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El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel
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Reviews (1,626)
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1,136 - 1,141 of 1,626 reviews
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Filthy hotel
stains on carpet and bedding
Very small rooms
Filthy bathroom with very concerning stains on back of bathroom door
Spiders and what appeared to be pubic hair in tub
no place to eat except breakfast
horrible customer service lying about not being able to get out of reservation
we called hotels.com and tbey said we could absolutely get out of reservation sincce the "deal"
was through hotel.
gross grosd grodd

Room Tip: Do not stay
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank SD M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

This is my second time reviewing this place -- apparently my curt review previously was not sufficient for Trip Advisor. So here's a more thorough review...

Firstly let me say that the hotel is well situated - not quite downtown but still on the river walk. It's actually nicely away from the downtown traffic and hustle and bustle. The Exterior and lobby are very mid-century modern and well maintained. The rooms are clean and nice enough - but quite sterile and a bit "90's La Quinta Inn" for my tastes. Since I wasn't able to actually STAY at the El Trop, this is about all I can say about that.

This weekend a friend from grade-school was getting married so I hopped a flight from Phoenix to San Antonio. I knew I was on a late flight - so when making the booking on Hotels.com, I noted late check-in. My flight was going to be coming in later than originally expected so we called ahead to notify them of the arrival time. Originally we were told this was not a problem and to keep them abreast of any changes. We called again, later in the day, to remind them and again were told this would not be an issue and the room would be ready for us upon our late arrival (2am) but that we should call when we land so that the night crew doesn't cancel our reservation.

We did as we were told, however, the overnight agent informed us that we made an "expedia.com" reservation (nope) and that they don't honor those if they are busy. I explained that no, in fact we had a Hotels.com reservation and that we had pre-paid and as such I expected a room. I was again told no, regardless, we have one room available and there are multiple people vying for this room and that they would give it away to the first customer who arrived. I explained we were told that our room would be held and that we were at the airport. I got a snippy response that we had better book it over there if we expected to have a room. I responded if they gave it away they had better be arranging a new room at another hotel, and they had better provide transportation.

We arrived and are immediately told "sorry, we gave it away" as someone was able to get to the hotel before us. So here is my first concern - regardless of the booking agency, why the heck did you give away a PAID room? We paid for it. We informed them of the lateness of our arrival that was beyond our control SEVERAL times and then they still gave it away. I don't care if you might have gotten a slightly better rate from the new customer - you don't give away paid rooms.

My second issue was the way that they handled our restrained response. They did not say "I'm sorry but it's hotel policy and we are working to get you something better, have a drink at the bar on the house while we make this right" etc... Nope. She refused to make eye contact and gave us snotty responses the entire time. No real apology just, "this is the way things are, deal with it" sort of attitude. We had to ask for a GM before she started making phone calls to find us a place to stay. It took her nearly an hour to get us a room and a cab. It was well past 3am by the time we arrived at our hotel.

From what I can tell - this is not an isolated incident either. It would seem that this is, overall, how the staff have been trained to treat guests. My guess is this is a management issue since the problems didn't stop at service. The bar was understaffed, and not just under-stocked; it was UN-stocked. They were completely out of a number of standard libations (Tequila?) by 10pm on Saturday. The bad customer service did not end with us either. Two other parties, including the bride and groom had incidents with staff. Firstly, they refused again to honor an Expedia.com booking for a king size room and instead issued a room of their choosing, and argued that they did not have to honor any of their selection choices since they did not book direct. Secondly, the groom called to retrieve his "romance" package that he paid for since it had not been delivered to the room. He was met with indignation that there was no such thing, and that he had in fact only paid for two drinks at the bar. The next morning when he complained, the staff retrieved a warm bottle of champagne and a mug full of Ferrero-Roche chocolates (how 'romantic'). Thirdly, the hotel at which I was put up (which was beautiful and has great staff -- the Riverwalk Vista) had problems with the El Trop not wanting to remit payment to them AFTER they sent us over with a signed letter that said "Please accept our guests we will cover the charges etc...)

It was all just too disorganized and full of rude people... I get that our party was minor in the scheme of things but it wasn't minor to us. I haven't seen most of these people in years and it was almost a reunion of sorts and their staff put a real dent in our attitude a number of times. It was pretty disappointing. I think that El Trop's biggest problem is that they were NOT prepared or trained properly for a busy weekend. It was Spring Break AND St. Patty's day weekend, and everyone seemed completely harried by this.

Moral of the story: book direct, and stay somewhere else if it's a busy weekend.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank ThreePeaches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Picked this hotel because it was walking distance to the venue where we were going to see a concert. The lobby of the hotel is nice and the staff is very friendly. The tiki bar in the lobby makes a great margarita. The room was sort of clean, with the bathroom being most questionable. The tub probably was due to be replaced and the shower head was pulling out of the wall. The faucet in the tub dripped the entire time we were there. Bathroom was too small and lacked adequate counter space and was not stocked with extra toilet paper or wash clothes to use in the shower. We had a king size bed but the pillows seemed smaller than even standard size; they were almost little squares which made sleeping a bit uncomfortable. It is on the Riverwalk, but it is quite a distance to walk to the part where the actual restaurants and attractions are. Not really an issue for us though since that was not what we were there for. There aren't many restaurants near by though, so it was quite a walk to get to food as well. Overall, it served the purpose we needed it to, though I feel like we paid far too much for what we actually got.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank AHFisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a great hotel that has branded it self very nicely without being a "name brand" hotel. This hotel is right on the riverwalk but not in the crowd of the riverwalk visitors. The hotel has a great happy hour with cheap drinks. Only a 5 minute walk to Alamo or $2 ride via the trolley, which picks up right outside the hotel. Beds are very comfortable and the ac keeps you cool. The only down thing is not enough space in the bathroom to place your things (razor, toothbrush, and what not). I will stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Josh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I stayed there for a week while attending a regional conference for my work and have good and bad things to say about it.
The Staff:
The Good: They were attentive and always asking if you needed help or anything else. Could not have been nicer.
The Bad: I was supposed to be on the list for the conference to receive daily breakfast coupons and had to ask midway through after speaking with the conference coordinator.
The Room:
The Good: I stayed on the 9th floor which has patio space outside that looks out over the downtown area. The room was spacious.
The Bad: Dusty!! The room was seriously dusty and someone who has allergies, it was tough. I asked for a hypoallergenic pillow and was told, "we don't have any. we only have foam." Not every hotel has them, I get it, but the room dust was too much. And the toilet in the bathroom was positioned so poorly that one side of it was nearly against the wall. Leaving one to side-saddle if you were bigger than a 10 year old child.
The lowdown:
This place is on the Riverwalk and has a cool retro vibe that could totally be exploited with the "Mad Men" feel. I liked it for that alone. I liked that it carried that tiki 50's kind of thing going on. It could be something much greater than it is and it is unfortunate that it isn't.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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