What’s Old is New at Hotel Emma

Window view from the 4th floor at Hotel Emma

Window view from the 4th floor at Hotel Emma

For the past twenty three years, I have booked a room for my husband’s birthday. I try to keep it a surprise until it is time to pack our bags. Of course, I think it adds to the excitement and adventure of his special day.

And most years, I have succeeded in keeping it to myself.

But this year’s location was hard to keep a secret.








Our view looked out on the restaurants and apartments at the Pearl.

Our view looked out on the restaurants and apartments at the Pearl.

We have stayed all over Texas in this time span. Since his birthday is around the holidays, we tend to stay close to home.

From a bed and breakfast in Jefferson, the Four Seasons in Las Colinas, numerous hotels in the Hill Country and along the Riverwalk, we thought we had experienced all categories of lodging and accommodations.


The library is a quiet oasis to sip your "Welcome" margaritas at check in.

The library is a quiet oasis to sip your “Welcome” margaritas at check in.

After spending the night in the Hotel Emma, it made us feel as if we were just getting started. It has taken the old and made it into a brand new experience.




The hotel is not only a feast for your eyes, but for your sense of taste and smell. I guess the best way to describe our experience is in the quote from travel writer Pico Iyer:  

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”


The Classic King size room at Hotel Emma

The Classic King size room at Hotel Emma


We were lucky enough to experience the grandeur of this destination hotel in our adopted home town of San Antonio.

The place where we fell in love with the culture, its people, food, and festivals. Hotel Emma has brought all of this together in celebration of the senses.

The experience starts at check in with being greeted by an expertly crafted margarita. It is poured for you in the accessible guest only library.

We found it to be a retreat from the crowd noises in the hotel lobby. 

We took our drinks to our room on the fourth floor where the hallway was filled with the original columns of the brewery.

Our room was equipped with a king sized bed and luxurious linens and the most pleasant and calming aroma I’ve ever experienced in a hotel room. The view was of the apartments and restaurants at the Pearl.

The high ceiling and fixtures n our room were mesmerizing.


The huge ceilings made it seem much larger than what appears in the pictures. The scale of it was mesmerizing. It felt as if you were in a castle.



We must try the soup and sandwiches at Larder.

We must try the soup and sandwiches at Larder.

Since our dinner reservations at Supper were not until 8:30, we decided to find a snack at Larder.

It is the food store that is located in the back of the hotel. It reminded us of the small neighborhood stores that we saw on out trips to London and Rome. It is stocked with fresh breads, meats, prepared foods and drinks.

We shared a sandwich, soup and even a Pearl beer. We hadn’t even realized that the beer is still brewed in Fort Worth!

It was a treat and somehow went along perfectly with what we ordered.

We had some friends join us for drinks at Sternewirth. It is in the bar of the hotel that has 25 ft. ceilings and massive sofas, chairs and a pool table. It was starting to get so crowded that they were only allowing guests of the hotel to enter. It was still hard to find seating and we almost took our drinks to the library so we could hear each other talk!

Grilled Beef Santa Maria

Grilled Beef Santa Maria

We asked our friends to join us for dinner at Supper and the staff was happy to accommodate our last minute addition.

We were anxious to see what they thought of the restaurant since they are extensive travelers and are experienced in the hospitality industry.

We ordered a variety of starters and shared them all. From the gnocchi, brussels sprouts, risotto and asparagus, we were singing the level of flavors in the food. We were talking so much that I failed to take pictures.

Luckily, as the main meal arrived, I remembered my camera


Bronzino with Crispy Potato Salad

Bronzino with Crispy Potato Salad

The entrees were cooked to perfection.

And the all the unique flavors came together perfectly.

Toasted Cauliflower was rich in flavor.

Toasted Cauliflower was rich in flavor.


It was a meal together that we won’t soon forget.

And after a wonderful dinner, a quiet night and the luxury of sleeping in, my husband ventured down to the lobby for coffee.

Every single cup of coffee is made to order with fresh grounds and a pour over into your cup. There was a massive assortment of coffee condiments if you want something other than black coffee. He brought ours back up to the room along with the most delicious sticky buns. It was such a late morning indulgence.

Not long after consuming one of the most perfect cups of coffee, it was time to check out.

It was hard to say goodbye to Hotel Emma.

I have a feeling that we will be back soon.

She is like an old friend who is warm, cordial, inviting and one of kind.

Stay Sassy Y’all. 

Dark Chocolate Lavender Macarons appear in the hotel's turndown service.

Dark Chocolate Lavender Macarons appear in the hotel’s turndown service.

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  1. Hey Laura!

    Thanks for the post! Great description and photos! It sounds like y’all had a wonderful time. Happy Birthday!

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