By: Justine Harrington | From: Forbes

Known for its unique blend of influences, storied history, delectable cuisine and legendary celebrations—like the annual Fiesta, which takes place each April—it should come as no surprise that a city as vibrant as San Antonio is teeming with cool boutique hotels, adorable bed and breakfasts and lush resorts. Much like the city itself, the best hotels in San Antonio offer noteworthy amenities that allow travelers to soak in the surrounding culture, no matter what type of vacation is in store.

Couples will enjoy the intimacy of Hotel Havana, with its tucked-away River Walk setting, airy rooms and dimly lit underground speakeasy, while families will love the ease of vacationing at JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort And Spa, featuring a lazy river and four waterslides. For those who want to be in the middle of the action, hop on a water taxi right outside your room at Hotel Valencia River Walk or spend the night next door to the Alamo at budget-friendly The Menger Hotel. Below, we’ve selected our favorite San Antonio accommodations in 2023, for all types of travel styles.


Best Boutique Hotel In San Antonio: O’Casey’s Boutique Inn

Who Will Love It: Those who prefer a small-scale inn with extra-personalized service as opposed to a chain hotel
All-Star Amenities: 24-hour coffee and tea station; an inviting courtyard; fireplaces and clawfoot tubs in select rooms; a full homestyle breakfast; outdoor fireplace and grill
What Not To Miss: Don’t skimp on the continental breakfast, which may include homemade cinnamon rolls, danishes, quiches, or empanadas, depending on the day
Location: Monte Vista

If staying in a super-quaint home as opposed to a hotel appeals to you, O’Casey’s Boutique Hotel is an excellent pick. Originally built in 1904, this property has been lovingly restored and equipped with all the modern comforts of home. Many of the rooms are outfitted with clawfoot tubs and balconies; all are supremely cozy and furnished with Victorian antiques—and all are named for Irish cities, though it must be said that this Southern-style bed and breakfast screams Texas more than anything else.

Guests can expect an excellent breakfast here, which is included in the cost of the room, as well as a 24-hour coffee and tea station set up in the lobby. This intimate inn is located in the heart of the Monte Vista neighborhood, just north of downtown, so guests benefit from a relative lack of tourist hordes. You’ll undoubtedly want to reserve plenty of time for curling up in a wicker chair with a good book in the plant-filled courtyard.


Best Value Hotel In San Antonio: The Menger Hotel

Who Will Love It: History buffs, dads, anyone who has the slightest affinity for Texas
All-Star Amenities: Rooms with views of the Alamo and Alamo Plaza; on-site dining and drinks at the Colonial Room Restaurant, the Menger Bar, and Mengerita Tacos; a spacious heated pool; likely a ghost or two
What Not To Miss: Try the mango ice cream at the Colonial Room
Location: River Walk/Alamo Plaza

It’s not every day that you can say you’ve slept next to the most iconic site in Texas, and you won’t find lodging any closer to the Alamo than The Menger Hotel, which was built right next door just 23 years after the famous battle occurred. This historic (and surprisingly affordable) hotel is said to be the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi. It’s also widely reported to be haunted, potentially by the ghosts of glamorous former guests like Babe Ruth, Oscar Wilde, and Mae West—but definitely by the ghost of Sallie White, an 1870s chambermaid who was shot by her husband, and who has been seen floating at the foot of guests’ beds.

Aside from its poltergeists, the Menger is known for its in-house restaurant, the Colonial Room, and the Menger Bar, where Teddy Roosevelt once set up an enlistment table to recruit the Rough Riders. The front lobby in particular is architecturally exquisite, with grand Corinthian columns and a stained-glass ceiling.


Best Hotel For Couples In San Antonio: Hotel Havana

Who Will Love It: Hipster couples
All-Star Amenities: In-room or on-veranda dining available from Ocho; amply stocked SMEG fridges; complimentary La Colombe coffee and pastries; custom serape robes; access to the Havana Bar
What Not To Miss: The eye-catching Ocho may snag more of the attention, but make it a point to chill at the hotel’s underground speakeasy, Havana Bar
Location: River Walk

Distinguished from other hotels on the River Walk by its serene location and boho-chic decor, Hotel Havana was revamped by Austin-based hotelier Liz Lambert in 2010 and operated by Bunkhouse group. Prepare to be seduced by the Caribbean-inspired touches—think palm trees, plantation shutters, and wrought-iron bed frames—that exist alongside Bunkhouse’s trademark trendy design flourishes, like vintage Cuban artwork and Turkish rugs. None of the 27 rooms are exactly the same, although they all boast Bastrop Pine floors, high ceilings, and custom amenities such as serape robes and SMEG refrigerators stocked with Topo Chico and tea.

On-site restaurant Ocho serves breakfast, dinner and weekend brunch in a striking glass conservatory overlooking the river. Helmed by chef Jess Kuykendall (the first San Antonio-based chef to win the national cooking series “Chopped”), the menu here is rooted in pan-Latin cultural influences, and the Cuban breakfast plates in particular are a standout. After a day of exploring the city, the candlelit Havana Bar makes for the perfect place for a nightcap.


Best High-End Hotel In San Antonio: Hotel Emma

Who Will Love It: Design aficionados; those seeking refined luxury in a central location
All-Star Amenities: A rooftop pool; access to some of the best dining in the city at Supper, Larder, and Sternewirth; Merit Roasting Co. coffee service offered throughout the hotel; a 3,700-volume library; Guayabera robes custom-made by Dos Carolinas; an in-room “ice box” stocked with local provisions; complimentary cruiser bikes; Hiatus Spa
What Not To Miss: The pool is a world away from the hustle-and-bustle of the Pearl District; order a snack from Poolside Provisions, a 1960s-era Pearl beer delivery truck
Location: The Pearl

Those who have been to San Antonio know that Hotel Emma is a rare gem of a place, and if you get the chance to stay here, you absolutely must take it. Housed in the original Pearl Brewing Company brewhouse (built in 1894), today, this 146-room boutique hotel is the centerpiece of the bustling Pearl development. There are nods to that boozy heritage everywhere you look—the lobby even contains an early 20th century compressor that once pumped cool air into the brewery.

The decor here could perhaps best be described as “five-star luxury, but make it South Texas,” with exposed brick, buffalo-leather sofas, and custom-made glass-blown chandeliers. Rooms are thoughtfully curated, with mini-fridges filled with local snacks and drinks, Frette towels, and bathrooms featuring handmade Spanish porcelain tiles. Hotel Emma is also a culinary powerhouse, offering a variety of dining options that are known to be some of the best in San Antonio.


Best Hotel For Families In San Antonio: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort And Spa

Who Will Love It: Families with kids of all ages
All-Star Amenities: A variety of dining options; an adults-only luxury spa; a ton of kid-centric activities that run the gamut from scavenger hunts to s’mores; a nine-acre water park with a lazy river, four waterslides, and a sandy beach; two 18-hole PGA Tour golf courses; tennis and pickleball courts; close proximity to Hill Country attractions
What Not To Miss: The water park is the obvious pick here, but parents should also slip away for an ultra-relaxing CBD pedicure at the Lantana Spa
Location: Hill Country

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort And Spa certainly leans into the idea that everything is bigger in Texas. Spread over 600 acres, this popular resort is expansive, to say the least. It’s also perfectly suited for families, with a sprawling water park featuring a 1,100-foot lazy river and four towering waterslides, an adults-only pool, private cabanas, whirlpool spas, and even a large sandy beach area.

For parents who want a little time to themselves, the resort offers a Kid’s Night Out, where children can take part in activities and games and eat dinner (for an additional fee). Also located on the premises are two golf courses, multiple restaurants, a game room, and the biggest spa in Texas, so you truly have no reason to leave. If you do decide to venture out, you’ll have quick and easy access to nearby family-friendly attractions, like Natural Bridge Caverns and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Best Hotel With A Pool In San Antonio: The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Who Will Love It: People who appreciate a hefty dose of old world glamour
All-Star Amenities: A rooftop infinity pool with great city views; five swanky dining concepts; regular live music and other local events; a host of museum-quality paintings, sculptures, and tapestries
What Not To Miss: Sip an old-fashioned at the street-level hotel bar, the St. Anthony Club
Location: River Walk

Steeped in history and dripping with old-school elegance, The St. Anthony opened its doors in 1909 as San Antonio’s first luxury hotel and has since welcomed the likes of John Wayne, Judy Garland, George Clooney, Elton John, and many other notable names. Sure, the gleaming marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and bronze figurines are stunning, but the crown jewel of this century-old hotel is its nod to modernity in the form of a rooftop infinity pool complete with plush cabanas.

The city views from the pool are sublime—you could easily spend hours dipping in and out of the water, especially considering there’s a poolside bar and grill. When serious hunger pangs strike, there are also other on-site dining experiences to take advantage of, which primarily serve seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. Rooms are comfy and well-appointed with all the modern amenities you could want; nearly half of the rooms overlook Travis Park, one of the oldest municipal parks in the country.


Best Hotel Near The River Walk In San Antonio: Hotel Valencia River Walk

Who Will Love It: Travelers who want to be as close to the River Walk as possible but don’t want to be kept up all night by sounds of revelry
All-Star Amenities: Prime River Walk access (but in a relatively quiet location); a state-of-the-art fitness center; in-room spa services; upscale Argentine-influenced cuisine at Dorrego’s; the only tequila bar on the River Walk
What Not To Miss: Take a water taxi along the river (they stop right by the hotel). Yes, it’s cheesy and touristy, but that’s what makes it fun
Location: River Walk

While there’s a seemingly never-ending array of hotels near the River Walk—the city’s famous riverside promenade lined with restaurants, bars, and shops—Hotel Valencia wins out for its European-style elegance and location. It’s set right on the river, but on a more mellow stretch compared to the rest of the always-busy strip. It’s also within easy walking distance of attractions like the Majestic Theater and a string of notable bars and restaurants.

The hotel’s 213 rooms are decked out with custom-made beds, buttery-soft Egyptian cotton linens, and 50-inch LED smart TVs. Make sure to snag a room with a courtyard view for a more peaceful vibe at night. As far as amenities go, guests have access to in-room spa services, a sleek fitness center, and tasty food and drink options. Dorrego’s offers inventive Argentine fare with a global twist, while Naranja has the distinction of being the only tequila bar on the River Walk—pair your drink with mouthwatering tapas like mezcal street corn or shrimp ceviche.


Best Hotel In San Antonio For Spa And Wellness: La Cantera Resort And Spa

Who Will Love It: Anyone whose main criterion for a hotel is that it has everything, so you never need to leave
All-Star Amenities: Five swimming pools; a destination spa; an adults-only floor; an 18-hole golf course; a complimentary shuttle to the nearby mall and theme parks; a full list of family-friendly activities; solid on-site food and drink options (the list goes on)
What Not To Miss: The incredible facials at Loma de Vida, like the (pricey but worth it) Dr. Dennis Gross Anti-Aging facial or the Linda Meredith Oxygen Infused treatment
Location: Hill Country

Luxury is the name of the game at La Cantera, tucked high up in the scenic Hill Country. More than a mere place to sleep, this resort is packed to the gills with activities and amenities, from five heated pools and a world-class golf course to sunset s’mores and family movie nights. The star of the show, however, is the spa—consider Loma de Vida to be your one-stop shop for all things wellness, with its outdoor treatment suites and top-of-the-line facials, massage therapies, and body rituals.

Post-treatment, indulge in impossibly delicious, Texas-ified cuisine at Signature Restaurant, SweetFire Kitchen, Bocado, or one of several other on-site eateries. Couples and other 21 and up travelers will appreciate Seven, the adults-only floor where rooms have glass walk-in showers, sumptuous king beds, and Nespresso VertuoLine coffee (don’t miss the complimentary happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily). Let the panoramic views of the hills soothe you from the privacy of your balcony—you’ll feel relaxed and rejuvenated in no time.