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“Nothing to write home about”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Menger Hotel

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Menger Hotel
Ranked #30 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nothing to write home about”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2005

I stayed here a couple of months ago. This place is very musty when you walk into the lobby. It smells like cats tinkled on the old rugs near the creepy piano. The first room I was in had a dysfunctional phone, which is important for me to have. They very willingly placed me in another room. The second room had a quaint view of the courtyard, so things were nice. The ceilings are high and the room is spacious. There were no real problems except for that lingering smell of cat urine and the bathroom door that wouldn't stay open. People say there are ghosts there, and there might well be. I had a light shining in my room that couldn't come from any logical place. It's an interesting place to stay if you like history. Terrible Terrible Terrible

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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lancashire uk
Level Contributor
76 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2005

Brilliant hotel. – stayed 3 nights from 4th August.

Very friendly with a homely feel.

Gardens & pool lovely

Bar pleasant and relaying - kids could sit with us and drink sodas

I booked 2 rooms and requested they be near each other but when we arrived on was on the 3rd floor the other on the 4th. I was worried at first leaving our teenagers on their own, but this was not a problem due to the feel of the hotel. One room had king and was quite small however it directly over looked the Alamo which was wonderful and was the main reason for visiting San Antonio so the size of the room did not bother us. Our teenagers room was very large with 2 queen beds and looked over to pool.
Both bathrooms were very clean

Complementary coffee at breakfast time in the lobby you can take back to your room.

Very convenient hotel – just across the road to the river walk, next to the shopping mall, on the corner you can pick a local bus that took us to the Fiesta Six Flags theme park and the North Star mall

I would recommend the hotel and will return next time I come to San Antonio

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank g230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2005

Just spent 4 nights at the Old Menger Hotel. Our room was large and comfortable, with 2 very nicely lit dressing tables which my friend and I needed as we were attending a Round Dance Convention. We had no trouble putting on our makeup. Our room had a balcony which we did not use as it was very hot and humid. Even so it was nice to have. We requested extra towels which were delivered almost immediately. The dining room was beautiful and the food was great, especially liked the lunch buffet and the bread pudding. Would definitely stay here again.

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2005

I wish I had read the reviews of the Menger on TripAdvisor before our one night stay in San Antonio. We were very disappointed and will not return to this historic property next to the Alamo. We paid $152.00 including tax for one room with two double beds on a weekend night. The lobby, public areas, and courtyard were very nice but the room and housekeeping services were shockingly bad. The sheets weren’t properly placed on the beds, the water glasses were not washed out from the previous guest, and there was no soap or shampoo in the bathroom. The outdated bathroom was dirty and in need of repairs. Water leaked from the showerhead and there were broken and moldy tiles. The air conditioner was loud, but functional. The room looked to have not been updated in at least 20 years. The desk staff was polite, but when I mentioned the housekeeping concerns during checkout the clerk just said that she would “let housekeeping know…” Parking is inconvenient and expensive.

  • Stayed July 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank annieb214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2005

I was a guest of The Menger on July 3 this year. I travel often, and my partner teaches Texas history. We have wanted to visit and stay in your hotel for many years, having read about it so often. We both visit San Antonio several times each year on business and pleasure, and normally stay at La Mansion Del Rio overlooking the Riverwalk. It is something we usually look forward to as a small vacation and splurge. This past weekend on the spur of the moment we decided to try The Menger. We rented the Devon Cattle Suite for one night. The room rate was $275 per night, comparable to what we would normally spend.

The original hotel lobby and public areas are impressive and extremely well maintained. I should also commend the staff I encountered around the hotel—all were polite, friendly, and helpful, with the exception of the bartender in the Menger Bar. We were two of four patrons in the bar, and she essentially ignored us the entire time we were there. After one drink we left. She was apparently busy taking some sort of inventory, and our interruption was clearly not welcome.

Once we opened the door to the suite, we were very much disappointed.

The Devon Cattle suite at The Menger was easily the worst of any I have ever experienced. The room was disgraceful. It was dirty, poorly maintained, and had the general look and feel of an old hotel room that had not seen any investment or even normal updating in decades. The result was not Old World charm as you might expect to find in a historic hotel, but rather a tacky and uncomfortable old room. Any hotel that markets itself as a historic property and luxury hotel should have been much better.

The carpet was stained and worn, the wallpaper was torn, stained, and there were several holes in the walls where apparently items once hung and had been removed or torn out with no effort to replace or repair the damage. While some of the furnishings could have been beautiful—especially the bed and rocker in the bedroom, none of it was in decent condition and some of it looked as if it had been purchased from a cheap chain hotel supplier. There were deep scratches and stains on every piece of furniture in the room, the glasses were tiny and poorly washed, and the decorations appeared to have come from a bad garage sale. The ceiling fan rattled and screeched when turned on, and the air conditioning was far inadequate to cool the rooms.

We usually enjoy the high quality linens and amenities that better hotels provide, which were non-existent in this room. The mattress on the bed was thin, rock-hard, and lumpy. The sheets and other bed linens were frayed and worn, and were not even properly put on, but rather simply spread over it. There was trash under the bed and sofa, and dirty tissues in the closet. The tangle of extension cords and overloaded power outlets on either side of the bed was not only unattractive, but also likely a fire hazard.

The bathroom has clearly not been updated or even well maintained. The shower featured peeling wallpaper, water stains, and mold on the walls. The tile was dirty and stained, and the shower curtain matched. The bathroom amenities were a bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and two small bars of soap, all of the quality you would expect to find at a roadside chain motel. Two small towels and washcloths completed the amenities. They were laid at the end of the bed since the towel rack in the bathroom was hanging by one bracket and could not be used.

The most insulting aspect of our stay was that seemingly no attention is paid to the little details of your rooms. As I mentioned, we stay at historic hotels whenever possible. La Mansion Del Rio in San Antonio, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, and The Driskill have all been wonderful to visit, and we have never been disappointed or felt that we received no value for the money spent. We were completely disappointed in The Menger, and left Monday morning feeling that it had been a waste of money and time. We also lost any interest in ever returning or recommending the hotel.

When I tell friends and colleagues of the hotel my recommendation will be to walk through the beautiful public areas of the hotel, and reserve their money for the many other historic luxury hotels around the city. My brother is planning to be married in San Antonio in December, asked me this morning whether they should consider The Menger. I recommended that they remove it from the list of possible hotels to host the wedding and out of town guests. The Emily Morgan, The St. Anthony, or any of the other better hotels in town will make a much better choice.

I should point out that I did not complain to anyone at the hotel. I was there for one night only. I checked in late, and left early, so there was no senior staff on hand and I frankly did not want to put a desk clerk stuck working the holiday weekend in an awkward and uncomfortable position. There was also not much that could have been done to improve my experience at the time.

I felt that the only reasonable action was to voice my complaint and disappointment to someone who has some responsibility and authority in the operation of the hotel. I checked various travel sites once I returned home, and found that my experience is not unusual. I wish I had checked earlier. I will post reviews to as many travel sites as I can visit, along with any response I receive from the hotel.

While a complete and well thought out renovation would certainly be the preferred option, small things such as cleaning the stains on carpets and walls, repairing the holes, a few upgraded furnishings (clean, new trash containers come to mind) and linens, a few extra towels, and a few more bathroom amenities than you would find at the local roadside chain.

How completely disappointing it was to find such a wonderful piece of Texas history to be neglected and tacky behind the façade. Being an historic hotel does not mean simply being old. I believe it is likely that your hotel must rely on the business of tourists who are deceived by your advertising and the public areas of the hotel. Since they are likely to be one time visitors it clearly does not matter whether they enjoy their room, or are impressed enough to return or recommend the hotel.

I apologize for the negative tone of this letter, and wish I had more positive things to comment on. I do hope that the comments will give you some idea of what travelers who frequent better hotels expect in a higher-cost room, and how a few relatively minor changes might improve the experience of staying with your hotel. We do not all want the sanitized cookie cutter experience of the local Hilton or Hyatt, but we do expect value and quality for money spent.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Richland Hills
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2005

This old classic is a charmer. Small rooms, but elegantly appointed. Good pool (although whirlpool spa is a free-standing portable!). Courtyard with rocking chairs. Adjacent to Alamo & River Walk. Good food & staff. Just the essence of Old San Antonio. Tip: Park in the River Center garage ($8 per day) vs. pricey hotel parking. Bellmen will even suggest & offer directions! We've stayed in several Riverwalk hotels, and never had a better experience.

2 Thank SeniorTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2005

There is a most unique store on Alamo Plaza in the historic Menger Hotel called Kings X Toy Soldiers. This store is like going back in time, with antique cases full of handmade toy soldiers. The staff is most friendly and helpful, and are full of tips on where to eat in downtown. Being right next door to the Alamo and in a beautiful historic hotel, this store is a must if visiting San Antonio. It faces Alamo Plaza and should not be missed!

5 Thank TrippenDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Menger Hotel

Property: Menger Hotel
Address: 204 Alamo Plz, San Antonio, TX 78205-2687
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Menger Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic 1859 hotel next to Alamo, 1 block from Riverwalk. Originally built in 1859, The Menger Hotel is located in central San Antonio, one block from the famed Riverwalk, the Children's Museum, and the Buckhorn Museum. Nearby points of interest also include the Rivercenter Mall, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and San Antonio Central Library. The hotel's Colonial Room Restaurant serves American regional cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. The historic Menger Bar, a replica of London's House of Lords Pub, features cherry paneling and booth seating. Room service is also available.The Menger Hotel's tropical courtyard garden looks out onto an outdoor heated pool. On-site recreational amenities also include a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility with cardiovascular equipment. The full-service Alamo Plaza Spa offers spa treatments including massages, scrubs, facials, and a Finnish sauna. More than 11,618 square feet of flexible function space accommodates up to 750 guests and includes the Plaza Ballroom, 9 meeting and conference rooms, poolside rooms, and a terrace that overlooks the Menger Court. Valet parking is available (surcharge). Complimentary wireless Internet access is offered in all public areas. The Menger Hotel is a smoke-free property.Built in 1859, the five-story Menger Hotel is next to the Alamo and just one block from the Children's Museum and the shops at the Riverwalk; the arts community of La Villita is four blocks away. The hotel features the Colonial Room Restaurant and the historic Menger Bar, a replica of London’s House of Lord’s Pub. Additional amenities include an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a spa offering European-style treatments. ... more   less 
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