Austin hotels going all out with F1 themes – American Style

F1 cocktails

During Austin Grand Prix weekend, Formula One fans might find themselves sipping a Hairpin or Turn 1 cocktail at the W Hotel, snacking on an edible F1 flag atop checkerboard shortbread cookies at the Four Seasons or spending their off hours racing remote-controlled cars at Travaasa Experiential Resort.

Central Texas hotels and resorts are determined to make sure that during the weekend of Nov. 16, there’s plenty of vroom in their rooms.

At Four Seasons, this starts with the room amenity for Formula One guests. Instead of the typical fruit and cheese plate, the guest will get a plate covered in a printout of the map course. Atop that will be house-made energy bars whose wrapper will declare them “Racing Fuel,” an edible sugar paper and fondant F1 flag, checkerboard shortbread cookies and Red Bull gelee bites.

That added USA attention to detail

That’s not all. Not by 3.4 miles. Guests will also get an F1 Kit at turndown, including ear plugs (for the track, not the hotel), hand sanitizer, sunscreen, maps and bottled water.

“While we’ve had the opportunity to host several large-scale events, this is really the first chance we’ve had to showcase Austin to an international audience,” says Peggy Thompson, the Four Season’s director of marketing. “Fortunately, we had the advantage of being able to reach out to other Four Seasons hotels with experience hosting F1 events.”

Working from ideas that turned out well at those hotels, Four Seasons Austin went to work. The Lobby Lounge and Trio restaurant will have F1-themed bar menus and will add some high-end liquors. The spa will sell Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull jackets and logo items.

And, because the hotel recognizes its guests’ need for speed, it will offer a 15-minute room service menu and quickly bundled to-go meals, including breakfast. The hotel will shuttle its guests to the track, too.

Translation and interpretation laid on

The W Hotel is thinking along the same track.

“The team at W Austin has been working diligently for months to prepare for what will be one of the biggest events that Austin has ever seen,” says spokeswoman Amanda Sprague, adding that the hotel has put together a list of languages various staff members speak so they can help out with international guests.

Guests will get F1 lanyards and hats. Free breakfast pastries and coffee will be set up in the lobby so guests can eat and run. Guests will be able to call in room service orders as they’re leaving the track so that their food will be ready when they arrive.

Racing cocktails at the W are inspired by the names of tracks and racing terms such as Curva Grande, Green Hell, Silverstone, Turn 1 and Hairpin. The W’s Away Spa will extend its hours until 1 a.m., and the hotel is getting into the spirit of the F1 downtown festivals, selling tickets to VIP events featuring DJs and fashion shows.

Guests to get F1 experiences

Out at Lake Travis, Travaasa Experiential Resort is thinking experientially. Guests will get to try their hands at racing a fleet of remote-controlled T1 cars. Travaasa also is offering an archery class, and the high scorer will win a slice of pumpkin pie. After all, it’s not just F1 weekend; it’s the run-up to Thanksgiving.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort near Bastrop has something else in mind. It wants to inject racing fans with a healthy dose of Texas. The resort is bringing in the Texas Boot Company on Nov. 16 for a daylong trunk show of Old Gringo boots and Stetson hats. Guests will get custom fittings, and the hotel will ship their purchases home anywhere in the world so that they can walk the walk of Texas.

This is exactly the way the USA does these things. Everytime I visit the states I leave wishing the Europeans had the same passion to provide such levels of service and hospitality. The only amusement will be seeing how the Americans talk the F1 talk, that of course, might be a bit harder to deliver (Source: The Statesman).

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5 responses to “Austin hotels going all out with F1 themes – American Style

  1. Odd, as Americans tend to think that we generally get shitty service and hospitality here at home, and that overseas travels are luxurious and full service.

    • Realy, I’m surprised. Maybe if they’re going 5* Europe its fine, but try getting a waitress to get you a drink in the UK.

      Half the time they’re 16-18 yrs of age, students on minimum wage and don’t even know what the soup of the day is.

      Service staff in the US I’ve met can earn good money.

      • Level of service in Japan is also excellent, and the advantage there is you don’t need to tip – in fact they get offended if you try and tip them 🙂

    • yeah, i’m not buying what you’re saying. you tend to get what you pay for… and if you’re staying at the W, you’re getting premium service. it’s no HoJo.

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