Historic San Antonio hotel with windows that open?
September 11, 2016 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a San Antonio hotel that has rooms whose windows can be opened? Or is there a historic hotel that you like a lot in spite of its lacking this feature?

We are looking to spend a three-day weekend in the fall in San Antonio, Texas, doing a few touristy things like seeing the McNay art museum, visiting the Botanical Garden, and riding the little train in Brackenridge Park.

We stayed in a historic hotel in Galveston once that had windows that actually opened. It was so lovely. Openable windows seem a rarity in hotels these days. We are non-smokers who like to enjoy the fall air at night, not smokers trying to handle cigarette smoke (which seems to be the issue in the internet info I am finding when I search).

Other touristy advice welcome, also. We will have a car, and no kids with us. We will want to go out for our anniversary dinner to a nice restaurant, but won't be up for any nightlife beyond that.
posted by artistic verisimilitude to Travel & Transportation around San Antonio, TX (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't remember if the windows opened, but I liked my stay at the Hotel Emma. The price is high, but if you wanted to spring for it you could get the Terrace room, with an open air area facing the river. The hotel is at the Pearl, a renovated old brewery next to all manner of high end restaurants and shopping. All within walking distance of the hotel. I liked the Granary and Southerleigh's myself.
posted by zabuni at 11:06 AM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Emily Morgan Hotel across from the Alamo has this feature. I remember distinctly because a someone pointed a laser right into my room and I went to the window to see what the fuss was and heard the ghost tour guide below telling the story of my haunted room!

So if that doesn't bother you, it's a lovely old hotel with windows that open and is in a great location. Enjoy San Antonio, I love that city.
posted by le_salvo at 11:08 AM on September 11, 2016 [7 favorites]

Gotta listen to what le_salvo says and stay at the Emily Morgan, because I (born and raised in San Antonio) would be shocked if another hotel also had this feature. It's the AC. We don't want to let any of the cold air out.

If for some reason the Emily Morgan doesn't work out, try the Fairmount or the St. Anthony (both historic, can't speak to the windows). I am not a huge fan of the Menger, but do stop into their bar, which was visited by Teddy Roosevelt on a recruitment trip for the Rough Riders.
posted by 8603 at 11:20 AM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Tip (I'm just weirdly claustrophobic about windows not opening): look for rooms with balconies. At the very least they'll have a sliding glass door (usually even screened!) you can open, and as long as you're not on the first or second floor it shouldn't be a security issue.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:25 AM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

You absolutely can not go wrong with Hotel Havanna. Gorgeous hotel! The windows in our small suite could be opened (I'm sorry I dont remember the name of the suite but the front desk people were incredibly nice and I bet they would tell you which rooms fit the bill.) There were also two or three rooftop terraces where you could sit and relax and have a drink. The restaurant on site is to die for both atmosphere and food (it is Cuban food so if you dont like Cuban at least check out the pics because its incredibly gorgeous!). The hotel is a few feet from the entrance to the riverwalk, but the main part of the riverwalk is about a half mile away. This makes the location of Hotel Havanna nice and quiet, but if you want to be in the middle of the nightlife/shopping this wouldn't be it. I highly recommend this hotel!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 12:42 PM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have stayed in the Menger Hotel. I can't remember whether the windows opened, but the lobby and the bar are full of fascinating artwork and artefacts from Texas and San Antonio history.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:01 PM on September 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Was coming here to say the Menger. At least some of the rooms have porches, it's decently priced compared to fancier places, and it's lovely and funky on the inside. I stayed there once when I was in town for a library conference. Can not suggest the Riverwalk Vista which may have windows that open but it overlooks a very busy/noisy intersection and wouldn't work for what you're looking for even though it's otherwise a nice place to stay.
posted by jessamyn at 1:05 PM on September 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I stayed at the St Anthony in 2012, and I believe the windows opened (single-hung slide-up), but I'm not 100% sure.
posted by bradf at 9:34 PM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, in addition to the Menger bar, have a drink at the bar at the Fairmount, which has really nice windows onto the street. Where in dreams I lived, etc., etc. Have fun!
posted by 8603 at 2:16 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My food recommendations could fill a book and make the thread very contentious, but try to go to El Mirador, ideally not on Saturday because it's nuts, and order one of the daily lunch specials. They feature Mexican home cooking that you really can't get elsewhere downtown. Example: meatballs (albondigas) or shrimp soup.

The reason why it's nuts on Saturday is for a special soup(s) that are well worth the trouble, but the huge crowd might not be your thing. If you're there and you don't want a special(?!!!!!), then get the puffy tacos topped with shredded cabbage, not lettuce. Chicken, beef, or guacamole.

[Gevalt! A quick google reveals that El Mirador is CLOSED for RENOVATIONS. I guess you can go to San Antonio anyway, though. I guess. I'll explain to my parents that that's why I'm not coming home.]

For breakfast you should ideally try Torres Taco in addition to El Mirador. The taco they have that El Mirador doesn't is machacado, rehydrated dried beef mixed with peppers, onions, and eggs. (Work with me here.) You can get it any day of the week. They also have capirotada, Mexican bread pudding. Ask for the capirotada if you don't see it.

Since you have a car, and El Mirador might be closed, you should head a couple of miles north of downtown and go to Los Barrios on Blanco Rd. Get the milanesa, i.e., schnitzel, or perhaps some chicken flautas. The quesadillas are the real kind made from cornmeal dough. The puffy taco there is also good, but not one of the best, I don't think.
posted by 8603 at 2:40 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, two bookstores that compete with any others I've been to:

Antiquarian, 3127 Broadway, (210) 828-4885.

Library discard sale, takes up the whole basement at the main library downtown. 600 Soledad, (210) 227-9519.
posted by 8603 at 10:42 AM on September 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Followup: we enjoyed our stay at the Emily Morgan, but the windows in our room on the eleventh floor (with gargoyles on either side) did not open.

We also enjoyed milanesa at Los Barrios, tacos at Chela’s Tacos, and a very fine meal at Gwendolyn's on the River Walk. For entertainment we went to the San Antonio museum of Art (one incredible Bierstadt painting and lots of fine antiquities) and to the McNay, which is a wonderful art museum, as well as the Japanese garden in Brackenridge Park, and spent an afternoon at the fabulous San Antonio Botanical Garden. (Anyone who likes plants HAS to see the San Antonio Botanical Garden!) The River Walk was crowded on a Saturday night but perfectly lovely on a Sunday morning in October.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 4:09 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

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