Austin's storied Commodore Perry Estate is entering its next chapter as a luxury destination resort. On Monday, June 29, the Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection officially opened its century-old doors to the public.
Perched on an expansive 10 acres on the corner of Red River and 41st streets, the resort features 12 suites and 42 guest rooms; Lutie's, a high-end restaurant open to guests and the public; fitness center; 50-foot oval swimming pool and lounge area; organic garden; a renovated chapel turned event space; and a membership program for residents.
Built in 1928 at the height of the Jazz Age and inspired by the original owners' travels through Europe, the project included painstaking renovations of the original Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, which now houses five jaw-dropping suites.
Four of the rooms are named after a member of the Perry family, such as the buoyant Mrs. Perry suite (perfect for a bridal party) and the leather-clad Mr. Perry suite complete with charcoal figure drawings lining the walls. But it's the LaVerne suite, with its pattern-on-pattern, did-I-just-go-through-the-looking-glass interiors that's sure to bring design fiends flocking.
Leading the design in both the Mansion and the adjacent Inn is Ken Fulk. The renowned designer, who splits his time between New York and San Francisco, spent years acquiring furniture, paintings, and various objets d'art to bring the vision to life. Nearly every room features something unique, whether it's a shelf lined with vintage books or bespoke tile designed specially for the space.
Fulk's bespoke design ethos echoes throughout the resort, beginning with the first moment a guest enters the property and is greeted by a member of the hotel staff and given an actual physical key. In their room, visitors will find personal touches — a favorite cocktail, a beloved book — to make the experience as personal as possible.
Joining Fulk on the architecture side were Moule and Polyzoides and Austin-based Clayton & Little. The firms were tasked with both renovating the original 1928 mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the chapel, built in 1948, as well as designing the brand-new Inn, which includes 42 guest rooms and seven terrace suites. The Inn's foyer also holds a 360-degree mural designed by Deborah Phillips who imagined what the property must have looked like when Perry first purchased the estate as a "country" house.
Outside, the estate's meticulously manicured English Gardens have been restored to the height of their former glory by Austin-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects. Nestled among the boxwoods and ivy are fountains and sculptures, including one of Shakespeare's mischievous Puck who overlooks a lawn where the resort will host al fresco Sunday brunch for guests.
Providing the culinary experience is Lutie's, the onsite restaurant scheduled to open this fall. Husband-and-wife team Susana Querejazu and Bradley Nicholson, formerly of Austin's Barley Swine and Odd Duck, will lead the team. Though a menu has not been released, Lutie's will offer "Texas heritage cuisine featuring approachable fare prepared in creative, elevated ways" and include regional ingredients while also making use of the resort's organic gardens.
Like its previous iteration, this Commodore Perry Estate will likely become a destination for events. The 1,600-square-foot Chapel, originally built when the site was a school, has been updated and now includes 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 release. “We are excited for the local community and guests to gather and unwind alongside contemporary glamour, whimsical soul and relaxed luxury.”
The newly minted resort is the work Austin developer Clark Lyda and The Marchbanks Company. In a release, Lyda says he selected Auberge Resorts Collection as the hospitality partner to "bring his vision for the property to life."
“We are thrilled to introduce Auberge Resorts Collection’s first urban estate in the dynamic city of Austin,” said Craig Reid, president and CEO of Auberge Resorts Collection. “Commodore Perry Estate is a love letter to the city, local Austin community and the unique culture that thrives here.”