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When Emma Koehler set out to take over her husband’s brewery during the prohibition era, the odds weren’t exactly in her favor. Many people outside of San Antonio have likely never heard of Emma Koehler, but today, the former brewhouse is now home to a hotel that both bears her name at Hotel Emma at Pearl but serves as a beacon for travelers and foodies.
“Hotels are no longer just for tourists, but a true gathering place for everyone,” CEO and General Manager at Hotel Emma at Pearl Bill Petrella told Fodor’s. “While the definition of luxury has changed, travelers are seeking new, fresh and authentic experiences and are interested in learning about the local culture and getting a feel for the cuisine, people and sense of place.”
Symbolic of how hotels around the country are having to reinvent themselves in the face of the ongoing pandemic, Hotel Emma, which is at the crux of the historic Pearl district along the riverbank of San Antonio, Texas, considers food to be paramount to the guest experience.
Now, perhaps more than ever, hotel restaurants have been attracting extraordinary talent and celebrity chefs eager to put their stamp on things. And while there’s no shortage of incredible hotel restaurants around the country, from dining by candlelight in the nave of a converted Gothic church turned destination hotel restaurant in New Orleans to an experiential tasting menu at Zero George in Charleston and an all-inclusive ranch in Wyoming, these 11 hotel restaurants are destinations well worth planning your culinary vacation around this year.