Timeworn beautiful hotels seem to trend in the great state of Texas. They have faces that display secrets of loss, struggle, pride, and elegance. Hundreds of guests have left their print on the rooms of these hotels. For decades the rooms have experienced countless lives and activities from honeymooners, travelers, business people, and even death. The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, has had its fair share of life and death, and it seems that imprints of both remain on the hotel.
When I first came across the Driskill Hotel, it much reminded me of the Stanley Hotel that represented the Overlook Hotel in the original movie of The Shining. I was immediately intrigued and started to dig.
The Romanesque in style Driskill is the creation of Col. Jesse Driskill of the confederate army, who served in the Civil War and gained his fortune from running cattle. The hotel’s grand opening was in December of 1886 and was well-received due to its opulence and grandeur.
Unfortunately, so I have read, tragedy struck only a year after the hotel opened in 1887 when the young daughter of a senator fell to her death on the grand staircase while chasing her ball. The child’s laughter can still be heard along with her footsteps around the stairs and throughout the fourth floor of the hotel, which seems to be the hub of most of the peculiar happenings.
It is rumored that Driskill killed himself four years after the hotel was built. I found no written fact of this, but I wonder if the many tragedies drove Mr. Driskill to take his own life. It is said that his detached spirit still roams the hotel from which he cannot part due to his great love for the structure.
The most prevalent legend that Driskell Hotel is owner of is the tale of the suicide brides. If your brave enough, you can experience your honeymoon at the hotel. It has everything from lovely rooms and a romantic setting, the hotel offers succulent meals, and it is in a superior location in downtown Austin on 6th street, but you may not make it out alive!
The bitter story begins with no set date but with room number 525. A beautiful young bride, only hours after her wedding, is found dead in the bathtub. The story is tragic and strange. Was the young bride murdered or took her own life due to some unhappiness?
I have so many questions that I was not able to find answers for, but what is even stranger is that 20 years later, to the date in the exact room, another bride committed suicide in the bathtub with no reason or explanation.
Some have argued that the room where both brides were found was not 525 at all but the Yellow Rose Suite, which is room 529. What I do know for a fact is that room 525 was shuttered for many years since guests experienced so much paranormal activity during their stay that many demanded another room or checked out of the hotel altogether. The room was reopened in 1998 and is still a hot spot for activity that seems to attract thrill-seekers and ghost hunters alike.
Even with a dark reputation of being haunted, the Driskill receives guests from all walks of life in droves.
Captivated by its grace and beauty, guests flock in every year to stay in the charming, well cared for rooms. The Driskill has a 5-star rating in atmosphere and hospitality, which is invaluable for a hotel’s reputation. Famous guests have frequented the Driskill, including Bill Murray, President Bill Clinton, and one of my absolute favorite singers, Louis Armstrong, performed at the hotel in 1931. “I’ve found my thrill on blueberry hill…” Oh, how I love Armstrong’s music!
It must have been a surreal experience when Mr. Armstrong performed in the luxurious atmosphere of the Driskill Hotel!
That’s enough, daydreaming for me. Perhaps one day, I will drag my scaredy-cat self down to Austin to have my own Driskill Hotel experience.