Only open a few months, The Loren at Lady Bird Lake sits at Riverside and Lamar in one of the most prime locations of Austin. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in all that downtown ATX has to offer, you really can’t beat this location, nestled between bustling Lamar and hip South Congress.
The two-bedroom suite on the eighth floor has a stunning view of the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail, which is poppin’ at all hours of the day and evening. It’s one of our favorite spots for visitors and locals alike, whether you’re wanting to get in a workout (jogging, cycling, walking) or just want to absorb the local Austin vibe.
What used to be old Austin has been renewed through gentrification on this area of Lamar Boulevard. At The Loren, you are in the hub of both culinary classics and new cuisine.
At The Loren, highlights include great customer service, an inviting lobby, and amenities such as e-bikes and, on the top, eighth floor, you’ll find the small rooftop pool, a fitness center on the seventh floor and their new showcase restaurant, Nido (more about that in a bit).
Back to that suite on the eighth floor, with the push of a button, you can lower or raise the blackout shade. Two bathrooms are generously suited to accommodate four in that space.
The waitress called it “New American” but Executive Chef Brad McDonald trained in France and there is a strong French focus on the menu. This rooftop restaurant, nido, has been packed from the beginning. With a chic interior and a patio that overlooks the Austin skyline, this is one of those must-experience delicacies. Start with a sweet and savory small bite app, the Kabocha Squash Beignets sprinkled with truffled chestnut honey. If you’re looking for a crisp and healthy salad, the brussel sprouts come fresh (not cooked), accented with spiced cashews. On a chilly night, the beef short rib atop polenta with a bordelaise sauce is right on the money, paired with a bold cabernet.
“Our team looks forward to welcoming Austinites and visitors from around the world to Nido at The Loren at Lady Bird Lake. Guests can expect an untraditional, yet classic take on dishes, all meant for sharing,” adds Chef McDonald. “From the moment of arrival, diners perched above Lady Bird Lake will take in an exclusive view of the immediate surroundings and taste their way through the local, regional and international flavors and techniques that have shaped our menu and overall dining experience.”
The tried and true day spa, milk & honey, pened their fifth location in Austin on the bottom floor of the Loren at Ladybird Lake. Guests are able to walk right across from the lobby on the ground floor and are able to enjoy massage and esthetician services, and even medSPA services. Pop on in for a 60-minute signature facial or massage, the perfect compliment to your stay.
While You’re Downtown: It’s Electric!
We’ve recently discovered our fave hangout spot in downtown Austin, Electric Shuffle near Rainey Street. It’s the most fun blend of friendly competitive gaming, great drinks and snacks, in an uber Austin hip atmosphere. Just across the street from Hotel Van Zandt– with public parking right behind the hotel– guests can reserve a shuffleboard table by the hour for a group of 6+. Once you get to your table, you’ll login with names and photos on the game board and you’re electronically shuffled into game play. With 4 options for rotating versions of shuffleboard (an easy game, anyone can play), your teams will love the video replay that pops up on the screen when you least expect it.
Small bites can be easily shared and we recommend the mac & cheese balls or the chicken/bacon/ranch flatbread pizza. Whether you’re in for cocktails, beer or non-alcoholic beverages, this is such an entertaining way to spend an afternoon or evening. It really is electric!
Cover Photo from Holly Winters
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips and spent five years as the voice of the “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.