Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection, the storied architectural landmark situated on 10 secluded acres in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, opened recently as the first urban destination for Auberge Resorts Collection. A glamorous social hub and historic former residence, designer Ken Fulk’s debut hotel is a transportive metropolitan oasis offering gracious Texas hospitality.
Craig Reid, president & chief executive officer, Auberge Resorts Collection, said, “We are thrilled to introduce Auberge Resorts Collection’s first urban estate in the dynamic city of Austin. Commodore Perry Estate is a love letter to the city, local Austin community, and the unique culture that thrives here. We are overjoyed to welcome guests to a modern-day interpretation of the Perry family’s iconic country home, where they will enjoy an intimate social scene, sprawling grounds, and cultural experiences that are intended to be as unforgettable as the Estate itself.”
Commodore Perry Estate is the vision of local developer Clark Lyda. In collaboration with local partner The Marchbanks Company, Lyda worked for many years to acquire Commodore Perry Estate and selected Auberge Resorts Collection as the hospitality partner to bring his vision for the property to life.
A treasured Austin landmark reborn
Originally built at the height of the Jazz Age in 1928 as the country home of businessman Edgar Perry and his wife Lutie Perry, the 10-acre property was designed by H.B. (Hal) Thompson as a private haven for the Perry family. Inspired by the owner’s European travels, the original estate included a large Italianate mansion, carriage house, and formal gardens, all built along Waller Creek and enclosed within a stone wall. At the time, the Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, set a new precedent for gracious entertaining. In 1944, Edgar Perry sold the estate declaring the mansion was, “a great place to throw a party, but too big to live in.”
In a collaboration comprising renowned urbanist architecture firm Moule and Polyzoides, internationally known designer Ken Fulk, and local, award-winning firms Clayton & Little and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, the property has been meticulously restored and enhanced with a modern take on its stately design. The result is a spectacular new destination hotel and private club.
The centerpiece of Commodore Perry Estate is the original 10,800-square-foot Mansion, which embodies an elevated, residential-style atmosphere. Within the Mansion, all five bedrooms of the Perry family’s original residence have been transformed by Fulk into charmingly distinctive hotel suites that pay homage to the Mansion’s original inhabitants. Signature Suites include Mr Perry’s Suite, which reflects Mr Perry’s love of world travel and high culture with a safari-inspired play of patterns; Mrs Perry’s Suite with its softer palette of pink, velvet, faux fur, and muted leopard; LaVerne’s Suite, honoring the woman who purchased the Estate in 1974 and preserved it for Austin; Edgar Perry, Jr.’s Suite and Hal Thomson’s Suite. When combined, Mr and Mrs. Perry’s Suites form the largest and most exclusive accommodation on the Estate, with his and hers master suites, along with a spacious living room and dining table for eight.
The main floor of the Mansion includes a formal entry and main hall, several intimate gathering spaces, including a new craft cocktail bar in the Living Room and an oval, book-lined library for reading, quiet conversation, and games. The Mansion’s Solarium provides an idyllic setting for small bites, cocktails, and informal dining experiences throughout the day. Guests can also enjoy culinary delights in the Mansion’s Dining Room, Breakfast Nook, Living Room, and Library. With a wide range of indoor and outdoor lounge options, including the Loggia and Terrace, guests can delight in a daily menu of Estate favourites and signature cocktails while taking in intimate music performances, intriguing talks, or tastings.
The new three-story Inn, housed in a gracious courtyard-style structure shaded by palm trees, comprises 42-guest rooms and seven terrace suites. Located adjacent to the Mansion, the Inn was designed by celebrated Pasadena-based firm, Moule & Polyzoides, and features an elegant colonnade perfectly suited to the history of the estate. The interior offers spacious, contemporary guest rooms as envisioned by Fulk with custom accents, heirloom vintage pieces, and Juliette balconies overlooking lush, fragrant gardens, and a courtyard. The lower level of the Inn, which is marked by a show-stopping corridor clad in high-gloss curry-coloured paneling, offers one- and two-bedroom suites furnished with an eclectic mix of mid-century Italian and 1920s Spanish pieces. Designed for entertaining, each suite highlights the elegance of a historic country estate with unique features, including a private garden and oversized terrace for taking in stunning views of the Estate’s formal landscaping.
Bold design with a sense of curiosity
Throughout the property, every space has been designed with a mix of bespoke details and storied antique furnishings, creating an atmosphere that feels layered and collected over time. Under the direction of Fulk, who served as both designer and creative director of Commodore Perry Estate, the property features imaginative elements hand-selected over two years of shopping excursions to Round Top Antiques Fair, the Lone Star State’s most reputable destination for antiquing.
Inspired by European elegance and Gatsby-era bon vivant vibes, Commodore Perry Estate is a fantastical place where guests can sit back and relax or experience the Estate’s endless and vibrant programming. The hotel’s unexpected palette of muted pinks, apricots, curries, and celadons in rich velvets and timeless patterns, complemented by storied furniture pieces and hand-painted murals by artist Deborah Phillips, speak to its place in contemporary Austin within a historical space. Although the Estate is grand, there is an ease and familiarity that invites guests to relax as if it was their own home.
Standout property features include a dramatic 50-foot oval swimming pool, a fitness center, and an organic kitchen garden. When ready to get out and explore Austin, guests can hop on vintage-inspired bicycles or in complimentary house cars.
The diverse menu of guest experiences at Commodore Perry Estate features memorable activities for guests of all ages. From enjoying a signature ice-cream cone from Lutie’s Ice Cream Bike to sipping soulful Texas whiskey on the lawn overlooking original fountains and sweet-smelling flower varieties, guests are invited to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Fulk said, “As designer and creative director of the property, our goal was to craft guest experiences that would celebrate this utterly unique estate. Everything – from the interior design to the in-room amenities and the offerings around the estate – was designed to merge the property’s relaxed European charm with truly gracious Texas hospitality.”
On Sundays, guests can slow things down with an artisanal picnic basket brimming with delectable bites and beverages from Lutie’s Garden Restaurant, or take in the sounds of local, live music in the garden. Those seeking educational experiences can join the Commodore Perry Estate team for bi-weekly herb gardening and plant propagation classes or partake in Infusions 101: a class devoted to infusing spirits with house herbs and dried fruits in the Estate’s Apothecary. As evening approaches, guests can gather at the Mansion for a nightly Punchbowl Cocktail Hour complete with vintage lawn games and sunset watching.
A True Texas Culinary Experience
Known for her lavish Jazz Age social gatherings and soirées, estate matriarch Lutie Perry and her convivial spirit will live on through the Estate’s forthcoming Lutie’s Garden Restaurant. One of the most highly anticipated restaurants in Austin, Lutie’s will welcome guests in Fall 2020. When it debuts, the restaurant will evoke effortless glamour and warm hospitality in a refined garden setting with the distinctive personality of a standalone restaurant.
Lutie’s Garden Restaurant will offer Texas heritage cuisine featuring approachable fare prepared in creative, elevated ways. Menus will celebrate regional flavours and spotlight seasonal, organic ingredients sourced from the Estate’s in-house gardens and local purveyors. The ever-changing seasonal menus will be complemented by a robust beverage programme featuring craft cocktails; a curated collection of rare and vintage liquors, digestifs, and spirits; craft beers highlighting the best brewers in the state; an expansive wine list with a focus on natural wines and coffee in partnership with beloved, local roaster Tiny House.
Helming the restaurant’s ingredient-driven culinary programme are husband-and-wife team Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu, formerly of revered neighbourhood establishments Barley Swine and Odd Duck. After years of honing their expertise at esteemed restaurants all over the world, their return to Austin marks a homecoming for the distinguished duo.