Step back in time at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, a historic property updated with luxury bedding, a first class fitness center and spa and not one but two fabulous outdoor pools.
The boutique luxury hotel is ideal for families who want to explore nearby family-friendly attractions, from the famous San Antonio Riverwalk, just outside the Omni’s back door, to the Alamo and children’s museum.
The Charming Omni La Mansión del Rio
Business travelers often fly in and out of cities without seeing any of the glorious place they are in. I felt that way over a couple of days at the Omni on the Riverwalk in San Antonio – I had almost no time to explore my beautiful surroundings.
I was perched right on the Riverwalk, a relic of the 1968 World’s Fair and a beguiling, serpentine path through downtown. The Riverwalk is lined with hotels, restaurants and bars (and, sadly, a CVS), and features a Disney-esque water taxi.
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The five mile Riverwalk is wild at night, but tranquil in the morning. I had an early morning, traffic-free run, enlivened by sprints up and down stairs and across foot bridges. You don’t have to run stairs but you do need to be careful; if it rains the cobblestone path can be slippery.
I was in town for a Cooper Tire Ride and Drive, where I learned about distracted driving and the importance of proper tires.
The Omni is retrofitted in an 1852 building from the now defunct St Mary’s College, and oozes historic charm. You can take a guided walking tour of the hotel and get the full scoop.
What to Do
Just outside the hotel you can get on a San Antonio River Cruise, a boat tour along the Riverwalk. The hotel also has scavenger hunts for families, with small prizes.
Walk to the Alamo or the Children’s Museum, both minutes away. The new Hemisfair Park, the original site of the 1968 World’s Fair, is an urban park for all ages. A little further afield there are several historic missions to explore.
I had a huge Premier Riverview room, with a balcony overlooking the Riverwalk. I was concerned about noise but it was utterly quiet and the ultra comfortable king-sized bed and premium sheets lulled me right to sleep. In fact, the hotel has a “good night’s rest” policy, enforcing no hotel room parties great news for those who need their beauty rest.
There is a coffee maker in the room (rewards members also get free beverage delivery each morning but I didn’t take advantage of this).
The room has lots of plugs, a comfortable desk and an easy chair, so you can easily power up and get all your work done.
There is no refrigerator, but you can stick a water bottle or juice box in the mini bar fridge.
The hotel is also pet friendly, though dogs (and cats) can’t be more than 25 pounds.
What Works for Families
- Two pools! When my kids were little, our room could have been a cardboard box with rags for beds – as long as there was a pool they were happy. With the enchanting Riverwalk at our doorstep, this hotel would have been magical.
- The Omni Sensational Kids program includes a backpack of activities.
- Kids get a delivery of (free) cookies and milk their first night of a stay.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- About that Riverwalk…there are no guardrails. Two of my kids were cautious, but the third would have fallen right in. If you have overly adventurous kids, keep a tight grip.
There is an outdoor heated pool in the courtyard. There are lounge chairs around the pool, and plenty of soft towels.
The sparkling fitness center is right across the Riverwalk, in a sister property, the Mokara Hotel & Spa. This more modern hotel also has a rooftop pool. The fitness center offers brand new equipment, fresh fruit, newspapers, headphones and lemon infused water (or just plain cold water for the citrus averse).
Las Canarias emphasizes local produce and seasonal cuisine – along with had crafted margaritas. The bar has kid friendly food like burgers and tacos, and there is a coffee shop with sandwiches, along with a light menu served poolside. Mokara has a seafood restaurant.
Note: Cooper Tires paid for my travel expenses but I was not otherwise compensated. Opinions expressed are my own.