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“AWFUL, WILL NOT STAY HERE AGAIN”

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Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk
Ranked #18 of 358 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed September 15, 2010

I always assume that people write these reviews to complain, however i should have taken the other reviews as a warning to fellow travelers!
My experience started rocky with making the reservations: after being told by a 'front desk' manager that i would be able to upgrade to a suite river-view and pay the difference, we arrived from SC to find that the manager had never actually booked the room upgrade and that there was no suite available on the day we arrived from the airport. their answer to our problem was to put 3 people in 2 different rooms and have us pay full price for the additional room! - seriously!! needless to say I had to adamantly protest with them considering they made the mistake not me. - We finally were able to move to our requested suite the next night (after the previous guests left- 6pmish).
On top of that - the first two rooms did have a river view looking straight down some 21 stories - but the suite did not (it looked at the pool). Sure the river walk is over there somewhere but my experience compared to the beautiful photographs from the river-view suites on their website were absolute lies.
Out of all the wretchedness with the front desk/reservation dept - I must give kudos to the housekeeping staff. They were absolutely wonderful. We had clean towels, plenty of coffee and they even hunted down my cell phone charger in the midst of hundreds (lost and found) that was left in the previous room(s) from the initial night of stay.
I have stayed in Holiday Inns since I can remember on childhood family vacations, but this was a disgrace.
PS - i think something died in the lobby, it smelled of sour carpet (even though it was polished tile) for the whole week .

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled on business
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Thank LadyJayne82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRiverwalk, Manager at Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2010

Unfortunately there are times when an in house guest does not check out on their scheduled departure date. We are so sorry that this was the case upon your arrival and that there were no other suites available. We were very pleased to extend your original guestroom rate for the remainder of your 4 night stay without charging the $75/night upgrade charge.

With only 12 suites they are in quite high demand and, unfortunately, we do not have any river view suites. Our Executive Suites look over the beautiful San Antonio skyline...the majority with a veiw of the famous Tower Of The Amerias and the Alamodome.

Thank you for your kind words about our housekeeping team. They are very hard workers and always very eager to please!

We look forward to having you back again soon.

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Reviewed September 14, 2010

Stayed here for a two-day technical short course held at the hotel. Never been to SA before and was quite impressed by the Riverwalk. Hotel is just fine, a little worn out but it looked like some renovations had recently occurred (e.g., granite sinks, nice bedding). The service was very good, friendly and attentive. It is located right on a quiet part of the Riverwalk (which is probably just as well) but an easy walk to the busier parts. Note that the part of SA surrounding the Riverwalk is a little grubby, but that was OK with me. I ate at the restaurant for breakfast, nothing special, but again, good service. Didn't see any reason to eat any other meals there considering there are hundreds of other restaurants along the river. The valet did direct me to an excellent deli just around the corner called SIPs. Had a spectacular turkey pannini with artichoke sauce and baby spinach. Quite memorable. I would recommend this place for a lunch since you can take your meal down to the river next to the hotel, where there are many benches with little people traffic. Save your money for dinner.

All in all, a decent place to stay in SA along the riverwalk.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled on business
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Thank krtman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRiverwalk, Manager at Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2010

Thanks for your comments. We are very proud of our hotel and our location. Our team strives everyday to exceed our guests' expectations. Very true about our location. For the quiet stretch that we are located on...in less than 2 minutes you can be in the heart of all the Riverwalk has to offer.

On street level we are located just three blocks from the historic Alamo and no more than 6 blocks to all the major downtown attractions.

Come back and see us again soon!!! We'd love to see you!

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Reviewed September 8, 2010

Location is excellent and the staff was very friendly, professional and accommodating. Unfortunately, those qualities just don’t excuse some of the other areas needing improvement.

I read the Trip Advisor reviews and called the hotel in advance to request a room on the side of the hotel where the train cannot be heard. The woman at the desk insisted that their hotel is on the riverwalk – there is no train track next to the hotel. I asked again at check-in. The front desk staff person indicated that there is a distant train that some guests staying on the “pool side” have complained about. She assigned us to a high floor room on the opposite side. While I can sleep through just about anything, I will attest that even I could hear the train which is said to be about 1 mile away. Lots of other background noise can be heard as well. Pack your earplugs just in case. The aesthetics and cleanliness of main lobby floor were nice. They have a small deli-style coffee shop across from the front desk which sells sandwiches, pastries, and (not so tasty) coffee drinks. (NOTE: SIP, Starbucks and McDonalds are all within walking distance).
I was pleased to find our room had a bright white duvet cover (I loathe traditional hotel bedspread; clean white beds at a hotel are always inviting). The flat screen television, sofa, and work desk are pretty standard these days. The décor of the room was fine, but the dust was disgusting! Since we were going to be stuck there for a conference for several days, I used germ killing hand wipes to wash down the nightstands and lamps – I’m pretty sure they haven’t been dusted for quite a while.
I always wipe down the remote control and do my best to avoid using land line telephones at hotels (call me a Germaphobe – I’m not ashamed). Unfortunately, there was a message light on our phone. The phone was noticeably dirty, but I bravely pressed the button to find out who the heck had chosen to track me down at the Holiday Inn instead of my cell phone number. Much to my dismay, it was the hotel manager calling to welcome us to the Holiday Inn Riverwalk. The end of her message was apparently cut off – I gather she was in a hurry to “make the rounds.” If only someone had thought to come around and clean the telephones. Gross!
The bathroom wasn’t much better, but to be fair I have seen far worse conditions elsewhere. The corner of the shower had a small red stain (rust or possibly bacteria growth). The corners of the bathroom were dusty. If we were there for vacation, I would have left promptly. But, I put on my “camping mentality” and reluctantly decided to rough it for a few days. After all, we didn’t spend much time at the hotel.
The view from our room was made up of industrial rooftops “decorated” with a collage smashed glass – reminiscent of brown beer bottles. Obviously, the Holiday Inn cannot control the eye soar view of property that doesn’t belong to them. I imagine there are plenty of other hotels in the area with the same view. That said, I doubt there would be much desire for anyone to spend time on the balcony during the Texas summer months. By the way, this hotel does have a very small pool which appeared to be well maintained. We did not partake in any swimming activities.
They say crickets are good luck. If that’s your belief, you will be in good company at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk. We were greeted by the hoppy lucksters on the morning of our scheduled departure. As the drapes were pulled open, I spotted something on the floor who seemed to shy away from the sun rays. It scurried under the sofa before I could identify it. It turned out to be a Texas-sized Cricket who hopped out to wish us farewell. After inquiring with other guests in the elevator, I gather that crickets have been spotted all over the hotel. Even the rooms on the top floors have crickets, though they may not come out until night. Let this be a warning to all “Campers” at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk – don’t forget to wear your shower shoes and carry a flash light at night.
Valet service is available, but I recommend parking in the attached garage. The garage elevator connects to the hotel. Self-parking costs $18 per day. Considering that the garage gate attendant was only on duty 1 night out of 5, I’m guessing that a lot of folks got to park there for free.

The Holiday Inn is not my usual hotel of choice, though I have stayed in some very nice Holiday Inn's and I'm not opposed to trying others in the future. For business, I usually stay at a Hampton Inn, Courtyard, or Residence Inn. There is a Marriott Courtyard next door, but based on the TripAdvisor reviews I don’t think it would have been much of an improvement over there. Next time, I may consider staying at Omni La Mansion del Rio. That hotel was beautiful and seems to get great reviews.

My San Antonio Restaurant Reviews (all are vegetarian friendly by request)…
Casa Rio – A bit spicier than I'm used to. Very good food and service!
Mi Tierra Café & Bakery – Excellent food, pastries, service. They make the best margarita I’ve ever had (we ordered 2 pitchers to share). We enjoyed dinner here and then returned to the bakery several times. Delicious!
Spaghetti Warehouse – Decent food if you’re craving a very casual Italian. It wasn’t all that I had experienced at another location many years ago.
Hard Rock Café – typical, pretty good.
Ritas On The River – Great for people watching. Geared toward family fun as they have a caricature artist, mariachi band, and balloon twister (for the kids). If you like your margarita served in a traditional margarita glass, you’ll have to order the “jumbo.” I ordered a small Don Juan margarita ($10) on the rocks and it came in a plain lager-style glass – a little too sour for my taste.
McD's - hardly Texas cuisine, but it may be nice to know it's within walking distance of riverwalk and The Alamo. Dollar Menu not available at this historic location. Also, I was surprised that the 2 entrances had steps (no handicap/ stroller access visible to me -- but perhaps I just missed that).

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Faxgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRiverwalk, Manager at Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2010

As in any downtown hotel there are city noises and there is a train that is a mile away from the downtown area. We are pleased to offer ear plugs for any guest who experiences trouble from this city noise.

We have recently completed a $300,000 renovation on our lobby area. We appreciate your kind words. The stone work and lighting will remind you of a hill country lodge. Mugg's, our grab and go cafe, proudly features Seattles Best Coffee and fresh baked croissants, muffins, sandwiches and other grabe and go specialties.

Yes...the crickets. Well, they "check-in" to downtown San Antonio annually and, unlike the paying guests in the downtown hotels, they are not welcome. They are out and about all over the city and enjoy the Riverwalk as much as our guests do. They only last for 2 weeks a year. Any other time you'll be cricket-free in San Antonio.

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Reviewed August 21, 2010

Stayed here with my daughter in July for 6 nights coz we had already stayed in Holiday Inn in Nashville and thought it would be as good. It wasn't! Reception staff weren't particularly helpful. Can't complain about the room apart from no fridge - we had to keep topping up ice bucket to keep drinks cool and was rather noisy late at night from room at side of us. We were overlooking the pool on the 7th floor which was quite pleasant. Booked this specifically for laundry facilities as with Nashville Holiday Inn which was advertised on the website but was told they didn't have any facilities - not impressed as I had to start washing stuff by hand coz the laundry service was expensive. Wouldn't recommend the restaurant. We were the only 2 people there one night and when our food finally came it was lukewarm. If you want no frills I suppose it was okay. The best part was the location - it was right on the Riverwalk very close to the Alamo and and the zoo is only 15 minutes away by car.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kathylovestravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2010

We arrived at the beginning of July half way through the 75th anniversary conference of Alcoholics Anonymous. Over 50,000 people in San Antonio from all over the world.

Despite this, we didn't have to wait too long for our rooms. It was a bit chaotic the first day or two until the conference was over.

Room was average, pretty much like any other holiday inn.

Location was great - with hotel access right on the Riverwalk.

The morning buffet was a bit pricey but good selection. You get what you pay for. Overall I would stay here again if I was able to get a room overlooking the Riverwalk.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled on business
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Thank MTBOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2010

The hotel is in a great location! The north tip of Riverwalk, with easy access to The Alamo, Mall, and Restaurants. First off, it is $18 dollars a day to park your car, and $20 for valet. The parking garage is only 5 levels, with the first being for valet. Each level probably only holds 20 cars, so parking is extremely minimal. I have a room on the 21st floor, with incredible views. However, I faced the front of the hotel and had noise all night from people, dump trucks, deliveries, etc. My front door on my room had about a 2" gap underneath, it is an interior hall but annoying. My sliding glass door on my balcony could not close all the way, so had open gaps but was able to lock it. I had several cockroaches in my room, plus while finding a plug for my cell phone, came across old strawberries that were covered in mold. There are 4 elevators for the hotel, and only one for the garage. You get free internet, but it is soo slow, it felt like dial up. I would not recommend staying here.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank Stangman93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRiverwalk, Manager at Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2010

Thanks for your comments. We are glad you enjoyed the view from your room. The majority of our city-view rooms look over the Tower Of The Americas and the Alamodome. Sometimes the noises from the city are heard from the guestrooms as is the case at any downtown property.

We are very pleased to announce that we have completed a full upgrade of our high speed internet service for the entire property and it is faster than ever. We hope you'll get a chance to use it on your next visit to San Antonio.

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Reviewed July 28, 2010

Booked room for 7 days - checked in & presented debit card to front desk ; told by clerk that entire stay would debit immediately if I used debit, but that I wouldn't have to worry about this if I used my 'credit' card instead; so I used credit card & 2 days later got call from staff that they had no card authorized on file - I explained what happened at check-in and was told 'don't worry, I'll note your account & you'll be able to pay with your debit card at check-out; To make a long story short, I was locked out of my room, not once, but TWICE within 2 days of checking in because I was given the wrong info at check in! But guess what - the lock out was not the worst of my experience at this horrible hotel, because when I attempted to explain my situation, I was told by front desk manager 'Emily': 'I don't care what you were told at check-in, but I'm telling you now". This woman was very rude and interrupted me every single time I tried to finish a sentence. I told her I would check out early due to the poor customer service and her rudeness; her reply was 'that's fine with me!!'. When I spoke with Ben Turner & Ed (2 other managers) about my experience and about Emily's rudeness, they didn't even seem to care and I had to run them down to even be able to communicate with them. I told both of these managers that I had no problem with how they run their hotel, but that they should take responsibility when their staff gives wrong and/or incomplete info to guests. If I had been told when I first checked in that the credit card needed to have funds to cover my entire 7 day stay, then I would have had the option at that time to shorten my reservation from 7 days to 3 days instead, which all I really needed because I was attending a 3 day family reunion and could easily move to another hotel after that. My credit card had ample funds available for a 3-4 day stay. I have made up my mind that I will never stay at this hotel again or any other Holiday Inn. I also requested 2 wake up calls that never took place, making me late to 2 events I needed to attend and missing my rides. I will post this terrible experience on every 'review' site I come across and I will tell all my all my family & friends to avoid Holiday Inn. It's sad to say, but after I checked out & tried to communicate my concerns to the hotel manager, Ed, I only received comments like: "I'm sorry you got confused, it's industry standard, etc - he didn't even apologize until I mentioned that I deserved an apology. The thing that makes me the most upset is the fact that I was met with 'rudeness' by Emily and at least one other staff member when I tried to explain what happened; To me, this non-caring attitude was far more worst that the incident itself. I was given the wrong information at check-in, yet I was treated as if it was my own fault! Once I decided to leave Holiday Inn Riverwalk, I had to spend 2-3 hours of my vacation time battling with their staff to remove holds on my credit cards even after I had paid for my stay in full with my debit card. Then I spent another 3 hours in their business center on so called hi speed internet, which moved so slow that it should have be called SNAIL INTERNET - WHAT A PAIN! Needless to say, I checked out of this hotel 4 days early and checked into another hotel, just 2 blocks away - (Crown Plaza) and found it too be a much friendlier environment with a more professional atmosphere, was nicer looking and has better amenities; the extra benefit, or shall I say the frosting on the cake was that it was also $20 cheaper! What a sigh of relief for me, because I was able to move from a hell hole of arrogant hotel staff and finally be able to enjoy the rest of my vacation! Footnotes to all of this: A couple of nights it was hard to sleep due to very loud noise outside hotel; one night found huge black bug in bathroom & when I called staff to remove it they seemed hesitant to do it as if hinting that I shouldn't be afraid to do it myself - LOL. Queen bed was very hard, uncomfortable. Speaker phone option in room was broke. Housekeeping didn't arrive to clean my room until around 3pm in the afternoon, which was very inconvenient at times; hot tub was broke most of my stay, no bubbles at all; pool was quite small and only had one.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank KayJazz4U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk

Address: 217 North Saint Mary's Street, San Antonio, TX 78205-2303
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Green Hotel in San Antonio
#40 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
#48 Family Hotel in San Antonio
#49 Business Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range: $160 - $343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk 3*
Number of rooms: 313
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Choose this Downtown San Antonio & Riverwalk location as your gateway to the city. Ideally situated in the heart of San Antonio s business, theatre, and nightlife district, this Downtown/Riverwalk destination hotel offers easy walking access to all of the San Antonio Downtown area attractions: the Alamo, El Mercado, the Rivercenter Mall, Henry B. Gonzales San Antonio Convention Center, Alamodome and the Majestic Theater. Every aspect of your stay at this Holiday Inn San Antonio Hotel defines our commitment to comfort and service. This San Antonio Riverwalk hotel features an outdoor heated pool, game room, fitness center and laundry service. Take advantage of our 24 hour Business Center, where you ll find High Speed Internet Access, printer and online services. We offer Complimentary Wireless High Speed Internet Access in all guest rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. Enjoy Windows on the River, a tri-level restaurant that offers a picturesque view of the Riverwalk. Entice your taste buds and join us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure to bring the whole family because at the Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel kids under 12 always eat free (some restrictions apply). The Holiday Inn Riverwalk s central location, grand hospitality, and elegance will insure you have a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Riverwalk Hotel San Antonio
Riverwalk Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn San Antonio
San Antonio Holiday Inn

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