"Meet the Team"
A Labor of Love for Partners
Often referred to by guests as, “the best kept secret in Texas,” the recent renovation of the Hillside Boutique Hotel has been a labor of love for the husband and wife team of Joseph and Jana Winkler, and their partner Pete Markwardt. These young, local hoteliers are architects, furniture designers, and spa aficionados, each one bringing a background of talent, skill, and a passion for design, craftsmanship and luxury. So many great things coming together in one property to create a harmonious, organic relationship between the hotel, its furnishings, and the landscape surrounding it.
Joseph Winkler grew up in Hondo, Texas, the son of entrepreneurs who owned Jack Winkler Motors for 49 years. When they weren’t selling cars, the Winklers were selling homes. The family spent their spare time restoring and flipping old, historic homes and buildings and refurnishing and selling antiques. It was through helping his parents in their respective businesses that Joseph discovered a passion for business, as well as a love of design and process, which led him to pursue a degree in architecture from the University of Texas in Austin. After working for one of Austin’s most progressive architecture firms as a project coordinator, Joseph and his wife Jana left Austin to raise a family in the quaint town of Castroville. They purchased the Hillside Boutique Hotel where Joseph had attended his high school prom and set about an extensive renovation that allowed Joseph to combine his passion for architecture, restoration, and business into a luxurious retreat he describes as a fresh and modern interpretation of Texas Hill Country charm.
Although originally from Austin, Jana Winkler’s family roots trace back to Castroville with her grandfather’s family calling the quaint town home many years ago. With a double major in theatre and communications from Southwest Texas State University, Jana’s love of makeup and costuming led her to cosmetology school and a career with the popular Mecca Spa in Austin. Opening the 1000 square foot spa at Hillside is a dream come true for Jana who oversees every detail and carefully selects every product and product line, which includes fragrant, unisex bath and body products from Malin + Goetz, and skincare from Texan Rhonda Allison. With an extensive menu of services for both men and women, Jana has created a mini escape for guests and locals alike.
San Antonio native Pete Markwardt graduated from SMU with a degree in business finance and real estate. But it was his hobby of scouring antique auctions for unique furnishings that turned this former loan officer into a furniture retail and wholesale business owner, importing custom pieces from all over the world. As the former owner of the popular Alamo Height’s Armoires and Accents, Pete’s imports caught the eye of the Winkler’s and, through a chance meeting, the couple realized how aligned they were with Pete’s approach to creating luxurious yet livable spaces, and a partnership was born. Today, as the owner of Casa 1810 Hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and co-owner of Hillside Boutique Hotel, Pete mostly relies on his good business sense, but also uses his extensive relationships with furniture and design to create luxurious, yet comfortable environments in which guests can relax and unwind.