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Hotel Listings Hotel Map Nov '03 Rates May '04 Rates Nov '04 Rates My Preferences 

Hotel Listings

Below is a listing, in random order, of San Antonio River Walk and other downtown hotels I think worthy of consideration, along with my personal comments.  I used to survey hotel rates and provide that info to you but it was a lot of work and very few people ever gave me any feedback that they were actually using the information.  So, I'm saving myself the effort and will allow you to check pricing.  For information purposes you may want to check old rates.  Here are three prior rate surveys: Nov. 2003, May 2004 and Nov 2004.  One thing I've learned from these efforts is how much the rates change based on the individual hotel's expectations for the weekend.  So, check rates often.

Another hidden cost of lodging is the cost of parking a car.  Hotel parking lots are going to be more expensive than public lots.  So always remember to factor in this cost.  (Refer to my web pages mentioned above with hotel rates and there I also provide the hotel parking rates at that time.)  There are several city owned public car lots, some operate 24 hours a day.  They are the Houston St. and the Riverbend Garages (Riverbend is no longer city owned but is still an operating garage).  Cost around $12.00 a day but there is no in and out parking.

And one other comment.  Everything in life is a trade off.  If you want to be on the river you run the risk of having a noisy room as the night crowd along the River Walk doesn't leave until the restaurants and bars shut down around 2am.  So if you stay on the River Walk side I suggest you get a room on a higher floor, away from ground level where the noise will echo off the buildings.  As for me, I would suggest you just skip the river view and take a city view.  It will be cheaper and less noisy.  I must warn you about a story a doctor friend of mine related to me when I spoke to her about the hotels on the river.  The Nix Hospital is located on the river downtown with the operating room up on the 19th floor.  My doctor friend told me that one evening while she was in surgery up on the top floor she could hear the revelry on the river 19th floors below!

Here is a big plus you get nowhere but here.  I made just for you a map of all the recommended downtown hotels.  This will be a great help in refining where you wish to stay.

If you've already booked a room and your hotel is not listed below or perhaps I've pooh-poohed the hotel as not my first choice, rest assured your hotel choice is just fine.  (Here's my Chamber of Commerce spiel.)  Not everyone agrees with my choices and I realize nobody goes out of their way to book a poor room on purpose.  You made the best decision for you and I'm 100% for it.  I just want you to have a great time in San Antonio and to that end I'm just trying to help you out and give it to you the way I see it.

Important:Here's a web page run by the San Antonio Visitor's Bureau which lists discounted hotel prices!!!  As of this writing you click on the "Hotel" tab and it lists a variety of good and bad hotels.  The prices are very, very good.  I can't vouch for availability but you should definitely try this out to get the best rate possible.  At the very least it gives you a good idea of what the hotels will discount their rates to.

Mention should be made that the Mokara Hotel is the only local hotel (and one of only five in the entire State of Texas) that made Conde Nast Traveler's 2011 Gold List of The World's Best Hotels


Hotel listings


Grand Hyatt

210-224-1234 (what a great number)
The newest hotel downtown.  Opened around May 2008.  Technically on the Riverwalk but at the end of the line.  With over 1000 rooms you can bet they know you.  Not!  But it's a Hyatt and you can expect the best.
A mind-boggling 1000+ rooms.  I think I've moved to Vegas.


Drury Plaza Hotel

Opened Apr. 2007.  This hotel is a conversion of the Alamo National Bank building and I have to admit the lobby looks terrific.  At three stories high no one could afford to build a lobby like this for a new hotel but this lobby was built as a bank lobby back around 1929.  Gorgeous!  Being a conversion the rooms are not all that large.  The one I saw had two queen beds; adequate room but no where near the suites of Hotel Contessa.  Also the hall way floors are not carpeted like you would expect in a new hotel but travertine stone of long ago.  Not a distraction if you remember what the building once was.  The pool is outdoors on the 23rd floor and has the best view of downtown that any pool or anyplace else for that matter (excepting the Tower) has of town.
     Currently the hotel only has a breakfast bar open in the mornings.  There are planned two restaurants to be opened in Dec. '07 along the riverwalk.
(306 rooms; an extension of 50+ rooms is under construction)


Hotel Contessa

No longer the newest, but still quite new, this hotel opened along the River Walk in Jan. 2006.  All the rooms are suites and they are nice.  I toured it and am impressed.  There rates at one time were very competitive.  I haven't priced them lately.  I think this is going to be one of my preferred places.  It's on a quiet stretch of the river, most rooms have nice views and the rooms are large. 
(266 rooms)


Menger Hotel

Much ballyhooed historical hotel.  No doubt it's got history and a better location than the St. Anthony, but certainly not the class.  Normally I would prefer the St. Anthony over the Menger, but go with whichever gives you the best price. 
(316 rooms)


Sheraton Gunter Hotel

The third of the trio of historic hotels in town.  It's o.k. but there's nothing real special about it.  It's across the street from the theater that hosts all the traveling Broadway plays, The Majestic.  Also catercorner to the new and expensive Hotel Valencia.

La Quinta Convention Center

This used to be a motel but they recently opened a 10 story hotel on the property and razed the motel portion.  Everyone is jumping into the tourist trade and La Quinta wanted to bump up their number of rooms.  So now we have another hotel in town.  Ugh!
(350 rooms)

Crockett Hotel-A Holiday Inn Hotel

This hotel was at one time on its death bed, but the creation of RiverCenter Mall, next door, breathed new life into it.  Because RiverCenter Mall offers 1 hour free parking many San Antonians park next door when we go downtown.  I pass it often but I've never known anyone to ever stay there.  Although it's old, it's not poorly located.  Personally, I think the hallways smell.  Wouldn't stay any further east of this location except to stay at La Quinta.
(204 rooms)

Crown Plaza Hotel
formerly the Adam's Mark Hotel

A convention hotel with big ballrooms and meeting rooms.  As it used to be a bank and office building it wasn't built to be next to the tourist areas.  You can do better.
(410 rooms)

The Fairmount-A Wyndham Hotel

A rather charming and quaint boutique hotel.  The building was actually moved down the street to it's current location.  It's small and intimate.  Not on the river but on a well lit major thoroughfare so no problem walking to it at night.  The bar and restaurant have their local admirers. I wouldn't mind staying here if I couldn't get into the Drury Inn or the price differential elsewhere was too great. 
(37 rooms)

Holiday Inn Riverwalk

This is right next door to the Hotel Valencia.  It's on the river but there's nothing on the river at this spot to see or do.  If the price is not too different go 2 doors down the street and stay at the Drury Inn
(313 rooms)


Havana Riverwalk Inn

A small intimate inn.  I've heard the rooms are lovely.  But if you're a regular site-seeing tourist it's too far from the main drag.  Plus their rooms are normally too expensive regardless of how nice the rooms are.
(27 rooms)


La Mansion del Rio 

Built on the site of, and using part of the structure of, the old St. Mary's law school building.  The is a well run, locally owned and well situated hotel.   If you get a river view suggest you stay a few floors up from river level to avoid any night reveling.  All river view rooms have either private or shared balconies, a really great feature.
(337 rooms)

Hilton Palacio del Rio

Pretty decent location, on the river.  This hotel was built in 1968 for San Antonio's HemisFair.  A 21 story building built in nine months!  The fifth through 20th floors are comprised of individually built concrete rooms which were raised into place as construction ensued.  But normally too expensive when compared to alternatives.
(481 rooms)


Emily Morgan Hotel

Formerly known as the Medical Arts Building, it used to be occupied by medical offices.  The building was sold and remade into an hotel.  Across the street from the Alamo.  Nothing special about this place. However, having said that, their rooms with jacuzzis are really great rooms with good city views.  I've know locals who have spent romantic weekends in those rooms.
(177 rooms)


St. Anthony Hotel-A Wyndham Hotel

One of my personal favorites.  Built in 1910 it has the elegance and grandeur of the old line hotels of a bygone era.  Not on the Riverwalk; it is an historical hotel that I would stay at.  Certainly a distinguished address.  But there pricing tends to be  too high.  Normally it should be comparable to the Gunter at about $99/night.  Try to negotiate down.
(352 rooms)


The Riverwalk Vista

I must confess it took a friend in Dallas to tell me about this place.  It opened after 9-11 and hasn't advertised.  The location is perfect!.  It is better viewed as a B&B, not a hotel.  One room I inspected the a/c wasn't working.  It's on the 2nd & 3rd floor of a small (former office) building you enter by buzzer or key card.  They have no valet.  And no parking, nor restaurant.  Only continental brkfst in the a.m.  Because of its windows and hard wood floors I am concerned about it being hot and noisy.  But one guest who stayed here said she had no real problem with noise.  She posted the info on the bulletin board.  Search the bb and see her comments.  P.S. don't be wooed by the fitness center, it's several blocks away.
(17 rooms)

Drury Inn & Suites San Antonio Riverwalk 

A quiet place to stay.  Used to be the Petroleum Commerce Bldg.  Situated at a perfect spot on the river; one would hardly know it's there.  For a small and intimate hotel setting this is perfect!  It's not near the rowdy noisy part of the river, but I would still get a room several floors up from street level.  Without a river view room, you'll be looking at a another building 50 ft away.  My only complaint is that it is run lean.  Never anyone behind the desk when I go in. Also no bellman.  A hotel for the do it yourselfers.
(150 rooms)

The Westin

Along with the new Watermark Hotel probably the most lavish hotel in town.  Built by one of San Antonio's own billionaires.  It's a convention style hotel with a large ballroom, etc.  If you are celebrating a honeymoon or wedding anniversary, their basic rooms are probably some of the most luxurious rooms in town.  But it's a big hotel.
(473 rooms)

Hyatt Regency Hotel

Best located hotel in town.  But you will pay for the privilege.  No doubt a fine establishment but just a block or two away and you can get a much better bargain.
(632 rooms)


Hotel Valencia

Amazing what money can do.  The location is on the river but at the end of the main restaurant strip.  I've got many friends in town that like this place.  But I don't.  It tries for an intimate/ exclusive feel but comes off as pretentious.  The entrance is literally on Houston St., so if you come by car you unload almost in traffic.  Personally, I'd save my money and go elsewhere.
(213 rooms)

Marriott Plaza

Formerly a Four Seasons Hotel.  Has nice grounds but is several blocks away from the Riverwalk.  You will pass the Fairmount to get here, so I would stay there before staying here.  But the Fairmount doesn't have a pool and the pool here is very nice.  Probably the nicest of the downtown hotels.  It's got grass on the surrounding lawn!
(252 rooms)


Mokara Hotel & Spa

Formerly the Watermark Hotel.  This hotel has been opened since Jan. 2004 and a few years ago in a Conde Nast pole of their readers it was listed as the 50th best hotel in the country.  No other hotel in the great State of Texas made the list.  I've heard first hand from users that their spa is superb.  So expect the best here and to pay for it.  My only criticism is the view in certain directions.  All the west views face a building wall 3 ft. away from your window!  Ouch!  The east side is not much better.  Best is the river side.
(99 rooms)

Marriott Rivercenter

1000 rooms!  Need I say anymore? A good location, but just a big convention style hotel.  If you're here for a convention, it and it's sister hotel, the Marriott Riverwalk,  are well situated. 
(1001 rooms)


Marriott Riverwalk 

A good location, right across the street from the Marriott Rivercenter.  Just another run of the mill big hotel.
(512 rooms)


The hotels listed below are alternatives for comparison only.  They would not normally be on my recommended downtown hotel listing.

Red Roof-San Antonio Airport

O.k., I put this hotel in for all those people who are like me.  Cheap.  If you have a car this hotel is a viable alternative to staying downtown.  It has a lighted sign posting rates along the highway and is about the cheapest place that is in a good area.  In fact, the area is in the affluent north side of town, essentially suburbia.  And the area is really good.  And it's really a straight shot via the expressway to downtown from here, about a 12 min drive.  Suggest you drive to town like the rest of us who live here and park for the day and sightsee.

For that matter, any hotel along Loop 410 between Nacogdoches (on the east) and Blanco Rd. (on the west) is o.k. to stay at.  There are many to choose from so you'll have to do the work yourself.  They are all near  the airport, which is now located in town (the city having grown around it) and in a very nice area.  I think you will feel at home along this stretch of town, it's where all the local action is.  

La Quinta Inn Market Square

Against my better judgement I'm listing this motel and the Motel 6 below.  I don't have any problem with La Quinta other than it's not where the action is by the Riverwalk area.  However, having said that, if you are as cheap as me and don't want to spend the money for any of the above mentioned hotels, and don't have a car to stay at any of the hotels on the north side of town (see comments on Red Roof Inn above) then this is the next best place to stay that is cheaper than the rest.  It is directly across the street from Market Square which is a normally crowded two mexican restaurant attraction.  You can't stay any closer to Market Square than this motel! I think it a safer nighttime spot than any other hotel in the Market Square area (which is on the sleazier side of town).  But at only $16 cheaper than its sister motel at this date's pricing I would stay at the other.

Motel 6 - Downtown

Boy, once I started on the slippery slope of listing cheaper hotels/motels I feel forced to list just one more.  This is for those who are even cheaper than the people referred to above at the listing of La Quinta Market Square.  If you are just destitute, without a car and somehow have access to a computer to read this, then the cheapest downtown place that I would direct you to is this place.  It's a block away from Market Square.  It's on the edge of a day labor area and not too far from the County Jail.  So you figure it out.  But, it's cheap.  If you feel you have to stay here I don't want to know about it.
I fully realize I've listed a lot of hotels to choose from.  I did so because not all the hotels I recommend will always be available (this is a convention town) and this way you will have some options to fall back upon.  Note: Unless it's a matter of cost, I wouldn't stay at hotels other than the ones mentioned above.  Yes, there are cheaper hotels/motels but they will not be where you will want to be.  There are the Super 8's, Motel 6's, Red Roof Inns, Microtel, Ramada's, Days Inn, Rodeway Inn and others that are all downtown.  But if they are going to charge you anywhere near what the above charge, I would not stay there.  Only if it's a matter of economics.

Read the following notes!!!

Note: there are a whole slue of hotels near the west side around Market Square.  They are off the beaten path.  Don't stay there unless it's a matter of costs.    The tourist literature makes it look as if Market Square is a big deal but everything you want to do at Market Square can be done in one hour.

Further note: there are also some new hotels on the east side of downtown, just east of IH37 around what is known as Sunset Station or the St. Paul area.  At present this is a dead area that just can't quite yet admit it.  People are throwing money into the area to develop it, in fact, Ruth Chris Steakhouse opened a place there (someone must have begged and made a deal they couldn't refuse).  But until the area catches on I wouldn't suggest you stay there.  Too many other good places.

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