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“Wonderful spa getaway with great wheelchair accessibility”

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JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
Ranked #26 of 358 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 4, 2011

I was looking for an indulgent spa getaway for my mother, who uses a wheelchair, and a few other friends. We found what we were looking for at this resort. The spa, the grounds, the pools and the hotel itself were beautiful. We spent a lot of time admiring the detail (and expense) of the hotel's decor and its oversized public spaces. They've done a lovely job incorporating the natural elements of the Texas hill country into the themes and colors of the resort. One of our servers remarked that the designers were going for "casual luxury," which perfectly describes what we saw.

We five women loved the spa services and enjoyed lounging by the private spa pool (separate from the water park, no children allowed.) We were very pleased with the food, although the choice of restaurants does become limited after just a few days' stay. We dined at the rather pricey steakhouse, 18 Oaks, on the last night of our visit. Initially we were disappointed that there were two errors among our five entrees -- an overcooked steak, an undercooked salmon dish -- but then were flabbergasted when the waitress informed us that our entire dinner was being comped as an act of apology for the mistakes.

My mother was delighted by the wheelchair-friendly features we found throughout the resort -- flat pathways, accessible bathrooms, a roll-in shower in both our room and at the spa, and a massage therapist (Barbara) who took special care to gently work around her special physical needs. We all were pleased with the comfortable beds and the quiet rooms, where we slept soundly every night.

The staff seemed well-trained in the fine art of luxury hotel service -- well-spoken, polite and gracious, without being intrusive. (Texas servers can sometimes be overly familiar ... I'm happy to say no one called me "honey" or initiated a chatty conversation with me while taking my order.)

I've stayed at lots of high-end hotels and found this resort to be a bargain by comparison. The rates here were similar to those you'd pay in downtown Houston or Dallas, but you have access to all the resort features in addition to the room. I did notice that the taxes on the room increased the price by a whopping $50 per night -- I suppose that's what happens in a state that has no income tax on its own residents. Instead they collect the money they need from non-voting out-of-state visitors like us!

In spite of that, we all agreed that we'd enjoy a return visit, perhaps bringing our families the next time around. There seemed to be a lot there to entertain kids and teenagers over a long weekend or spring break.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank dmfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,387 - 2,393 of 2,584 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2011

I booked this trip so that my wife and I could get away from the very long and cold winter in Minnesota. The goal was to find a warm spot that we could lay out in the sun and she could also get "pampered" at the spa so I booked the "Spa Package" and it turned out to be everything I hoped for.

We found the service to be top-notch. I was a little worried about this given some past reviews, but I didn't need to be. We were greeted immediately at the front by staff who opened the door for my wife. They had a friendly, staff person opening the front entryway door for customers and we were greeted by a front desk staff that was equally friendly and helpful. She actually gave us options to "upgrade" the room if we wanted to to a better view, but I wasn't willing to pay extra after spending what I thought was enough. She was able to put us in a room that had a pleasant view overlooking the front, but more towards the golf course and the fountain below. I would recommend asking for a high floor because the views of the countryside are pretty amazing. We chose to park our own car. The $25 per day valet fee is steep, but they offer free parking out front. It is likely, however, that you will have to walk a bit and the walk back to the hotel will be uphill.

The room was very clean and had a lot of technological amenities -- iPod hookups, outlets in the safe to lock up and charge your electronics, etc. We had a room with a "juliet" balcony which is simply one that you can stand and look out on. There is no room for sitting or for anything but leaning up against the rail. We knew that going in so that wasn't an option. You will pay more for a better balcony and if that is your thing I would do so. The bed was as soft and wonderful as I expect from a top notch hotel. One of the best sleeping experiences I've had. Room temperatures are easily controlled with the digital thermostat -- something I mention as I've had trouble with thermostats at hotels before. The bathroom was very nice with both a tub and a glass shower. I would say that one complaint, about the room that we had, dealt with the water temperature. One instance it would be warm, then cold, then extremely hot, and it would continue in this fashion. We didn't mention it until we checked out and, apparently, this was a problem and they were going to have engineering look at it. I regret not saying something earlier.

Overall, the water park is something special -- especially if you have kids. Even if you don't it is a fun place. They have a number of pools, some for adults, a kids pool, a lazy river, 2 water slides, and a "river" with "rapids". The tubes they provide are top notch and the whole experience was great. The loungers have a nice soft covering on them and there are plenty for everyone. It did not feel crowded -- granted it was early in the season -- but we always had plenty of space -- even on the 90 degree days.

The Cibilo Moon grill had a great breakfast buffet -- one of the best I've encountered. The food for dinner and lunch was good as well -- nothing stupendous, but definitely good. The Rivertop Grill restaurant, by the pool, was adequate. Their menu is a little short and the food is average. The service in both places is very good with staff ready to help you out at a moments notice with smiles on their faces. The 18 Oaks restaurant, at the Golf Clubhouse, was pricey and the food, while good, was not as good as I expect. We ended up paying $175 with tip (and no drinks).

I will write this for my wife and she told me that her spa experience was one of the best if not the best. She is pregnant and just is past the first trimester. She just made the cut as they do not do any massages first trimester. She had the pregnancy massage, twice, with Barbara who she can't say enough good things about. She had a totally relaxing and wonderful time. Barbara, apparently, is one of the few trained to do pregnancy massages. She had 2 with her and I know would have had more. My wife also had a manicure which she liked and a facial on the last day which she also enjoyed. I chose the $100 per night spa credit package (which doesn't include gratuity) so she really pampered herself and was extremely happy with the service.

I'm a runner and there were close to 5-6 miles of running paths and you could even make it longer if you chose to head off of the resort property a little. The grounds are simply beautiful. The golf course was getting setup to hold the Valero Texas Open in a couple weeks which is a large PGA event I believe.

Overall, we can't wait to return -- oh, did I mention they have a full-service Starbucks inside? Another big plus with this resort! We'll be back! and soon!!

Room Tip: Pick a high floor for better views of the country
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Weather_Guru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2011

My husband, teen daughter and I spent her spring break in San Antonio, wanting to visit a city we never had. We spent the first 2 nights at the fantastic Omni on the riverwalk and then drove north for 3 nights at the JW. Upon initial checkin, we were told that the "Deluxe" room we had booked had a view of the parking lot and we could upgrade to a better view for $80 more nightly. Yes, they suckered us in from the beginning. The room had 2 of the smallest double beds ever. At least we had a deck with two chairs. Alot of the decks you cannot even stand on. The room had one bathrobe and one regular coffee pod serving. We even called one evening for wine glasses brought to the room and they only brought ONE.
We left our room one day around 10:00 and did not return until after 2:00 and the room had still not been cleaned. Had to call housekeeping and leave again! Another evening I called requesting turndown service and that never happened.
The pool area is outstanding and caters to families, but the rooms certainly do not. The food was all excellent and breakfast buffet superb.
We asked for an upgraded larger room (after paying the extra $80 for a better view) and were told nothing was available. It seemed like there weren't that many people staying at the hotel, which I inquired about when they said all the rooms were full. I was told they "were all in meetings". Yes, this hotel was definately built for conventioners (golfers) and families who want to cash in on Marriott rewards. I am a Marriott Silver Rewards customer and received nothing special for this from anyone here - and I was not using my points.
There is alot of high technology in this hotel with beautiful areas, but they need to work really hard on getting the service issues corrected. It is NOT worth what you will have to pay.
When visiting San Antonio again, I will remain downtown at the riverwalk.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank pickypicky58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

Whew! What a stay.

Was here for work all week and I must say - if work was like this every day I would live to be three hundred. The staff was exceptionally attentive (but at that price, it's expected). I was greeted by name constantly and fully attended to thoroughly.

The sports bar has a large number of beers on tap. The spa is relaxing. The pool is delightful. Waking up for a sunrise stroll, every groundskeeper I walked by said "good morning". The food was fantastic. The room was comfortable. Pool was refreshing. The only annoyance was that the TV sound was behind the lip movement (but then again, we weren't there to watch TV). Also the waitress who came around to seats at the pool to take drink orders was VERY slow... As in more than 15 minutes to get a drink brought back. And we were one of maybe ten people at the pool.

One morning I woke up to a postcard slid under my door thanking me for my visit... However the postcard was addressed to the wrong person. I returned it to the front desk, but on my checkout I didn't get a postcard. Interesting.

The rooms were expensive, but I did get a good deal through work. Otherwise it would be difficult to swing the rates. We left tip for the housekeepers but came back and money was still there. Not sure if it was not obvious it was for them, or if they're not allowed to accept it. Anyway, no tampering with personal items was noticed at all.

Distance: About 20 min from the airport, 25 min from downtown SA.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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Thank parkca01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2011

So I've been everywhere from San Francisco to Paris and I have to say this hotel is the nicest/largest hotel I've ever experienced. I can't imagine how anyone would have anything bad to say about this place, you must be really hard to please.

First of all, just mouth will drop just driving up to the property. It is so humongous it is obscene. It is only a 20 min drive from SAT airport. The door was always opened for us and the staff was friendly and welcoming. There's a nightly $25 resort fee that includes wifi, 2 $10 drinks at the bar downstairs, access to the tennis courts plus racquets, and access to the spa fitness center classes. If you use all those things it's a great deal, if you don't it could be kind of annoying.

The rooms are about the size you would expect from a JW resort. Not humongous, but definitely a lot of room to stretch out. The bathroom had a standard sized tub and separate shower. I was a little (key word "little") annoyed that I had to call to have a second robe brought up. It would be nice to just have two in the room like most JW's I've stayed in. Our view was fantastic overlooking a small courtyard where a wedding later took place.

The pools are awesome. When you arrive an attendant gives you each two towels. I'm sure it gets packed in the summer, but when we stayed in March we really had our choice of seats. We grabbed some free tubes and went around the lazy river and hit up the waterslide a few times. There are at least 10 lifeguards on duty which is probably really nice for parents with young kids, but for us it was incredibly awkward (on one day there were maybe 50 people tops in the pool)

The sports bar is awesome and has the best tvs ever. Watched the Jazz game and had some delicious hot wings and mini sliders. The property is gorgeous at night and it is a lot of fun taking a walk around the property (it's so big it'll give you a work out). My gf loves Food network, so she thought it was very odd that they had it in the exercise room but not in the actual rooms. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a more romantic place to spend the weekend. This hotel was perfect in every way.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank chaub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2011

Travelled with my dh to a convention at the resort. The king size bed in our room sagged so badly that I woke each morning with my head on the edge of the night stand. When our room was finally cleaned at 6:00 p.m. after the first night, the waste baskets were not emptied and dirty glasses were left in the room. The balcony, while small, had a great view, but the railing was filthy. Of course, dh cleaned it with the sleeves of his sports coat as he was leaning on it enjoying the view! Service is the sports bar was extremely slow. The evening we went we were told there was a 20 minute wait, which was expected on a Saturday night, but we joined friends already seated at a group table and saw lots of empty tables while we were still waiting for our buzzer to let us know there was a table for us? Then when we were seated at our own table, thankfully we had drinks with us, because we sat for a good 10 minutes before a waiter came to take our order. There are many nice sitting spots both inside and out and the adult pool is nicely situated away from all the rambuncious poolies. Overall, for the price, is was just a so-so stay.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Wendy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2011

My sister had her wedding here and it was very beautiful. Great service, top of the line, gorgeous setting. Sick pool, fitness center, and spa. Very serene. Expensive but worth it. The suites are ENORMOUS.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank itsmej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

Address: 23808 Resort Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78261
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in San Antonio
#8 Business Hotel in San Antonio
#11 Family Hotel in San Antonio
#14 Luxury Hotel in San Antonio
#15 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range: $176 - $505 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa has firmly established itself as the city's premier luxury destination and the renowned resort in Texas' Hill Country. Rated 4-Diamonds by AAA, and just 12 miles from San Antonio International Airport (SAT), our luxury resort in San Antonio, Texas features the 36-hole TPC San Antonio golf course, home to the Valero Texas Open, Lantana Spa, a six acre water park and seven restaurants. Our rooms offer cozy beds, scenic views, soft robes & large bathrooms. Guests will also enjoy the open lobby with free Wi-Fi. Whether you're seeking a peaceful respite, productive conference or fun-filled family vacation, our luxurious Hill Country resort will not only exceed your expectations but redefine them altogether. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort And Spa
Jw Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Hotel San Antonio

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