Familiar Downtown Face Gets Makeover: Hyatt Regency San Antonio Hotel to Undergo $20 Million Renewal

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"The finished product will reinvent this much-loved San Antonio Riverwalk hotel landmark." - Don McDaniel, Hyatt Regency General Manager

One of downtown San Antonio's most iconic and best-loved hotels is about to get even better! Beginning in mid May, the Hyatt Regency San Antonio hotel will undergo a $20 million makeover that will preserve the rich history of this landmark hotel, while recreating it to achieve a modern "Urban Lodge" ambience.

"This is more of a re-creation than a renovation," explains the San Antonio Riverwalk hotel's General Manager Don McDaniel. "Our hotel has been an integral player in San Antonio's hospitality market for 28 years. The design team was challenged to enhance the product to last another 28 years and more. I am confident our long time customers will be thrilled with the results."

A Two-Part Project
The renewal of the city's first atrium hotel will take place in two parts, in order to have minimal interruption to the daily operations.

The first phase of the San Diego hotel renovation will involve closing the hotel for six days in mid-May, for the demolition of the porte cochere, the lobby floor and the River Terrace Bar.

When the hotel reopens later in May, the registration area will be temporarily relocated to the first floor Garden Terrace. Chaps Restaurant will continue to operate as usual with its normal offerings until the start of phase two.

The second phase is scheduled to begin in early August and will again involve closing the downtown San Antonio hotel for six days for demolition. When the doors reopen, near the end of August, the new lobby and check-in area will be ready for business and a brand new Einstein's Bagels (the only one in the downtown area) is scheduled to be up and running.

The back half of the lobby and a newly branded restaurant are scheduled for completion by mid-November.

Outward Appearances    
In order to create a sense of "arrival" for the San Antonio Riverwalk hotel's guests, the exterior of the hotel will become more visually appealing. Sidewalks on both sides of the streets will be upgraded and the Porte Cochere will be enhanced with weathered steel and wood slat canopies, wood slatted screens, and comfortable seating areas. A large glass wall will open up the Porte Cochere to the lobby, for continuity of space, and the addition of a separate door to the new restaurant will allow diners access to the restaurant and bar without going through the hotel's main entrance.

On the River Level, the hotel's original landscape architects from 1981 have been commissioned to revitalize the planting area with formal groupings of lush greenery. Adding sparkle to the area, the concrete walkways along the Paseo del Alamo will be enhanced with a Terrazzo-type surface for a more authentic aesthetic. As a finishing touch, the existing water feature will be resurfaced to more closely resemble a natural hill country river.

An Inside Job
"The lobby is going to be amazing," describes McDaniel. "We want to create an impact, but with materials that uniquely represent a San Antonio influence."

A color palette of warm, natural tones will beautifully compliment the extensive use of wood and glass throughout the area. Latté colored marble tiles will make up the lobby floor and the hotel ceilings will be sheet rocked to a smooth finish.

The front desk will be replaced with Walnut and white Persian marble "pods" that allow the agents to easily come from behind the desk and interact with the guests. The elevator banks will feature a granite surround and wood wainscoting and "jewel box" elevators will replace the "bullet" style currently employed.

The lobby will be filled with open spaces, which make it possible for the Hyatt Regency to take a non-traditional approach to the artwork being commissioned to fill it. Two large, square, woven leather panels, in walnut frames, will protrude slightly from the wall behind the front desk, while a branch sculpture suspended from a large wooden frame will hang in front of an original hammered concrete wall.

One of the greatest art installations will be an oversized Gini Garcia glass sculpture that will hang from the ceiling over the lobby seating area. It is a stunning piece, in neutral hues, that the artist was commissioned to create specifically for this project.

The new River Terrace Bar promises to be a work of art in itself, with a 55-foot granite bar and breathtaking views of the San Antonio River. Located in the heart of the hotel, it can be admired from any angle of the lobby. "We are confident it will be the next hot spot on the river," says McDaniel proudly.

A Commitment to Continuity
Hyatt has always been such an important part of the Riverwalk landscape and this "rebirth" of the beautiful hotel will continue in that tradition. Having been awarded the AAA Four Diamond rating for the past 28 years, Hyatt Regency San Antonio is known for quality and attention to detail and amenities - value which will never change.

"By enhancing our existing space, we are simply keeping up our commitment to driving business to the beautiful downtown Riverwalk area by positioning ourselves as a premier destination hotel that will draw both locals and tourists," assures McDaniel.

About the Hyatt Regency San Antonio
Hyatt Regency San Antonio is one of the Alamo City's most luxurious downtown hotels. The AAA Four Diamond property is uniquely situated on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk with a premier view of the historic Alamo, connecting two of the city's top destinations through the hotel's 16 story atrium lobby. Guests can enjoy unsurpassed Hyatt service and amenities from swimming in the heated rooftop pool to indulging in the pampering services of the DASA spa or exercising in the 24-hour Stayfit gym. Texas style cuisine and stylishly chic guest rooms make the Hyatt Regency one of San Antonio's premier destination hotels. For more information and reservations, visit http://www.hyattregencysanantonio.com or call 210.224.1234.

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