Culture / Travel

Historic Austin Mansion Transformed into a Showcase Auberge Resort Wonderland

Commodore Perry Estate Will be a Hotel Like No Other

BY // 12.12.19
photography Commodore Perry Estate/Auberge Resorts Collection

Texans who’ve long savored the luxuries of Auberge Resorts Collection properties (think Napa’s Auberge du Soleil and Hawaii’s Mauna Lani) will soon have an Auberge of their own to dive into the sumptuousness that has earned Auberge the highest of plaudits both nationally and internationally. The Commodore Perry Estate is poised to open in Austin in the spring.

The California-based, Houston-owned hospitality group has been quietly working on transforming the 10-acre estate in Austin’s historic Hancock neighborhood for two years, reimagining the 10,800 square foot mansion that holds National Register of Historic Places distinction. Auberge, owned by The Friedkin Group, is billing the new jewel in its resort crown as its first urban retreat.

Tucked among resplendent trees on Waller Creek in the heart of Austin, not far from the University of Texas, the house that was built by Commodore Edgar and Lutie Perry in 1928, has seen many incarnations over the decades including several schools and as an event venue. The property is now destined to be all luxury all the time.

San Francisco-based designer Ken Fulk, who has worked his magic on such projects as San Francisco’s The Battery and Legacy Records in New York’s Hudson Yards, was tasked as creative director. His take on the adaptive reuse of the property is described by Auberge as having a “layered aesthetic that is part history, part imagination and part Austin.”

Designer Ken Fulk has created a whimsical aesthetic layering history with imagination and a touch of Austin in the Commodore Perry Estate Auberge (Photo by Commodore Perry Estate/Auberge Resorts Collection)
The swimming pool of the Commodore Perry Estate Auberge Resorts Collection (Photo by Commodore Perry Estate/Auberge Resorts Collection)

The Perry mansion, operating like something of a private estate, will boast five luxe suites decorated in a nod to the Perrys. The Edgar Perry Suite, for example, features safari-inspired patterns and plays on a love of world travel while the Lutie Perry Suite is all-Austin with its palette of pink velvet, faux fur and a muted leopard carpet. The structure will also house a restaurant with garden setting named Lutie’s, and a charming bar in the living room.

Tapped to lead the historic preservation and communications with the Historic Landmark Commission was the Austin-based architectural firm of Clayton & Little, which was responsible for the transformation/addition of the mansion, the chapel and the carriage house as well as for the design and drawings of Lutie’s.

A new three-story hotel with 42 guest rooms and seven terrace suites will bid a welcome in a courtyard style hotel shaded by post oak trees. Designed by the acclaimed Moule & Polyzoides of Pasadena, California, the building is outfitted by Fulk with a mix of mid-century Italian and 1920s Spanish pieces, vintage rugs and furnishings with much of the furnishings sourced from the Round Top Antiques Fair. Custom and heirloom pieces will reign throughout, according to Auberge.

Part of the allure of the property is the verdant 10 acres that Ten Eyck Landscape Architects have been working to transform to a peak of sensuous landscape beauty.

In addition the Commodore Perry Estate will offer private club membership and opportunities for private events such as weddings (there is a chapel on the property) and small confabs.

The project is the vision of Austin developer and filmmaker Clark Lyda, who worked many years to acquire the estate. He has partnered with Marchbanks Company on the expansion and preservation.

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