Thursday, February 09, 2012

Heywood Hotel Grand Opening

Heywood Hotel is the East Side's first boutique hotel in Austin. Mai and I were able to spend a day together the other day doing what we love best - exploring Austin. Attending the grand opening of this absolutely adorable hotel Mai has been following the progress of and recommending friends stay here for awhile was one of the things on our agenda. And what a cute place it was! Excuse the iPhone quality photos. Fortunately, the sun was shining so beautifully and each room was so full of light that most of the places photographed just fine.
Mai and I enjoyed fresh hibiscus lemonade then perused the open rooms complete with local artists' works from the local art to the pillows, and chose our favorites. As I was going through my photos, I realized I obsessed over the many skylights which made the entire experience in each space feel light and airy, one of the architectural genius touches of this place. 
 Please note the photo above is a 360 degree panorama to show the decorating and finishing details and not an accurate or to scale architectural representation of this particular room.
 One of the enclosed patios with an open air skylight streaming in sunlight over head.
 A bathtub and open shower with an enclosed skylight letting the light flood in.
 Another gorgeous skylight. 
After we had seen all of the gorgeously architect-ed, styled and surprisingly affordable rooms, we again walked upstairs to the peaceful open air upstairs courtyard.
As you walk up the stairs to the open air courtyard and upstairs rooms

 Photo credit for the above photo goes to the lenders for Heywood, Capital CDC. Included because Mai and I are in the photo. That's me, in the bright orange and hot pink dress, and Mai in the navy and white.
 We sat down to enjoy the gourmet cheese and fruit spread with spicy pecan brownies in that same courtyard,
before the owners, Kathy and George gave a little talk. The architect from KRDB, Chris Krager, spoke first. Note: May be boring, but totally fascinating to me information ahead on the architectural work, design, and pure tenaciousness it took to make this place.
He talked about how his colleagues and he joked that this project was tougher than the Austonian as they managed to fit SO much into such a small space - the average lot size of a house in East Austin. He also spoke about how, in turn, it was such a rewarding project because they did find that they could do so much in such a small area.

Council Member Mike Martinez spoke how he was in support of the project from day one, supporting Kathy and George's dream to bring a boutique hotel to the East Side.
My favorite though, was hearing Kathy talk about her dream that has been in the works for three years, how they sunk all their savings into it, the support of her and her husband's parents, and, most of all, the support of her husband, George.
Hearing her speak was so inspiring. She talked about how amazed she was at the things her husband did throughout the process that she didn't even realize he was capable of and the new found admiration and respect she had for him out of that. She thanked her husband for supporting her, believing in her more than she did, and, most of all, for keeping her sane.
Her references made me laugh at how similar their relationship sounds to Brando's and I, but they have accomplished SO MUCH. Gives me hope and inspiration that one day Brando and I will accomplish as much as well. Her words of advice for following your dreams, which I loved, were, "Find someone who believes in your dream and you as much, or more, than you do." Then, "Be tenacious." The people she found to believe in her dream was the architect she hired, the councilman, and most of all, her husband. Then, her husband spoke about how he was so proud of her and all of her hard work over the last three years. He spoke about how amazed he was when she branched off into areas of expertise she'd never worked in before and blew it out of the water. He mentioned how none of this would have happened if not for her. Their story was such a sweet love story of working together and accomplishing your dreams that left me totally inspired, and even more in love with their now finished project, the Heywood Hotel.


Kathy at the Heywood said...

This totally made my day! Thank you for coming to the grand opening and for writing such a beautiful piece about our hotel. (And thanks to you and Mai for understanding the pre-party craziness -- I think that was you in room 2?!) I'm so touched by this write up, thank you!

Camels & Chocolate said...

The first pic of you is adorable! And I don't think these photos look grainy at all. Sometimes if mine look a bit grainy on my phone (which they do if I take them in really low light), I'll use the Camera+ app (I think it's $1.99?) and use the "clarity" function to improve it a bit. Other than that, I'm not sure what you could have done any better!


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