morning we ordered coffee, and headed to our pamper session at Viva Day Spa. After a little indulging, we stopped to pick up some (more) candy and checked out of Archer, Krispy Kreme donuts in hand, courtesy of our valet. We said our goodbyes, pinky swearing we would be back again very soon.