The roots of this Mediterranean Revival-style boutique hotel go back to 1914, when a local grocer created the tropically inspired property to house his visiting vendors. Nearly a century later in 2010, hotelier and style guru Liz Lambert added the place to her mini-empire, reviving the grounds that still feature magnolia, palm, and cypress trees planted by the original owner. Set on a quiet section of the River Walk near the museum corridor, the restored building (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) houses 27 guest rooms decorated in a designer-meets-flea market aesthetic, with bright pops of color and plenty of personality. All are pet-friendly, and feature stocked SMEG fridges, Red Flower bath amenities, custom serape bathrobes, and complimentary coffee and Wi-Fi; suites have sitting areas, terraces, or other perks. Room service comes from the in-house Ocho restaurant, but it’s better to head down and eat there in person to take in the cheery setting, river views, pan-Latin menus, and cocktails that highlight rum (as a nod to Havana) and tequila (an homage to San Antonio’s Mexican roots). A regular calendar of happy hours, musical performances, and cultural events round out life at this vibrant hotel.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
Hotel Havana: Charm on the River
We stayed in a queen size bedroom at Hotel Havana for four days while visiting San Antonio. The boutique hotel offers the charm of staying at a grand inn. Built in 1914, the renovated Mediterranean Revival style building is situated on the river in a quiet part of downtown that is convenient to all the sites and a 10-minute stroll to the River Walk loop. I appreciated the room's New World antique decor, walls lined with tall plantation-shuttered windows, and quirky finishing touches like a pink 50s style fridge, art deco radio and plush terry-cloth robes. The lower level houses Ocho Lounge, a swanky restaurant and bar that serves Pan-Latin influenced fare.
By Lara Dalinsky, AFAR Local Expert
Arguably the hippest boutique hotel in downtown San Antonio, Hotel Havana is the perfect place to stay or visit for a drink and a great meal. Its located right on the River Walk making it a convenient place to get to or to make your home-base during your stay The Havana Bar is located underground and offers a "speakeasy" feel. The cocktail and wine selection is creative and rooted in the hotel's pan-Latin influences. Go with a tequila or rum cocktail here for an especially unique experience. The upstairs restaurant, Ocho, is impeccable and a great place for a date night!
By Rey Madolora, AFAR Local Expert
1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA