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O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Ranked #128 of 358 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I stayed at the O'Brien Historic Hotel in downtown San Antonio, TX Wednesday April 17, 2013 and April 18, 2013. I would have to say this was the worst experience I have ever had at any hotel in any part of the United States. First off, construction in the back parking lot started at the break of dawn. They advertise they have a workout area but it isn't even in the hotel, you have to walk a few blocks away. The parking is horrendous, their parking in the rear will fit 7 cars but they try to fit 12 (if you're an early riser like myself, you won't get out). The manager of the hotel is very rude and unprofessional at best. I had my dirty clothes in a bag and the staff threw my clothes away! The entire staff denied this and the manager laughed in my face. The rooms are nice and the location is pretty hard to beat, but I wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone! I would suggest to anyone to spend the extra few dollars and go to a more reputable hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 - 256 of 475 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

Very clean, great location, pleasant staff. Check in and check out were quick & easy. Even tho it's on a busy street, it wasn't noisy and we were steetside, but it wasn't a weekend night. Room was very nice & charming. Bathroom was clean, roomy and had all the amenities we needed. Lobby and common areas were open & clutter free. We didn't have their breakfast, but there were others in the area within easy walking distance.

I'd definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

The O'Brien is historic and feels it. It's small, 39 rooms. Lobby and entrance is small and unimpressive. Service is average to bad. The rooms are comfortable and clean. Get an upstairs room. Location is great because you can walk to the Riverwalk, without paying Riverwalk prices. I would recommend this hotel if you want a balance between price and location and aren't too expect much personal service.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
1  Thank Chip G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I was bit torn by my experience at this hotel. On one hand the location was great and the room was nicely furnished, but the service was some of the worst i have experienced. There was no one at reception upon our arrival, and after waiting a few minutes, and ringing the bell a few times, a lady appeared having a personal conversation on her cell phone. There was no greeting or welcome. She continued her cell phone conversation while checking us in. It seemed we were a bit of an inconvenience to her. We had room (101 i think) near reception which was very nice. However there was a big gap in the door leaving the lock exposed, and the room interior visible from outside. This didn't seem very secure and I did worry about our belongs while we were away. The breakfast is ok, but since there is no breakfast area, people are on top of each other trying to gather some food to bring back to the rooms. Parking is very limited and receptionist couldn't really offer much assistance or advice (pesky customers!). We found a public car park, where we were unsure if we could leave our car overnight. Thankfully it was still there in the morning! Best thing about this hotel is that its centrally located and only a couple of blocks from the riverwalk. We stayed 2 nights.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NapoleonWrasse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I must agree with many other reviewers - the location is good, close to River walk , Alamo and other attractions. We were lucky to snug a parking space in front of Hotel which we paid $10 a night for. The room is small but cutely decorated. Also I have to agree about maintenance issues other people mentioned. Bed and pillows are good and coffee is decent. Breakfast was less than what I expected for over $100/night hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank oldprune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

The price was right, and I get Choice Privilege points - Location is O.K just a few blocks to the Alamo and Riverwalk. Almost walked away to find another Hotel, showed up shortly after 2 and was told they would not check me in - not until 3, I asked if the room was not ready - the guy said, I am not allowed to check anyone in until 3 - I asked to speak to a manager, he said she was gone and there was nothing he could do - I walked out, luckily some supervisor or possibly the owner ran me down and said sorry - they could check us in....

Room was clean and nice enough but quickly realized that the roadside room may not be the best, there were single pain windows and it was a bit noisy (have had much worse elsewhere) - Next time will ask for a room on the back side -

lobby area where they served breakfast was very small - but overall fine, I do not stay at hotels for a quality breakfast - coffee and toast is good enough, I eat in the room usually anyway

Just an average stay - price worked for me, only real negative was the road noise - I likely would return, if only for the Choice points

Room Tip: Get a room on the back side
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Travelinscott29120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Sometimes I am amazed by other reviewer's expectations, or maybe it is, I am confused by other reviewer's expectations. My family and I stayed at the O'Brien back in mid-February as we were in town for our daughter's Basic Training Graduation from Air Force basic at Lackland AFB. I was able to get a rate on two rooms that was right at $100 each, in my mind that is a very affordable room,,one and a half blocks, JUST OFF THE RIVERWALK. Now, if you put it together, just off the Riverwalk, affordable price, clean hotel, helpful staff, what else do you want for that rate?

The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They always greeted us when we came in and out, they helped us with recommendations on pizza delivery, (which by the way would be a good business to start up in that area, not a lot of options) restraunts, directions,,,etc.. They could not have been more helpful.

Yes, it is an older building, but I rather stay in hotels that have character. Yes, it is somewhat worn in places like the bathrooms, I think that was made up for in the rate. We had two balcony rooms, backside of the hotel, but they were quiet and we asked for them on purpose based on other reviews that mentioned this exact issue. I know that if we had tried to get rooms at surrounding hotels, right on the Riverwalk, we would have paid over $150 a night.

Let's talk about parking too, I have read some concerns about parking. Ladies and gentlemen when you try to park a car in downtown, metropolitan areas, it is going to cost money. I can remember in San Diego it was $20 a night to try and park a car, don't even get me started in New York on that cost. We were able to purchase the parking pass from the hotel and that gave us in/out privledges which came in very helpful. I know one reviewer said they could save $2 a night by parking in an adjacent lot, but we noticed that did not give you in/out privledges, you came in and parked and once you left you had to pay to get back in.

I think one reviewer said it best when they said, paraphrasing here, It is a very good option depending on your expectations. If you want 4-5 star accomodations, new, spic and span, then pay the $150-$200 a night. If you are trying to be budget concious and want a clean, older but nice with character, well located hotel. This is for you. Next time we are in San Antonio we will stay here again, no concerns about it.

Room Tip: Again, back side, balcony are the quietest and nicest. Worth a little extra to get the balcony.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank winslow82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel

Address: 116 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2933
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range: $123 - $282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The O'Brien Historic Hotel Downtown Riverwalk offers quiet luxury in the heart of Downtown San Antonio. We are centrally located one block from the famous Riverwalk (which offers an array of restaurants, shops and nightlife), four blocks from the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, three blocks from the Alamo Plaza. You can take a breath-taking walk on the Riverwalk and enjoy the history and magic that San Antonio has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection San Antonio
San Antonio Clarion Collection
Clarion San Antonio

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