web-page for the full story but the gist is, the Menger was opened in 1858, hosted lots of famous folks, probably most notably, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, and apparently, many of them liked the place enough to stay as guests long beyond check-out, pun intended.
Due to the proximity of the Alamo, (just steps from the hotel) and it being connected to River Center Mall, we have walked by the hotel and admired it from the outside at least a hundred times as we would park in the mall, then walk down to the River Walk. Looking at the shops through the windows facing Alamo Plaza, we have peered in and seen price tags that basically convey, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. And frankly, I have always thought that if I walked in there, I might be under dressed. Eva on the other hand has always dreamed of staying the night and seeing the treasures of history and old elegance. Friday night, she got her chance.
I'll save the wondering and tell you up front what it cost. We went through Expedia and got what appeared to be the least expensive room, a king bed with the window facing River Center. Listed as $149, after San Antonio's hotel tax, at was just at $179. Parking (after taxes) was $30. We ordered room service for breakfast and that was another $30. Though very tempted to splurge, we did not go for the $8 each bottles of Fiji water in the room. If you are just looking for a place to stay the night, The Crockett Hotel is across the street behind the Alamo, and you could probably get a room for half. Bottomline, it was well worth the cost, to us, and frankly, we intend to go again.
If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not. The room at the Lytle Best Western was far superior in terms of amenities and modern furnishings, but I take this like a night of camping in the woods. Yea, it might suck a little being in a sleeping bag laying on a dirt floor, but the beautiful surroundings make up for it in the morning.
Vetting Cattle that was seen in the Benedict home in the movie Giant. It hangs in the old front lobby of the hotel, and looks incredible. Just off that lobby is one of the shops that we have peered into in the past, J. Adelman Antiques. As I stood there admiring paintings, the shopkeeper lured Eva inside to look at expensive items. He insisted she inspect an emerald ring that caught her eye. It was magnificent for sure, but $32,900.00 is just a little more than I'm willing to spend on a whim.
Colonial Room Restaurant (we awoke to the smell of bacon), and to get there, we walked through this wonderful open area loaded with antiques and paintings. The room extended up three floors and is topped with this interesting leaded glass skylight. My pictures just don't do the place justice.
Of course, it is Christmas, and San Antonio, long known for turning the River Walk into a Christmas wonderland is not to be out done by the many huge decorations inside the Menger. That tree is huge and beautiful.
Menger Bar or the Colonial Room Restaurant, though we did get to experience a fantastic breakfast via room service. We had scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, and biscuits along with coffee and hot chocolate. After a late night, this really hit the spot.
I think we'll plan a time where we can check in as early as possible, stay in a slightly nicer room and enjoy some dinner and Mango ice Cream in the hotel restaurant and maybe have a drink at the Menger Bar. Whether you decide to stay there yourself or not, the next time you are walking by the Alamo, why not walk into one of the shops at the Menger, then find your way inside the hotel itself. I think you'll enjoy it.
This is the best picture I have ever taken of the Alamo. On our way back to the hotel after the Christmas party, we found that the Alamo takes on an almost quiet church-like setting. The crowds of tourists are gone and the few people that are wondering around seem to turn off the boisterous party-voices found just 500 feet away along the River Walk.