THIS JUST MAY BE THE COOLEST HOTEL IN THE SOUTHWEST

Hotel Emma, a winner of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 Hot List, which recognized only sixty of the best new hotels and resorts across the globe, has become a central attraction in San Antonio’s Pearl District for locals and visitors alike. With a stunning interior renovation, award-winning flagship restaurant, LARDER artisan market, and more, it’s not hard to see why.

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New York creative team Roman and Williams is behind the hotel’s perfectly balanced design, which pays homage to both past and present. Industrial modern finishes combined with signature South Texas touches, custom-designed furniture, and original artwork have resulted in a completely unique aesthetic where surprises await around every corner.

Photography: Nicole Franzen

Photography: Philip Falino

Within this 146-room hotel, each accommodation has a distinct feel and guests can’t go wrong when choosing which to stay in—from stately rooms within the original Brewhouse tower to one of the seven top-floor suites or contemporary River Cellars.

Photographty: Jason Risner

The library at Hotel Emma is one of those places made for afternoons curled up with a good book. And bibliophiles could spend the day browsing its 3,700-volume library, which Hotel Emma acquired from Sherry Kafka Wagner, a San Antonio icon—novelist, historian, Harvard Fellow, and cultural anthropologist.

Photography: Nicole Franzen

As impressive as the hotel is, visitors will want to get outside to explore San Antonio’s Pearl District. With some of the city’s best shopping and dining located here, as well as year-round music, food and cultural festivals, and a biweekly Farmers Market, it’s the ideal location to spend a day or an evening. Taking a self-guided bike tour through the downtown King William Historic District is worth it for the photo opportunities alone. What was once irrigated farmland is now an idyllic neighborhood featuring dozens of grandiose homes built in the Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate styles.

Photography: by Philip Falino

Back at Hotel Emma, its flagship restaurant, Supper, features an elevated menu by Chef John Brand rooted in seasonal, local ingredients. Here, you’ll find the perfect backdrop for a lively yet intimate dinner with friends or family (of course, you may have already started your day at Supper indulging in the mouthwatering breakfast menu).

Photography: by Jody Horton