Summer vacation is looking a lot different this year and you guys have been asking me for weekend getaways that are within driving distance from Austin/Central Texas. I just stayed at Shady Villa Hotel in Salado Texas (416 S Main St) – a quick 45-minute drive from Central Austin, 45-minute from Waco, 23 minutes from Georgetown, and 25 minutes from Killeen. This landmark hotel was built in 1816 and is believed to the oldest remaining structure in Salado, also houses the oldest and most iconic restaurant in the Lone Star state. Bunkhouse has taken over Shady Villa Hotel and given the beloved hotel a facelift.
Shady Villa Hotel in Salado, Texas was once a stop on the Chisholm Trail, and Sam Houston, George Custer, and Jesse James were rumored to have visited the property. Since its reopening, the inn now features 48 re-imagined guest rooms, a heated swimming pool that offers weekend poolside bar service, and the Shady Villa Bar featuring beloved, classic recipes, alongside current interpretations of Texas favorites. While the hotel still maintains its glorious historic presence, modern design aesthetics have been thoughtfully adapted throughout the property, from the curated private patios with butterfly chairs, to the Sferra linens and 24-hour concierge service.
SEE ALSO: 11 Best Things to Do in Salado TX
We stayed two nights at Shady Villa Hotel and this was just the nature escape I needed from the city. If you like plants as I do, you’ll love the lush landscaping of palm trees, banana trees, and more!
The inn offers several amenities:
Shady Villa Hotel Amenities
- Free parking
- On-property restaurant & bar
- Free high-speed internet (WiFi)
- Heated swimming pool
- Room Service (during restaurant hours only)
- Curated Mini-Bar
- Sferra linens
- Full bar/lounge
- Children activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
- Dog-friendly (small charge per night)
- Banquet room
- Meeting rooms
Shady Villa Hotel features 48 beautifully restored and renovated rooms and suites. Each space is thoughtfully appointed with simple furnishings and exclusive, deluxe amenities including:
- Sferra bed linens
- Salado bar soap by Austin artisan Noah Marion
- 100% cotton robes and bedspreads designed exclusively for Shady Villa Hotel
- Private patios with butterfly chairs and rustic tables
- Smart TVs in every room
The pool at Shady Villa Hotel is a heated pool with plenty of colorful lounge chairs and floaties.
SEE ALSO: 11 Best Swimming Holes in Austin
Photo by by Nick Simonite
Shady Villa Hotel does have an outdoor bar for parties and weddings. You can call the restaurant to get cocktails delivered to the pool!
Shady Villa Hotel’s restaurant is actually the oldest restaurant in Texas! It’s a longstanding traveler’s pit-stop and town watering hole, serving Salado locals and passersby since 1861. It’s open daily for order-and-go takeout breakfast and dine-in service for lunch, dinner, and all-day Sunday brunch.
We ate the following during our stay:
- 1861 Hushpuppies with whipped honey butter**
- SCI burger
- Chicken fried steak**
- Strawberry kiss dessert
- Hibiscus margarita – so good!**
** my favs
10% off stays now through September 30, 2022 using code: KOKO
Things to do in Salado, Texas
Salado is a small town – it’s only 2.2 miles and has a population of 2,351! For its tiny size, there’s actually plenty of coffee shops, vintage stores, gift shops, and even a brewery.
Located right across from Shady Villa Hotel:
- Sugar Shack – candy shop with fill-you-own-bag
- Chupacabra Kitchen
- Ro Shaw Clay Studio and Gallery
- Barrow Brewing Company – Bell County’s first micro-brewery
- Salado Creek
10-minute driving distance:
- Miller’s Smokehouse – located in Belton, this local barbecue spot is worth the drive. They are doing only curbside orders so you can order ahead and pick up. I loved the ribs and the smoked chicken!
- Village Mill Antiques – located just up the road from the inn
- Chalk Ridge Falls Park –
- Old Fashioned Burgers & Ice Cream
- Salado Winery
- Axis Winery
RELATED: 10 Spots For The Best BBQ In Austin