128-year-old German School transforms into Kimpton San Antonio

Historic renovation of the Kimpton San Antonio, Hotel La Villita (“little village”).

Completed by award-winning interior design studio KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury & Lifestyle Collection, preserved and enhanced the landmark structures while expressing the area’s vibrant and diverse culture in the property’s guest rooms, suites, and public areas – including a restaurant, multiple bars and lounges, meeting spaces, an outdoor courtyard, and the rooftop pool deck.

Two buildings were merged: a modern, 300-room hotel connected to a 128-year-old German-English School as well as a stone-and-mortar structure that now houses eight hotel suites.

KTGY SDDG’s design team looked to provide guests with a deep appreciation and understanding of the backstory of the two buildings. The school is one of many crafted by the area’s German settlers – hardworking farmers enticed to move to the area after the Texas Revolution. Once they arrived, they converged with the city’s Mexican-American population, creating a new and lively culture that heavily influenced KTGY’s design choices. 

While the disparate architecture was the starting point, the hotel’s layout provoked further exploration. Connecting the new Bauhaus-esque building’s clean lines and contemporary elegance with the German School’s worn shapes and rustic simplicity was of the utmost importance — both in design and execution, as a breezeway containing a restaurant and bar physically connects the two structures. 
KTGY introduces guests to the property’s rich design story in the hotel lobby. The two front desks’ sculptural shapes reference classical Spanish pottery modernized through scale and structure, and a massive window wall behind allows guests to see through to the courtyard beyond. Abundant foliage housed in terra cotta pots creates a seamless connection, drawing the outdoors in, while public spaces located on either side of the front desk area imbue the entrance with energy and life. 
On the opposite side of the front desk, the Lobby Bar and Whiskey Lounge pull from the architecture of the German School with terra-cotta brick and tile. An oversized, contemporary woven art element hangs from the ceiling and wraps around the bar. 
The German School Suites Bar features rust and deep green shades mixed with brass details. Highlights include raised banquettes, lighted whiskey display cases, and a dedicated outdoor patio. On the rooftop, a lounge, bar, and pool deck offer uninterrupted views of the surrounding park, while embracing a four-seasons lifestyle.
To ignite a sense of joy and whimsy in the guest rooms and corridors, KTGY infused all with Spanish-inspired design moments, like textured wallcoverings and layered casegoods create visual excitement. Vertically placed emerald green shower tile, intricately patterned stone nightstands and desks, and concrete floors add interest to hard elements, while ruched shades, luxe fabric headboards, and closets lined in wallpaper add softer touches. 
The neutral palette of the eight Presidential Suites looks to emphasize the courtyard views seen from the private patios. Spa-like bathroom amenities including a grand shower and soaking tub, while a kitchenette and extravagant walk-in closet rest nearby.

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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