Austin’s famous Commodore Perry Estate is entering its next chapter as a luxury resort. On Monday June 29th, the Auberge Resorts Collection at the Commodore Perry Estate will officially open its centuries-old doors to the public.
Located on 10 acres on the corner of Red River and 41st Streets, the resort has 12 suites and 42 guest rooms. Lutie’s, a high-end restaurant that is open to guests and the public; Fitness center; 50 foot oval swimming pool and lounge area; Organic garden; a renovated chapel became an event space; and a resident membership program.
Built in 1928 at the height of the Jazz Age, the project was inspired by the original owners’ travels across Europe and included the careful renovation of the original Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, which now houses five stunning suites.
Four of the rooms are named after a member of the Perry family, including the lively Mrs. Perry Suite (perfect for a wedding reception) and the leather-clad Mr. Perry Suite with charcoal drawings on the walls. But it is the LaVerne suite, with its pattern-on-pattern interior, where I only looked through the mirror, that is sure to flock design fiends.
Ken Fulk is in charge of design in both the manor house and the adjacent inn. The renowned designer, who divides his time between New York and San Francisco, has acquired furniture, paintings and various art objects for years to bring the vision to life. Almost every room has something unique about it, be it a shelf of vintage books or bespoke tiles designed specifically for that space.
Fulk’s bespoke design ethos is reflected throughout the resort, starting from the moment a guest enters the property and is greeted by a hotel employee and given an actual physical key. In their room, visitors will find personal details – a favorite cocktail, a beloved book – to make the experience as personal as possible.
On the architecture side, Moule and Polyzoides as well as Austin’s Clayton & Little came to Fulk. The firms were hired to renovate both the original 1928 mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the chapel, built in 1948, and to design the brand new inn, which includes 42 guest rooms and seven terrace suites. There is also a 360-degree mural designed by Deborah Phillips in the foyer of the Inn. She imagined what the property must have looked like when Perry first bought the property as a “country house”.
Outside, the property’s meticulously manicured English gardens have been brought to their former glory by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects of Austin. Set amongst box trees and ivy are fountains and sculptures, including one of Shakespeare’s mischievous pucks that overlooks a lawn where the resort hosts Sunday outdoor brunch for guests.
The culinary experience is offered by Lutie’s, the hotel’s own restaurant, which is due to open in the fall. Susana Querejazu and Bradley Nicholson, formerly Barley Swine and Odd Duck, will lead the team. Although a menu has not yet been released, Lutie’s “Texas Heritage Cuisine with accessible cuisine prepared in creative, upscale ways” features locally sourced ingredients while taking advantage of the resort’s organic gardens.
Like its previous iteration, this Commodore Perry Estate is likely to become a destination for events. Originally built as a school, the 1,600-square-foot chapel has been updated and now has 3,000 square feet of outdoor space.
“It is with great pride that we bring this beautiful property to life with a relaxed elegance that evokes the true spirit and uniqueness of Austin,” said Marco Bustamante, general manager of Commodore Perry Estate, in a press release. “We’re delighted that the local community and guests can gather and relax alongside contemporary glamor, quirky soul, and laid-back luxury.”
The newly minted resort is local developer Clark Lyda and The Marchbanks Company. In a press release, Lyda said he selected the Auberge Resorts Collection as a hospitality partner to “bring his vision for the property to life”.
“We are excited to introduce the Auberge Resorts Collection’s first urban property in the dynamic city of Austin,” said Craig Reid, President and CEO of Auberge Resorts Collection. “The Commodore Perry Estate is a love letter to the city, the local Austin community, and the unique culture that thrives here.”