Ornate Haunted Hotel Played Host to Presidents, Celebs, and Ghosts
Unofficially dubbed "The Most Haunted Hotel in Texas," the Menger Hotel in San Antonio is rumored to be a hot spot for ghosts. And it's no wonder: located directly across from the Alamo, the 1859 building is among the oldest continuously operating hotels west of the Mississippi. Among the many famous guests who've stayed here are Babe Ruth, Ulysses S. Grant, and Teddy Roosevelt, who reputedly recruited some of his Rough Riders at the bar.
With its fluted columns, ornate Victorian scrollwork, and Tiffany-style stained glass ceiling, the lobby certainly looks and feels historical. Maybe that's why, as hotel employee Patty Cuellar points out, "those traveling through and even locals enjoy the museum-like quality of our hotel." Many of the building's antiques come from the personal collection of the original owner. You can spot grandfather clocks, curio cabinets, and a painting of cattle that was used in the James Dean movie Giant. Standard rooms are scattered throughout both the historical wing and newer additions.
Be sure to check out the onsite Menger Bar, whose wood-paneled interior is modeled on the House of Lords Pub in London. The pub specializes in upscale cocktails, including Patron margaritas and Grey Goose bloody marys. Nearby, the Colonial Room Restaurant features neoclassical columns and recessed panels. The kitchen's mango ice cream was first introduced when mango trees still grew in the hotel's courtyard garden. More recently, the dessert was served at both of President Clinton's inaugurations.
San Antonio, Texas: Historic Missions near Picturesque River Walk
In the late 1920s, architect Robert H. H. Hugman designed an urban park around the San Antonio River—a space he envisioned as an American version of Venice, where people could shop and dine along the waterfront. Completed in 1941, the 2.5-mile river walk still serves as a vital artery in the heart of San Antonio as it wends its way past cafés, hotels, bars, and shops.
Located one story below street level, the waterway is flanked on either side by stone pathways, quiet waterfalls, and towering cypress trees. The winding river-walk path reveals little surprises along the way, such as picturesque restaurants, public art installations, and cardboard cutouts of Davy Crockett. A new extension connects the river walk to the four-story San Antonio Museum of Art, where you'll find more than 25,000 sculptures and paintings that range from Roman antiquities to contemporary art.
Also neighboring the river walk is the Alamo. Thanks to the 1836 battle that made it a symbol of Texas independence, the Alamo has become the most visited tourist site in the state. It's actually one of five historic Spanish missions clustered around the San Antonio River. The largest, Mission San José, lies just 5 miles south of downtown. Its famed rose window is once again on display following an extensive renovation.
What You Get
- Stay for two in a king or double room
- Up to two kids 17 or younger stay free in double rooms
- Booking Tip: You'll find the best rates ($89) in mid-December and low rates throughout the travel period
Policies and Fees
- Reservations: dates cannot be changed once booked; valid only for night(s) purchased
- Cancellation policy: 72-hour cancellation notice required prior to check-in or reservation is non-refundable
- Taxes: 16.75% tax added at purchase
No-shows will be charged total Groupon rate; no refunds, rescheduling, or rebooking allowed. Read the Fine Print for important info on offer details and other restrictions.
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The Fine Print
- Dates cannot be changed once booked; valid only for night(s) purchased
- 72hr cancellation notice required prior to check-in or reservation is non-refundable
- No-shows will be charged total Groupon rate
- No refunds will be processed by Groupon after check in
- Traveler name must match ID at time of check-in
- Must be 21 or older to check in
- Not valid with reward points
- 16.75% tax added at purchase.
- Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
- See the rules that apply to all deals.
- One king bed
- Standard occupancy: 2
- Maximum occupancy: 2
- Adding occupants above standard: not allowed
- Two double beds
- Standard occupancy: 2
- Maximum occupancy: 4
- Adding occupants above standard: $10 per night for each additional guest 18 or older; guests 17 or younger stay free
- Pool, garden, or Alamo views; subject to availability
- Pedestal-style sink in some bathrooms
- Some have private balconies; subject to availability
- Variety of layouts and styles
- Check in: 3 p.m.
- Check out: noon
- Parking: valet available for an additional $28 plus tax per day
- Rollaways: available at no additional cost, subject to availability
- Smoking policy: no smoking inside the property
- Pet policy: pets may be added for an additional $100 per stay in standard rooms.
- Accessibility: please contact property for handicap-accessibility requests or options.
- Room upgrades: Upgrade to a Suite for $50 plus tax per night
- By plane: about 9 miles from San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
- By cab: about $30 from SAT