History of the Gunter Hotel

The Sheraton Gunter exterior.

The Sheraton Gunter exterior.

The Gunter Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Downtown San Antonio. Why has it been such an instrumental part of San Antonio history? Perhaps because after 104 years, The Gunter has collected enough memories to fill pages upon pages of history books. 

Opened officially on November 20, 1909, The Gunter Hotel was hailed the ‘most modern hotel between New Orleans and Los Angeles’. The new hotel drew thousands to its doors, anxiously curious to see this million-dollar project up close and personal. However, the building we have grown to know and love today was not always this luxurious.

The Vance brothers purchased the Frontier Hotel and replaced the hotel with a two-story building that the army could lease to house troops stationed in San Antonio. The facility continued to serve as a military headquarters until 1872 when the building was returned to the Vance's.

The Vance brothers purchased the Frontier Hotel and replaced the hotel with a two-story building that the army could lease to house troops stationed in San Antonio. The facility continued to serve as a military headquarters until 1872 when the building was returned to the Vance’s.

The story of the Gunter hotel begins as far back as the Texas Revolution. Formally the Frontier Inn, the hotel stands just minutes away from the famous Alamo, which fell just one year prior to the Frontier Inn’s official opening in 1837. From Mexican troops to the first mayor of San Antonio, this building has seen its fair share of interesting folks.

In 1845, Texas joined the Union marking the first time United States troops were stationed in San Antonio. In 1872, successful mercantile businessmen known as the Vance brothers bought the Frontier Inn to lease to the military. Once the army no longer needed the property, the Vance brothers converted the building for commercial use; it was named The Vance House shortly after.

The hotel passed hands and changed names a few more times before developer L.J. Hart and twelve local investors purchased the site, Jot Gunter being one of the twelve. When the new hotel, now known as The Gunter, finally opened its doors in 1909, the 8-story, 301-room hotel was the largest building ever built in San Antonio.

The newspaper article about the grand opening of The Gunter Hotel in 1909.

The newspaper article about the grand opening of The Gunter Hotel in 1909.

Since then, the Gunter has survived two major floods and two world wars. It’s played temporary ‘home’ for hundreds of movie stars such as John Wayne and Mae West, former presidents, musicians, and even a murder…,but we’ll get to that another time. In 1989, the Gunter Hotel joined the international network of Sheraton Hotels which has properties located in over 64 countries.

From the beginning of its existence, The Gunter Hotel has been the focal point of exceptional services and luxurious accommodations for all who travel through San Antonio, Texas.

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