Photo Essay: A Tour of the Archer Hotel

Sweeping Stairs, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas

Sweeping Stairs, Archer Hotel – Austin, Texas

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Archer Hotel licensed one of my photos for their guest rooms. It’s an image of 6th Street, at night, after a rain storm and it fills the entire back wall of some Classic King rooms. John Magnuson gave me a tour of the just completed hotel and I shot photos throughout. Today, I wanted to show you the rest of the hotel.

The Archer just opened in September and it’s in the center of the new Northside development in The Domain. More than just a shopping center, some people call this Austin’s second downtown. It’s a mixed use area with lots of apartments, restaurants, retail and, of course, a hotel.

It was interesting. During my visit, I noticed 3 other groups of photographers. One was doing headshots for the staff with his portable lighting. Another had an elaborate setup with scrims in the restaurant, to do food photography, no doubt. A third group had a large tripod and cart with equipment, shooting the facilities. I, on the other hand, was there with my light-weight setup, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 9-18mm wide-angle lens. I had my small tripod so that I could do my usual HDR images.

Archer Hotel Classic King Room - Austin, Texas
Fitness Room, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas

We started with the Classic King room that features my image. After spending about 20 minutes, shooting every conceivable angle, John showed me the fitness center.

I loved the curves in this room — not only the ceiling but the placement of the exercise equipment. You see, when you shoot with a wide-angle lens, these curves become exaggerated and adds more drama. In fact, I noticed a lot of curves in the design, throughout the hotel.

Pool and Deck, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Seating and Cabana, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Flamingo and Pool, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas

John next took me to the pool and lounge. More curves, as you can see. It has a nice mix of seating including a number of semi-private cabanas. They also have these giant inflatable flamingos that I though would make a fun focal point. There’s still a lot of construction in the area, as the rest of the Northside is being built out. The crane in the background is from an office building.

2nd Floor Hallway, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Archer Sign, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Outdoor Lounge, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas

Back on the second floor, there is a wide corridor with meeting rooms on one side and a large outdoor deck, on the other. You may notice the photograph of wildflowers on the left. The hotel features many giant photos of scenes from around Austin.

Outside, you can see a view of he developing mini-city. A number of these multi-story apartments, with ground level retail, give the feeling of a vibrant urban space. It’s a nice alternative to living downtown since, unlike a typical suburb, there’s a lot to do within walking distance. There’s even a stretch of bars on Rock Rose, that resembles a downtown entertainment district.

Atrium, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Second Bar + Kitchen, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas
Lobby, Archer Hotel - Austin, Texas

On the first floor, there is a restaurant with a sizable glass atrium, the main lobby and check-in area. Architecturally, there are two dramatic structures — the atrium and the winding staircase. The staircase is front and center when you enter. You can see it from the lobby, with its giant image of horses, as well as from the lounge area on the second floor, which I feature in the lede photo.

The Archer is a substantial hotel which looks different from ones that you typically find in the suburbs. But it makes sense, given The Domain Northside, I believe, is vying for something more than just a regular suburban development. Looks like the Archer as well as the Northside is off to a great start.

I would like to go back again, to shoot the hotel in the evening. That’s the kind of photography that I really love. The mix of blue hour and man-made light. The glow and pooling of light, with darker mysterious corners. I’ll let you know, if I get the opportunity.

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