The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio on the Riverwalk is a wonderful little hotel that my husband and I discovered many years ago when it first opened.  They were running a special, and we were looking for a deal.  We knew nothing about this hotel, but the pictures looked great, and it was on the river in San Antonio.  That’s all we needed.

So we packed our bags and headed to San Antonio for the weekend (this was before kids)!  What a nice surprise it was to pull up to a beautiful hotel right on the river.  Of course we all know – you can’t judge a hotel by the outside.  So we were still a bit skeptical about what we were walking in to, because the room was so very cheap!

Boy were we excited when we entered.  What a beautiful hotel.  We were so happy that we had taken a chance on this little unheard of hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

We visited San Antonio many times over the years, and most of the time, we stayed at Hotel Contessa.  Occasionally, we would venture out to try another hotel on the Riverwalk, but we always returned to Hotel Contessa.  And after this last trip, we realize that Hotel Contessa is where we will always stay.  Well…unless someone offers us a room for free, then we’d consider staying somewhere else.

The rooftop pool was a big hit with our kids! With us too – so relaxing with a wonderful view!

Over the many years it has now been on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Hotel Contessa has stayed exactly the same as it was in the beginning – a beautiful, small boutique type hotel with amazing customer service.  A pretty large hotel, with a small hotel feel to it!

If you don’t believe me, you can check out the Hotel Contessa Website, where you can read up on all the awards and the history of the hotel.  On their website is where I learned that the Hotel Contessa is nestled in the heart of downtown San Antonio on the banks of the famed Riverwalk.  It is considered a hotel that reflects the rich heritage of 20th century Spain, embracing its unique architecture, hospitality and decor.

The Hotel is a has 12-stories, and it  features 265 luxurious suites, 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, Woodhouse Day Spa, fitness center and a heated, outdoor rooftop swimming pool and hot tub. The Hotel Contessa offers quite a few amenities too, including its signature, award-winning restaurant, Las Ramblas and the hip Cork Bar offering an array of cocktails and scenic outdoor patio overlooking the Riverwalk.

On this particular trip, we had our kids with us.  They are always excited when we travel and get to stay in an Embassy Suites, so when they walked in to Hotel Contessa, they thought they had entered a palace!  To their uncultured and not very well traveled little minds, we were living life in a very large way.

“Mom, I love this fancy lobby.  Look how fancy the elevators are. They’re made of glass!”  Morgan had found her place.  And when the woman checking us in gave Zach and Morgan each a disposable camera to use “during your stay at Hotel Contessa,” they were over the moon with excitement.

I mean, really?  I was a little jealous.  I wanted a disposable camera to play with during my “stay at Hotel Contessa.”  But I let them have their moment.  We headed up to the room, and things just got even better.

The room we stayed in was set up in a perfect way for families.  It was one big room, with a separate area for the bedroom (with 2 queen beds).  This area is separated by a door, so you can close it off from the rest of the areas at bed time.

There is also a pull out sofa in the living area to use as well.  So we each had our own separate sleeping areas, with a bathroom and a kitchenette in between!  Perfect, right?

The website description of the rooms give you a wonderful idea of what the rooms are like.  It says you will enjoy the modern, urban experience reflected in the décor of the Hotel Contessa 265 all-suite hotel.

Featuring a loft-like brick wall in the living room with vibrant colors and fabrics, each suite features a private bedroom separated from the large living room with sofa bed offering additional privacy. Reflecting the unique vibe of San Antonio with views of downtown or the Riverwalk.

Hotel Fast Facts & Facilities

  • 4PM CHECK IN & 11AM CHECK OUT
  • VALET: $36/NIGHTLY & $17/DAILY (PLUS TAX) AMENITY FEE: $7/NIGHTLY
  • CONCIERGE
  • ROOFTOP POOL
  • LAS RAMBLAS RESTAURANT
  • CORK BAR
  • THE WOODHOUSE DAY SPA
  • 24 HOUR FITNESS CENTER
  • 24 HOUR BUSINESS CENTER
  • 10,000 SQ FT MEETING & SPECIAL EVENT SPACES

Points of Interest

  • SAN ANTONIO RIVERWALK
  • RIVER WALK RESTAURANTS
  • RIVER WALK SHOPS RIVERCENTER MALL
  • THE ALAMO
  • LA VILLITA HISTORIC ARTS VILLAGE PEARL BREWERY
  • SAN ANTONIO AIRPORT
  • SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO
  • SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS

If you are unfamiliar with the Riverwalk, it is a winding network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River.  All you have to do is exit the Hotel Contessa, and you are right where you need to be to explore all of the restaurants, shops, museums and events that are right there (mostly located on or very close to the river).  It is a must-see destination in San Antonio, and if you have an elementary-aged child, you are just a few blocks (easy walk) from the Alamo!

Here we are – taking our obligatory picture out in front of the Alamo! Like most times, I was behind the camera (where I prefer to be)!

We stayed very close to Hotel Contessa for most of the trip, with just a couple of excursions.  We visited the Natural Bridge Caverns and the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch just a few minutes down the road from the Riverwalk.  If you have children, I highly recommend both of these places.  Actually, even if you don’t, I think you would find both of these places entertaining, fun, and a bit educational!

If you’re not sure what you want to do when you visit, you might consider checking out the Kids Out and About Website, and their Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and Around San Antonio.  Its got quite a bit of good information for you to look at before visiting.  You can also check out the book titled San Antonio & the State of Texas:  Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know.  It’s a great book offered on Amazon with lots of fun facts and quizzes to read before you head out.

I also included the link to a fun fiction book for kids called What Was the Alamo? as well as a link to a map of  San Antonio and the surrounding areas.  The fiction book for kids is a quick easy read for elementary aged children that tells them all about the Battle of the Alamo.  It was fun to hear all the facts Zach was able to share with us when we were touring the actual building!

Let me know what your favorite thing to do in San Antonio is!  Where do you stay?  Have you stayed at Hotel Contessa before?  I’d love to hear all about your trip.  I’m always up for a new adventure.  Have fun!  Until next time…

P.S.  Be sure you save some time to visit many of the other beautiful mission buildings near the Riverwalk.  The architecture is amazing!  Take a camera!!!