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San Antonio regularly tops lists of the best places to visit in the United States. Featuring two iconic tourist destinations, the serene riverwalk, and the historical Alamo, it’s no surprise that visitors flock to the Texan city.
The top question for those planning a trip to San Antonio is where to stay. Hotels line the river, and it seems like every major company owns a property near the big attractions.
Although options abound, savvy travelers would do well to consider one of the most historic properties in the city: The Emily Morgan Hotel.
The Emily Morgan Hotel Overview
The Emily Morgan hotel rests in the heart of downtown San Antonio, adjacent to and overlooking the Alamo. A cozy yet luxurious lounge greets guests as they enter, while friendly staff man stations near both entrances, available to answer any questions about the hotel or surrounding area.
The knowledgeable concierge is happy to point guests toward San Antonio’s best restaurants, attractions, and hidden gems, radiating from the hotel’s centralized location.
After check-in, guests enter the classic elevator en route to their floors. When disembarking, a discerning visitor may notice the antique letter-carrying system and impressive art deco light bulbs installed over the doors, indicating the elevator’s direction to anyone who might be waiting. These unique features add to the 1920s ambiance flowing through the hotel.
The pristine hallways shoot off in varying directions, with ample signage pointing guests in the right direction. The “08” rooms nestled in the South corner of each floor boast suites highlighting the hotel’s elegance. Offering spacious living areas with a pull-out couch and roomy garden tubs in the bath, these rooms are ideal for families or friends traveling together. Depending on your floor, they also offer tremendous views of the Alamo across the street.
Budget-conscious travelers can opt for the smaller yet equally luxurious traditional rooms. The Emily Morgan offers rooms with either double queen beds or single kings to ensure parties of any size can relax in comfort after a full day of fun in the city. These rooms feature all the amenities travelers need, including 300 thread count sheets, LCD televisions, and in-room coffee makers, all for a price that’s often slightly lower than similar luxury hotels in the area.
What makes this hotel different than the nearby competition is its character. The Hilton Company perfected the marriage of a nostalgic 1920s feel with contemporary expectations. It embraces The Emily Morgan as a historic landmark and testament to the glamour of the roaring twenties while adding modern touches like sweet dreams beds, blackout curtains, and updated engineering to ensure the comfort and security of guests.
With these often subtle updates, the hotel maintains its elegant character and offers guests a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era.
Another splendid aspect is the individual attention staff can give guests when required. The Emily Morgan is small compared to modern hotels built in the last few decades, allowing staff more freedom to assist guests with individual requests.
Whether needing specific information about something to do in the city or looking for a story about the hotel’s intriguing history, visitors can always count on the staff to deliver.
The Emily Morgan is a five-star hotel offering a variety of amenities to suit every traveler’s needs. All rooms offer complimentary wi-fi, make-up mirrors, cotton robes, front desk messaging services, hair dryers, and black-out curtains. Guests are free to use the 24-hour fitness center, or lounge at the outdoor pool, open from 7 am-10 pm daily.
Other amenities include concierge, room service, a business center, and paid valet parking.
Bar & Restaurant
If you’re too tired to go out after a long day exploring the sites, The Emily Morgan has you covered. The onsite restaurant Oro offers traditional Southwestern cuisine and is open for breakfast and dinner.
Breakfast offerings include the whimsical Texas-shaped waffle dripping with maple syrup and a traditional Texas breakfast complete with eggs, potatoes, toast, and your choice of bacon or sausage. Health-conscious visitors can opt for the veggie-egg scramble, while vegan guests can enjoy fruit plates, granola, or a vegan breakfast skillet.
Guests who choose the Oro for dinner will quickly forget they are in a hotel restaurant. The savory offerings are prepared with the freshest ingredients and locally sourced beef, ensuring a high-quality meal every time. Feast on delectable lemon-grilled chicken smothered in a creamy butter spinach sauce, or opt for tantalizing pan-seared salmon complimented with avocado and a hint of lime.
The Emily Morgan’s bar is perfect for enjoying a nightcap before heading to bed. The menu offers mouthwatering margaritas, elegant martinis, and plenty of traditional drinks to accommodate guests with varying tastes. If you don’t see your favorite on the menu, feel free to ask the bartender, who is more than happy to help you create the perfect cocktail.
Location Location Location
One of the best things about staying in the Emily Morgan Hotel is its ideal location. The hotel is steps away from the Alamo and blocks from San Antonio Riverwalk’s downtown segment. These tourist attractions often top lists of the best places to visit in Texas and are the primary reasons travelers visit San Antonio. Easy access to both is a fantastic bonus for staying at the Emily Morgan.
In addition, many other fun tourist attractions in San Antonio, including Ripley’s Believe it or Not, LEGOLAND, the Mirror Maze, and a host of bars and restaurants, are within easy walking distance.
The hotel’s central location also makes it an easy drive to many other gems around the city. It’s less than 10 minutes from the Pearl District (or a very long but doable walk) and about 15 minutes from San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. SeaWorld and the Natural Bridge Caverns cave systems are only 30 minutes away each.
An Intriguing History
Although the structure was built in 1924, it served as a medical arts center for several decades before transforming into a hotel in 1984. A few years prior, in 1977, The Emily Morgan was recognized by the Nation Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District. The Emily Morgan became part of the Hilton DoubleTree family in 2012.
The hotel shares its name with a legendary folk hero in Texas’s fight for independence against Mexico. Emily West, an indentured servant to Colonel James Morgan, was captured by Mexican forces and is celebrated for her role in distracting Mexican General Santa Anna during the epic battle of San Jacinto. Following the tradition of the time, her name was changed to Emily Morgan as a legal display of her status.
Morgan’s history isn’t the only captivating story associated with the hotel. Tales abound of strange happenings, hauntings, and potential paranormal activity. Some guests and staff report unusual apparitions, phones ringing inexplicably, and items moving of their own accord. Others claim they smell industrial disinfectants and hear hospital carts outside their doors, a callback to the hotel’s early history as a medical arts center.
Most fascinating of all, these medical-related sightings seem to be limited to the top few floors, which were rumored to house patients with severe psychological disorders.
The Emily Morgan often appears on lists of haunted hotels due to the reported happenings, but many believe there are reasonable explanations for everything.
Decide for yourself when you stay a few nights at this exquisite hotel!
Frequently Asked Questions About The Emily Morgan Hotel
What is the Pet Policy?
The Emily Morgan is pet friendly. Please book a pet-friendly room and give advance notice so staff and check-in can provide a water bowl, treats, and plenty of belly rubs!
Is Parking Available?
Valet parking is available for an additional $45 per night. Unlimited in/out service is included. Guests can also park in the Alamo parking lot, steps away from the hotel. Drive-up rates range from $17-30, depending on how long you remain parked.
Street parking is the cheapest option. Meters are active from 8 AM-6 PM Mon-Sat and charge thirty cents per hour for a maximum charge of $3 per day. Unfortunately, there aren’t many metered spots near the hotel, and the ones available fill up fast.
Is there a Restaurant on Site?
Yes, the Oro restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner and offers room service.
Is Breakfast Included?
No, breakfast is available via the Oro restaurant for an additional charge.
Enjoy a Fantastic Stay in San Antonio at The Emily Morgan Hotel!
Head over to The Emily Morgan Hotel website to book your stay today! You won’t regret making this luxurious and historic hotel part of your epic trip to San Antonio!
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.