Every great love affair is steeped in history, and San Antonio’s love affair with the Menger Hotel is no exception. Since opening its doors in 1859, this upscale hotel in the heart of San Antonio has been an integral thread in the tapestry of the city. Located on the site of the Battle of the Alamo, the guest list reads like a “who’s who” of VIPs with former presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, celebrities like Mae West, military figures such as Robert E. Lee, and all-star athletes like Babe Ruth among those who’ve enjoyed its luxurious accommodations. It has been home to some of society’s grandest events, and generations of the same families have said “I do” within its walls. The hotel is the crown jewel in San Antonio’s historic downtown landscape and is a must for any bride who wants a venue that perfectly marries the past and the future with timeless elegance and ease.
Romance & History
Marry at the Menger
Plan Your Wedding With The Menger Hotel
The September issue of Garden & Gun named the Menger Hotel lobby one of the 12 “Loveliest Hotel Lobbies” in the South, and rightfully so. With its sweeping, three-story Victorian-inspired original architecture combined with modern renovations, it is a study in refined opulence that begs to be the backdrop for breathtaking bridal portraits. The lobby is also an ideal gathering place to enjoy cocktails before dispersing to one of the hotel’s three lavish reception sites.
Each reception area maintains a unique look and feel, providing the happy couple with plenty of planning options. For the bride who wants to pull out all the stops, the 4,500 Grand Ballroom, with its high ceilings, glittering crystal chandeliers, and large dance floor, can accommodate approximately 300 guests for an extravagant celebration. Guests can mingle in the vast interior or take advantage of the adjacent starlight terrace overlooking Menger Court.
The 2,257 square foot Minuet Ballroom offers a different vibe for something more intimate. The hotel’s original ballroom, this Victorian-themed space with its cozy fireplace and dance floor, can accommodate up to 120 guests in a classically elegant style. Throw open the doors overlooking the Spanish courtyard garden and pool areas to add to the ambiance.
Finally, the Renaissance Room provides 1,014 square feet of San Antonio history, but don’t let the small size fool you. This room that accommodates approximately 50 guests is the Menger at its best. Located on the second floor in the hotel’s original wing, it features elaborate ornamentation on the ceiling, a stately mantlepiece, and French doors that open to the private balcony overlooking Alamo Plaza and the glittering lights of downtown.
Although the hotel welcomes all vendors, the wedding team happily provides a list of preferred vendors who can customize the space to the bride’s wishes. These carefully curated experts can transform any wedding dream into a reality through decor, florals, linens, and more. Catering Director Zarelda Marrero works with the bride and her vendors throughout every step to ensure that every detail is handled and everything runs smoothly on the big day.
“Brides just need to worry about being beautiful and caring for their friends and family,” she says. “We handle all the rest of it, down to the smallest detail, so that the bride can focus on the joy of the event.”
“She ( Marrero) is tirelessly involved with ensuring the bridal party is well taken care of,” assures General Manager Garvin O’Neil. “People who book here should feel very comfortable that they are in the right hands.”
From a sit-down dinner to butler-passed hor d’oeuvres, food stations, buffets, and even customized signature cocktails, the Menger Hotel catering team can create a wedding feast to accommodate any size crowd. It all starts with the tasting menu, where the couple works hand in hand with Marrero to craft a customized dining experience for their guests. Prices are presented upfront with no hidden costs, and there is a plan for every budget.
“We don’t nickel and dime guests on services like cake cutting or set up,” says O’Neil, who recommends the all-inclusive Grand Wedding Package for the ultimate wedding experience. It covers everything from the pre-event tasting to the champagne toast, display tables, linens, and more. This comprehensive package includes special hotel rates for guests and a honeymoon suite for the newlyweds with a minimum food and beverage spend.
Nine Victorian-style suites, each named after one of the hotel’s famous visitors, offer guests luxurious accommodations. “The neat thing about our suites is that they are not cookie-cutter style,” says O’Neil. “Each one has its own identity.” Junior suites with balconies overlooking the Alamo Plaza give guests a bird’s eye view of historic downtown San Antonio, and the hotel is convenient to many major downtown attractions. Guests don’t have to venture far to enjoy the famous Riverwalk or the delicious dining, entertainment, and shopping options that make downtown San Antonio a hot spot for locals and visitors alike.
For those who prefer the comfort of the hotel, The Menger is home to one of the city’s most popular bars with a storied past. Designed as a replica of the House of Lords Pub in London, it was dismantled during prohibition. Every piece of wood was meticulously labeled and reassembled in the 1950s when it reopened in a different hotel area. The property also boasts a sparkling pool and casual and fine-dining restaurants.
Getting married at the Menger Hotel provides the bride and groom with a picturesque, elegant setting to start their lives together while introducing guests to the rich history, vibrant nightlife, and colorful culture that is San Antonio. Marrero recommends booking at least six months to one year in advance. However, O’Neil adds that the wedding crew is “fast on their feet.”
“If the couple needs a wedding to happen in 60 or 90 days, we can usually make some magic happen,” he says. And isn’t magic what marriage is all about? For more information visit mengerhotel.com.
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