I was pleasantly surprised with my stay at this hotel for a week-long conference in July. The entry is a little unconventional since you walk into a small courtyard from the valet area and turn right through some doors into the lobby. The courtyard is a nice touch, though. The lobby was spacious and well-decorated. Through the lobby, you can enter the main courtyard, which is very nice and a great feature of the hotel. More on that later. Check-in was fine with minimal wait, though I found the front desk staff to be varied in competence and friendliness (overall positive though).
The room was very nice, and I had a view of the main courtyard. I never had any issues with noise from outside, though there was one night when the next door neighbors were playing their TV too loud (connected room -- I HATE those). The room had a large, LCD flat panel TV with convenient connections AND cables to hook up a laptop. HUGE praise for that, Marriott! This setup should be standard in all hotels by now, not the glaring exception. I cannot abide by paying $100+ for a hotel room these days and having a cheap, ancient CRT TV in the room, which is sometimes so dark that it's barely watchable. Hotel companies need to wake up already and replace their dinosaurs. Anyway, the bathroom was nice and roomy, and I didn't have any issues with it. The bed was comfortable, but enough with the pillows already! I think I had about six, but none of them was large enough. The only major gripe I had about the room itself was the air conditioning, which seemed difficult to set properly -- I alternated between hot and cold, but I'm fickle sometimes so maybe it was just me. One significant downside for me: No free internet. Come on, Marriott, don't nickel and dime us travelers with WiFi expenses. That's just petty.
Back to the main courtyard. They have several different species of birds parading around loose in the courtyard, including some peacocks, which was very different. Bring your camera, unlike stupid me, because you'll probably want some pictures of the beautiful creatures who aren't terribly shy. The pool is located in the corner of the courtyard area, and it is nicely sized and good for swimming laps. It's also open early and late and has a hot tub to one side with a bar area. There was a lot of debris in the pool in the morning, but if you have trees, I suppose that's a consequence. I also was using the pool before the guy had a chance to clean it. The fitness center is in a separate, small building within the courtyard (of some historical significance) and has some dumbbells along with the usual treadmills and cardio machines -- excellent! The floor isn't padded, however, so don't expect to do many exercises on the thin carpet over wood.
Location-wise, I was exceptionally pleased. The Riverwalk is only about three blocks away on a busy street so safety never seemed an issue even later at night. You are close enough to the hustle and bustle of the Riverwalk to enjoy it until late, but you aren't far enough to warrant a cab ride nor close enough to be bothered by noise at the hotel.
I only ate breakfast one time at the hotel, and it was very good though perhaps a bit overpriced. They had a great selection of hot and cold items on the buffet and make pancakes, waffles, and omelets to order. Service was good. For Elite members (silver and up?), they have a concierge area which serves a small (free!) breakfast, a small dinner, and desserts in the evening. There are alcohol drinks available for purchase. It's a nice little area with friendly attendants and a definite benefit for Marriott Rewards members -- it's nice to feel appreciated for once.
If I go back to San Antonio, the Marriott Plaza will be at the top of my list.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Plaza San Antonio Hotel San Antonio
- Marriott San Antonio
- San Antonio Marriott