The term “industrial chic” has become a cliché, but Hotel Emma embodies it—and rescues it from its ho-hum connotations. It isn’t hard to fathom the success of San Antonio’s hottest (and priciest) lodging, a converted 19th-century brewery. Attention to detail makes the hotel a delight on every level, especially historic and aesthetic. Even if you don’t take advantage of the many on-site programs (cooking classes, say, or readings by visiting authors), you feel like just staying here raises your IQ a few points. Welcome cocktails are served in a library lined with carefully chosen books of local interest, all available for guests to peruse; rooms display a smart blend of the contemporary and the nostalgic—pedestal sinks, black-and-white tile floors in the bathroom, seersucker robes. And once you’ve sunk a fortune into your stay, you’re not nickeled and dimed for extras: A fresh pot of coffee is brought to your room every morning and your bottled water is replenished daily, gratis. The nightly turndown of French macarons from Pearl’s world-class Bakery Lorraine is a sweet reminder that, while the Emma has its own excellent restaurant (Supper) and bar/club (Sternewirth), the hotel is the hub of a complex with some of the best shops, restaurants, and entertainment in town (Cured, Botika, and La Gloria can be found here). If you stay here you’ll be at the heart of the action, while remaining cossetted and relaxed.