“The same family lived in that [house] all the way up until 2014,” said Cole Di Carlo, director of sales and marketing for Alexa Management, a hospitality industry firm that operates the Ruby Hotel.
Di Carlo said at that time, Alexa MGMT, along with other partners, decided to purchase the property and turn it into a hotel.
There was no concrete plan to create a theme for the property until someone stumbled upon a a letter that was addressed to a “Dearest Ruby” while developing the land to construct the hotel as it exists today.
Based on that letter, project leaders cultivated a fictitious back story for Ruby that would signify the essence and character of The Ruby Hotel.
“Ruby was a free spirit who was ahead of her time back in the mid-1900s, ... and she decided she was going to do all of the things that she wanted to do throughout life, which mostly was travel and experiencing the different things that life has to offer,” Di Carlo said. “But she always came home to Round Rock.”
The architectural style is what Di Carlo describes as “one with nature,” and he cites as evidence the fact that the structure could have been much bigger.
Because the land sits on the banks of Brushy Creek, most of the rooms have a waterfront view—36 of the hotel’s 39 rooms have a balcony that overlooks Brushy Creek.
“They built around nature and within it,” he said. “There are numerous times that people will drive past this place, A, never knowing that it’s a hotel, or B, never even taking notice that there is anything there at all.”
Beyond the hotel’s 39 rooms, the property contains a bar, which used to be the residential home, a swimming pool and an executive meeting room.
The rooms are either green or blue, and each is decorated with trinkets and other facets that are mostly unique to each individual room.
Since the hotel opened in 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced restrictions on businesses, Di Carlo said patronage is just now starting to ramp up at the Ruby.
Rooms are easier to book during the week, but it is a good idea to book one for the weekend at least two weeks in advance, he said, adding rates depend on the room and availability, but can run anywhere from a little bit over $100 to almost $300.
Due to events including Austin City Limits and Formula One, Di Carlo said October is already booked out.
The Ruby Hotel
400 Fannin Ave., Round Rock