Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Hotel Emma fun on tour

Okay, so we're just a teeny bit obsessed with Hotel Emma, the new boutique hotel creating buzz well beyond San Antonio.  I recently joined friends for another look on a guided tour and we were wowed once again while learning much more about the hotel.    If you haven't seen my original post, this post takes up where that one left off.

Not your typical hotel lobby.  Machinery left in place underscores Hotel Emma's lobby is the former machine room of the Pearl Brewery which operated here for more than a century.   Concrete floor tiles reproduced from originals found on site add to the distinctive look.

Low key, yet very San Antonio style Christmas tree near the entrance to Sternewirth bar named for the law which allows brewery workers to drink during the work day.

Looking closer at cacti, metal roses, and milagros (religious charms) as decorations.  The cactus looked real but we didn't test it!

Signature vignettes such as this old drawer holding a bright holiday arrangement are featured throughout the hotel.

Found objects displayed in a lobby case.

Benji (on right), of guest services, was our excellent guide and opened the library usually reserved for guests.  What a treat, we didn't have to peer through locked doors this time!

Jeannette (in the festive red sweater), Clair (Melody's daughter), Melody, Cheryl and our guide Benji
Books were acquired from local novelist Sherry Kafka Wagner.  You can read more about her in this Rivard Report article which includes a photo of her in the library.

Recent books by local chefs are included in the cookbook section.

Embedded steel frame in the wall at Sternewirth, the hotel bar, shows how design teams maintained flexibility in the construction process.   The arched doorway was originally planned as rectangular until the keystone and arch were discovered when workers chipped through the wall.

Brilliant idea to turn this bottle labeler vertical as a chandelier, so different.

The "compressor" in my original post is actually an old elevator (in the corner).

Heading across the lobby to the show kitchen where staff can hold demos or set out lunch for  meetings in nearby conference rooms.

In one of the few departures from industrial chic, the main conference room is behind these old doors from a Mexican hacienda.

Another of many vignettes I could spend all day finding and enjoying.

The Elephant Room, so named for the trunk-like pipes along the wall, would be a great place for an event.

Large tanks known as elephants by Pearl Brewery workers were cut and anchored to the wall.

Red tanks cleverly provide a privacy screen for events in the Elephant Room.

Simple Eryngium arrangement at Curio gift shop.

Now, about those guest rooms.  Guests can choose vintage 1895 rooms or the new addition.  I mostly took photos of the older section with more character.

The bathrooms are cool!  This one is in a larger suite and the same quality exists throughout the rooms.

Loved the sitting room in this same suite.

Just cleaned up the wall a bit, no need to hang art.

Looking east to the plaza landscaping featured in my recent post.

Pool deck with a view.  A spa will be available in the apartment building currently under construction on the left.

Adirondack chairs on the terrace of the fitness facility.

And that concludes our tour of Hotel Emma.  A few specialty rooms were still under construction and Benji has promised to give us another tour when they're done.

Off to lunch at Southerleigh (near that round grain bin in above photo) which is connected to but not owned by Hotel Emma.  A southern style restaurant as in cheese and grits, shrimp sandwiches, crab mac and cheese, and chicken fried steak topped with lavender flowers, it's an experience on its own.

Just an incredible space for a restaurant.  The designer is Austin-based Joel Mozersky whose parent's San Antonio garden I recently profiled here.

Very southern style with stalks of cotton bolls and the best use for a schneckenrodel in our mostly snowless winters.

Southerleigh is also a brewery and their tree decorations include beer bottles!

Warm, sunny days and always a fun time in San Antonio.

Hotel Emma welcomes locals to come in and take a look--just another reason The Pearl is the River Walk destination of choice for those of us who call San Antonio home.


  1. Gorgeous place! I love the bookshelves. And it looks warm and welcoming all decked out for the holidays.

  2. I can see why you're obsessed with the hotel. It oozes charm and character. I can't say I've seen anything like it.

  3. It. Is. Perfection.


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