“Welcome to the Hotel Emma
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face”
I just made that up. Hotel California is my jam. I couldn’t figure out better words in the moment, so, there you go.
Yarby had the pleasure of going to Alamo country and stayed at a swanky place called Hotel Emma. The decor, location and history are enough for anyone to want to go, for me, I’d go for those damn macaroons.
Check it out below and give him a Subscribe on YouTube.
History of Hotel Emma
Prior to becoming a boutique hotel, Hotel Emma was an American brewery established in 1881 as the J.B. Behloradsky Brewery. In 1883, the San Antonio Brewing Association acquired the company. By 1916, Pearl was the largest brewery in Texas and the only brewery to survive the Prohibition. In 2001, the brewery officially closed. In 2002, Silver Ventures, Inc. acquired the property.
Hotel Emma is named after Emma Koehler, wife of Pearl President Otto Koehler. Following the death of her husband in 1914, Emma took reign of Pearl operations as CEO. Under her leadership, Emma kept the brewery doors open during Prohibition by expanding business lines to encompass auto repair, soft drinks, ice cream and dry cleaning. Her vision and determination prevented the brewery from closing, saving hundreds of people from losing their jobs. Although she retired in 1933, Emma remained active behind the scenes in Pearl operations until her death in 1947.
Design of Hotel Emma
Construction for Hotel Emma began on December 10, 2012 with three architects and design firms secured: Three Living Architecture, Roman and Williams, and Powell & Carson Architects & Planners. Keeping much of the original architectural integrity and design, existing machinery and pieces were salvaged, as well as the original 134-foot brewery tower, resulting in a variety of different architectural styles. The Hotel Emma opened November 12, 2015.
The hotel has more than 160,000-square-feet of floor space with 6,000-square-feet of meeting and venue space. With 146 rooms, the Hotel Emma has 11 two-story suites, a 3,000-square-foot lobby, a library, bar, club room, pool, restaurant and high-end grocer. The building also features several cellar spaces for events, receptions and gatherings.
A focal point of the hotel is its two towers. The original tower stands at 134 feet with eight floors, and the newly constructed tower stands 78 feet with six floors.
Throughout planning, design and construction, architects and designers concentrated on preserving as much of the original structure and machinery as possible, integrating these components in the overall design. While this caused delays in its original opening date, much of the original integrity of the building was conserved.
Features of Hotel Emma
With a concentration on preserving the existing structure, architects and designers utilized existing materials and machinery to maintain the historical architectural features while carefully modernizing the space, resulting in a fusion of older and contemporary architectural styles. The Hotel Emma boasts a food- and service-centric culture, and its culinary establishments are known employing locally sourced ingredients.
Supper, a restaurant located on the bank of the San Antonio River, is housed in the Hotel Emma and specializes in local farm-to-table entrees.
In addition to Supper, the hotel also is the home to Larder, a high-end grocer, sundries, coffee, desert, local beer and wine, and sandwich shop.
Hotel Emma also has a bar on its premises. Sternewirth was named for the Sternewirth Privilege, entitling 19th century brewery employees to free beer during the workday. Prohibition ended the tradition, but the Pearl Brewery continued the tradition, with workers frequenting the taproom until the 1990s.