The Bell Captain at “The Emily” proudly told me the hotel front door was just 13-steps from the Alamo grounds. I crossed the street and counted them, and he was right. Just a few shorts steps away stood the Alamo’s north wall, not far from where we are told many of the Alamo defenders were buried in mass graves following the fateful siege.
You may not be into history as much as I am, but when you walk these hallowed grounds, the past comes up to meet you. It’s not hard to listen carefully to hear the faint sounds of trumpets in the background, of wagon wheels turning and cannons being stuffed with their loads in a desperate attempt to drive back the relentless Mexican forces.
A gust of wind catches the huge Texas flag on the roof of the Emily sending chills down my spine as I stare into the Alamo’s shaded courtyard. For a moment, I almost have to wipe the mist from my eyes to maintain the essence of the moment; the vision to see and feel what it must have been like to stand upon the walls of this symbolic structure on that fateful March morning and stare into the face of destiny. Somewhere in the depths of my mind I can faintly hear the roll call; Col. William B.Travis, Almeron Dickenson, Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie, James Butler Bonham, Antonio Fuentes. These, and the others, were the heroes of the Alamo. Many great men on both sides of the battle offered the ultimate sacrifice for that in which they so strongly believed.
The ghosts of heroes walk this area of central downtown San Antonio, yet every true-blooded Texan revels in the power of the place, drawing from the energy of this, the birthplace of Texas Independence, the Cradle of Texas History. In some ways, this is where it all began, and somehow it feels right to stand on this special ground and ponder the events that unfurled on that dark morning in 1836.
In addition to its proximity to the Alamo, the Emily Morgan is just steps away from Texas’ other huge attraction – the San Antonio River Walk. With hundreds of restaurants, shops and clubs strewn down her winding banks, there’s never enough time to spend strolling down this unique public attraction.
But alas, back to the Emily Morgan. If comfort is a high requirement in your book, the Emily delivers in style. I have spent time in larger, more luxurious hotels, but I can’t say I have ever been more comfortable. Not only the Jacuzzi tub calls to your over-walked and tired feet, but you’ll find atmospheric comfort in the rich wooden accents of each room. A large bookcase/entertainment center in my suite offered several popular book titles, including a number of Dean Koontz novels (one of my favorite writers – how did they know?).
And the kids in the family can enjoy the in-room gaming technology that comes with your stay. For a small fee, the kids can sit back and “play the video game box” while mom or dad (or both) soak in the Jacuzzi, sipping Martinis and watching the traffic on Houston street below, or the rising moon behind the Tower of the Americas.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the Emily offers such grand service. AAA has awarded the hotel a Four-Diamond rating. And after experiencing the quality of the food and service in the beautiful ORO Restaurant and Bar just off the lobby, you may discover that leaving the hotel is an unnecessary option. The modern Mediterranean cuisine created by Chef Shane Bruns and his culinary team is a delight for both hotel guests and locals who have discovered it.
For the early evenings, I recommend taking advantage of the superb tapas menu and wrap yourself around their signature ORO (gold) margarita that has been rated as one of the best in San Antonio. You can check out the Oro’s fine menu on the hotel’s web site.
There are few destinations in Texas that offer as much in one place as does the central city of San Antonio. From romantic evenings on the River Walk to lively nightspots and grand attractions like SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas, San Antonio offers something for everyone in the family. And a stay at the Emily Morgan serves as the icing on the proverbial cake. In San Antonio, at the Emily, you can have your cake and eat it too.
For more information about the Emily Morgan and for online booking services, visit the hotel site.
The Emily Morgan San Antonio – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
705 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
featured image via emilymorganhotel.com