Stunning new San Antonio hotel will house a speakeasy, rooftop bar, and more
It was a dilemma that dogged city leaders for decades. After the crowds from HemisFair ’68 dissipated, the site was left with huge swaths of valuable land and a scattering of underutilized buildings. Following a brief burst of construction celebrating the World’s Fair’s 20th anniversary, the tract was nearly untouched until then-Mayor Julián Castro and the San Antonio City Council approved a redevelopment plan in 2009.
After years of glacial movement, Hemisfair’s reinvention is charging ahead at a breakneck pace. In September, the city unveiled Civic Park, the long-awaited second phase of the plan. Now, the first of four promised buildings is set to sprout up near it. Zachry Hospitality broke ground on a new Curio Collection by Hilton hotel on November 14.
Although the project has long been in the public consciousness, a news release has divulged further details of the ambitious project, including new renderings. Dubbed The Monarch, the 200-room, 17-story boutique hotel is set to welcome its first guests in early 2026.
Inspired by its namesake butterfly, the property’s interiors will reflect the insect’s migration journey. Sustainable design elements like native stone, landscaping, and water features will mirror the natural beauty of the area’s Balcones Escarpment.
The luxury rooms will be served by amenities such as a full-service spa, fitness center, a terrace pool, and approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The Monarch will also showcase five hospitality concepts, including a basement speakeasy and a rooftop restaurant and bar offering sweeping views of some of San Antonio’s most iconic attractions.
“With its remarkable narrative and distinct design, The Monarch San Antonio will offer a bespoke experience that nods to the neighborhood and immerse[s] guests in one-of-a-kind moments,” beamed Curio Collection brand leader Jenna Hackett via the release.
The site has personal significance for David Zachry, the president and CEO of developers Zachry Corporation.
“In 1968, my grandfather built a hotel across the street from our site,” he explained. "With planning and creativity, the Palacio del Rio hotel was built in just 202 working days. With our new project, the same attention to the details has been at the forefront of what our team is about to begin constructing.”
The groundbreaking at 222 S. Alamo St. marks a flurry of development around Civic Park. Still to come are a 10-story residential tower and three-story retail building by Post Lake Capital Partners and a mixed-use project from AREA Real Estate. Tower Park is currently in its design phase on the eastern side of Hemisfair.