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O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
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All reviewssmall lotsmall hotelclaw foot bathtubthe river walkwafflesbalcony roomnice continental breakfastthird floorchoice hotelswalking distancean older buildingdowntown attractionsthe ac unitbed and pillowswaffle makerstaff was very friendly and helpfulconvention center
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A TripAdvisor Member
houston, texas
16
Reviewed November 24, 2005

What a dump. Would never stay here again. Whole place is covered in dust, which caused my allergies to act up. Housekeeping walking into our room without knocking. Front desk couldn't complete a simple transaction. Stay away from this place.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2005

Delightful, professional and helpful staff; good location; good price. Very comfortable, almost homey feeling. Newly refurbished hotel appointed in pleasing, neutral colors. Clean. Room sizes not especially large, but fine. Pretty good breakfast (No breakfast eating area yet, but it is being planned). All-day coffee, tea and cocoa. No nice views but less than a block from the Riverwalk and La Villita. Easy to take streetcars or busses just about everywhere. We'd stay again -all in all, a good deal!

  • Stayed: October 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
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8  Thank MLN-Madison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2005

My husband and I visited San Antonio for our 5 year anniversary. I had read very good reviews about this hotel so I reserved a room for our 2 night stay. We were not disappointed. The hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The room was very nice...clean with amenities such as upgraded linens, bottles of water and nightly turndown service with chocolates and ice for the ice bucket. The location was great...very close to the Riverwalk and La Villita. We discovered we were able to cut through La Villita to quickly get to the Rivercenter mall and the Alamo. We walked everywhere we wanted to go...you don't need a car. We will definitely be back to San Antonio and will not hesitate to stay at the O'Brien again!

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank ckedgar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2005

The rooms were very clean and comfortable, with great beds.
The service was excellent, the location was just a half block from the River Walk. I like everything about it. The rooms are larger on the street side, but my roomate didn't like the noise on that side (didn't bother me).

There's an internet connection in the room, which was great for me.
Parking was $10/day and there isn't necessarily enough parking for everyone, but that was a small issue.

The fitness center is a tiny room with a bike and small universal machine. There is also a washer and dryer in the fitness room if you need to do laundry.

I'd recommend the place.

  • Stayed: September 2005, traveled on business
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10  Thank gjv115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2005

I did quite a bit of research in the weeks preceding our stay, as I was looking for the right hotel from which to base a romantic & relaxing getaway for my wife's birthday, sans children. At first I was looking to one of the posh top-dollar spa hotels right on the Riverwalk, but something told me to more closely examine this small boutique, as it had been rated #1 on TripAdvisor.com, despite the world-class giants that are available everywhere around downtown SA.

The exterior was unassuming - a modest three-story building on a quiet corner just south of the Riverwalk, clean and passable on first inspection, as urban downtowns go. We stayed on the ground floor facing the back lot, which enabled us to keep an eye on the car. The upper two floors all share their balconies with their whole respective aisle, which I might have found uncomfortable had I been rooming upstairs. There is a tiny outbuilding in the back lot with two workout machines and a laundry setup, which seemed an extraneous afterthought, especially since parking is so hard to get around there.

Parking was a persistent problem, as there are apparently not enough spaces in the small triangle-shaped lot directly across the street, or the tiny lot behind the building (accessed via an alley directly to the left(south) of the building. (Navarro runs one-way, north) Other than the worrisome parking issue, I cannot say that this stay gave me anything significant to complain about. In fact, my wife and I both left pleased and refreshed.

The gentleman handling our check-in/out and other needs was extremely polite and friendly - prompt and helpful every time we encountered him. I hope his boss reads this, because his cheerful manner made a difference in our vacation.

The room was medium in size, narrow but deep, and the king-size bed and bedding was excellent in quality - very pleasing. Everything was modern in appearance, from furniture to walls, and the bathroom, while a tad smallish, was very nice, being lined with black granite from the sink to the shower. The jacuzzi tub was deep and relaxing. The provided toiletry kit should include a showercap, however. A nice cotton robe is provided for your stay, which was a nice touch. The turndown service w/ chocolate put a smile on my wife's face. It's probably time for an annual touch-up of the paint, carpet-cleaning, and minor carpentry details in portions of the room, in my opinion, as we tourists can be pretty rough with our wear-and-tear on hotel rooms, but it by no means felt aged or dingy, in fact the ambience was quite the opposite.

Minor slip-ups of housekeeping that I noticed on our check-in did not recur during our stay. (a used washrag on the floor under the dressing bench, and the ice-bucket still had the previous user's bag inside)
Two small bottles of Evian were left for us one day, which was a pleasant surprise. The ceiling fan and air-conditioner were more than adequate, as were all other physical elements of the hotel's atmosphere for our secluded getaway.

The continental breakfast and Texas-shaped waffle-maker was more than sufficient, and the neat cappuccino/coffee machine came in handy on countless occasions in my case. Keep in mind that the vending machines are like those at every hotel - overpriced and insufficient.

Getting to the Riverwalk was extremely quick, maybe a minute's walk north, and it's down on the southern "quiet" end of the walk (nice for strolling couples), so if you're looking to do a lot of tourist stuff up around the Alamo or the Rivercenter Mall, you'll have to account for additional walking time, or transportation arrangements, depending on your constitution and inclination.

A huge Jazz Festival was taking place at Travis Park on the northside of the Riverwalk during this weekend, so we took advantage of the city's obvious enthusiasm for music culture and weekend festivities. We found the city's blend of cultural elements quite pleasing, and unexpectedly congruous in its fusion of European, Mexican, military, and other cultures. 'Twas harmonious multiculturalism, compared to other cities to which I've travelled. We could have spent a week just mastering downtown alone, so we'll definitely be back.

Couples - get a downstairs room with Jacuzzi tub! I'd recommend the upstairs rooms to the rear of the building for a large group, like a family gathering or somesuch, that calls for multiple rooms, as the communal large balconies for the upper two floors would be really neat to congregate on with your friend or family before retiring.

Though next time I might be likely to try out a fancier hotel, like the Westin or the Valencia on a future stay, or perhaps a newer hotel with a pool and "busier" locale for a trip with the kids, like the La Quinta near the Rivercenter Mall, I still can see how this little place got to be ranked #1 (I think it's at #2 this week). They simply found the right balance between quality and value, and wrapped it up with great service. There is nothing about this hotel that says "cheap" or "old", though it is obviously not one of the megaliths farther north. If you're looking for just a room, a nice quiet place with a more upscale feel than a rubber-stamp chain hotel, I'd go ahead and try this place. Go to their company's website and sign up for a free rewards membership as well, then check out their internet-user's rate. I couldn't believe what I got for less than $90 a night! We spent the hundreds we saved with this hotel on a convertible rental and shopping spree. Oh, and as they said, parking is $10 a day, and hotel tax in SA is 16.75%, so account for that as well. So what are you waiting for?

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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17  Thank darthbrooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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