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Reviewed 17 January 2012

I recently stayed at the Kimber Modern for a few nights in December. I also stayed at another nearby hotel (San Jose) for one night (which I also reviewed) because I wanted to try both so as to have a "go to hotel in Austin" for future visits and both of these hotels looked nice and interesting and wanted to check them both out. It's also helpful for this review because I was really able to compare them side by side and I know they are both very popular hotels in this area of Austin.

I was torn about the rating for San Jose and I am also torn about this one.

It is definitely between a "good---3 star" and "very good--4 star" rating....but since I am not given that option with this rating system, I can't give the Kimber an "average" rating since it was certainly not that.

While it was definitely not the most spectacular hotel I have ever stayed in we did enjoy our stay.

It is not for everyone though, so if you enjoy having a person at a desk to answer questions or being able to go to someone for help or service, this is not for you.
I personally did not mind not having someone there. We saw the owner twice briefly in passing and another person who worked there once in the common area. The owner was friendly enough and asked how we were enjoying our stay. Nothing more. Which, to be honest, was fine.
The woman we saw briefly in the common area was not as friendly. She didn't say a word to us until we spoke to her. We asked if there were any more cups for coffee and she gruffly replied: "they aren't ready". Nothing more. Pretty unfriendly. Again, I don't mind not having someone there to take care of our every need but it would have been nice if the one time we saw someone actually working there, they were at least friendly.

The hotel itself is very nice though. It was chilly and rainy during our visit so we did not get to spend any time outside although it did look like a very nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee outside and maybe a few minutes relaxing with a book. They might have had one, but I didn't see it (and again, there is no one there to ask)....but a heat lamp, or something to warm up, would have been super nice out there.

What I liked about the hotel:
It is quiet and well maintained. We had a room that overlooked the street and I was worried about street noise but we hardly heard anything.
I liked the happy hour daily. You can grab your own drink (bottled water, wine, beer, tea coffee etc) and they have some light food as well. Very nice... everything they had out was of much better quality than a normal hotel happy hour. You can grab tea or coffee at any hour of the day which was great because the coffee/espresso machine was AMAZING. I love espresso and this machine made really great stuff.
Our room was comfortable and a bit bigger than the one we had at San Jose. The beds are comfortable, the shower is great. They have nice products in the bathroom.
It is incredibly clean.
Great location.
We had no trouble parking.
Much quieter location just off of Congress---all the convenience but none of the noise.

On to the things I didn't love:
The one person working there that we actually saw could have been a friendlier representation of the hotel.
It costs almost double what we paid at the San Jose. I did enjoy our stay here more....but I'm not sure we enjoyed it twice as much to justify the cost. I think I will actually be torn the next time I am in Austin about where to stay based on the cost here.

Bottom line:
This is definitely more of a hotel for "grown-ups" than the San Jose....which is a GOOD thing. It is quiet, comfortable and the design is very, very nice.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank fsgnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2011

Lovely place with no expense spared- especially loved the white suite; happy hour; hammocks; keyless entry; vicinity (easy walk) to the finest dining and hip shopping; comfy beds; fantastic coffee machine in common area.....This is a tiny slice of heaven. I don't want to go home.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank Bigmommakory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2011

Just got back from a two night stay and everything was great. When we arrived, we went right to our room using our code. Happy hour was in progress at the time and we immediately grabbed a beer and lounged in one of the hammocks in the common area. After resting up we hit the scene in south congress. I can recommend the hotel if you want a relaxing, unobtrusive, architecturally appealing, clean, and centrally located stay.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank Averydylan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

Our recent 3-day stay at the Kimber confirms what other reviewers have expressed: that the Kimber is certainly not a cookie cutter experience. Located conveniently less than a block off South Congress, this hotel/B&B/Inn realizes its owner's singular vision and design. The seven rooms are modern and spare, but well-designed and comfortable. The bathrooms are amazing. A beautiful common room where an ample and thoughtfully designed breakfast is made available and a daily happy hour add to the experience--as does the beautiful outdoor "room" with couches, water feature, and fire pit. It's kind of a modern do-it-yourself experience. There are no room keys, no office check-in process. You assign yourself a code that allows you onto the property and then into your room. It's that simple. The area around the hotel is crowded with restaurants and shops so that street parking at some times of the day is not always easy. The easy parking for the hotel is therefore a big bonus. While the staff of the property aren't "in your face," you know that they are there taking care of business. On the second day of our stay, we had the opportunity to chat with the manager. Rarely have we encountered a more charming, helpful person. Her clear goal was to see that we had a good stay in Austin.

Two small things that some travelers may want to know about before booking a room here: First, the property is accessed from street level by stairs, meaning that it is probably not the best option for travelers with mobility challenges. (Sorry if there was an elevator that I missed.) Second, most of the rooms seemed to have queen-sized beds. If you require a king bed, you'll need to book the white suite or look elsewhere. If neither of these are issues for you and you want a great small hotel experience in Austin, we recommend this property very highly.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ardbeg98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2011

Spent three wonderful nights here in December, celebrating my husband's 40th birthday. The weather did not cooperate (it was cold and rainy and so we didn't get to enjoy the gorgeous common area or our private deck). We rented the White Suite, which is officially the most we've ever paid for a room.. The room was gorgeous and comfortable, the bathroom the size of our bedroom at home with elegant toiletries, linens and design.

The design of the hotel is fantastic. We met an architect staying at the hotel who said she feared that it would be "a concrete box" as many modern hotels turn out to be. This was nothing of the sort, with stark angles softed by whimsical art and soft fabrics.

The common room was stocked with newspapers daily (though curiously, never the style section), plenty of tourism books and a mac computer with printer. The food was stellar - who knew gourmet salts could so add to one's experience? Happy hour was white wine, beers, cheese, grapes dried apricots, nuts and crackers. Breakfast was a stellar fruit cup, boiled eggs, bagels, yogurt and the best coffee I've ever tasted.

The hotel location cannot be beat - the Continental Club is almost across the street and the quirky south congress shops are a lot of fun. We walked into town one day - about a mile to 6th street - and took a bus twice ($1 each way, runs up and down Congress). We also walked around Town Lake from the hotel. Despite being close to everything, as other reviwers have said, the hotel is very quiet. Sarah told us that the designer spent time to make sure every room was very soundproof. We did have trouble one night with sounds from the air conditioner. Sarah was quick to find a solution and even gave us a sound machine.

The "no check-in" process is freeing. We loved it. You could probably go your whole stay without speaking to anyone who worked at the hotel -- but then you would miss the great managers of the hotel.

Added benefit - parking! It's apparently hard to come by in the area.

All in all a wonderful experience, with a sizeable price tag! If price is no option, we recommend it. If it is a concern, I'd probably recommend a standard room rather than a suite. At least in bad weather.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank heathery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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