Tag: Austin

Hotel Magdalena’s restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane, now open near South Congress – Entertainment – Austin American-Statesman

Bunkhouse Group has helped define the look and feel of Austin as much as any hospitality company in the city over the last decade-plus with properties like the Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia.

But the local hotel properties from the Austin-based company have historically offered limited food and beverage offerings. That all changes this week, as Bunkhouse opens its first full-service hotel restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane, at the new Hotel Magdalena, located at 1101 Music Lane, just steps away from bustling South Congress Avenue.

The hotel was developed on part of the site of that was home to the historic old Terrace Motel Hotel, which was purchased by Willie Nelson in the 1970s and at that time partially converted into the Austin Opry House, and is intended to pay homage to 1970s lakeside culture, with ample outdoor areas, courtyards and design elements reflecting the wood and rocks of Central Texas.

The restaurant is meant to echo that same casual vibe, with a kitchen featuring a live-fire grill and rotisserie. Summer House on Music Lane is led by executive chef Jeffrey Hundelt, who previously served as culinary director at Fresa’s and Launderette, and the restaurant’s menu reflects the latter, with dinner dishes like whipped feta with tomato jam, tuna crudo, striped bass, pappardelle Bolognese, and grilled steak with chimichurri.

The restaurant at the 89-room hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, with brunch served on weekends.

The Hotlel Magdalena, the largest to date from Bunkhouse, which is majority-owned by Standard Hotels, was designed in collaboration with Austin architecture firm Lake | Flato.

Owners say the Magdalena is the first mass timber hotel constructed in North America, with pieces of that wood visible in the hotel’s ceiling design and exterior walkways.

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Armstrong Woods, Austin Creek recreation area to stay closed until spring or later

The million or so visitors who seek serenity each year at Armstrong Woods in Guerneville or who slip into the nearly 6,000 acres of adjoining wilderness known as Austin Creek State Recreation Area will have to demonstrate the virtue of patience for months to come yet, as they await reopening of the fire-scarred parks.

The lightning-sparked Walbridge fire that seared much of northwest Sonoma County over six weeks beginning in August has been contained for almost a month, but it will be much longer before visitors can return to state park properties impacted by the flames.

Certain park infrastructure needs repair — the restroom and water system at Bullfrog Pond Campground, for instance — and park personnel still need to assess trails, bridges and retaining walls for damage. There is also some culvert replacement underway, and some fencing and signs need replacement.

But the chief concern among park officials are hundreds, maybe thousands of hazard trees throughout the area, those that are obviously a fall risk and those that may not be.

Some are leaning or tangled in neighboring trees, their own roots burned away or still smoldering, they said.

In other cases, an unsuspecting visitor could step into a cavity left by an incinerated root ball or even encounter material inside that’s still burning.

“There are so many scary, crazy trees out here,” state parks Natural Resource Manager Brendan O’Neil said. “There are so many trees hung up in other trees — not just one, but like three of them together — and they’re suspended off the ground. And it’s like, Wow, just the right wind, and a hard hat isn’t going to do you any favors in that kind of situation.”

So, though the intensity of the fire varied across the area concerned, state park officials do not expect to reopen any part of the parks until spring, at the earliest, and maybe even summer, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District superintendent Terry Bertels said.

“We’ve still got fire in the park, and we will have until we get some rain, and it’s mostly fire in the form of smoldering roots or cavities,” Bertels said.

Trees that are burned but cold, meanwhile, may still fail, though their instability won’t be revealed until the ground is saturated and high winds arrive.

Conversely, the passage of time may allow a weakened tree to stabilize, preventing its unnecessary removal, Bertels said.

“We don’t want to take a tree out that still has a chance to make it, but we’ve got to get through some winds and wet soils,” he said.

Hundreds of trees already have come down and are stacked awaiting processing for sale as camp firewood. A huge pile awaits attention near the northern end of Armstrong Woods, an area normally used for picnicking. Most of the trees — everything from tanoaks and Douglas firs to eucalyptus — come from uphill at the Austin Creek State Recreation Area, a wide expanse of rugged terrain north and northwest of Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve

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New Bunkhouse Hotel Opens In Austin, Texas

It goes without saying that Austin, Texas, is a synonym for hipster city. It’s also laid-back, funky, creative and seriously musical. And if any hotel aims to embody the spirit of Austin, that would have to be the Bunkhouse Group hotels. 

Since its inception in 2006, this acclaimed hotel group has been steadily growing and currently has several properties in and out of Texas. These include Saint Cecilia (the secluded luxury estate in Austin), Austin Motel (perhaps the most stylish motel you’ve seen), and Hotel Havana (the historic property on San Antonio’s River Walk), just to name a few. 

As of September, a new hotel has been added to its expanding portfolio: Hotel Magdalena opened this month on Music Lane in the thriving South Congress neighborhood of Austin. 

With 89 rooms, it is the largest hotel to date within Bunkhouse Group, and will be the first mass timber hotel constructed in North America. Assembled in pieces, this renewable resource is visible in the hotel room ceiling design and the exterior walkways. The design throughout the property is evocative of Barton Springs — Austin’s most cherished natural-spring outdoor pool — and is complete with a rock quarry and a 900 sq ft pool. 

On the gastronomic front, the hotel’s restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane, will open this November. Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Executive Chef Jeffrey Hundelt will be cooking over a live fire and, in response to the current challenge imposed by the Covid-19, there will be 70 covered outdoor patio seats. 

Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International and Bunkhouse Group, explained in an interview the challenges of opening a new hotel during a pandemic, the meaning of adding a new hotel to the group, and the hotel’s role in the community. 

Bunkhouse Group has several hotels, not only in Texas but California and Mexico. How does Hotel Magdalena differ from them, especially from those in Austin, while keeping the Bunkhouse identity? 

“All of the hotels share the elements Bunkhouse cares deeply about: inspired design, connection to the place (the locations and the buildings themselves) and the value of community, culture and music. However, each is a unique expression of those values and vary in their feel, as well as their offerings, programming and price. From the welcome accessibility of the Austin Motel (Austin) and Phoenix Hotel (San Francisco) to the tucked-away privacy of Hotel Saint Cecilia (Austin), Hotel San Cristóbal (Todos Santos, Mexico) and Hotel Havana (San Antonio) and of course the Hotel San José (Austin) where it all started which feels as relevant and progressive now as it did when its renovation was completed 20 years ago.

Hotel Magdalena is the first one in Austin truly developed from the ground up (the three prior were at least some portion historical renovations) and is a hidden world unto itself just off South Congress. It’s also the

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The Storied Site Of Willie Nelson’s Austin Opry House Is Reborn Into Hotel Magdalena

Considering Austin’s rich cultural history, Hotel Magdalena sits on a sacred site. It was home to the hugely popular Terrace Motor Hotel in the Fifties; in the Seventies, the Austin Opry House (after Willie Nelson purchased the property), hosting the likes of Muddy Waters, Ike & Tina Turner, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, The Eagles, and more. Now, the South Congress property lives to see a new day.

“The story of the hotel is the story of Austin–of live music, of Willie and his friends,” says Bunkhouse Group chief executive officer, Amar Lalvani, “Of the late 1960s through the 1970s that created the character of Austin we all fell in love with. The free love counterculture mixed with Texan sensibility. The outdoors, the relishing of hot summers by finding refuge in the natural swimming holes, rivers, and creeks.”

Located on Music Lane, the 89-room hotel taps this Seventies Texan lakeside ethos in its design. Constructed from prefabricated timber panels, the architects, from San Antonio-based firm Lake Flato, created four treehouse-like structures connected by several walkways and courtyards. Hotel Magdalena also highlights sustainability in its construction—it’s the first hotel in North America made from mass timber, which is praised for such qualities.

“The big difference from the immediately neighboring new buildings such as the Soho House on South Congress is that the Magdalena is not a monolithic block. It’s organic. A collection of mass timber buildings that surround a private outdoor oasis that is informed by rather than fighting the topography and natural elements,” says Lalvani, “We focused a lot on the indoor and outdoor flow using landscaping and shading to manage the heat. Of course the fact you can always be barefoot on property and take a dip helps too.”

The rooms themselves are bright and airy with splashes of colorful Spanish tiles. Outfitted in Fifties-esque walnut furniture similar to that from designers like Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto, the guest rooms also make subtle nods to the Seventies with accents like record players, vintage vinyls, and imagery from music photographer Scott Newton.

The property also offers a full-service restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane—headed by chef Jeffrey Hundelt, formerly of Austin’s Launderette and Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon—and event space. “We found a great picture from the opening year of the Terrace Motor Hotel that shows a great ceiling lattice detail,” says Bunkhouse design director Tenaya Hills, “which we replicated into Douglas Fir in the event space and the restaurant.”

In the midst of it all sits a swimming pool inspired by the nearby Barton Springs, a recreational watering hole filled only with water from natural springs—perhaps one of the more obvious takeaways from the property’s historical footprint.

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