A worn set of carpeted stairs on a busy downtown block leads to this surprise gem of an inn, its 17 huge, beautifully furnished rooms tucked away on the upper floors of an 1883 mercantile building. All offer long-leaf-pine floors, leather chairs, exposed-brick walls, and handsome Arts and Crafts–style furnishings. Luxe touches such as robes, high-quality bath products, and free high-speed Internet are nice, but what makes this place really stand out are such sweet, homey details as afternoon lemonade and cookies and a teddy bear in every room. The location, near the River Walk, Alamo, and other key attractions, can’t be beat. The downsides: In spite of attempts at sound proofing, noise from the street below, including the busy late-night McDonald’s next door, filters up to some rooms. And if you’re driving, you’re on your own trying to find parking. It’s worth bringing ear plugs, just in case—and it’s one more reason to go carless if you’re bunking downtown.