Love Letter

Dear Hotel St. Cecilia, You've Spoiled Me for Life

by Andrea Arria-Devoe
Photo by Mike Maguire.

Dear Hotel St. Cecilia,

Nice going. You've spoiled me for life. That minibar. No, minibars, plural. More artisanal chocolate than a food snob could hope for (Mariebelle croquettes, dark chocolate peppermint squares from England, Askinose single origin white chocolate), Scottish shortbread, sea salt chips, bison jerky, Texas peanuts, and a fridge full of salumi and cheese. I didn't even get to the blackfish lump caviar — anything less feels like a personal insult from management. Very thoughtful to keep me hydrated with a pitcher of Richard's Rainwater left by the door every night.

I'm not easily wooed by small, overpriced bottles of lotion, but the spa minibar was something. Thanks for introducing me to the minty sting of Couto Portuguese toothpaste and the earthy clean of India's iconic Nag Champa soap.

Lived-in leather Chesterfield couches, lighted chandeliers hanging from trees, the old Citro├źn permanently parked in the middle of the property: You make it all look so effortless. But you know how to set a cool, relaxed mood. Even my two-year-old fell hard for your charming grounds, running like a dervish into the night while mom sipped red wine with a pair of friendly Christian pop stars.

I'm not sure when I'll make it back to the Lonestar State. So for now I'll hold on tight to the memory of listening to your record collection while wrapped in an electric blue cashmere blanket and eating homemade scones with lemon curd and guajillo honey on Christmas morning.

Yours truly,


Hotel St. Cecilia
112 Academy Drive
Austin, TX 78704


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