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“Best location when visiting Riverwalk”

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Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown
Ranked #17 of 357 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Had a wonderful time at this very nice Embassy Suites. All you have to do is walk across the street to access the San Antonio Riverwalk. Great Manager's Reception every night, with a nice selection of small hors d'oeuvres, open bar with wine and beer selections, plus some fun mixed drinks. Very large eating area for nightly reception plus breakfast in the morning, so even though the hotel was full, we were always able to find a table. The rooms are spacious, your typical Embassy Suites, but very nice because this hotel is either brand new, or newly redone. Also an easy walk to the Alamo.
All in all, this is a great choice!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 822traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 5, 2013

This is a relatively new property on the San Antonio River. As a first-timer to SA I was disappointed to find that, while the hotel is *technically* on the River Walk, it's not on the River Walk proper. Yes, it's close to the heart of the River Walk, but so are a number of other high quality hotels, including another Hilton-branded property with nicer suites. As far as room location, the only thing that the river view really buys you is a view of the hotel's pool/hot tub and the unused river.

The two room suites feel small by Embassy Suite standards. Both rooms are quite crowded with furniture as a result, so overall the experience feels cluttered. There is only room for one person at a time in the bathroom (no double sinks, for example), which lengthens the time needed to get everyone ready in the morning, for dinner, ,etc.

The other disappointment was a lack of attention to detail. At check in I wasn't greeted as a Gold HHonors member (I know, this sounds pretentious), nor was I told whether that status earned us any sort of room upgrade. It wasn't until 6:00 the next morning I found there were no coffee "cups" in the room, nor any drinking glasses except those in the bathroom. I had to get dressed and raid the breakfast set up in the lobby for the paper cups. There was no "do not disturb/make up room" tag, so we had to write a note and tape to the door when going down for breakfast. The TP roll had less than a quarter inch paper thickness and there were 3 tissues in the box, and no spares for either one. When I called and asked for Housekeeping I was sent to voicemail because the operator assumed I wasn't a guest (despite calling from the room phone). Past reviews have mentioned greetings by friendly staff at the evening reception and morning breakfast; the only staff we met were bussing tables and studiously avoiding eye contact.

Final advice: unless you're a fan of the celebrity chef associated with the hotel's restaurant, skip it and head to the large number of places on the River Walk, or within several blocks of the hotel on Houston Street. Lüke is very expensive, with small portions, and unenthusiastic waitstaff. This web site, as well as Yelp, has very spot-on recommendations for outstanding restaurants within easy walking distance.

Stayed: January 2013
3  Thank Doud_FtC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe M, General Manager at Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

I appreciate your review of your recent experience at our hotel. I'm very sorry you had a disappointing experience with us and I have addressed these issues with our staff. Exceptional guest service is the foundation of our brand promise and your feedback will help us improve. Thank you once again for your comments.

Joe Melton
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed at the Embassy Suites Riverwalk for three days during New Years. The hotel is new and beautiful. It is located on a quiet part of the San Antonio River, just a short walk from the Market, and Restraunts. The lobby is open and spacious, and check in was quick and simple. We enjoyed the Mananger Reception in the evening. We also enjoyed Lukes Restraunt and Bar. The drinks are wonderful, and during Happy Hour, selected drinks are half price. Our room was excellant, well decorated. The bed was very confortable. There are showers only, which was all we needed. Our view overlooked the San Antonio River, which we really enjoyed. The breakfast was good, but during peak times can be somewhat tramatic. I would recommend eating breakfast as early as possible to avoid pushing and shoving from hungry guest, and being able to find a table to enjoy your breakfast. The coffee and juice are in one area and can be quite conjested. The parking was in my opion expensive. We were charged 81 dollars for three days. All in all, we will stay there again, the staff was very corteous and helpful.

Room Tip: Eat early to avoid the rush, and plan on paying quit a bit for parking.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Our party of three adults stayed at this Embassy Suites for six nights during Christmas week. The hotel was very nice, including the lobby area and the room. I've read some of the other reviews about rooms with complaints about odd layouts, no tubs, shower problems, etc., but we didn't encounter any of these issues. We had a suite with two queen beds and everything was very spacious and nicely appointed.

All of the staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful. Check in was quick, valet and bell services were fine (valet could be a little slow at busy times, but you can call from your room to have the car brought up front), housekeeping did a good job and the breakfast and evening receptions were good, even when very busy. Also, both the front desk and valet employees were very helpful with directions to local attractions.

The hotel is on a quieter segment of the River Walk, but its only like a two minute walk to the busier area. Also, there's a bus stop right outside the hotel door where you can catch the downtown area trolley service.

Our only complaint would be about the $27 nightly charge for valet parking. It seems kind of steep. The signage at the valet stand says it $14 a day, $27 for overnight or $7 for restaurant parking. It seems they could give you a bit more of a break for overnight parking for their hotel. Yes, you can go find cheaper parking, but that wouldn't include in and out privileges or the valet service.

I would definitely stay at this location again.

Room Tip: We paid a small upcharge for a larger corner suite. The upcharge was nominal.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Deb62862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

New property located on the river but away from the crush. Large, spotless rooms which we found to be very quite. Full breakfast and cocktail hour included. Instead of the managers reception, consider the happy hour at Marks, the on site fine dining facility. From 3 to 6, wine beer mixed drinks are half price along with fifty cent oysters and other half price apps. Not just at the bar but the entire room. Its far more peacefull than the lobby reception. guess you get what you pay cor. Also, consider parking one block down the street at the Weston Center garage, a clean, modern, safe facility for $12 vs using the hotel valet for $27. At busy times, the wait for your car at the valet can be long. This is a good option if you have little luggage.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank THEPOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We've been traveling to San Antonio from Austin for years and really enjoy staying at different properties mostly on the Riverwalk. Having eaten at the signature restaurant Luke and walked through the lobby we always commented that "we should stay here sometime". This Christmas trip with the family was the perfect opportunity. The lobby of this Embassy Suites is different and much better than others I've seen. It's absolutely beautiful complete with waterfalls and being situated right on the river the waterfalls continue outside and plunge directly down to river level. There's little question that this a four star lobby.

The location is one of the best on the river. Located on the corner of Houston and Soledad it's a stones throw from everything including the most popular part of the river walk but just far enough away to avoid the crowds and noise of that section of river. You can take a nice leisurely stroll north or south on the riverwalk and see some of the most beautiful sections of the river without ever running into the more "touristy" sections. Houston street has some of the best restaurants in town as well as the Majestic Theater as is only a couple of minutes from the lobby.

The rooms are typical suites for ES and very nicely appointed. The bedding is on par with finer hotels and the rooms come appointed with two flat screens, dining and living area and a bedroom. Small kitchen area with micro and refer come in handy. Generally quiet except an occasional screaming kid running down the hallway.

As much as we enjoyed our stay it didn't come without some complications. Under no circumstances should you book the "romance package" with "complimentary upgrade to river view room (upon availability)". Our son booked this package as a surprise and discovered the surprise was on him at check in. The upgrade to a river view room is totally at the hotels discretion and they certainly don't voluntarily adjust your room rate to a standard room if they don't have the river view rooms available.
The cheap champagne and strawberries (on the first night) certainly aren't worth the extra $20 plus per night. To their credit management volunteered a river view room with two queens after the first night but by then let's just say the "thrill was gone" and our son didn't want the hassle of moving. My recommendation is to book a river view room and BYOB or just wait for the complimentary drinks at the nightly managers reception.

When you get tired of the "free stuff" some of the best food in town is right off the lobby at Luke restaurant.

Overall this hotel an excellent choice for downtown and on the river.

Room Tip: If you want a river view room book a river view room online. Don't count on the complimentary up...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank callmaniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

I tend to stay at Embassy Suites when I travel and booked this one for a convention I was attending. It turned out to be a bit of a walk from the convention center, but the price was much better than the hotels next door to the convention center that were the "headquarters" hotels.

What I thought was odd about this Embassy Suites is that it seemed to have been a different property in the past and was probably converted to an Embassy Suites. There is no atrium and the rooms (at least mine) appeared to be converted from your basic hotel room to a "suite." The living area seemed small and narrow (see picture) as did the bedroom and the bathroom. Most Embassy Suites I stay at (was at the Embassy Suites Dallas Park Central last week) have atriums and the rooms are pretty much the same kind of layout. No big deal, just not what you might be expecting if you tend to stay at Embassy Suites like I do.

Probably the thing I found most odd about the suite was the shower in the bathroom. Instead of the shower head being on the narrow end of the shower, it was on the longer, back wall. The first day I used the shower I literally flooded the bathroom as the shower was pretty much open and the water was spraying towards the bathroom, not the back wall like you would normally have in a shower. The next day I had to get creative and I removed the shower head aparatus from its' mount and would put it in the bar on the shower and angled it to spray in a different direction when I wasn't holding it. Hope this all makes sense (See picture I added). If not, check it out if you stay here. Also, check out my picture of the ironing board in the closet. It makes it almost impossible to put things in and take things out of the closet.

The breakfast was your typical layout and it wasn't ever too busy, although I went down fairly early for breakfast (6:00 - 6:30 a.m.). They even asked me for my room card, which I thought was odd as they rarely ask you for your room card anymore. I asked if I looked like I had just snuck in off the street, laughed and walked on. I got no reply.

As for the Manager's reception, it was one of the weirdest layouts I have ever seen. First of all, I am not used to gummy bears for a snack with wine, beer, margarita, whatever. The vegetables...cauliflower and broccoli seemd to glow. Seriously. They both tasted odd. Never seen anything like it. How hard can it be to make vegetables glow and taste odd? I have no idea what that stuff was. Be sure and check it out and taste it for yourself. They had lots of other stuff including a rice cracker kind of mix that one day tasted OK and the next day tasted stale. Unfortunately, I have forgotten all the other stuff they had...seems like they may have had chips and salsa and some cheese and crackers. Bottom line, lots of stuff but not very appetizing.

I do remember that the beer and wine was decent. Some Embassy Suites (actually most) serve the cheapest wine they can get their hands on and generally serve a less expensive beer. Every now and again you will come across a Manager's reception where you can get beer like Shiner Bock and some wine that tastes decent and this Embassy Suites came through on that. However, I tried one of their margaritas and it wasn't too hot. So, basically, hit and miss.

The area where they have the breakfast and Manager's reception is huge, so I didn't encounter any long lines for drinks or had to hunt for a place to sit. As for kids...typical Embassy Suites. I will never understand why parent's bring their kids to what I believe to be an adult event...as in alcohol being served. In Dallas last week, the kids were lined up in the bar line to get a soda. Oh well, that's just my 2 cent opinion.

While the Embassy Suites is on the "Riverwalk", it's probably not what you would envison when choosing a hotel on the Riverwalk. They have a restaurant on the main level where you can eat out on their patio on the "Riverwalk," but it is not a very scenic location. If you are looking for something a little bit more romantic in conjunction with the Riverwalk, you might want to choose a different property. The Embassy Suites is kind of on the tail end of all the restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. on the Riverwalk and again, not a very scenic location.

All that said, if you like Embassy Suites, you won't be all that disappointed, just know that this one is "Not your typical Embassy Suites."

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Brino99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown

Address: 125 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205-2247
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio > East Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in San Antonio
#16 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
#18 Family Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range: $171 - $374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown 3.5*
Number of rooms: 285
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk – Downtown hotel is set on the banks of the San Antonio River in the vibrant heart of San Antonio, Texas. Grab a bargain at the Mexican Market or discover the rides and attractions of Six Flags® Fiesta Texas or SeaWorld® San Antonio. All guest suites at this beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk hotel offer more space and flexibility, with separate sleeping and living areas, and a wide range of thoughtful amenities. Relax with the two flat screen 32-inch TVs, or keep up with work at the flexible work space. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Embassy Suites Riverwalk Hotel San Antonio

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