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Zagat Survey: Austin HEAD Executive Travel

September 18, 1996

The capital of Texas is a graceful city of wooded hills, tall trees and period architecture.It is home to a major research university, a high-tech center and a lively music culture.

Best Hotels

Austin Marriott At The Capitol

701 E. 11th St; (800) 228-9290

Conveniently located within a short walk of the Capitol and the University of Texas, this well-run, first- class business hotel is excellent for conferences (except for the too few, too slow elevators).Guests laud the new, fresh look, friendly service, outstanding breakfast buffet; and in-house sports bar where fans cheer the Longhorns.

Rooms: 20, Service: 20, Dining: 19, Public Facilities: 20, Cost: $140

*

Barton Creek

8212 Barton Club Drive; (800) 336-6158

This country- club-like facility in the Hill Country area is the definition of a resort, with top golf, tennis and spa facilites- even a "swimming hole." The low- rise stone buildings are spread out, but the corporate types for whom this getaway is designed don't seem to mind, because handy golf carts whisk them around.

Rooms: 25, Service: 25, Dining: 23, Public Facilities: 25, Cost: $200

*

Four Seasons Hotel, Austin

98 San Jacinto Blvd.; (800) 332-3442 Austin's highest- rated hotel's considered a classy place with sophisticated, non-intrusive service and the best food and wine in the city. More laid-back than Southwestern hospitality-it is beautifully situated on Town Lake and offers a box seat for bat viewing, a popular evening ritual. The shady waterfront terrace is a favorite brunch spot for locals.

Rooms: 26, Service: 25, Dining: 24, Public Facilities: 25, Cost: $210

*

Hyatt Regency Austin

208 Barton Springs Road; (800) 233-1234

Although it boasts a great location near shopping, theaters and top restaurants, this hotel strikes some as too big and impersonal. But others recall a warm welcome with wonderful food (some of the best faijitas in town) and nice athletic facilites. Recent renovations should blunt criticism that public areas and guest rooms are shopworn.

Rooms: 21, Service: 21, Dining: 19, Public Facilities: 20, Cost: $175

*

Zagot Surveys are a series of regional dining and lodging guides based on extensive ratings and reveiws contributed by local restaurant goers and travelers. Ratings for food, decor and services are based on a numerical scale: 0-9, poor to fair; 10-19, good to very good;

20-25, very good to excellent; 26-30, extraordinary to perfect.

For more information or to participate in future surveys, call (800) 333-3421. Copyright 1995, Eugene H. Zagot Jr. and Nina S. Zagot

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