The name Hotel Emma pays homage to the legacy of Emma Koehler, wife of brewery founder Otto Koehler, who helmed the brewery successfully through prohibition after the untimely death of her husband.
With 146 uniquely styled rooms, including top-floor suites (featuring large private terraces, two stories, custom built mesquite dining tables and original brick, wood, and tin ceilings and finishes) and a property-wide focus on all things culinary, Hotel Emma is a truly special destination. The hotel’s designer, Roman and Williams, are known for work that is distinguishable by its unique blending of historic elements with a modern reference and its balanced tension between past and future. For Hotel Emma, Roman and Williams has mined the site’s original fixtures and ephemera and reappropriated them to create a language that is reverent to its history and irreverent about its present. Historic elements include a replication of the original cement tile brewery floor (created from and inspired by remnants found during renovation); early industrial equipment reimagined as light fixtures, banquettes, and chandeliers; original 25-foot vaulted concrete ceilings; cast-iron spiral staircases; turn-of-the-century exposed brick walls, and original beamed wood and pressed tin ceilings.
Recipients of the 2014 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, Hotel Emma’s highly sought-after design team Roman and Williams are firmly within their element. They are lauded for a design aesthetic that embraces the historic quality at the very essence of the Hotel Emma project.
“Our design philosophy is rooted in the unused, and at Hotel Emma, we were inspired to take overlooked items and elements and bring them to the forefront of our design. We like to create a narrative based on the emotions and experience of a space, and Hotel Emma’s history has only added to the narrative that we’ve created.” – Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, Founders and Principals, Roman and Williams
Hotel Emma boasts three epicurean properties: Supper, Sternewirth, and Larder. Supper, the restaurant led by Chef John Brand, will focus on comforting and seasonally fresh greenmarket cuisine. The eatery will embody the sensibilities of both the farm table and bistro table. The cuisine will represent Brand’s elemental Midwestern approach in the kitchen peppered with South Texas’ multicultural food ways and the unique bounty of San Antonio’s year-round producers.
Steeped in the history of one of the brewery’s grandest spaces, Sternewirth, the hotel bar and clubroom, will showcase 20-foot-tall cast-iron tanks redesigned as banquettes and will serve a menu of classic cocktails, a refined and innovative selection of wines, craft beers, and a selection of small gourmet bites and plates.
Larder, a gourmet market, will offer a well-curated selection of locally sourced goods, groceries, house-butchered meats, and fine provisions as well as freshly prepared foods, wine, beer, and Merit Coffee. It is a South Texas food store with a soupçon of Euro-sophistication, where hotel guests and locals alike can stock up on culinary luxuries or simply enjoy a glass of wine. To round out the hotel’s gastronomic focus, Emma will also boast a culinary concierge, focusing solely on helping guests realize amazing and authentic culinary experiences. The culinary concierge will grant Emma’s guests access to our unique South Texas culture—from organizing a guest chef dinner in a private suite to helping guests enjoy programming from the Culinary Institute of America campus next door, the concierge will make guests feel as if they are staying at the well-appointed home of very interesting friends.