San Antonio, Texas hotel reviews: The good, the bad and the ugly

Well this was a fun week in San Antonio, 5 hotels in 5 days. I know for many normal people that would be crazy, bus as you may know I’m not normal, and as always am chasing status for something. In this case, with two hotel programs to qualify for this year (a new challenge for me), I needed to work on achieving Hilton Honors Diamond and Starwood Platinum. So with a plethora of hotels to choose from within this city, with many of them close together and offering really reasonable prices I had to take advantage.

So with that I was off to book some hotels, and take advantage of staying at some hotel chains I had yet to try. I spent my first and last nights at the Aloft Hotel San Antonio Airport, and then one night each at the Hilton SA Airport, Four Points SA Airport and finally the Doubletree SA Downtown. As with the title of this post I had some good, bad and just ugly hotels. Thankfully they were all clean and the rooms were comfortable some were just better than others.

DoubleTree San Antonio Downtown:
So let’s start with the ugly and there was no Doubletree about it, was the Doubletree. The entrance as you can see was awful, the 6th floor was being remodeled and my room had issues, which as a remodeled room were hard to believe. This hotel was billed as walking distance to the Alamo and River walk, the former was 1.7 miles and the heart of the River walk was over a mile. Frankly the surrounding area of the hotel, minus the USTA, courthouse and police station which were on each corner of the hotel, were the only safe looking places, until you were at the River Walk. So walking seemed out of the question. At least they had a free shuttle that runs on the hour from 8 AM- 10 PM.

As for my room, it was apparently remodeled recently but based on a few issues I’d was kind of surprised. My room door, didn’t work, it turned out they handles and locks were installed backwards in some rooms, and you has to rotate the handle up when you’d normally go down. The fact the front desk said that they were installed wrong and people come down to the front desk all the time because they think their key doesn’t work was normal. The other issue was a huge leak at the shower head. It was so bad water was shooting onto the ceiling, and when I covered the leak with a towel a river of water flowed down the wall. Ouch. Anyhow not my kind of hotel.

Hotel entrance

Hotel entrance

Fountain

Fountain

Construction on the 6th floor

Construction on the 6th floor

CConstruction work

CConstruction work

Construction work

Construction work

Hallway

Hallway

King Bed

King Bed

My room

My room

Sleepnumber bed

Sleepnumber bed

Noisy Aircon

Noisy Aircon

TV

TV

Amenities

Amenities

Hilton San Antonio Airport:
The Hilton on the other had fell into the bad category. Now don’t get me wrong it was not a dirty or unsafe hotel it was just blah. I find Hiltons to be either really great or really bad, there’s not much in the middle. I mean they have some good to great properties like the Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico, Tokyo Disney Hotel or the Auckland Hilton, but then some dogs like this one. Anyhow the hotel was just really dated, and desperately needed a refresh. What I find is that unlike the Aloft brand or even Hiltons own Conrad brand, they have not kept up with the times. They are just old looking monoliths and in need of serious rebranding. In this case the room, had older furniture, that seemed too big for the room, a boring lobby with some local artwork, that seemed uninspired (sorry no pictures), and a restaurant that served a terrible breakfast. Now to be fair it may be great for lunch or dinner, but the breakfast was just simple and not interesting. Cereal, eggs, fruit, yoghurt, juice etc. Again, nothing I can’t get at any other hotel chain, and this being the name brand of the line, you’d expect a bit more.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Work desk

Work desk

Chair

Chair

Amenities

Amenities

Bathroom

Bathroom

Bed

Bed

Entertainment center

Entertainment center



Four Point Sheraton San Antonio Airport:

The Four Points feel into the good, it was another new(ish) build hotel. It was not huge, but had a fireplace, large open lobby, a bar and an outside patio. Again, this hotel invited people to hang out for a spell and enjoy the hotel and not just sit in your room.

Apparently I was also upgraded to a balcony room (thank you status), since I’ve never stayed at this hotel before, I really don’t know if the room was any different than the standard, but hey I got a balcony. It looked like there were only two of these per floor, so I scored. It had a comfortable bed with plenty of soft pillows, a really nice desk/ media center as well as a modern well-kept bathroom. The desk and media center had really great storage cubes, and a decent sized desk. Plus below each end table were additional leather seating cubes, nice touch if you wanted to entertain.
Even though it was in my good category, I had two complaints, the room I had faced the freeway loop 410, and it was noisy even at 11 PM, not that big of a deal, but if I went back I’d be sure to ask for a room not facing that direction. The other issue was breakfast. Again it was horrible. They had a buffet that offered toast, fruit, cereal and yoghurt. Of which the only thing that looked edible was the cereal. It was so bad I was there for all of five minutes. I know I may be nitpicking here, but even with a free breakfast, which they do sell to guests; this was a bad bad deal.

Four Points Lobby

Four Points Lobby

King Bed

King Bed

Side chair

Side chair

Desk and Media Center

Desk and Media Center

Storage

Storage

Coffe Bar

Coffe Bar

Bathroom and Shower

Bathroom and Shower

Vanity

Vanity

DSCF0081

Aloft Hotel San Antonio Airport
The Aloft was my favorite hotel and was in the good category for sure. What did I like about it, I think it was because it was different and my first time at this brand. How I understand it, is that this hotel is inspired by the W brand, another hotel, I have not tried. It’s like the younger sibling of W. So it exudes hip and coolness (is that even a word). You walk into this sleek hotel with plush seating thoughout the expansive lobby, a trendy lobby bar, pool table, fireplace and lots of alcoves to hang out. On both nights the lobby was packed with people having a drink and socializing, and on Thursday nightd they even had a live band. It was an interesting atmosphere and even though I didn’t partake in the fun it looked like it would be nice place to hang out. As for food options, they offered room service for breakfast made in the hotel and for lunch and dinner they had room service provided by a British Pub located in the same shopping center. I did eat the breakfast, and it was not bad. They had lots of fruit, muffins, yoghurts and made to order breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

The room it’s self you guessed it is inspired by a loft. It’s one open space room with a ¾ wall separating the bathroom, and vanity from the rest of the room. It’s not Spartan and it’s not fancy, just right I’d say, for a hotel room, that’s trying not to be a hotel room. The bed was comfortable, it had tons of power plugs and it had a little media center that had USB, HDMI, VGA , power and a few other hook ups. It was a cool thing. I was not fancy but was not to hip to make me feel out of place, since I am so unhip.

Entrance sign Entrance sign[/caption]

WXYZ Bar

WXYZ Lobby Bar seating

Re:Fuel lobby snack lounge

Re:Fuel lobby snack lounge

Hallway

Hallway

King bed

Kin bed

Room TV and lounger

Room TV and lounger

Media hub

Media hub

Work desk, and media hub

Work desk, and media hub

Coffee bar and complimentary waters

Coffee bar and complimentary waters

Sink and vanity

Sink and vanity

The batroom and shower

The batroom and shower

So overall some interesting option in San Antonio, my week was successful, and my quest for maintaining status moving in the right direction.

General info about the hotels, they all had free parking and Aloft and Four Points had free WI-FI, the others charged, for non-status guests. Lastly I must say the cost of hotels in San Antonio were very reasonable, none of these were over $125 with tax, for even full service hotels that’s a bargain in most cities. That in itself was a good thing.

So how’d I rate them overall:
1. Aloft
2. Four Points
3. Hilton
4. Doubletree
Breakfast, none were standouts but
1. Aloft
2. Doubletree
3. Hilton and Four Points a tie
Location:
1. Aloft
2. Four Points/Hilton
3. Doubletree

Categories: Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Photography, Starwood Hotels, Travel | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “San Antonio, Texas hotel reviews: The good, the bad and the ugly

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