San Antonio’s Hotel Contessa now under ownership of East Coast real estate company

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Amid one of the most tumultuous travel seasons in the 15-year-old hotel’s history, San Antonio’s Hotel Contessa has been sold to an investment firm in New England, the San Antonio Business Journal reports.

Wheelock Street Capital snapped up the 265-room property, marking its first hotel purchase in the San Antonio market. It's also the firm's first purchase anywhere since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotel Contessa is located on West Market Street, near the San Antonio River Walk, the Alamo, Briscoe Western Art Museum, Hemisfair and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The property includes 10,000 square feet of event space, a rooftop pool and a full-service spa.

Hotel Contessa’s restaurant and bar, Las Ramblas, features River Walk views and access, and Wheelock will undertake a renovation as part of its acquisition.

According to the SABJ, the ongoing pandemic could trigger more hotel deals in San Antonio over the next 12 to 18 months.

“When you see occupancies in the 40% range, it basically means that it’s very difficult for people to make their mortgage payments,” CBRE Hotels Vice President Dennis Drake told the paper in September. “The question for most owners is: How long can they hang on?”

Data from the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows that U.S. hotels have lost more than $46 billion in room revenue since the public health issue began escalating in mid-February. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the 4.8 million hospitality and leisure jobs have evaporated since February.

Hotel Contessa is one of several SA hotels that have reported layoffs to the Texas Workforce Commission since the onset of the pandemic.

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