So much has happened in San Antonio, and the layers of the city’s past lend to its tremendous vibrancy today. Native American, Mexican and Spanish cultures converge with the history of Texas and the American West to create a place rich in diversity, epic narratives and new worlds to discover.
In 1914, local grocer Edward Franz Melcher opened Hotel Havana with a vision to recreate the tropical allure of the hotel’s Caribbean namesake. He built in the Mediterranean Revival style popular in Cuba at the time, and many of the surrounding cypress, palm and magnolia trees he planted still remain. The hotel served as a temporary residence for Melcher’s visiting vendors, beginning a storied legacy that includes FBI stings, acts of God and other colorful events befitting a grand and legendary hotel. In April 2010, Hotel Havana was reopened under the humble care of Liz Lambert and her team at Bunkhouse. The hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but manages to maintain its youthful spirit nonetheless.
Other random and intriguing facts we love about San Antonio:
- Elusive bluesman Robert Johnson made his first and most notable recordings at the Gunter Hotel downtown in 1936.
- Musician Phil Collins is the world’s preeminent collector of Alamo memorabilia. Learn more about this bizarre fact here.
- Pancho Villa allegedly planned the Mexican Revolution at the Buckeye Saloon.
San Antonio is the birthplace of barbed wire, Texas longhorn cattle, Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and many other national treasures.