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“Stylish and fun, but some wierd issues” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Aloft San Antonio Airport

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Aloft San Antonio Airport
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   838 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78216 (North Central)   |  
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Ranked #124 of 352 Hotels in San Antonio
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Stylish and fun, but some wierd issues”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2010

This was my first experience with an Aloft hotel. I am a fan of W hotels, and Aloft is basically a lower-budget version of the W (they call it 'a vision of W Hotels'). I was arriving on an evening flight into San Antonio airport so this was a convenient option for staying the night near the airport before leaving for Big Bend National Park (a 7 hour dirve) the following morning.

Finding the hotel was a bit of a challenge. It really isn't located on Loop410 (as inidated by its address), instead it fronts onto Blanco Rd, about half-block south of Loop410. There is no large sign to indicate the hotel's presence, it sits back from the road in a retail center such that it doesn't really stand out. (Perhaps I was just tired and not alert?). Once I did find the place it looked new, modern, and welcoming.

The Aloha desk (lobby) served as a central hub for checking in, guest services, the lounge and the snack bar. I liked this set-up - felt very unconventional - it was lively but not too busy. The xyz Bar looked really cool with lots of nice seating areas and a pool table - alas, I was too tired to partake. Check-in was handled quickly and efficiently by a young man at the Aloha desk, he explained where to park my car (in a garage just behind the hotel.) The also had a free airport shuttle bus to/from the hotel.

The theming and look of the public areas was lovely - what I'd expect of a W - lots of unique and playful features. I had requested and was given a room far the elevators (to minimize noise). The room itself was a good size and everything was new, sleek, and modern.

Liked: 1) The set-up of the bathroom - loved the glass shower and showerhead - the bliss products. 2) The large flat screen HD TV, with console for all sorts of electronic devices. 3) Bed and linens were comfortable. 5) Everything was spotless and clean - room, public areas, even the parking garage. 4) The refresh center in the lobby was a nice idea - really good breakfast pastries along with healthier choices - accessible any time of day.

Disliked: 1) A/C Heater couldn't be run on continuous fan mode - so if you ran the heat or A/C it would cycle on/off and this was disruptive to sleep (I prefer the fan to be constantly on at a low level.) 2) The solid glass wall between the shower and bathroom insured that whenever one of us went to use the bathroom during the night, the light would shine right through into the bedroom and wake up any other person who might be asleep. 3) The light switch for the bathroom was paired right next to the switch for the light above the bed, so it was easy to mistakenly turn on the light right above the sleeping person's head when groping for the bathroom light - the hotel seemed desgined to insure that your sleep would be interrupted at least once during the night. 4) Internet connection in the room and lobby kept cutting out - I couldn't stay connected for more than 3 minutes at a time.

Overall I liked the Aloft concept and I will likely return. Just be sure to take some time to learn the light switches(or learn the layout of the room so you can find your way in the dark!) before you go to bed!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
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San Antonio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2010

I completed a two-night stay at this hotel two weeks ago. The best way to describe the hotel is half hotel, half nightclub. Check-in was fairly simple. For those who do not want to wait in line at the desk, there is a touch screen check-in kiosk right as you walk in. The lobby area is as inviting as possible, considering that the bar and pool table is only a few steps away. Walking into the lobby at night with luggage, pillows, and blankets can be slightly awkward. A small snack shop is located near the front desk. If you do not find those prices attractive, try picking up some treats at the Target directly across the parking lot.

The King room was a little on the small side yet somewhat cozy. Trendy is the name of the game here. The low-flow sink, shower, and toilet was a nice touch. The in-room safe was easy to use and gives the guest some peace of mind. Lighting in the room was limited so take a few seconds to explore all of your options there. The bed was comfortable, but consider bringing an extra blanket or two. The duvet cover and a thin sheet is all you get. Although I did not use this feature, the multi-port electronics hub is great for those who want to utilize the TV to its full ability. I did have issues with the TV throughout the stay. The high-definition signal would sporadically go in and out, which was a little bit of a bummer.

The hotel has its own trendy bar area. In addition, the property is a very short walk away from another bar and a British Pub. Needless to say, plenty of tipsy people were making tons of noise at all hours of the night. Also, the hallways are quite noisy. You can feel a door slam from all the way down the hall. This property is not for the light sleeper.

The price and the trendy ambiance make this hotel a good fit for a younger crowd. The business traveler would love the free wireless internet but resting for the big meeting the next morning could prove difficult due to the hotel's location. The rooms were very affordable, clean, and comfortable. However, the noise factor is enough to keep me from booking this hotel in the future

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, AL
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2010

I coordinated a large group of business associates to stay at this hotel in early February. We occupied approximately 12 rooms and stayed a total of 3 nights each during our business meetings near the airport.

I had never before stayed at an ALOFT hotel and it was an unusual place. It was very contemporary compared to any other hotel chain and had modern styling throughout. This didn't necessarily surprise me after reading other TRIPADVISOR reviews. I will say that without our group, 10 considered this styling to be "wierd", while 2 thought it was "neat". The atmosphere turned out to be a "love it" or "hate it" factor within our group and probably biased the opinion of other aspects of the hotel.

Moving on to the more important feedback items regarding our specific stay, I received consistent complaints from our group as follows:
- Windows are paper thin. Everyone felt like the parking lot noise was completely unacceptable and could hear many conversations in the parking lot during the early hours in the morning. The HVAC systems in the rooms cycle off and on and did not provide a consistent whitenoise effect to washout the noise.
- Garbage truck service ran everynight night at 3 am and woke everyone up. Between the banging of the truck emptying the container and the beeping of the truck backing up, even my Tylenol PM and noise machine weren't effective in keeping me asleep!
- Noise in the hallways was also a problem. There seemed to be a constant stream of activity at all hours (particularly around 2 am when the bars close). Although voices weren't much of a problem, closing doors were very load and it seemed like the majority of the guests partied until the wee hours of the morning.
- Limited food options. Although the hotel did provide several options for breakfast (muffins, bagels, yogurt. etc.), most found it very limiting. The frozen dinners in the lobby fridge were unacceptable to everyone within group. We weren't planning to eat at the hotel necessarily but found this concept to be odd (vs more normal snacks or food).
- Checkin process was very slow due to the non traditional front desk that also served as the food checkout line. All issues were being delt with by 1-2 people and it seemed like the hotel was attempting to collect more information from guests than normal leading to longer wait times.

On the positive side...
+ The hotel was clean and relatively new.
+ The rate was competitive.
+ The alarm clock used flashing lights (think strobe light) to wake you up vs a loud alarm. I suspect this is due to the poor noise insulation between rooms but I thought this was a clever idea.

Final vote within our group of mid level managers from a Fortune 500 company (which I assume to be typical of most business travelers).
- Most said they would not return to an ALOFT Hotel (here or anywhere). Between the non traditional styling/atmosphere and the noise problems, this concept just didn't "fit" most within our group -- particularly for a business trip.
- A few thought it was "cool" place and would return again for either business or leisure travel.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
142 hotel reviews
Reviews in 103 cities Reviews in 103 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2010

I stay in a lot of hotels, but this is the first time in a "cool" hotel (the telephone greeting is aloha). You will like it. Very friendly staff integrated into a living-room lobby bar, lounge, coffee section. The rooms are large, comfortable, with a modern decor. All non smoking with free wireless internet. Big screen HDTV with fully-capable AV box to play your tunes. There is a free shuttle to the airport.

That having been said, it is a great location for the airport and easy access to the freeway (410), but it is not near the tourist area or the riverwalk. It is located next to a shopping mall and the view is of parked cars. This is part of the W chain.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrizo Springs, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2010

From my arrival to the day of my Departure everyone from The Front Desk Clerks to the Housekeeper were very nice to me and I noticed they were very good with all guest in General.

Thank you...

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2010

Took more than 10 minutes to get checked in. It wasn't the desk clerk's fault; she just had too much to do and no help. Brawl in the parking lot from the bar in the middle of the night coupled with people on my floor making noise meant almost no sleep, though I had an all day, important meeting the next day. I personally hate the decor. Modern, trendy, yes. Also cold and uninviting. Room was fine for one person, except the closet is a cubbyhole. But the privacy issues expressed by others are very real if you're traveling with anyone else. Traffic in this area is horrendous. Took me 45 minutes to drive 9 miles, so if you think you can just find a hotel in your general area and travel to your destination in 10 minutes or so, forget it. I need to go to San Antonio regularly right now, but will pay twice as much next time to have a better hotel.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2010

This was my first stay at an aloft hotel and overall I was very impressed. I found the location to be very convenient to everything around town. Also, if one is staying for several days, there are several new restaurants within walking distance and a Target at which you can buy virtually anything you need (except fresh fruit). The staff was very courteous and worked with me to divide my stay into individual shorter stays so I could get the lowest rate but avoid prepaying for a set number of days.

My room featured a king sized bed, full screen plasma tv, a walk in shower that was nicely proportioned, and had an overall "loft" feeling (alas the name). If having a good workout room is important to you, the workout room at the aloft was one of the best I've ever used in a hotel. There are workout towels, purified water, virtually brand new equipment and weights, and even sanitation napkins for wiping down the equipment.

The bar area has a "W" feel and over the course of my stay I would take my laptop down there to work while enjoying a beer or glass of wine. My complimentary 24 hour Wi-Fi internet access worked throughout the hotel and it was also a very fast connection everywhere I used it.

The hotel is definitely "trendy", so if you like traditional room layouts with heavy furniture then this might not be the best place for you. However, don't make the mistake of equating "trendy" with "loud and noisy"- once I got in my room and shut the door it was very quiet.

One of my primary complaints is that the A/C unit does not have an option to allow the fan to continue running if it is not heating or cooling (I like the white noise in the background to help me sleep). However, you can turn the unit off and then turn just the fan on and it will stay on continually, so if it is not too terribly hot or cold outside then this is an option. Also, if you have a lot of hanging clothes this can be a problem because there is only a small area in which to hang things.

One final point- I am writing this review during Jan 2010. Since the decor is so "trendy" I would imagine it will date itself very quickly unless Starwood keeps up with the times and remodels it every so often. However, with my excellent experiences so far at other Starwood properties I'm sure they probably will.

If I have a project again in San Antonio I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aloft San Antonio Airport

Address: 838 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78216
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio > North Central , Uptown Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #124 of 352 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Aloft San Antonio Airport 3*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel's complimentary airport shuttle service is just the beginning of our many amenities. Enjoy comfortable boutique rooms and the popular w xzy bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aloft San Antonio Airport Hotel San Antonio

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