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All reviewsthe riverfront deskhotel restaurantwood floorsdirect accessbalcony roomself parkvalet stafflocation was perfectper dayspring breakvalet parkingriverwalkisaacrubenalamogarza
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Reviewed December 20, 2012

The location was great. Near downtown and the Riverwalk. The interior of the hotels could use some updating. Also, it was very loud in the room from outside noise. However, the price was good, staff were friendly, and on-site parking was convenient (but expensive).

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank nalexrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

This hotel has a great location in the downtown area. You can walk a block to eateries, corner store, riverwalk. Great view from the balcony and the rooms were comfortable, clean. Close to all the attractions, shops, restaurants of the riverwalk. Used valet service and they was fast and friendly. Breakfast and service was great.
We loved the riverwalk area and would stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank shellygirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

Minor inconvenience you might think, but read on and decide.

This was my husband's first trip to San Antonio, so I wanted to surprise him with a balcony room overlooking the Riverwalk. This was an upgraded room, but on arrival, we were told that all balconies were locked since they are under renovation. Only after complaining did they offer to reduce the price of the room on one of the two nights we stayed. The property is indeed in need of renovation, so be aware of this and don't spend extra on the balcony rooms. The property is on the edge of the best of the Riverwalk entertainment district and overlooks a derelict, abandoned building, but IF you were able to go on the balcony, and IF you leaned over you would get a peekaboo look at the Riverwalk. This said, the property is very convenient to the downtown pedestrian areas. If the pedestrian lifestyle is not your "cup of tea", then there are trolleys to all places of interest. Lastly, parking will cost you approximately $30/night, so you should filter this into your comparisons.

The property does have a complimentary buffet (or alternatively, a breakfast entree) which was VERY good and the staff was friendly; however, no one was stationed at the entrance and guests were left waiting each morning. Presumably, this is because they have intentionally understaffed during the renovation.

I would give it another chance post-renovation to give it a final grade, but for now, you should just be aware of its current state.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th floor, so perhaps if you were on the third level, you would not notice the building across the Riverwalk so much. Until reno is over, don't bother with balcony rooms.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mimi911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

As we entered the parking garage, I reminded myself that we are in a larger city and that things are often not as clean as in the suburbs. However, once I stepped into the hallway on the 10th floor, I began to have suspicions that this property did not care about cleanliness, and I was correct.
First of all, our floor needed vacuuming, not terrible in itself, but it makes you wonder where else they cut corners. Next, the bathroom, the sink faucet was not clean, neither was the mirror. The shower curtain smelled sour.
Outer balcony door, dirty.
Mirror in room, dirty.
Hallway, dirty.
Elevator, dirty.
Area around vending, VERY DIRTY.
Then, the worst...I looked down at my child's feet after he had been walked on the carpet and they were BLACK! Gross.
Then add on the balcony closures. Yes, sitting in a hotel room on the Riverwalk and cannot even open the balcony door. Isn't this something one should be told when booking?
Also, construction. Started a terrible drilling sound before 8am. Nice. Access to Riverwalk a nasty mess with construction and just lack of attention....smelled of urine, again, gross.
Lastly, cafe in lobby closed during the evening due to low head count at hotel. REALLY? So, we can only purchase items there when the hotel is full?
Such a nice city, beautiful Riverwalk, crappy hotel where they obviously do not care. Let me also add that we have had this same experience at several Holiday Inn Properties lately, so we will be looking for the Hampton or Courtyard in the future.

Room Tip: Ask in advance if construction going on!
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank thescottfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2012

Dear thescottfam,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write our property a review. It is good to know that you found our location satisfactory enough for your needs. Please accept my deepest apology that we weren't able to meet your expectations on this day particularly with the cleanliness level. Thank you for bringing this unsatisfactory circumstance into our attention as this is our best means of improving guest satisfaction.

Once again, many thanks for your comments and I do apologize and regret that this situation impacted your stay at our hotel.

Sincerely,

Pam G.
Case Manager
IHGCare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We're a family of three and our son is eight years old. So let's get that out of the way. And just about every year, we go to San Antonio for reasons unknown - we just do. We have stayed at great hotels and resorts and we have stayed at terrible ones. With Holiday Inn on the Riverwalk in San Antonio? Let's say we have an average hotel...
Dad's thoughts have always been that "It's not where I go for vacation, it's who I go with." With that having said, I am happy anywhere with my wife and son. As for my wife, she loves seeing the water - any form of water. She does not necessarily have to BE in the water, she just loves the sight of it. So when we rent a hotel room, we HAVE to HAVE a balcony that overlooks... anyone, anyone?... WATER!
Our son Matthew does not like heights, so we accommodate him by requesting a lower floor - preferably eighth floor or lower. So when we travel, the room has to be on a lower floor with a balcony view of water. The Hilton Palacio Del Rio offers that. So does La Mansion, the Mokara and the Marriott Courtyard. We stayed at the Hilton countless times already, so we were looking for something new. La Mansion was too snooty, and for some reason, I felt they were too prejudiced against having kids at their property. The Mokara did not have any rooms with double beds that overlook the Riverwalk. And The Marriot Courtyard was all booked up. Mom had a rewards program with the Holiday Inn, so we figured we'd give it shot. We've been to a few Holiday Inns in Galveston and thought they were decent enough, so why not try the one in San Antonio, right?
So now, let's talk about it. In an earlier review about hotels, I mentioned how I love early check-ins. So when we got to the Holiday Inn at 1:00 PM, our room was immediately available. That is always a plus to me, knowing I could spend an extra three hours in a room on the first day to get my money's worth. Oh, sure, the lobby and the reception area were nice and all, but we don't sleep in those areas, now, do we? We sleep in the room that we rent, and if that room is not to our liking, we tend not to sleep very well.
Mother and son unloaded the car and took our baggage up to the fourth floor while dad went to park the car in the hotel's garage. San Antonio is a tourist city built around the river, so space is limited, which meant that if you rent any hotel room in the Riverwalk area, you're going to have to pay a premium to park in the hotel's garage. This I didn't mind too much over the Hilton's garage because with the Hilton, the garage is located two blocks away and the fee was "tres chic" where as the Holiday Inn's fee was cheaper and the garage was connected to the hotel. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was dimly lit. Me, being a man and all, I was still a bit skeptical going to and from my car at night.
As far as our room (#408) was concerned, there were some negatives. We couldn't get the AC to bring the temperature down. It was almost a hundred degrees outside every day and no mattered how we tried to cool off the room, it didn't work. And when it DID work, it was night time when it did. The only thing I was glad about was that we didn't spend much time in the room during the day as we were out looking for things to do, restaurants to eat at and souvenirs to buy.
The view from our room was no better. We were told that we had an open view of the Riverwalk down below. Yeah, that is if we could see through the millions of leaves from an oversized tree growing right in front of our balcony! Not only could we not see the Riverwalk, some idiot had thrown out trash from their rooms and it just so happen that they were snagged up in the branches where? Right in front of our balcony! And when we tried to look down, the roof of the hotel’s restaurant on the second floor was in the way. And not was it in the way, the scene was just ugly as we saw all kinds of trash on it including loose shoes, socks, cigarette packs and butts, plastic grocery bags and dirty diapers!
The only saving grace we had came two days later when there was a window washing crew arriving to do some work. The tree branches were in their way, so they trimmed them back and the junk on those branches fell away, giving us a little bit of the view of the Riverwalk below without any trash on the trees distracting us.
And if it wasn’t one thing, it was another. The physical look of our room was just down right third-world country. A big piece of wall paper had torn off in the room and someone did a lazy pee-poor job of patching it up. Then when I went to use the toilet and sat down on the commode, I saw things I wished I hadn’t seen. At the bottom corner of the bathroom, the tiles were all chipped off and falling away from the wall and floor. But that wasn’t as bad as what I saw at the bottom lip of the sink. The grouting from there had turned all black, moldy and slimy! And to think the three of us washed our hands, our faces and brushed our teeth using that sink! Ugh!
Let’s talk about the rest of the hotel. Since we paid for the breakfast package, every morning we were treated to a nice buffet. Of course, every morning, it was the same buffet with eggs, sausage, bacon, muffins, toast and fresh fruit. The first two mornings were nice and all, but then we got tired and bored with the same old same old routine. The first two mornings, we ate to our hearts’ contents, the last few mornings there, we ate a spoonful of this and that just to say we ate and tried to get our money’s worth in meal expense. Don’t get me wrong, the food was excellent and the visual preparation made the meal that much more enticing. My family and I just don’t care to repeat our patterns over an extensive amount of time.
The pool was located up on the seventh floor. The gym was supposed to be up there, too, but during our visit, the gym was being renovated, so the equipment was moved to one of the unused ballrooms there. If you’re an exercise freak, don’t even bother as all it had were four stationary bikes. The pool was not only small, it was shallow. We have an in-ground gunite pool at our home which is 15’x25’ with a depth of nine feet. Our son loves that pool to no ends and could swim in that thing all year round if he could whether it’s ten degrees or a hundred. So when we took a look at the Holiday Inn’s pool, Matthew cried out, “It’s like someone put two bathtubs together!” Well, it was the pool or nothing at all, and since the weather had been blistering at a hundred degrees plus, we took advantage of the pool if only to soak in it.
The hot tub was a bit tricky. To turn on the Jacuzzi, you hit the button once and wait for a few minutes for the pump to start. If you get impatient and keep hitting the button over and over again before the pump gets primed up, you may not get the pump going as every hit of the button turns the pump on and off. Get it? So if you hit the button once, the pump starts, but if you hit it again, it’ll stop, and so on and so on. So if you mashed on the button at an even numbered amount of time, the pump will never turn on and you’ll be sitting in that hot tub looking like an unboiled egg.
Enough about the Holiday Inn, we now move on to talk about the rest of our stay in San Antonio. Being as it was one of the last weeks of summer, the city was not very crowded at all. We lolly-gagged around the Riverwalk and didn’t have to worry about bumping into other people. Up on the top-side streets were the same with hardly any people at all. We didn’t have to wait in line to buy souvenirs nor did we have to wait for a table to become available when we dined out. All the attractions were old hat to us: The Alamo, all the Ripley’s Museums, Hall of Mirrors, the Wax Museum and River Center Mall. So the only thing we really did was just spend time restaurant hopping on the Riverwalk.
One scorching afternoon, we were so hot, we stopped at Waxy O’Connor’s. Since I don’t drink and our son wasn’t old enough, we just got some virgin margaritas. The place was a pub, so it didn’t have a mixing machine to make frozen drinks, thus, our margaritas were on the rocks. Matthew wanted a snack and ordered a hot wing appetizer. That order was huge-gantic! The plate, or should we call it the platter, still had chicken wings falling off of it because it wasn’t big enough to hold all the wings, celery and carrot sticks! But then we came back there another time during our trip after coming back from SeaWorld at night to have some cocktail shrimp and didn’t get our money’s worth then. Ten bucks for five shrimp!? And they weren’t even jumbo shrimp!
Speaking of SeaWorld, we went to check out the dolphin and killer whale shows and we all agreed that without trainers in the water with the orcas, the show just didn’t feel as magical. It’s understandable that it’s safer for the trainers to be out of the water, but the connection and intimacy between humans and animals were not present. The shows will never be the same again if this practice continues.
Then there’s that stupid new waterpark. After paying nearly 80 bucks for each person to gain entry into SeaWorld, we got bumped for another 20 each just to enter Aquatica. It used to be that the waterpark was free and was included in the price of admission. But since it was vamped up, we had to pay yet another premium. I wouldn’t have minded paying full price if the waterpark was a separate entity outside of SeaWorld, but it just was not worth paying the extra money with the way it was set up.
Think about it, you pay 80 bucks to enter SeaWorld so you could take in the rides, the shows and other attractions such as feeding the dolphins and seals, half of your day is practically gone. So by the time you want to go to Aquatica, you only have the other half to enjoy the waterpark. We entered SeaWorld right at opening time and after seven hours, we all we could take in was a raft ride, two shows, a feeding of dolphins attraction and time enough to grab a bite to eat. By the time we entered Aquatica, it was four o’clock. After two hours in there, we got sick of the place as it was such a rip-off.
The area was too danged small for a waterpark. Everything was all cramped together and we had to practically go across the ways and make a u-turn just to get to the attraction ten feet away! The two hours that we were there, all we could take in were three slide attractions. Why? Because although there were four slides at each attraction, there was only one attendant manning two slides while the other two were closed off! So was it fair to take our money but not provide us with enough attendants so we could have some sort of an enjoyable and quick service? I mean, every single ticket window was manned to take our money to enter the waterpark, but not every ride was adequately manned for the patrons to enjoy?
And as for the park’s “signature attraction” Stingray Falls? Fuhgeddaboudit, it was a joke! From the advertisement, we were under the impression the ride was top to bottom all incased with stingrays all around. It turned out that it was just an ordinary slide that dumps the rider to the bottom at the end and the raft then goes through maybe at most a ten foot long enclosed passageway where stingrays won’t even come to the glass!
SeaWorld lost all my respect with that stunt it pulled. So if anyone just wanted to enjoy the waterpark alone, that person STILL has to pay to get into SeaWorld and THEN pay an extra fee to get into Aquatica. Is that fair? Huh? And it’s not like Aquatica has anything unique to offer. If I wanted to enjoy a waterpark, I’d enjoy it more at a cheaper price going to Shlitterbahn in New Braunfels or even staying home in Houston and going to Splashtown.
Back in downtown San Antonio again, we enjoyed other things the city had to offer. We took a horse buggy ride through the night time downtown streets. It’s a ritual for us every time we’re in S.A. Souvenir shopping is another ritual, but that’s because every year we return to the city, Matthew has outgrown his San Antonio shirts from the year before and we have to buy new and bigger ones.
The rest of the time, let’s see, we shopped at the Hard Rock Café and the people working there were very nice and helpful in assisting Donna look for a shirt in her size, letting her try out all kinds of clothes and did not mind at all when Matthew kept testing out drum sticks on the counter. We then had an early lunch one morning at Ostra. The oysters on the half shell were reasonably priced but the calamari was more of a show than it was a meal. I think the people who dine there want more of to be seen rather than to eat.
On the morning when we checked out, we thought we’d seen it all, but as we were hanging out at the front of the Holiday Inn, we saw an elderly gentleman walk past us. I couldn’t help but to take a picture to bookend our trip. He was sporting a walker cane, had on a pair of blue jean shorts, black T-shirt, a pair of brown cowboy boots with his old-timer-with-three-red-stripes-socks pulled past his knees and he had on the jingliest pair of spurs on! So there you have it, only in San Antonio!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank LouisDonnaMatthew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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