A New Experiential Hostel in Austin Offers Unique Lodging in a Restored Railway Hotel
Situated in a restored railroader hotel from the 1890s and an adjoined midcentury warehouse in downtown Austin, Native offers a distinctly cool and authentic experience for both out-of-towners and locals alike.
The concept behind the unique lodging and the design/build comes from Icon Design Build—two of the partners in the firm are also partners at Native—who worked with un.box studio (the designer of record), Joel Mozersky Design (interior designer), and Helms Workshop (creative branding) to create the hostel's moody, rough-hewn aesthetic. It's full of playful juxtapositions at every turn, including charred rafters nestled against silky Venetian plaster walls and warm velour wrapped around black steel.
"As an homage to the transient hostel lifestyle and the building's original use as a railroader hotel, tramp art-inspired woodworking can be found throughout, all of which were handcrafted and fabricated on-site. When designing Native, we worked to restore the faded elegance of a forgotten gem in the heart of Austin. We also wanted to pay homage to Austin's past while casting our own vision of her future," explains Antonio Madrid, a partner at both Native and Icon Design Build.
Lodging at the hostel includes 12 suites that are outfitted with 65 custom-built beds tucked into handcrafted bunks complete with privacy curtains, a lamp, and plug. A communal "Romper Room" includes eight single beds tucked into handcrafted bunks, a California king-sized bed, sofas, three full bathrooms, and 1,000 square feet of space for those "rock star nights."
More than just lodging, Native also offers a cafe and parlor lounge for co-working, a bar and kitchen that serves craft cocktails and cuisine by executive chef Virginia Pharr, and a 3,500-square-foot, multipurpose event space.
"Native is our attempt to make quality design accessible, while also making the space rambunctious enough for a youthful audience."
"My favorite part of the property is how natural light flits and moves throughout the day, creating new sensations throughout each room as day turns into night." -Antonio Madrid