I had the pleasure of staying at + blogging about Hotel Emma in San Antonio, which was once a smokey 19th century brewery! How intriguing!
San Antonio, Texas.
The “Artesian” room is where I stayed – very modern with quirky finishes (the bathroom was my best, with a huge tub). I must make a special mention of the feature handmade Spanish porcelain tile, Malin+Goetz toiletries and Frette towels in the rooms + suites!
The view overlooks the San Antonio river + the historic brewery complex now offering dining, shopping, a farmers’ market & event space.
I must make a special mention of “Popped Culture” – artisanal organic popcorn from San Antonio – in the room snack bar.
Today, the hotel offers 5 different types of rooms and suites. It also offers various venues for business meetings + weddings!
The lobby area is very big + striking (I had a sort of Moroccan feel) with easy access to a restaurant, bar + library! (complimentary cocktail for guests staying overnight)
The hotel is named in honor of Emma Koehler, a towering figure in Pearl history. She ran the brewery after her husband (and Pearl president) Otto Koehler died in 1914. She was an ingenious CEO who kept the brewery going during Prohibition by converting operations to dry cleaning and auto repair, and making near beer, ice cream and soda!
While other breweries were shutting down, Emma kept her entire workforce employed. She turned over control of the company to a nephew in 1933, but was a formidable presence at the brewery until her death in 1947.
Artesian rooms are named in honor of a Pearl beer 1960s advertising line about pure water from the “country of 1,100 springs.” It’s also a little nod to the big claw foot tub in the elegant bathroom.
San Antonio’s river walk is a great day trip! Catch the boat outside the hotel. The River Walk actually spans a 30 mile loop that goes through downtown, south through the missions and north through museum reach and up to Pearl. From Pearl, the river is due west and adjacent to the amphitheater and La Gloria. If you go due south you will head towards the central riverwalk area downtown.
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