If Oscar Wilde returned to the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio (either in person or in ghostly form), he would no doubt think that little had changed since he stayed there in the 1880s on his tour through the "Wild West." By the time Wilde had gotten to the Menger in the 1880s, the hotel (built in 1858 by German immigrant William Menger) was already known as one of the most luxurious and best known hotels in the West. O. Henry wrote it into the story line of several of his works, and Theodore Roosevelt, a prolific writer in his own right, held court in the bar here, recruiting Rough Riders from its tables during the Spanish-American War. Along with its title as one of Texas' most literary hotels, it's also one of the Lone Star State's most haunted—though we're not sure if Oscar's spirit is one of the many that can't seem to check out.
The oldest hotel still in operation west of the Mississippi, the Menger doesn’t have to pretend to be anything at all—it's the real deal. Updated, but still reflecting the past, the historic establishment has welcomed the likes of General Robert E. Lee, Sam Houston, and even Babe Ruth. Thus, each of its 316 classic rooms tells a story—sometimes via its purported ghosts. Imbibe in the antiques-bedecked bar, where President Teddy Roosevelt recruited the first US Volunteer Cavalry, the Rough Riders. In the bones of Bexar County’s 19th century jail, the hotel plays up a jail theme, with staff wearing polo shirts that say “Guard,” and “Inmate” shirts on sale for guests. The walls are decorated with historical photographs of the lock-up before it welcomed law abiding guests.
204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA