HILLSIDE Boutique Hotel
Hidden Gem in the Hill Country
Often referred to by guests as, “the best kept secret in Texas,” the Hillside Boutique Hotel is a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country. Owner Pete Markwardt, a local hotelier brings 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.
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 have created a luxurious and comfortable space throughout the hotel. He is the owner of Casa 1810 Hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and 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.
To enter the quaint town of Castroville is to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. With a nod to its French and German ancestry, the town with a population of less than 3,000 is filled with historic sites and homes, Alsatian restaurants, and beautiful pecan and cypress trees. And perched atop 13 acres of hilltop overlooking this historic town, and the Medina River Valley, is Hillside Boutique Hotel (formerly the Hotel Alsace). This 38-room Hill Country modern property provides guests with a place to slow down, connect, and step off the grid while enjoying modern amenities and artisan touches that rival the finest destination retreats in Texas.
The hotel features custom furniture, shiplap, crown molding, and beautiful landscaping. The Bistro, bar, and patio areas showcase glass and black rod iron walls with bi-fold doors in the tasting room, ballroom, and boardroom that overlook the Medina River Valley. The glass walls and doors were custom created in Markwardt’s own warehouse and are made to mimic the vintage industrial warehouses from the 1880-1920 era, with randomly seeded glass panes and a clean, modern, long vertical pane design. The meeting room features floor to ceiling windows giving unobstructed views of the Medina River Valley.
Designer Hillary Walker of Courtney and Company has created comfortable relaxing rooms and has tied everything together with details and style. From the decor and color to the details, the rooms include art pieces, carefully selected hand woven pillows and handpicked blankets from Mexico on each bed to shipping in rugs from Turkey. With these detailed selections and the rustic furnishings, the rooms are a luxurious, yet comfortable feel that invites guests to kick back and relax.
The 38 available rooms range from a 375 square foot Classic King, to 425 square foot Classic Queen, Deluxe King, and Superior King styles. For an even more luxurious experience, guests can enjoy a 620 square foot, two-bedroom Premier Suite complete with one king and one queen bed, along with a sleeper sofa For those who want the feel of “home,” the two-bedroom Luxury Suite offers more than 1,100 square feet of Hill Country living with vaulted ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, full kitchen, living area, washer and dryer, and a large private balcony overlooking the Medina River Valley. All rooms are outfitted with 50-65 inch state-of-the-art televisions as well as complimentary Wi-Fi service, and guests may choose from a menu of “enhancements” including welcome drinks, spa services, and more when booking to customize their experience.
The Spa and Amenities
The 1,000-square-foot spa offers four treatment rooms where guests can relax and enjoy customized facials, massages, and body treatments. A soothing raindrop shower enhances the experience. Spa treatments include the product lines Malin + Goetz, a fragrant, unisex line of bath and body products, and Rhonda Allison skincare, another Texas company.
A hilltop swimming pool area complete with private cabanas is perfect for relaxing post-spa treatments and unwinding amid the natural Hill Country beauty and panoramic views.
The Bistro and Events
A modern twist on comfort food is the Hillside Texas Bistro. Executive Chef Danny Ybarra has created an outstanding cuisine in the breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus. The 1,100-square foot space is light and airy with Hill Country views from almost every angle. Rustic European style oversized chandeliers custom made in Turkey offer ambient lighting that enhances the modern aesthetic throughout the Bistro.
Upstairs of the Bistro is the Barrel Room and with deep leather chairs and couches with a bar. This unique 800 square foot space is a throwback to old Castroville with photos from the town’s early days lining the walls, and shelving made of reclaimed wood from the original property. Once an open-air loft, the curated space can accommodate up to 40 people and is ideal for informal meetings or gatherings.
For larger events up to 160 guests, the multi-level Texas Bistro offers space for 60 people in the upper level Tasting Room, while the ballroom can accommodate up to 100 guests, making it perfect for parties, weddings, reunions and more while the entire property can be booked for weddings or corporate events.
About Hillside Boutique Hotel
Hillside Boutique Hotel is located on a 13-acre hillside in Castroville, Texas. Renovated in 2018 by local owners, the 38-room hotel boasts a Hill Country modern design with custom artisan touches and panoramic views. Just 26 miles from downtown San Antonio, Hillside Boutique Hotel offers visitors a relaxing retreat conveniently close to area attractions. Amenities include a full-service spa with an array of customized services, a hillside swimming pool with panoramic views and poolside cabanas, and the outdoor Arbor perfect for weddings and events overlooking the Medina Valley. Guests can enjoy a modern twist on comfort food with indoor and outdoor dining at the 2,600 square-foot Hillside Texas Bistro, or relax and enjoy drinks and appetizers in the rustic Barrel Room. Hillside Boutique Hotel offers 4,500 square-feet of indoor event space with additional acreage outdoors. A perfect wedding venue, the hotel offers a two-bedroom, two-bath suite with outdoor living and dining areas. With luxury amenities, artisan decor, and event spaces for up to 200, the hotel is ideal for both business and leisure.