Nothing beats the location of the Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, as its nestled alongside the Riverwalk, steps away from Marriage Island. Location, ambiance, amenities (and did I mention location?) set this luxury hotel apart. The Four-Diamond Hotel Contessa manages to keep your stay relaxing but still family friendly.

What Works for Families

The biggest thing that works for families is the convenience of being on the Riverwalk, which means immediate front door access to shopping, restaurants and sight-seeing. But there are other reasons too:

  • Photo Credit: Heather B/ Expat TravelingMom

    Photo Credit: Heather B/ Expat TravelingMomConvenience of being on the Riverwalk, which means immediate front door access to shopping, restaurants and sight-seeing.

    Kids 8 and under eat breakfast free.

  • Free wifi to keep everyone happy and entertained
  • Heated rooftop pool
  • Suites that can accommodate families of five.
  • Oversized bathrooms, big enough for families.
  • Separate living room space to allow nice downtime for kids and parents.

What Doesn’t Work for Families

  • Valet parking the family car quickly adds up at $36 a night. There are other public parking lots around and street parking, but its a matter of convenience when it comes to a family.  That being said, if your goal is to be in the River Walk, you’re in walking distance to everything!

Room cost: A river view family sized suite, allowing fiveTMOM Travel Disclosure people sleeping room, will cost approximately $200-$300, depending on the time of year. Price includes wifi, rooftop pool, fitness center access, access to the spa, in-room coffee/tea and local calls.

The Details

The Hotel Contessa took our breath away from the moment we walked into the multi-story lobby area. Palm trees tower, while the decor is in keeping with all things Texas. Situated directly on the Riverwalk, you can’t beat the location nor service you’ll experience here. Valet parking is available, which takes the hassle out of finding street parking, but it comes at a price ($36 per day when we visited in summer 2015). The heated rooftop pool provides sweeping of the city, and the fitness center and spa are located on the same level. The Hotel Contessa is modern, clean and luxurious.

The Hotel

I could not be more complimentary of the service and friendliness of the staff. Everyone, from valet to concierge to bellmen, took the time to tell us about features of the hotel we might have missed. It’s a luxury hotel, but we never felt like our children were unwelcome; it was quite the opposite  The staff went out of their way to make sure the children were made to feel just as important as their parents.

The decor in every inch of this hotel is done with keen eye, adding character, charm and a bit of history into the design. A panel of glass doors leads to an outdoor patio for dining or cocktails, and then leads right onto the Riverwalk.

You’re within walking distance of San Antonio’s favorite eateries, shopping and attractions.

The Rooms

Photo Credit: Heather B/ Expat TravelingMom

Photo Credit: Heather B/ Expat TravelingMom

The suites of the Hotel Contessa feature exposed brick feature walls in the living rooms, funky patterns in the bedrooms and a touch of Texan art to complete the experience. The oversized bathroom is adorned with giant double wooden doors, an expansive vanity area and a large shower space. The towels are plush and the linens soft.  We had plenty of room to spill out all over without feeling crowded.

Because the Hotel Contessa offers suites, we were able to accommodate sleeping areas for all five of us. Choose from a King or a Double suite, each with a living room complete with a pull out sofa bed. Splurge the extra $40-$50 for the river view; you won’t regret it.

Dining and Amenities

While the breakfast buffet at Las Ramblas restaurant is not free for those older than 8, it is definitely worth the experience. Whether you choose to eat breakfast inside or out on the patio adjacent to the river, the staff will take care of you from beginning to end. The buffet provided a nice assortment, including healthy options such as fruit, yogurt and gluten-free items. Be sure to try the homemade salsa on your eggs!

Make sure to enjoy Happy Hour in the lobby at Cork Bar, where I’m sure you’ll enjoy their specialty margaritas (fantastic!) and tapas. What’s nice about the open atrium lobby is you can see down into it from any floor corridor. The kids can peek in on you to make sure you’re still there, if you want to escape to happy hour without them!

Then take a dip in the heated rooftop pool or work off those calories in the fitness center, both easily accessible without ever needing to walk by the lobby. That was a great feature because I find it awkward schlepping our pool gear and three wet kids through the lobbies of some hotels. No one wants to see you in your beach clothes, and we don’t want to drip water as we’re passing through to our rooms.

Overall, I would highly recommend staying at the Hotel Contessa on your next vacation to San Antonio. It truly is a one of a kind experience, and brings everything San Antonio right to you.