A Weekend Getaway at San Antonio’s Hotel Emma

If you want to travel in luxury for one night – a “treat yo’ self” kind of indulgence, stay one night at the Hotel Emma in San Antonio. Brian bought us the stay for Christmas, so this is NOT SPONSORED at all (we felt every penny!). With school and Brian’s work, we couldn’t make it out to the hotel until Memorial Day weekend, but BOY was it worth the wait.

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in San Antonio, I encourage you to read on about our great experience at Hotel Emma. It was beautiful and the location is incredible. Maybe try HotelTonight to see if you can get a good rate (which, to be honest, will still be $300+).

Hotel Emma is located in the Pearl District, just north of downtown San Antonio. The history of the location goes back to the first brewery that was established on the property in 1883. Eventually, the brewing company changed its name to Pearl Brewing Company in 1952. This brewery building is what will eventually become Hotel Emma. Development on what we now know as the “Pearl District” started with their first tenant in 2006. There are some pretty incredible, historical photos on Pearl Brewery’s website. It’s awesome to see old black and white photos of what would eventually become the hotel from over 150 years ago!  Of course, I had to get some Pearl beer during my stay.

There are lots of things to do at the Pearl. We arrived early Saturday morning and hit up the farmers market. It got super crowded, so, as with most popular things, try to arrive as soon as it starts at 10am. We found a lot of treats to enjoy, like caramels from Wildflower Caramel Co, lavender tea and honey from Imagine Lavender, beignets, and strawberry wine from Poteet Country Winery.

After browsing the market, we ate brunch at Bakery Lorraine. There’s a Bakery Lorraine in Autin too (I’ve written about them HERE) if you want to check them out locally. We ordered their breakfast sandwich on a croissant. It was huge and I’m glad Brian and I decided to share it! Honestly, the croissant was a little overdone for me. Too dry and crispy, instead of doughy and flaky. Both pastries we tried, however, were delicious! The homemade poptart and birthday cake macaron were perfect. It was PACKED at Bakery Lorraine, when we arrived. We waited a long time to order, but it was less than 10 minutes after that before we got our food. So the line isn’t as bad as it seems.

In the afternoon, we checked into our room. When we checked in, we were given access to the hotel’s library where we could get a complimentary margarita. And WOW they were powerful margaritas. Good job, Hotel Emma! Other cute treats were waiting in our room – local snacks and drinks. We didn’t try any (money…), but I loved that they stock local brands. We were on the floor with the pool, which was fun. Their pool set up is really nice.

The hotel itself is pretty incredible. People wander in and out all day long admiring the space. The mix of industrial and modern is amazing. They have old Pearl Brewery merchandise, photos, brewery machinery, exposed ceilings… it really is a sight to see, whether you’re a hotel guest or not.

I will say, if you’re looking for the elegance to continue into your individual room… it won’t. I’m sure the more expensive suites are more lavish, but the regular rooms are pretty sparse. It’s super nice, don’t get me wrong! It’s more… minimal than I expected. Our view was pretty great, though! We looked out on to the Pearl’s center square. To be fair, we were there for the Pearl experience in general, so we didn’t mind the minimal room.

The best part of our room was that we could check into our favorite restaurant, La Gloria, without even leaving! La Gloria is right across the parking lot, so we could use Yelp to put our names on the list from our room. It was awesome. La Gloria deserves its own post with way better photos than this. The problem is, the food is SO GOOD I cannot stop to photograph it. Also, after a La Gloria margarita, taking good photos is way more difficult…

After dinner, we headed back to Hotel Emma’s bar – Sternewirth. Even if you’re not a hotel guest, I highly recommend grabbing a drink here. It’s an incredible space. Very industrial, dark, moody, and impressive. They have some unique seating arrangements, which include an upper balcony space and hollowed-out iron tanks. We were super impressed. And remember – anyone can come and enjoy a drink here!

For breakfast the next morning, tried two places. We first went to the complimentary breakfast in Hotel Emma’s library. They offer Merit pour-over coffee (a special Hotel Emma brand blend), little banana nut muffins, and yogurt parfaits. It was really cute!

From the library, we went to Hotel Emma’s restaurant, Supper. We managed to get a pretty good spread: bacon pancakes (with bacon IN the pancakes, beignets, eggs, potato hash… all kinds of goodness. It was a pretty delicious meal – highly recommended. Again, the space was beautiful as well.

After breakfast, we checked out and headed back to Austin. Overall, the best part of Hotel  Emma is the location. The Pearl is such a fun spot and it was awesome to be living right in the middle of it for a weekend. The look and feel of the hotel are also incredible, but honestly, they can be enjoyed by anyone! Anyone can admire the lobby, have a drink at Sternewirth, or eat at Supper. If you’re interested in the Pearl as a whole for a staycation (which we were), then Hotel Emma is perfect. If you’re looking for a more all-inclusive, resort stay (like, you don’t plan on leaving the hotel), then maybe this isn’t your best pick.

One last perk I want to mention is that Hotel Emma offers a first responder’s discount. Brian was able to receive 15% off our room and complimentary valet parking. Love places that recognize first responders!


Was that helpful? I hope so. I’m always trying my best to be honest and informative. Should I review another hotel? Send me your suggestions!

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Hotel Emma

Author: Kelly

Kelly Phillips is the writer and photographer behind DiscoveringATX.com. You can view more of her photos on Instagram @DiscoveringATX and her photography portfolio at kphilphoto.com.

One thought

  1. I can’t wait to go-to the Pearl! I was starving and anxious to stay a few nights there.i love to travel and this sounds exactly where I want to go!

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