San Antonio, Texas
What it is
An uber-hip 146-room retreat in a 19th-century brewery fronting the San Antonio River, with a rooftop pool.
What it isn't
Industrial-looking. Yes, Pearl’s Brewhouse was built to work, but Chicago architect August Maritzen infused it with the best of 1894’s Empire-era elan.
What we think
If you think San Antonio is all hat and no cattle, as the saying famously goes in Texas, think again. It’s as Wild West as ever—but it’s equally chockablock with big city charm. Take the art-filled oasis that is Hotel Emma, where guests are greeted with an orange liqueur La Babia Margarita in the 3,700-volume library after check-in and staffers include a culinary concierge to help you boot scoot to the hippest cocktail bars in town. Rooms are just as expertly planned, with custom-made seersucker guayabera robes, Frette linens on the downy beds, a mini bar filled with locavore finds, and leather and wood furniture that feels both timeless and decidedly “now.”
You're here because
You live to shop, and the hotel boutique is incredibly well-curated, with blankets woven on antique looms in Maine, lavender mist from New Mexico, and dim sum whiskey cups painted with antique guns by local ceramists.
You knew you’d eat well in Texas—you always do. But you didn’t expect to eat that well at a hotel. Well, Supper changed your mind in one bite. Sitting al fresco overlooking the river, you salivate a little over your wood-grilled steak with duck fat potatoes and tomato chimichurri, then decide to have an edible nightcap of sticky toffee pudding with banana curd and toffee sauce. Texas Forever.
Restaurants & Bars
- Ladder - South Texas food with a soupcon of Euro sophistication
- Sternewirth -cocktail, a notable wine or sturdy craft beer
In the Pearl complex on San Antonio’s famed River Walk, just two blocks from The Grotto (a faux cave by Carlos Cortes, complete with stalactites and waterfalls) and four blocks from the San Antonio Museum of Art, also tucked within a former brewery.