A top U.S. destination, San Antonio boasts an incredible collection of unique hotels
Travel and Leisure recently listed San Antonio as one of the top cities in the United States, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
A rich history as one of the nation's oldest cities. A distinct cultural identity that includes Spanish, Mexican, and American influences. A vibrant downtown social scene anchored by the city's centerpiece Riverwalk.
Befitting such a remarkable destination, the Alamo City is home to a number of unique and uniquely luxurious hotels. From a converted brewery to a former school to a boutique inn named in honor of a Texas and American hero, these are five of the best, most unique hotels in San Antonio.
Situated just north of downtown along the San Antonio Riverwalk, Hotel Emma began life as a 19th-century brewhouse. The hotel's namesake, Emma Koehler, oversaw the brewery during Prohibition and laid the foundation for what would eventually become Texas' largest brewhouse and the home of Pearl Beer. In addition to its colorful history, the building retains much of its original architectural character and its place as the centerpiece of an equally delightful neighborhood with numerous dining and shopping opportunities.
A National Historic Landmark, The St. Anthony dates back to the early 20th century. Once considered one of the nation's most luxurious hotels, The St. Anthony played host to the world's elite—celebrities, politicians, even royalty. Within the past few years, a $300-million renovation restored much of the hotel's original grandeur—a fusion of French and Fiesta styles, creating a unique San Antonio landmark.
The shell of this remarkable building overlooking the Riverwalk originally carried a more distinctive European facade. Built as a school in 1875, it served that purpose until 1966, when the St. Mary's University downtown campus moved to larger accommodations. Two years later, the building was repurposed and opened as a hotel just in time for the 1968 "Hemisfair" World's Fair. Today, its location and history make it a popular choice for travelers.
The classic Gothic revival Emily Morgan looms large over its neighbor, the Alamo, and is an icon of the San Antonio skyline. Constructed in 1924 as the Medical Arts Building, this structure was home to doctors and patients for over 50 years. After a short stint as an office tower, the Emily Morgan found its true calling as a 5-star luxury hotel. Aside from its high-end accommodations, the hotel is replete with ornate architectural details, the most famous of which are the exterior gargoyles depicting a specific medical ailment.
Named in honor of Davy Crockett, the famed outdoor frontiersman who gave his life defending the Alamo, The Crockett Hotel dates back to 1909. Those early years saw it pull double duty— part hotel, part members’ lodge for the Three Links Fraternity. The lodge eventually departed but the hotel stayed, and renovations in the early 1980s propelled the hotel to the National Register of Historic Structures. A more recent restoration brought the hotel up to modern standards while retaining every bit of its charm.
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