Big City Family Fun

Hotel Contessa on San Antonio’s River Walk for Families

The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio is an all-suite hotel on the River Walk.
Hotel Contessa is an all-suite boutique hotel along the banks of the San Antonio River Walk. Courtesy Photo

San Antonio offers the top travel destination in Texas for good reason. On a recent weekend away, my family explored nonstop and still left without seeing it all. Its rich cultural history, picturesque River Walk and South Texas hospitality top the list for me. I visit as often as I can and the River Walk is the only place I will stay.

Hits of Hotel Contessa

Hotel Contessa,an all-suite boutique hotel on the River Walk in San Antonio, features 265 rooms across 12 floors.

  • The location can’t be beat. Just steps away from La Villita and HemisFair Park; a quiet location perfect for families and still in the middle of the action, just not the bars.
  • With a suite, I could separate the kids and get a little work done. Plenty of room for a pack-n-pack and a door separates the bedroom from the front room, perfect for napping toddlers.
  • Amenities that families need without being a kid-themed hotel. The breakfast buffet had kids’ pricing and the cereal they liked. The roof-top pool was a hit with my kids and I loved relaxing on Contessa’s loungers with a cocktail.
Take a break and head over to the Hotel Contessa on San Antonio's River Walk. Hotel Review,
It’s been a long school year. Take a break and head over to the Hotel Contessa on San Antonio’s River Walk. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Misses of Hotel Contessa

Hotel Contessafit my family’s needs during our weekend away. I didn’t have any issues with the location, the room or the services. If I had to find something, I didn’t find lotion among the toiletries in the bathroom.

The Hotel Contessa has a signature line of toiletries.
The Hotel Contessa has a signature line of toiletries. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Hotel Contessa Details

Hotel Contessa ($$-$$$) is located at 306 West Market Street in the heart of downtown. Its central location is within walking distance to many destinations. I walked with my boys, 9 and 12, to the Alamo, the Tower of the Americas and Southtown, the foodie King William neighborhood packed with Victorian homes, hip restaurants and food trucks.

The rooftop pool at the The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio was a hit with my kids.
The rooftop pool was a hit with my kids and the loungers with a poolside bar were a hit with me. Courtesy Photo

The hotel interior features modern, urban decor with a nod to the rich textures of South Texas. Nestled along the banks of the lush River Walk, Contessa’s restaurant, Las Ramblas offers outdoor dining perfect to begin or end your day.

Hotel Contessa is10-miles south of the San Antonio Airport. They offer unlimited in-and-out valet parking for $36/day; I only used my SUV to drive to the Missions and the museums.

The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio features a full-service restaurant and popular bar.
Hotel Contessa featuresa full-service restaurant and bar with outdoor seating along the banks of the River Walk.

I visited Hotel Contessa in May.

My Hotel Contessa Room:

The two-room suites of Hotel Contessa offer the ideal arrangement for traveling families. I found two rooms separated by a hall, a large bathroom and a dry bar area with a coffee-maker. I also found an in-room safe, two TVs, and a mini-bar with some of the least-expensive bottled water on the River Walk ($1.50/bottle).

The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio features two-room suites with modern decor.
Hotel Contessa features two-room suites with modern decor. With a separate room with a TV, there’s plenty of space for the family. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Our front room had a sectional, a 37-inch LCD-TV, a glass-topped work desk with the most amazing charging station. I charged all the devices in one spot on the desk, a complete luxury for a family of tweens with a working Mom.

The bedroom had a closet with doors, two double beds and a dresser with another TV. In the closet, I found an iron with ironing board, luggage rack and a plush robe. With two separate rooms, my kids hung out in one room with their own TV while I read a book or worked in the other room. Nice feature, especially if this is a working vacation.

Our room at the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio featured two double beds.
Our room at Hotel Contessa featured two double beds overlooking downtown San Antonio. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

The bathroom features granite counters with a single sink and a separate make-up mirror. The mirror and decorative lighting are the centerpiece of the bathroom. I found ample towels and an over-sized tub. Hotel Contessa features signature toiletries: facial bar, bath bar, shampoo, conditioner, vanity kit with cotton swabs and balls and a shower cap. I didn’t find lotion or bath gel.

The sectional in the front room was big enough I didn’t move my son when he fell asleep watching TV. Thanks to the extra bedding in the closet, I propped a pillow under his head and covered him with the extra blanket. If your kids are smaller, I found plenty of room for a pack-n-play in the front room.

Our bathroom at The Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, featured granite countertops and an oversized tub.
Our bathroom at Hotel Contessa featured granite countertops, an oversized tub, a make-up mirror and signature toiletries. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Activities at Hotel Contessa

Hotel Contessa is a boutique hotel in size but not in amenities, offering a full-service restaurant, two bars, rooftop outdoor pool, a 24-hour fitness room and a day spa. Located steps away from each other, the spa, the pool and the fitness room, offer panoramic views of the vibrant downtown San Antonio.

The Contessa Hotel in San Antonio, features a 24-hour workout room.
The Contessa Hotel features a 24-hour workout room.

During our stay, we capped off our day at the rooftop pool. Though it’s smaller compared to a resort pool, my kids love the novelty of a rooftop pool with panoramic views, especially at night.

I skipped the swimming taking the opportunity to thumb through a magazine while the kids used up their final energy reserves. The rooftop pool is an oasis with plush loungers flanking the rectangular pool with a couple of double chaises. I found a hot tub and if you arrive earlier in the day, a rooftop bar.

Dining atHotel Contessa

Sitting at my tile-topped table, sipping coffee and listening to the River Walk wake up is a San Antonio ritual for me. The quiet morning belongs to the birds and the joggers; I delight in seeing a Mama Duck and her four ducklings.

I ordered a South Texas specialty, Huevos Rancheros at The Hotel Contessa.
At Las Ramblas Restaurant, I ordered a South Texas specialty, Huevos Rancheros.

Las Ramblas Restaurant serves up a breakfast buffet with all the usual hot and cold offerings ($16.95/adults, $6.50/kids). I ordered a South Texas favorite, Huevos Rancheros, off the menu while the kids enjoyed the buffet.

With seating on the River Walk, Las Ramblas offers indoor and outdoor dining from 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., daily. While enjoying my afternoon cocktail, I toast the newest couple on the River Walk. Las Ramblas is across from Marriage Island, the heart-shaped islet, that celebrates weddings.


Consideration for brands mentioned.

Know Before You Go

  • A $7 nightly amenity fee is charged.
  • For strollering families, the River Walk has numerous bridges to navigate. Pack your smallest stroller for your trip.
  • Valet parking is $36 a night with unlimited in/out. There are self-park garages nearby.
  • Wi-Fi is complimentary.

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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