San Antonio isn’t just the best day (or weekend) trip to take from Austin anymore. It is a destination in its own right, filled with incredible cuisine, fun time bars, gorgeous hotels, fascinating historical structures, and much more. Time your visit for the annual fiesta celebration or the rodeo, and you’ll need a whole itinerary that requires some forward planning, especially when it comes to accommodation.
Here’s a tip; the bulk of tourist activity happens along the River Walk, and this is where you’ll want to be based. Luckily, there are lots of hotels primely positioned along or at least near it, along with resorts further afield where the point is to get away from the bustle. From right-on-the-water happening hangouts to charming boutiques by the Alamo to family-friendly spa resorts a short drive away, here are our favorite stays in San Antonio.
Best Hotels in San Antonio
1. Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk
Positioned right on the riverwalk, this stunning hotel puts you right in the heart of the city’s top eats, drinks, and sights. Inside, expect Texan glamor and contemporary design; 195 boutique rooms outfitted with local art, Mediterranean-style black & white tiled bathrooms, and some with towering balconies to enjoy your morning brew or nightcap on. Speaking of which, you’ll want to add their restaurant and bar to the schedule, too. Domingo, under the lobby, serves acclaimed South Texan fare, while Otro Bar, is a go-to for local cool cats with a thirst for agave-forward beverages. Complimentary bike rental is provided.
2. Mokara Hotel & Spa
As part of the Omni Resort family, Mokara Hotel & Spa is one of San Antonio's more luxury options—perfect for couples retreats, a girlfriends weekend, or, hell, just treating yourself to Swedish massages, a seafood dinner at in-house restaurant Ostra, and swims in the heated rooftop pool. The central setting on the River Walk makes it an ideal location for exploring the city or doing some serious shopping, but you'll want to return every night for a dip in your room's oversized soaking tub.
3. La Cantera Resort and Spa
The ultimate staycation for San Antonians, or travelers who prefer to explore at a slower pace, La Cantera is situated across 550-acres, clad with pools galore and a huge golf course. The family-friendly resort has 496 guestrooms including 34 villas, furnished with modern tech and complete amenities. Those without kids can opt to stay on the adult-only guest floor, which has access to an adults-only pool and champagne check-in.
4. Hotel Emma
When it first opened, Hotel Emma was one of the hottest hotels in San Antonio, and it is still a fabulous stay today. Hotel Emma offers luxury accommodations conveniently located in the heart of the trendy Pearl District. The building was originally a 19th-century brewery and has been transformed into a handsome space that expertly combines historic industrial accents with refined modern touches.
5. Crockett Hotel
Every city has at least one haunted hotel, and in San Antonio, the Crockett is rumored to have ghosts and ghouls aplenty. It's easy to see why: Situated just steps from the Alamo, the historic hotel is a stone's throw away from Texas' most epic battleground. Named after Davy Crockett, it offers 138 rooms, plenty of bars and restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, and access to the spa next door. Of course, you'll have to keep an eye out for the spirit of old Davy himself—rumored to have taken his last breath in the current patio area.
6. Eilan Hotel & Spa
Tucked away on 100 acres of Texas Hill Country, Eilan Hotel & Spa is one of San Antonio's most luxe destinations. The Italian-inspired grounds include an outdoor pool with cabanas, an indoor Olympic-sized lap pool, tennis courts, a spa, and a virtual golf room. While its surroundings are fairytale-like enough to host plenty of weddings throughout the year, it's also a great place to escape into the rolling hills of Texas, with San Antonio just a short, 25-minute drive away.
7. Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
True to its name, this charming ol’ boutique hotel is situated on a more mellow stretch of San Antonio's normally-bustling Riverwalk. Spanish and Mediterranean touches lend the Hotel Valencia a more European feel than some of the city's other digs, and the 213 rooms are outfitted like the golden olden days. Think Italian marble bathrooms, breezy balconies, and vintage leather armchairs. If you’re the old-school sort, this is a cozy stay.
8. Hotel Contessa
Another River Walk hotel, the Contessa offers sleek, modern rooms that convey more of an urban loft experience than other hotels around town. Exposed brick and private bedrooms are features in every room, and several on-site dining and drinking spots (with prime people-watching views) make spending the weekend here a breeze.
9. Menger Hotel
Quite possibly the only hotel known for its mango ice cream, the Menger is a San Antonio institution—and its legendary dessert has been on the Colonial Dining room's menu for over 100 years. The hotel opened in 1859 and has since served as both a landmark and historic hotel in the city's center, just a short stroll from the Alamo. While the Victorian decor in the 316 rooms can seem a little dated, it's all part of the charm of this elegant hotel.