Hotel Valencia Riverwalk undergoes first major renovation in 14 years

The hotel is being completely reimagined by architect and designer Lauren Rottet. The renovation is scheduled to be completed in mid-March.

In San Antonio, Texas, the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk is undergoing the first major renovation in its 14-year history. The hotel is being completely reimagined by architect and designer Lauren Rottet, and the renovation is scheduled to be completed in mid-March.

Rottet, along with her team at Rottet Studio, wanted to evoke the heritage of San Antonio and the hotel’s River Walk location. The resulting design concept is a blend of Spanish Colonial and Modern Mediterranean styles. The Spanish Colonial influence represents a nod to San Antonio’s Spanish Colonial heritage dating back to the time the Missions were built, while the Modern Mediterranean flair reflects the building’s Tuscan-style architecture and the hotel’s namesake: Valencia, Spain.

The Valencia Group invested an additional $10 million into the hotel for the project.

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The top-to-bottom renovation incorporates woods, ironwork, handcrafted tiles and textiles that reflect the design sensibilities of Spanish Colonial style, along with the color palette of Modern Mediterranean design. The public spaces on the hotel’s second floor will get a complete reimagining of the former restaurant and bar, Citrus and VBar.

New lighting on the front columns, flanked by citrus trees in over-scale pots, will make the entrance more dramatic. Just inside the entrance will be a redesigned fountain with a new water feature. On the wall next to the elevators are four black and white mosaic-patterned cow skulls created by Shannon House of “Of the Earth Boutique” based in Northern California.

The reception desk, now more visible from the stairs and elevator, has a custom hand-carved desk with scalloped detailing. Behind the front desk the Alhambra-style plaster treatment, called Esgrafiado, utilizes a technique widely used in Spanish Colonial design. This stamped process creates a three-dimensional relief on the featured wall. Typically, the impression is used on an exterior façade, but here it is utilized on the interior. A laser-cut leather tapestry created by Miami-based Artehide is hung on the wall opposite the front desk. Columns throughout the second floor are clad in warm walnut woods.

The new restaurant, Dorrego, is named for the Plaza Dorrego, a public square located in the San Telmo neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The restaurant’s décor reflects the Spanish Colonial design and architectural heritage of Argentina, with Parisian influences. It has Argentinean-style tile-work and woods with dark metal accents. The new dining space includes a private dining area that showcases a Talavera Mexican tile accent wall, a tin tile ceiling and a chandelier. Dorrego also has a new restaurant bar, and terrace with additional seating and planter pots.

The former VBar is being transformed into a soon-to-be-renamed bar and café. This space is now enveloped in Modern Mediterranean flair. Among its features will be a hammered metal ceiling, Mediterranean-style textiles and hexagonal porcelain tiles and hardwoods on the floor.

The second floor will also have The Library, located where the former registration desk was, and will have wood paneling, wood shutters, artwork on the walls that depict flamenco dancers, a map of San Antonio painted by artist Maksim Koloskov on the spines of the books in the bookcase spanning one wall of the library.

The Living Room, the central area of the lobby that use to have a “Candle Wall” and seating, now has wrought iron chandelier and Spanish Colonial-style furnishings and seating. A fireplace flanked by wrought iron scones replaces the previous “Candle Wall.”

The focal point of the redesigned guestrooms is the curved iron headboards. This style is reminiscent of San Antonio’s Mission-based Spanish Colonial influence. New bathroom vanities with a custom gray-brown wood stain, integrated mirror and bronze fittings were designed specifically for the hotel.


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