When life hands you San Antonio, make the most of your Riverwalk stroll. I was in San Antonio earlier this week for a conference and had a few free hours, so I made a stop at Hotel Havana, a boutique hotel that I had heard raving echos about an hour North in Austin. I knew this Cuban-inspired home-away-from-home opened last year (2010) and I knew it was the creation of hotel mastermind, Liz Lambert, the same inspiring creator of Hotel San Jose/Jo’s Coffee stand and Hotel Saint Cecilia. So, I knew it would be a sight to see. Thanks to a personal tour from General Manager, Tom, I got to test my hunch and my premonition was correct.
What I love about Liz’s instantly recognizable and consistent style, is that from one glance, you can tell that each piece of furniture, each accent, each accessory was carefully selected, is perfectly in its place, and plays into the mood and look of each space she has touched. *Notice the candelabra on the left. Tom mentioned that the hotel is exclusively lit by candlelight in the evenings- they go through about 250-300 candles each night!
Every detail adds its own special touch to the scene at Hotel Havana.
In addition to a monthly supper club that’s held with well-known chefs and all 24 guests (12 rooms with 2-person occupancy each) in the library, the hotel holds Havana Sessions, outdoor music showcases complete with bar on one of the building’s balconies. My visit came at the perfect time since OCHO, the lounge (bar + restaurant) had just opened a few days prior. You may recognize the chefs that cooked up OCHO’s menu,Larry McGuire (of Perla’s in Austin) and Lou Lambert (of Lambert’s in Austin), which is served in this sun/garden room surrounded by windows where you can enjoy the sunlight or the moonlight when lounging inside. This space was just breathtaking. The lounge, inspired and labeled by a blue and white sign that Liz found at a flea market, has so much rustic elegance and charm, laced by vibrant and cool blues. Simply exquisite!
The lounge is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for hotel guests and the public, though it was closed when I was there since they were recuperating from the launch party. I can’t wait to return to indulge in the feel-at-home and impressive, yet effortless style of Hotel Havana. *Take a look at Thrillist Austin’s latest post about the new lounge, including more info on the menu.