Hotels to Book for a Trip to San Antonio

Hotel Emma is our top pick for hotels in San Antonio

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Hotel Emma
Photo: Courtesy of The Hotel Emma

San Antonio is a great example of the phrase "everything is bigger in Texas." As the seventh largest city in the U.S., it's a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with five 18th-century missions and an impressive concentration of Spanish colonial architecture. The heart of much of the action centers around the River Walk, a 15-mile network of paths that connect various shops, restaurants, and hotels along the San Antonio River. However, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deciding how to spend your time here.

San Antonio has over 50 golf courses and several theme parks, including Legoland and Six Flags. The city is also home to The Culinary Institute of America, which focuses on Latin American cuisine, so there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. And, of course, no trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting The Alamo, which marks the infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico.

When planning a San Antonio vacation, many visitors gravitate toward hotels along the River Walk—but there are plenty of other great hotel options in the city. Here, we've listed some of our top picks for your next San Antonio trip.

Best Hotels in San Antonio of 2022

Editor's Pick: Hotel Emma

Hotel Emma
Courtesy of the Hotel Emma

Why We Chose It

Located within a 10-minute drive of Pearl District and the San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, the historic Hotel Emma sits right on the river and is a hotspot for foodies.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$$$

Notable Amenities

Complimentary La Babia margarita upon check-in, complimentary cruiser bikes and house car available for guest use, twice-daily housekeeping includes turndown service with Bakery Lorraine's macarons

Hotel Description

Once a 19th-century brewhouse, Hotel Emma hasn't strayed too far from its roots serving as the flagship of the Pearl culinary community. The 146-room hotel has a strong commitment to food excellence, hosting a producers-only market and special culinary events, while welcoming guests to multiple restaurants and a grocery store stocked with freshly prepared foods. At the rooftop pool, you'll find a 1960s-era beer delivery truck serving up refreshments. Guest bathrooms feature handmade Spanish porcelain tile, Frette towels, and custom-made Guayabera robes by Dos Carolinas, and you'll find an icebox and in-room pantry with a curated collection of local treats.

La Cantera Resort & Spa

La Cantera Resort
Courtesy of La Cantera Resort

Why We Chose It

Boasting a championship golf course, rustic décor, and a spa located on one of the city's highest elevation points, La Cantera is one of the most sought-after resorts in San Antonio.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: $46
  • Room rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Championship golf course, adults-only infinity edge outdoor pool with a Veuve Clicquot themed cabana, 25,000-square-foot Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness

Hotel Description

Located atop the highest point in San Antonio, La Cantera Resort & Spa overlooks 550 acres of Texas Hill Country. Featuring fireplaces and rustic furnishings, the expansive property is inspired by Texas' iconic King Ranch, which is the largest ranch in the United States. La Cantera is conveniently located close to the area's best shopping, dining, and activities, yet still tucked away thanks to the sweeping views and tree-covered grounds. (Perhaps this is why it's one of the top 10 resorts in Texas.) While the resort is family-friendly, those looking for a child-free vacation should consider staying on the adults-only floor, SEVEN. The floor boasts private check-in, an exclusive lounge, elevated bath products, a daily happy hour, and a dedicated concierge.

The St. Anthony Hotel, a Luxury Collection

The St. Anthony Hotel
The St. Anthony Hotel

Why We Chose It

The St. Anthony Hotel is a National Historic Landmark that has hosted generations of San Antonio's social elite, not to mention Hollywood stars, famed politicians, and international royalty.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Rooftop infinity pool with cabanas, Tesla charging station, free buffet and hot breakfast

Hotel Description

Originally opened in 1909, the St. Anthony Hotel underwent a complete renovation in 2016, with a close eye on restoring the property to its original opulence. Over the years, the hotel has catered to dignitaries and celebrities, including Ginger Rogers, Grace Kelly, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, George Clooney, Demi Moore, and Bruce Willis. It has also seen many business deals, from the formation of Southwest Airlines to the purchase of the San Antonio Spurs.

Inside, the luxurious property features French Empire Antique furniture and museum-quality sculptures and paintings, with rooms decorated in rich velvet, Italian marble, and gold accents. Guests can enjoy live music four nights a week, pop-up markets, the 1.5-block walk to the River Walk, and the rooftop infinity pool.

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
Courtesy of Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

Why We Chose It

Located on the quiet part of the River Walk, the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk features the perfect blend of tranquility and convenience.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Direct access to River Walk, live music at Dorrego's Restaurant and Naranja Tequila and Mezcal Bar, fitness center

Hotel Description

Located in the heart of downtown, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk sits right on the banks of the famed San Antonio River Walk. Here, you can take a leisurely stroll as you explore the area's museums, culture, dining, and shopping. This property is home to the River Walk's only tequila bar, and it also offers Argentinian-inspired cuisine at Dorrego's Restaurant. Choosing a River View King with Juliet Balcony is a romantic touch, and rooms feature an Italian white marble bathroom, Egyptian cotton linens, and bath amenities by famed apothecary C.O. Bigelow.

Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk

Courtesy of Grand Hyatt San Antonio River walk
Grand Hyatt San Antonio River walk.

Why We Chose It

With direct access to the River Walk, an outdoor heated rooftop pool, enormous gym, and multiple dining options, the Grand Hyatt earns high praise for its convenient location and onsite offerings.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Two Topgolf Swing Suite Bays, the largest downtown San Antonio fitness center, urban outdoor rooftop park

Hotel Description

For the ultimate stay in the heart of the historic district, look no further than the 36-story Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk. The hotel is adjacent to Hemisfair Park, Tower of the Americas, the Alamodome, and River Center Mall, so guests can enjoy plenty of activities during their stay. Recent property upgrades include an arcade room, laundry room, outdoor recreational area, and two Topgolf bays. There's a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse onsite, as well as several other casual dining options, including a 24/7 shop serving Starbucks and grab-and-go fare.

The Emily Morgan Hotel — A DoubleTree by Hilton

The Emily Morgan Hotel
Courtesy of The Emily Morgan Hotel

Why We Chose It

Located literally steps away from The Alamo, this historic property is one of the most recognizable buildings in San Antonio, thanks to its Gothic Revival architecture and terra cotta gargoyles.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Outdoor heated pool, 24-hour fitness room, DoubleTree welcome cookies

Hotel Description

Love going for a walk? Make The Emily Morgan Hotel your basecamp for San Antonio's many attractions. Here, you'll be within walking distance of The Alamo, River Walk, and the Shops at Rivercenter. You can catch concerts, plays, comedy shows, and more at both the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and the Majestic Theatre (which happens to be a National Historic Landmark). There are multiple museums nearby, including the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Guinness World Records Museum, as well as an IMAX theater and tons of great restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. And kids will love the nearby Legoland theme park, which features rides and activities based on the iconic Lego toys. Built in 1924 as a hospital, and recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, The Emily Morgan Hotel features junior suites with bathtub views overlooking The Alamo.

Canopy By Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk

Canopy By Hilton San AntonioRiverwalk
Courtesy of Canopy By Hilton San AntonioRiverwalk

Why We Chose It

Opened in 2021, the brand-new Canopy By Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk offers modern rooms only steps away from the river.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Complimentary bicycles, complimentary glass of Hilmy rosé upon check-in, bar with a terrace overlooking the River Walk

Hotel Description

Despite its humble beginnings as The Alamo Fish Market in the 1860s, the Canopy By Hilton offers plenty of modern touches. As one of the newest properties in town, the hotel partnered with local artists and vendors to give the design a local feel. One of the most stunning detail choices is the intricate black-and-white shower tile pattern in the bathrooms. It represents the classic San Antonio quatrefoil logo, which honors the city's four pillars: people, pride, passion, and promise. Upon check-in, you'll be treated to a complimentary glass of local Hilmy rosé, and you can use the hotel's free bicycles to explore the area.

Hotel Havana

Hotel Havana
Courtesy of Hotel Havana

Why We Chose It

No two rooms in this 27-room boutique property are the same, making for a charming stay in a meticulously renovated building from the early 20th century.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Bike rental program, complimentary coffee in the lobby each morning, SMEG refrigerators in room with stocked minibars

Hotel Description

What do you get when you mix an original 1914 Mediterranean Revival design with San Antonio flair? The chic boutique Hotel Havana, of course. Surrounded by lush cypress, palm, and magnolia trees, the hotel features 20-foot ceilings, Bastrop Pine floors, and large windows. There's an onsite restaurant, Ocho, that's helmed by chef Jess Kuykendall, who was the first San Antonio-based chef to win a national cooking series when they won an episode of Chopped. Located in a glass conservatory overlooking the River Walk, the restaurant features a menu with pan-Latin cultural influences. And don't skip drinks at the Havana Bar, which delivers a chill speakeasy vibe thanks to its velvet couches and antique leather club chairs.

Thompson San Antonio — Riverwalk

Thompson San Antonio
Courtesy of Thompson San Antonio

Why We Chose It

Boasting unparalleled skyline vista views from each guest room, plus a restaurant featuring the creations of a James Beard Award finalist, Thompson San Antonio is an ideal choice for a luxurious, centrally-located stay.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Fourth-floor pool deck oasis overlooking downtown, 5,000-square-foot Thompson Spa sanctuary, suites with stocked wet bars and free-standing soaking tubs

Hotel Description

Opened in 2021, the Thompson San Antonio soars 20 stories above the River Walk, encompassing the first 11 floors of a mixed-use tower. Residential-style indoor and outdoor spaces highlight bespoke furniture, curated works of regional artists, and stunning views from the 162 rooms (including floor-to-ceiling views in the 33 suites). Carve out time to visit the Cenote Pool Deck, full-service spa, and Landrace, a 200-seat restaurant showcasing local ingredients and the talents of James Beard Award finalist Steve McHugh. End your day at The Moon's Daughters rooftop restaurant and bar with indoor-outdoor seating amongst the city lights.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

JW Marriott San Antonio
JW Marriott San Antonio

Why We Chose It

This resort is set on 600 acres of rolling hills with meandering creeks, offering everything a family needs for an epic vacation.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: $56 from March-October; $42 from November-February
  • Room rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

9-acre water park, TPC San Antonio golf resort (two 18-hole PGA Tour courses), impressive schedule of recreational activities for kids

Hotel Description

When people talk about a one-stop destination, they're referring to a property like the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Think endless entertainment options for day or night and activities for guests of all ages, including a massive waterpark, Topgolf Swing Suites, and pickleball courts. There's also a state-of-the-art fitness center, an award-winning spa, access to biking and hiking trails, and seven dining outlets. It's all set on beautifully landscaped grounds with Live Oak trees, rolling hills, and unobstructed views from every corner of the resort. All 1,002 guest rooms were refreshed in 2019, and they feature a walk-in shower and separate tub.

Hilton Palacio del Rio

Hilton Palacio del Rio
Courtesy of Hilton Palacio del Rio

Why We Chose It

Centrally located on the River Walk, each room in this budget-friendly choice features a private balcony.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Complimentary for Honors members
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Outdoor pool, fitness center, on-site restaurant

Hotel Description

Originally built in 1968, the Hilton Palacio del Rio was modularly constructed, meaning the rooms were built offsite and then brought over and lifted into place. Each room at the hotel treats you to a private balcony, and you're conveniently stationed two blocks from The Alamo and one block from the Briscoe Western Art Museum. On site, you'll find Durty Nelly's Irish Pub, a lively piano bar with pub grub. There's also a café serving Mexican cuisine, as well as a fire-oven pizzeria with locally sourced ingredients, wine, and beer.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa

Grand Hyatt San Antonio Riverwalk
Courtesy of Grand Hyatt San Antonio Riverwalk

Why We Chose It

A family favorite located next to SeaWorld, the Hyatt Regency offers plenty of amenities in Hill Country's beautiful landscape, while still being only a 20-minute drive from the River Walk.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: $35
  • Room rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

6 onsite restaurants, 5-acre waterpark with a 950-foot lazy river and FlowRider wave machine, 27-hole Hill Country Golf Club designed by Arthur Hills

Hotel Description

Just a short drive from the center of San Antonio's main drag is a relaxing and nature-inspired retreat, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Thanks to the nearby theme park and onsite waterpark, the hotel is an ideal destination for families.

This property will also beckon your kids to shut off their tablets and enjoy a bike ride around the winding nature trail, courtesy of the hotel's bicycle rentals. They can also enjoy wildlife spotting, roasting s'mores over a wood-burning fireplace, or playing among the oak trees. With six restaurants catering to every palate, plus one of the longest copper bars in Texas, you won't even have to get in your car for a great meal or cocktail. Note: A major guestroom renovation is planned to begin fall of 2022 and will be unveiled spring of 2023.

Hotel Contessa

Hotel Contessa
Courtesy of Hotel Contessa

Why We Chose It

This independently-owned, dog-friendly hotel features all-suite guest rooms and a prime location on the River Walk.

Key Specs

  • Free Wifi: Yes
  • Resort fee: $7
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Full-service rooftop spa that offers chakra balancing and ayurvedic massages; rooftop pool with bar, food, and massage service; complimentary chair massages every Thursday

Hotel Description

For a stay at San Antonio's only AAA Four-Diamond hotel, book a room at Hotel Contessa. Each spacious suite has a separate bedroom and living area, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of downtown or the River Walk, and snacks from local vendors. It sits next to Marriage Island, which hosts hundreds of small weddings and elopements each year, and guests can view these celebrations from the onsite restaurant patio. Enjoy live music Thursday through Sunday, including Mariachi music every Friday, and Texas-style cuisine and craft cocktails at Ambler Texas Kitchen + Cocktails.

Final Verdict

There's a lot to consider when choosing between these San Antonio hotels—and, for the most part, it will all come down to location and amenities. For the ideal stay right on the famed River Walk and onsite access to a notable restaurant, choose the recently-opened Thompson San Antonio. If you're looking for fun activities to keep the entire family busy, spend your vacation at the well-appointed JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. (You can't go wrong with the water park, golf, and access to nature.) And, for those who want a hotel steeped in history, The St. Anthony Hotel delivers a glamorous Old Hollywood feel with modern touches.

Know Before You Go

  • Consider timing your trip to Fiesta, San Antonio's biggest festival. Other popular events include Culinaria Food & Wine Festival, the Conjunto Music Festival, and the largest Dia De Los Muertos celebration in the country.
  • You'll find the most comfortable temperatures and affordable rates by visiting San Antonio from November to April.
  • About an hour north of San Antonio lies Fredericksburg, a Texas Hill Country city with German heritage, unique Sunday House-style hotel options, wineries, and fantastic restaurants and shops.

Methodology

We evaluated over two-dozen hotels in San Antonio before selecting the best in each category. We considered customer reviews, the property's reputation and quality of service, its design and architecture, location within the city, and notable amenities (e.g. pools, views, live music, etc.). We also looked at each property's dining options, whether there is a spa onsite, and the types of experiences are available to guests.

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