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Top Trip Rentals Friendly Faces Shout-Out: KEY Concierge

Top Trip Rentals cards with profile of KEY Concierge founder and CEO Kim Shrum

You’re on a dream get-away to Austin. Quick: What’s your plan for an epic night out?

Can you figure out the hottest new restaurants in town? Need fresh flowers? Want a side trip somewhere fun?

Sure, it’s possible to wade through Google search results, Yelp reviews, and random “best of” articles. But don’t you have better things to do?

At the touch of a button, KEY Concierge’s team of local hospitality experts takes the nightmare planning out of your ATX destination agenda.

Why Top Trip Rentals Works with KEY Concierge

Top Trip Rentals bedroom view at 119 E. 6th Street Austin, TX
Would you really rather get up and go out than eat in at your Top Trip Rentals home-away-from-home? And with this view? #breakfastinbed Photo Credit: Twist Tours

Top Trip Rentals has your vacation rental home just like you’d like it, and KEY Concierge further enhances that stay. Technology helps their tea of hospitality experts develop and deliver customized itineraries in advance for out-of-towners.

Founder and CEO Kim Shrum created the app-based service to provide “next level” services for discerning travelers and staycationers.

“We’re in a rewarding business,” explains Shrum. “We’re creating memories for our clients through unique experiences you can’t buy out of a box.”

These special itineraries involve tapping into the local community to identify unique adventures (arranging day trips to Marfa or catering intimate dinner parties) as well as satisfying everyday needs.

Our Top Trip guests find that KEY Concierge is a big help with services such as pre-arrival grocery delivery, bar stocking, and airport transportation. No matter what’s on the agenda, KEY Concierge infuses its services with personable and thoughtful attention to detail.

Check This Out

Enhance your Top Trip Rental stay by booking one of KEY Concierge’s popular tours in Austin. Try the Brewery + BBQ Excursion. Outdoor lovers won’t want to miss KEY’s private Hill Country Ride or A Day on the Lake (so many ATX adventures to arrange!).

Tell Us About Your Experience

How has KEY Concierge enhanced your Austin stay with Top Trip Rentals? Add your comment here or show us on Instagram (@toptriprentals, #toptripping). Did you get the complimentary breakfast?

Top Trip Rentals special offer through KEY Concierge for complimentary breakfast

 

 

June 13, 2017

ACL memories

Clouds at sunset at ACL 2016

Now that the dust has settled (literally), let’s take a moment to reflect on ACL 2016. This year, festival managers went for a younger crowd and the music skewed heavy on EDM. I wandered around and saw a number of bands, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Melanie Martinez and Cage the Elephant all played fabulous sets, full of energy and showmanship.

This year, I didn’t have a must-see band, so honestly, I went because I had a Top Trip Rentals VIP pass and I LOVE the VIP area of ACL. If you have the money, (about $450/day vs. $100/day) it is so worth it. Here lies the promised land, just beyond the VIP gatekeepers–air conditioned flush toilets, free drinks from Tito’s Vodka and Troublemaker Wines, free food from local vendors like Ranch 616 and catered meals from Central Market. It’s called the “Grove” and it’s shady, and relatively quiet and has big-screen TVs set up for football and others showing the stages. It’s an oasis for sure in a sea of people and heat.

There are moments of pure transcendence at ACL, and for me, ironically, I end up spending as much time watching the crowds and clouds, as I do the bands. Don’t get me wrong, the music is great. But, Austin has a lot of great music happening at all hours in all places across town.

What makes ACL such a great place to experience music is the setting. ACL is set up in Austin’s Zilker Park, on the edge of Town Lake, with a great view of Austin’s ever changing skyline across the river. It’s really a gorgeous site.

October 13, 2016

The Best of Austin

Javelina Bar on Rainey Street in Austin

There is a lot to love about Austin. The people, the attitude, the winter weather, the music, and more. So, what do locals do when entertaining friends and family from out of town? I posed this question to Top Trip Rentals’ staff members and here’s some of our favorite places. Happy Travels!

Rebecca’s Top 5 favorite Austin spots:

  1. Walking the Greenbelt and stopping for swims in Barton Creek along the way!
  2. Margaritas and “Texas Radio Live” at Guero’s Oak Garden on Wednesday nights.
  3. Shopping the monthly specials at Room Service Vintage.
  4. Brunch at Counter Cafe. I recommend the mango mimosas and counter benedict.
  5. Walking the Butler Trail in the evening with a stop at Alta’s Cafe for a drink.
Sandra’s Top 5:
  1. Exploring the Greenbelt with my dog (with snacks and water).
  2. Drinks at Javelina on Rainey St.
  3. Biking on the Walnut Creek Trail.
  4. Barbacoa tacos from La Esperanza on S. Congress across from St. Edwards.
  5. Dancing the night away at Highland Lounge.
Outdoor patio at Javelina Austin on Rainey Street. Photo from www.Javelinabar.com
Outdoor patio at Javelina Austin on Rainey Street. Photo from www.Javelinabar.com

Brenda’s Top 5:

  1. Hike up Mt. Bonnell
  2. Angie’s Mexican Food on East 7th Street
  3. State Capitol – Both the grounds and the building.
  4. The Grove Wine Bar
  5. Esther’s Follies

Rene’s Top 5:

  1. A trip to Mayfield Park to see the peacocks.
  2. Touring the outdoor exhibit at AMOA’s Laguna Gloria location.
  3. The dining room of Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
  4. ACL!
  5. October weather

Whether you’re here for a few days or for one of Austin’s big music or film festivals like ACL or SXSW, check out some of our staff’s favorite locales in Austin and live like a local.

September 30, 2016

At Home with Art: Cornelius Carter at the Graeber Mansion

Artwork by Cornelius Carter of musician Prince at Austin's Grabber Mansion

At our Sixth Street vacation rental, the Graeber House, we are honored to display works from Cornelius Carter’s “Faces Series” including this portrait of the late musical genius Prince on the walls of our 4,800 square-foot 19th century home located in the heart of downtown Austin. Carter’s works are exhibited at the Graeber and on loan by his gallery IEI Austin.

Through the Graeber’s partnership with IEI Austin, our guests have enjoyed a rotating inventory of artwork including the canvases of William Stidham and Larry Graeber. At Top Trip Rentals, we value the contributions of the creative community as a part of what keeps Austin great and are happy to showcase local artists at our properties. Top Trip Rentals’ Graeber house has served as a pop-up gallery during the famous WEST shows and hosted IEI Austin gallery openings.

“Guests to the historic mansion can see Carter’s works of musical icons while staying in the heart of the entertainment district in a section of Austin that glorifies musicians,” says Top Trip Rentals owner and Graeber property manager Chereen Fisher. These rock star paintings grace the walls of the Graeber House, and are available for purchase through IEI Austin, Rhonda Rougeau gallery owner.

Cornelius Carter is an Austin-based, classically-trained artist with a style rooted in the traditional portraiture paintings of European masters while depicting subject matter dealing with societal struggles around race and class. From his eponymous website, Carter describes how he “weaves together imagery from history, mythology, childhood, and life experience to create images that are thought provoking, captivating, and beautiful. People and their relationships are a central theme…”

About the Artist: Carter was born and raised in 1970s Memphis, choosing to leave the South for more opportunities by attending the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art and Design on a partial scholarship. He moved to New York and sold paintings as a street artist in Greenwich Village before moving back to Memphis and finally choosing Austin as a place to raise his son and pursue his art. In 2015, Cornelius unveiled, “The Death of the King,” a large-scale portrait of the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Austin City Hall in a press event opening the “People’s Art Gallery” where Cornelius was chosen along with two others as a featured artist for 2015 from the approximately 1,250 entries submitted by more than 300 local artists and art organizations. “The Death of a King” was displayed at the Austin City Hall for all of 2015.

Prince photo
“Prince” by Cornelius Carter

August 4, 2016

Now how do I get around? Uber and Lyft suspend operations in Austin

You may or may not have heard, but Uber and Lyft have suspended operations in Austin due to a disagreement with Austin City Council. For an excellent summary of the issues, check out this Texas Monthly article about the debate. Welcome to Austin folks, we have lots of civic engagement!

So, if you’re in Austin without a car, what are your options? Well, you can go back to calling cabs, take Capital Metro (our public transportation), or try a newer ride hailing service like GetMe, RideFare and Wingz (for getting to and from the airport only). The two primary cab services in Austin are Yellow Cab and Austin Cab. However, none of Austin’s cab companies gets particularly good reviews on Yelp. From the Yelp complaints, it seems that these cab services take a long time to pick up, so give plenty of lead time before requesting one.

No one at Top Trip Rentals has tried it yet, but Shire Cab Company, gets great reviews. The driver, Al, is a local, a musician and apparently a character. You might try contacting Shire Cab Company if you’re looking for an Austin experience.

June 30, 2016

Stroll the West Sixth Street Shopping District

Interior view of Jonathan Adler boutique in Austin TX

Twenty years ago, shopping was pretty basic in Austin. If you wanted to go camping or backpacking, then there were plenty of choices for buying water purifiers and tents. Not exactly a spot for high fashion and design. Well, that my friends has changed. The last five years has really seen the growth of shopping options explode, from the newly and constantly expanding Domain Shopping area north of town, to small boutiques around downtown, there’s something for everyone now. And some of the most interesting and unexpected shopping can be found a short distance from our Littlefield Lofts vacation rentals at Sixth and Brazos. For a leisurely stroll from the LL building, start off with a pedicab or long walk heading west on Sixth Street toward the intersection of Lamar and Sixth Street. This is an area near a shopping region known as West End or West Sixth Street.

For a nice way to spend a few hours, we at Top Trip Rentals highly recommend taking in a few boutiques and shops along this expanding downtown shopping corridor. Never one to preach what I don’t practice, I spent a leisurely breakfast recently at Walton’s Fancy and Staple on Sixth Street with a friend before heading out for a few stores on West Sixth Street. Walton’s is housed in a historic building and has a little of everything–food, pastries, coffee, antiques for sale, garden supplies and other curios. Not having eaten yet that day, I ordered the breakfast tacos, but once my friend’s shrimp and grits arrived, I knew I’d made a mistake. Get some Southern Comfort food at Walton’s…it seems to be their speciality.

After filling up on cappuccino (the coffee here is good!), I was ready to walk toward my ultimate destination–birthday shopping for a friend at the Jonathan Adler Boutique on West 5th Street near the Lamar intersection. As my companion was headed on to BookPeople after breakfast, together we strolled down West Sixth by not-yet-open bars and not-yet-finished condo construction to make our way to the intersection of Sixth and Lamar.

Around this busy pedestrian and traffic-filled crossing, there are a few women’s clothing stores, like Antropologie and Title Nine where I stopped in to see if anything caught my eye (it didn’t) and then finally headed over to 5th and Lamar, making a quick dash into West Elm and then onto the shiny explosion of cool that is Jonathan Adler’s Austin store. How I want to buy everything in here! From subversively messaged cross-stitch pillows to candles that smell like Vodka, Jonathan Adler has everything that a downtown Austin loft needs to shine the brightest. Not much in the way of camping supplies, but this Austin outpost of JA has everything a downtown loft craves–sparkly, modern and clever furniture and accessories.

And if you are still in the market for camping supplies, never fear, REI is housed a block away in between BookPeople and Anthropologie. So, now, Austin’s got you covered from the outdoors to the outlandish! Shop On!

Shopping in Austin at the gorgeous Jonathan Adler boutique.
Shopping in Austin at the gorgeous Jonathan Adler boutique.

May 2, 2016

SXSW is here!

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In 10 days, our city is going to be bursting at the seams with musicians, techies, film buffs, actors, travelers, fans, geeks, and more. All will converge on our humble city and turn it into the place to be in the universe for 10 days in March.

There are so many amazing people in town for this extended week’s programming. Two panels that I would love to see are Daniel Pink on Friday, March 13 and the Bill Gurley and Malcolm Gladwell’s featured session on Sunday, March 15. For all other offerings, here is a panel summary for SXSW 2016. Get planning!

 

March 1, 2016

Top Trip Rentals announces partnership with KEY Concierge

119 E 6th St-small-014-14-Street Signs and ExteriorsBW-666x424-72dpi

At Top Trip Rentals, we strive to provide our guests with the most amazing stay possible. We know that time away from life is limited and that vacations are precious opportunities to reconnect with friends and loved ones or simply to unwind from the stress of life. 

To enhance your stay, we have partnered with KEY Concierge.  They not only handle the essentials…pre-arrival grocery + stocked bar, transportation, food delivered in, etc…they also deliver five-star experiences curated by local concierge.  Whether it’s a customized taste of Austin, guided hill country hike + picnic, live music crawl, breakfast taco + bloody marys delivered to your door or waiting in a five-hour line for the infamous Franklin BBQ, the sky’s the limit. To make your trip seamless and experience the best of Austin, let their local concierge team handle the details so you can arrive + relax.   austin@key.co | 512.640.4888.

“We are excited to provide concierge services for guests staying at Top Trip Rental vacation homes,” says Erin Kotzur, KEY Concierge Director of Business Development. “We make stays memorable by crafting the perfect itinerary and handling the details so guests don’t have to,” she added.

Top Trip Rentals will continue to provide guests with Austintacious ways of enjoying their stay through information found on our blogFacebookTwitterPinterest boards and Instagram. “At Top Trip Rentals, we continue our commitment to giving each guest personal assistance, so we’re always just a phone call away to help you, but for more elaborate requests, we wanted to be able to give guests additional services, like access to KEY Concierge, that will improve their stay,” says Chereen Fisher, Founder of Top Trip Rentals.

January 8, 2016