A Virtual Oasis

23 June 2014
The Kimber Modern Hotel
110 The Circle, Austin, Texas

These blog entries are starting to make it look like Austin is my most common destination. Funny, but I only get to the place about twice a year. But, here's the thing. It never fails me. Even on a 24 hour turn around, some hotel, some food, some music always pops up and amazes me. In this case, trying to get home, the weather demons threw every possible fiasco at me. Tornados in the Midwest. Thunderstorms on the East coast. On and off rain all over Texas. My flight (Austin to DC) was cancelled. My rerouted flight (Austin to Houston to DC) was cancelled. My re-rerouted flight (Austin to Chicago to DC) was delayed.

And, the whole time I was thinking, "Go ahead and cancel." At least I can go back to the Kimber Modern. If, there is a room available. Big if. No way this boutique hotel (Inn, B&B) has an opening on short notice very often. It's far too freaking cool and it only has six rooms.

Designed by Burton Baldridge Architects, the structure of the hotel is unique and intriguing. Clean lined, modern design - think Frank Sinatra's mid century modern home in the Palm Desert. Located a block off hip and entertaining South Congress, the hotel is at once in the middle of it all, at the same time as it's tucked away in an oasis of privacy and peace. Arriving, you are faced with a handful of parking spaces and a single door. You'd be forgiven for thinking, "Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?" Entry through the door is keyless - the whole property is keyed via a four digit code provided upon booking. No check in - the introvert in me loves that touch. Though, I was greeted by the owners - really nice people I felt comfortable with straight away.

Kimber Modern Simple Entry
Kimber Modern Simple Entry
At the top of the stairs, you enter into another world, any reservations instantly dropping away. The hotel's six guest rooms and one public space face an interior courtyard that is a multi-leveled mix of deck, lit up waterfall, simple landscaping, canopied Live Oak trees, comfortable chairs and hammocks. You're not at a hotel on a business trip. You're pretty much on vacation.

The public room is brightly lit, with sliding glass doors, and floor to ceiling windows - part living room, part kitchen. Perfectly decorated. Espresso/Cappuccino machine. Glass doored refrigerator - stocked with simple necessities - wine for instance. Complimentary WiFi, in case you remember that you came to work. The selection of books in the seating area was fantastic; many of them design related. Having just stayed at a Philippe Starcke hotel, the books on his design were an interesting companion to a cappuccino in the morning. Don't look for a blog on the Starke hotel, though, as his hotel had a no photography rule. Imagine? I suppose if you're Starke, you don't need the press.

The guest rooms are equally perfect. My room, designated the orange room, was simply designed, beautiful, well lit and spacious. The desk was plenty large enough to spread out on and showcased a selection of really interesting magazines, a simple, yet nice touch and a change from the usual hotel propaganda magazine found in other hotels. Pull up the Eames chair and get to work. Or wander over to the small seating area, drop into the Offi Perch Lounge chair and relax (style and design run throughout). The bathroom, while small, was laid out perfectly, and had the same sleek, modern design. Full sized, walk in shower. Malin & Goetz bath products. Lastly, I don't think I've ever laid my head on a nicer pillow and I'm in a new hotel every week. I thought about taking it with me.

I simply loved this spot. I kept thinking, "Make note of the design and layout of this place for the next time I build a home." Typically you don't check out of a hotel feeling as if you're leaving home.

I did here.

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