In the late 19th century, no one who was anyone would consider staying anywhere but the Menger, which opened its doors in 1859 and has never closed them. Ulysses S. Grant, Sarah Bernhardt, and Oscar Wilde were among those who walked—or, rumor has it, in the case of Robert E. Lee, rode a horse—through the halls, ballrooms, and gardens. Successfully combining the original, restored building with myriad additions, the Menger now takes up an entire city block. The hotel’s location is terrific—between the Alamo and the Shops at Rivercenter, a block from the River Walk. And its public areas, particularly the Victorian lobby, are gorgeous. The Menger Bar is one of San Antonio’s historic taverns, and while nearly every vintage hotel in town boasts a ghost, this one claims to have no fewer than 32. Rooms in the modern sections tend to be a bit plain. Those in the original Victorian section, furnished with period pieces, are much more entertaining, though more costly. These tend to fill up first, so if you intend to book one, book well in advance.