The Menger Hotel is the oldest of the two and opened in 1859. The original owners were German immigrants by the names of William and Mary Menger. William was a brewer by trade. Most of San Antonio’s visiting guests had only boarding houses to stay in. Once the hotel opened it immediately became a big success.
During the American Civil War, San Antonio experienced a large influx of soldiers. It is known that famous southern officers like Sam Houston and Robert E. Lee spent time in the Menger’s guest suites. The Menger put forth substantial support towards the war effort.
The hotel’s interior is simply amazing. Everywhere you look elegance and southern charm are portrayed.
The hotel appearsto still do a thriving business. When we arrived, their were quite a few people waiting to check in. The lobby’s décor is filled with turn of the century furnishings. The inner walls are set with large pane windows that look out to the courtyard.
The Menger Hotel sits directly on the grounds where the battle of the Alamo took place from Feb 23 to March 6, 1836.
The courtyard which has gone through some changes throughout its existence, still holds on to its historical feel and ambience. The lax setting provides various seating arrangements around a water feature where all the walkways lead to.
The skies were a beautiful Texas blue the day we took a casual stroll around the garden.
Back then, furniture was crafted by tradesman who carried the title of woodworkers and cabinetmakers. Everywhere you look there are incredible pieces of furniture. There is even an upright clock with what seems to be a date tracker.
The hotel is a fabulous work of art and holds true to the finer days of luxury past. It’s sculptured finishes, elaborate pillars and carved railings won’t be found in todays contemporary hotels or resorts.
The way people saw first class accommodations back then verses now are like night and day. However, the mystic elegance of the Menger has attracted its share of political dignitaries. Past presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton to mention just a few have visited its executive suites.
If the dining room walls could only tell their tales. The Menger Hotel’s lavish dining area exhibits a 19th century motif. From the hanging chandeliers and white crafted pillars to the early American furnishings, the ambience adds to the dining experience.
When visiting San Antonio’s historical district, don’t past up places that might not show up on the main touring path or local coupon booklet. There are plenty of hidden landmarks that hold their history from within their confines, and those my friends are the most interesting.
If you see a structure or building down one of the many side streets, don’t be afraid to investigate its significances or historic value. It is well worth spending a day or two exploring all the marvelous sites that only a city like San Antonio, Texas can offer.
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photography: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Article Formatting: Anthony Scopel
Video Production: Anthony Scopel & Matt Kemper
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical Mastering & Web Support: Matt Kemper
Publisher: You, Me and The Dock