Hotel San Jose

Built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motor court, the Hotel San Jose was transformed into a 40 room urban bungalow-style hotel set amidst lush garden courtyards in the center of South Congress. The hotel was purchased in the mid-90s by Austin heroine, Liz Lambert, and catalyzed her stratospheric rise as a hotelier. She slowly transformed the “by-the-week” motel into one of Austin’s most revered hotels, reviving the South Congress neighborhood along with it. Today South Congress is one of the hippest neighborhoods around, and this hotel was where it all started. The San Jose serves as a gathering place and occasional hub of community activity for locals and visitors alike. Dogs are always welcome.


The Challenge

Hotel San Jose was long overdue for a new website. The previous site relied heavily on Flash, did not reflect the physical experience of the hotel, and had no space to feature the events that make this hotel unique. It also played music whether you liked it or not, and frankly did not care if you found what you were looking for. It did everything possible to prevent you from booking a room.

We’ll just say it was a difficult site to use both internally and externally. The saving grace was that visitors usually summed up the ultra poor experience to a “hipster thing”.

The Result

Working with the incredibly-talented Bunkhouse team, we set to work creating a plan to revive their digital marketing strategy. We built a responsive framework that leveraged some great new photography, customized a WordPress CMS, integrated and skinned a custom booking widget, redesigned their Shopify store, and sprinkled in some SEO.

The hardest part about this project was deciding what to leave off the site, though we’re happy with the decisions we made. If you’re in Austin, be sure to spend the night at the Hotel San Jose.

Hotel San Jose project screen

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