Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - 55

Hilton Palacio del Rio

w w w.pa la cio d elr io.co m H ead q u ar te rs : Sa n A n to n io, Texa s E m ploye e s : 350
Robert Thrailkill, GM and VP of operations for Zachr y Hospitality: “We
worked hard to redesign our guest rooms to crea te a sense of spaciousness.”

If you are going to a convention, want
to visit the Alamo or just are in a mood to
relax on San Antonio’s iconic River Walk, the

Hip Hacienda
A $35 million renovation of the Hilton Palacio del Rio
takes advantage of the hotel’s location. BY RUSS GAGER

Hilton Palacio del Rio is the best place to do
it. Located on the River Walk, across the
street from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and only a few blocks from the
historic Alamo, the Hilton Palacio del Rio has
been redesigned and remodeled to appeal
to the younger business traveler and the
weekend leisure customer.
The $35 million remodeling was complicated by the fact that the hotel was built
using modular construction techniques for
guests attending HemisFair 68, the world’s
fair held in San Antonio in 1968 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city’s
founding. “While they were building a foundation for the rooms, the guest rooms were
being constructed offsite,” explains Robert
Thrailkill, general manager and vice president of operations for Zachry Hospitality,
the hotel’s owner.
“When the foundation was built and
ready, they brought the rooms onsite already complete with furniture intact inside
the rooms and put them up like a set of
building blocks,” Thrailkill relates. “It only
took 262 days to construct this hotel, so it
was a record that was put in the ‘Guinness
Book of World Records.’ It was a very interesting construction feat at the time because
no one had ever done anything quite like
that before.”

BIGGER AND BETTER
Although the modular construction was innovative at the time, it complicated expanding the size of the Hilton Palacio del Rio’s 485
guest rooms. Those rooms – especially their
bathrooms – were designed smaller in 1968

The Hilton Palacio del Rio’s rooms were built off-site and inserted into the structure to speed construction in 1968.

Fall 2013 L e i s u r e a n d H o s p i t a l i t y I n t e r n a t i o n a l | w w w. l h i m a g a z i n e . c o m

55


http://www.lhimagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013

Contents
Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover1
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Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover3
Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover4
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