By Marika Flatt

Like Lady Antebellum sings: “I don’t know why you don’t take me downtown, like you got anywhere better to be…” Even those of us living in the burbs need to hit the ATX downtown scene every now and then. But, where to go and what to do?

Getaway Guesthouse


Gateway Guesthouse, perched on a hill in the venerated Travis Heights neighborhood off East Riverside, is a boutique B&B showcasing a home built in 1919. Much of this historic home has been preserved, but much has been modernized, too.

Innkeepers Blaise & Bess have put some real heart and soul into this haven, like adding a pool with hot tub and adding freestanding suites out behind the main house. With three guestrooms on the second floor of the main house and three guest quarters out back, they often stay booked up on the weekends.

The pool provided a great afternoon backdrop, with the trickling of water; it was the perfect place to read a magazine while sipping on a glass of chardonnay. And, in Austin, we can still do this even in December.

Possibly the most impressive highlight of Gateway Guesthouse is Chef Bess’ delightful dishes. Former restaurateur, Chef Bess can whip up a breakfast to remember! Before moving to Austin, Chef Bess’ restaurant (which was featured on “Diners, Drive ins & Dives”) was the talk of the town.


Also, on a recent trip to Italy the inn keepers were inspired to create a new cooking class: Classic Tuscan. Two sessions are scheduled for January 11— Making Pasta: Bolognese and Risotto: Carbonara or Minestrone. Other course offerings include everything from sharpening knives and de-boning a chicken to making a béchamel sauce and baking biscuits. Courses, which run about 2 hours, are $65 per person.


Getaway Guesthouse

I love that Gateway is so close to the Lady Bird Lake trail and it’s also fun to walk around the Travis Heights neighborhood to see the varied houses, old and new. It’s an easy walk through the neighborhood to get to SoCo (South Congress),  too, where you’ll find so many great places to eat and options for whiling away an afternoon.

This B&B, run by B&B (Blaise & Bess), definitely stands out as a superb option for a visit to Austin–or a delightful staycation for the rest of us! Visit for more information or to make a reservation.


Photo By: Courtney Pierce

Photo By: Courtney Pierce