Next Door to the Alamo, San Antonio's Downtown Diva Also Earns Utell Designation As Only Style Hotel in State of Texas
August 2002 (Newstream) — The Emily Morgan Hotel, one of the country's foremost lifestyle hotels, officially re-opened with a lavish, gold-themed party following an extensive multi-million-dollar interior renovation. And just in time for the festivities, the Texas landmark was designated as a style hotel by Utell, the prestigious hotel representation firm, making it the only property of its class in the state of Texas.
Owners Westmont Hospitality Group and General Manager H.L. Scooter Yates Jr. welcomed more than 600 guests to Emily's Golden Night, where they enjoyed a Midas Touch of sights, sounds and tastes. Among the touches were freeze models adorned in gold paint from head to toe and sporting custom-made golden bikinis, gold lame curtains and bunting, exotic floral arrangements in huge golden urns, live music, romantic vignettes staged by professional models in several rooms and at poolside, and fine cuisine and cocktails from the Emily Morgan's new restaurant, ORO – created by cb5 Restaurant Management Group of Greenwich, Conn.
GOTHIC YET MODERN
The 14-story, 177-room hotel, next door to San Antonio's most famous landmark, the Alamo, unveiled a completely transformed interior as decidedly urban chic as its exterior is Gothic Revival from the 1920s. This contrast of textures and appearance is a reflection of this city's love affair with its past and its dreams for the future.
It's a totally new hotel inside, Yates said. We've kept what's best about Emily and enhanced the rest. We have created an experience that is the personification of a mysterious Texas legend. This will be the destination of choice for travelers who want a unique and very personal San Antonio experience.
Utell's style designation is by invitation only and reserved for exclusive and individually designed hotels and historic properties that offer guests a unique hotel environment, each with a character of its own.
That character includes a totally re-done lobby, from the glistening polished stone floors to the coarse composition of the Texas limestone walls. A double-sided fireplace is built into the limestone wall above the majestic main staircase. Throughout the lobby, dark mahogany and burnished brass frame contemporary furnishings in shades of tan and taupe are true to the building's history and at the same time comfortable and inviting.
Many of the Emily Morgan's rooms and suites feature feather-top beds and spectacular views of the Alamo and the San Antonio skyline. Contemporary amenities include two-line speakerphones with data ports, work desks, sitting areas and in-room refreshment centers. There is a fitness center with heated pool and spa on the hotel's second floor. And as a special touch, all guest rooms receive a complimentary copy of the daily New York Times – and fresh Starbucks coffee each morning.
The hotel offers more than 2,500 square feet of renovated meeting room space with high-speed Internet access. It also offers catering services and audio/visual equipment.
With its grand re-opening, the Emily Morgan Hotel publicly unveiled its new, upscale restaurant, ORO, conceived by the famed cb5 Restaurant Management Group of Greenwich, Conn., noted for critically acclaimed dining concepts across the country. A menu of modern Italian cuisine is presented in a setting of understated elegance of soft lighting, secluded tables in dark woods, and high-backed chairs and banquettes upholstered in a deep orange-gold fabric. Tall windows look out at the gardens of the Alamo, just a few steps away. ORO's centerpiece – a large, square bar topped entirely by imported Mexican onyx, and underlit to exude a warm golden glow – already is attracting locals and visitors alike with its relaxing aura and signature cocktail, the Oro-tini.