We live in San Antonio and this is our go-to quick get-away.
The property is located just outside the city limits north of San Antonio. As you arrive, you will note the enormous attention to detail in how the hotel was sited, the backdrop of hills, the beautiful golf course and the complete quiet of our surroundings. Yet you can be downtown in 30 minutes or so. The hotel is made of local materials -- limestone, wood, etc. Despite being quite large with over 900 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel fits very nicely into its surroundings.
On arrival, you will be greeted by the friendly, helpful valet and bell staff. This is really where I have my quibbles: the self-parking is small and situated on a steep hill. In the summer when it's 100 degrees, self-parking isn't much fun. Valet is spendy too: $24 per night.
Enter into the main lobby and the registration staff will get you situated quickly. As you enter, look straight ahead -- the lobby is really two levels, the "business" area where the registration, bell and concierge stay, plus the traffic from the front doors and across the hotel cross through this area. Below, is a huge space with a beautiful bar staffed by talented mixologists, entries to the main two eateries in the hotel and two HUGE fireplaces. Beyond that is the "back lawn" of the hotel where families in the summer play games and the walkway to the water park (more later.)
The typical room is spacious and comfortable. All furnishings are modern, beautiful and comfortable. We've had mixed experiences with the beds, however. Some beds I sleep well and others not so much and wake sore. The pillows are small and feather and do not provide much support. I'd encourage the hotel to look at their bedding.
All rooms have large windows and most balconies -- although some are only "Juliette" balconies which are only about a foot deep or so. Try to get a balcony overlooking the golf course and water park.
We've stayed in an upgraded room twice and it was really only a larger room / suite rather than any significant change in decor or furnishings.
Quickly change and head to the water park. This is an unbelievable "pool" with over 900 chairs, two large pools, a kiddie pool / play area, two large tube water slides, another tube slide / raging rapids ride which drains into a lazy river encircling the two large pools. Get wet in the winter as the water is heated to 76 degrees year round. This feature is extremely popular with travelers with children. Sometimes it gets overcrowded and chairs and tubes are in short supply. You will have your room key checked and only provided four arm bands per room for admission to the park. There is a restaurant and a bar with a small army of wait staff swarming over the water park to serve you. Just awesome. For the adults, there's an adult-only infinity pool and hot tub.
Back in the hotel there are three main dining options. 1. High velocity -- a sports bar with sport bar fare. Good but not remarkable. However, the 120 foot long, high definition video screen must be seen to be appreciated. Wow. 2. Cibolo moon: this serves central Texas fare with a gourmet flair such as buffalo meatloaf, Hill Country BBQ (beef, natch!) and Chicken Fried Steak. Every meal I've had is great. They also, during peak periods, offer a buffet which is just average. Go for the menu rather than the buffet. Good kids' menu too! 3. 19 Oaks. We've only eaten there once. This is the high-end steakhouse of the property. Our one and only meal was pricy and the cuts of meat were high-quality. However, the preparation was lacking. They used a HUGE amount of rosemary to cook our steaks and that was all we could really taste.
Bar: Crooked branch is located in the lower level of the lobby, between the fireplaces. Great bar tenders, good times. Recommended. Over inside Cibolo Moon is a tequila bar with over 50 kinds of tequila to sample. Ask the bar tender for recommendations or flights. Superb.
Other activities: As with every other Marriott resort we've stayed at, there are tons of free or low-cost "resort activities" for both kids and adults. The staff is great, the activities varied and fun. Check out the s'mores at the fire ring near the pool on most nights. You can also book a Segway tour and certain times of year they have nature walks and star gazing. You can book a ride to major attractions in San Antonio as well.
We've stayed here a dozen times since it opened. Check it out.