Dawson Design Associates renovates Hotel Contessa

The all-suite Hotel Contessa, located on the banks of San Antonio's River Walk, completed of the final phase of its refurbishment. The property's new look is said to reflect the modern interpretation of 20th century Spanish style, drawing inspiration from some of Spain's artists, including Gaudi, Picasso and Miro.

Designed by hospitality interior design firm Dawson Design Associates, the new aesthetic of Hotel Contessa combines the modernism of Barcelona and the natural setting of the River Walk. The interior design celebrates the heritage of old Spain in a romantic atmosphere. According to Andrea Dawson Sheehan, chief executive office and art director of Dawson Design Associates, design elements include minimalistic lines, crisp whites, rich contrast and lush color against a backdrop of contemporary art.

The project commenced in the spring of 2014 with enhancements to the property’s existing 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the 2,277-square-foot Contessa Ballroom and its 10 conference rooms. New color palettes of grays, blues and shades of terra cotta all coincide in different patterns and styles throughout meeting rooms, adding touches in keeping with the hotel's Mediterranean architecture and ambiance. The refreshed meeting rooms and foyers received new carpeting, wall covering and paint, in addition to custom light fixtures designed by local iron and glass artisans. Existing features include complimentary Wi-Fi, ergonomic chairs, glare-free lighting, soundproofing and conference tables with a non-reflective, hard writing surface. Many of Contessa's break-out rooms feature views or terraces framed by cypress and live oak trees that line the River Walk.


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Many of Hotel Contessa's guest suites were renewed with new carpeting, sleeper sofas, new floor lamps, light fixtures and window treatments. Additionally, new bed throws, artwork, coffee and dining tables, dressers, TV stands, night stands, desks and credenzas highlight the renovated suites.

Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio on the banks of the River Walk, Hotel Contessa is a 12-story hotel that features 265 suites, 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a Woodhouse Day Spa, fitness center and a heated, outdoor rooftop swimming pool. Its signature restaurant is Las Ramblas. The property is managed by Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and is located at 306 W. Market Street.

Established in Seattle, Washington in 1987 by Andrea Dawson Sheehan, Dawson Design Associates is a full-service interior design and interior architecture firm specializing in renovations, repositionings and new construction in the hospitality industry.