Let’s take a trip back to 1881, well it feels like that as soon as you walk into Hotel Emma anyways. A San Antonio premier hotel right in the heart of down town and a short walk to the iconic river walk square, Hotel Emma transports you back to an era where technology and gadgets were non-existent.The hotel is located in the Pearl District of San Antonio and used to be the City Brewery that was founded back in 1883. The name “Pearl” came about in 1886 when the first bottles and wooden kegs of the brewery’s signature brew came about. The German brewmaster who formulated the iconic beer called it Pearl because he though the foamy bubbles in a freshly poured glass resembled sparkling pearls. You can still find the pearl beer served on location. I might add, the German brewmaster got the name right! It’s so tasty and the foam does indeed look like sparkling pearls.
The old brewery was renovated and turned into Hotel Emma (see image below).
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you’re at the resort, the main goal is to relax and focus on the history of San Antonio. This resort is the perfect spot to unwind and unplug from the hustle of everyday. It truly is a luxurious experience. The property has the most beautiful views of the river walk and downtown. However, the best part about Hotel Emma is their service! When you check in, they will greet you in the Library with a complimentary La Babia margarita. It’s served on the rocks – freshly squeezed lime juice, Cointreau and premium tequila. The La Babia is served in hand-etched, azure glasses. The simple, perfectly balanced recipe honors the renowned Hacienda La Babia in Coahuila, Mexico.
1 part Casamigos tequila
1 part Cointreau
1/2part lime juice
Shake and serve on the rocks
If margarita’s aren’t your style but coffee is… then head straight to the in-house coffee bar that’s waiting for you in the lobby.
One of my favorite things about this resort, is the rooms. They transport you back to a time where things seemed to move at a slower pace. I would recommend staying at least two nights to get the full experience!
Blueprint (left) of the bathroom in Hotel Emma and the final design (right) puts you in such a tranquil state with the beautiful marble tile and claw-foot tub.
WHAT TO PACK
Since the hotel is in the South… loads of humidity and heat… I would definitely pack a swim suit, the rooftop pools are amazing. I would also bring a sundress or two for dinners, yoga pants, a pair of jeans and a casual top. This isn’t really a place to wear heels, so I would just pack your favorite flats. Especially since you’ll want to walk the river walk and take in the scenery!
I would recommend renting a bike (which you can from the hotel) and riding along the mission trail, to all the missions (there are 5) starting at the Alamo. If you ever visit San Antonio over fall, you can take a ghost tour that! I’ve been wanting to hope on a tour since we moved here last year! I’m hoping this year, Jason and I can go! I’ve heard wonderful things about it.
If you’re looking to book a spa appointment, I would suggest going to Hiatus Spa. Located across the way from Hotel Emma, they just opened this past June. It’s truly the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had! I hope to bring Jason here one weekend for a spa getaway!
The food and libations are divine here in the Pearl District! Hotel Emma has many different culinary offerings for everyone. Supper, which is the hotel’s main dining location transports you to a whole new dining experience with it’s farmhouse feel and french bistro decor, the restaurant is located right on the bank of the San Antonio River. With it’s south texas inspired dishes and friendly staff, Supper is always my favorite spot! If you are feeling more of an intimate dining option, then Sternweirth is your spot. With it’s 25 foot vaulted ceiling (hello dream room) and plush leather sofa’s, then Hotel Emma’s tavern and club room is the right fit for you! They are recognized for their amazing decor as well as their famous hand-crafted cocktails and hearty appetizers.