San Antonio wholesale grocer Edward Franz Melcher opened Hotel Havana in 1914 as a guest house for his customers. Melcher infused the building with a tropical allure through the use of Mediterranean Revival architecture. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on the River Walk. In 2010, it came under the ownership of the hospitality organization Bunkhouse. The 27-room boutique hotel showcases the original Bastrop pine floors, soaring 20-foot ceilings, colonial shuttered windows, and terraces evoking romance and luxury. It offers a number of spaces in which groups of up to 150 can meet and celebrate, including Ocho, the hotel’s restaurant, situated in a glass conservatory overlooking the River Walk. Additional spaces include the bar, library, terrace, breezeway and patio, as well as a meeting room that can accommodate 30 guests for plated dinners or meetings. 

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.  

 

Event professionals are constantly thinking about how to best stimulate our guests’ senses in order to create the most memorable experience and greatest impact, whether it’s a wedding, corporate meeting or event, fundraiser or social gathering. Many people focus on only three of the five senses: taste, sight and sound. Rarely do planners pay attention to touch or smell. Strategically paying attention to scent and how it interacts with other sensory experiences can greatly impact the overall quality of an event.

 

Teresa Preza first came to Sugar Land 14 years ago while pursuing a job in event management. Today, she’s assistant director of economic development for the city. Here are some of her reasons for calling Sugar Land her “home sweet home.”

TXM+E: What do you love about living in Sugar Land?