The Grand Hyatt was opened in 2008 so it's just a few months old and we were able to find a decent deal for $129 per night for a hotel with access to the Riverwalk. I think this hotel is intended to be more of a convention/business hotel, everything has an extra charge-$23 for parking per night, $4 for bottled water, no refrigerator, $10 for wifi, breakfast not included.
We parked across the street for $8, we thought it would be a per day charge but as there was no one minding the gate when we exited, it was $8 for almost 2 days. There was a Denny's just up the street where we had breakfast.
Just next to the hotel there were stairs going down to the Riverwalk, the Hyatt isn't in the center of the dining section of the Riverwalk but we only had to walk for 10-15 minutes to get to the restaurants we wanted to go to. We were able to walk to the Alamo from here, we didn't use the car at all during our stay.
Room-our double room had two comfortable queen beds and a chaise lounge, plenty of pillows and blankets. There was a safe in the room and a coffeemaker.
Bathroom-plenty of hot water in the shower, toiletries were shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, lotion and soap. Towels were fluffy. There was a hairdryer in the bathroom with a ridiculously short cord, presumably to prevent electrocution
Facilities-there was a very nice exercise facility with lots of brand spanking new equipment plus an outdoor pool. The hotel has several places to drink or eat and had a lovely outdoor area with cushioned chairs and couches.
We had a wonderful stay at Joy's cabin for 8 nights. It was 7 of us and we still had plenty room to sleep and bascially jsut enjoy the wonderful atmosphere.
The place is very well taken care of and has everything you need for a nice relaxing stay.
A cute little cabin located on a little gravel road with cows and farms all around it.
Full stocked kitchen and it comes fully equiped with linnens, silverware, a washer, and everything else you need.
The best part about it is the peace and quiet you can enjoy while still only being 10 mins from San Marcos and Segui and about 30 mins from San Antonio.
The El Tropicano is certainly not on anyone's list of fine hotels in San Antonio, but it's a good value for the money. The hotel is conveniently located at the northern tip of the Riverwalk, right alongside the river...the walk downtown is about 10-15 minutes along a very pleasant but quiet stretch of the river (the river taxis stop right at the hotel as well). Within a few hundred feet of the hotel you will find the Municipal Auditorium, the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, and the Southwest school of Art and Craft. The Greyhound bus station is also just a few blocks away on the Riverwalk. We paid $119 per night plus taxes (=$140/night) for a room with two twin beds. Compared to other downtown hotels, this is a very good price. The hotel has a pool and large fitness center, but the breakfast costs an additional $12. Parking is another $10 per day.
Clarion Hotels recently purchased the El Tropicano was from Sheraton Four Points, and many of the tourist maps have yet to be updated. Along with the purchase comes a much-needed renovation that is still underway. Expect a few minor problems here, but nothing that will ruin your vacation. For example, the front desk area is separated from the elevator forcing guests to go outside the hotel and re-enter to use the elevator. During my visit in June 2006 the lobby was about 90% complete and looked great. The rooms on the other hand need lots of work... the ceiling paint is peeling, the toilets were installed crooked, the wallpaper has been poorly patched, and in some areas the carpet is coming up.
Sorry folks, i'm no guidebook... there are plenty of Holiday Inns, La Quintas, Motel 6, etc. If you want something different, then head to a B&B on the King William district. Also, several hostels in town do a google search online for the latest information on them.
Scottsman Inn 5210 Industrial Park Rd. San Antonio
$39 + 7.8% tax + $10 deposit for the TV remote control and room key (refunded in the morning when you return them to the front desk. $42 total (not including deposit)
We stayed at a small hotel about three blocks away from the river walk. I do not recall the name of it. By staying a short distance away we payed half the price for a room that we would have paid to have a hotel beside the river walk.
This B&B was ideal for our trip to San Antonio for several reasons...
- It's located in an attractive tree-lined neighborhood of historic homes. Some of these homes can be toured.
- If you enjoy urban hiking (as we do), it's possible to follow the RiverWalk to/from downtown San Antonio.
- For those times when we weren't in the mood to hike, there is a streetcar stop near the B&B.
In 2000, we paid $100 per night for a double room with private bath.
We're not the kind of guys who flip out over meals. But the quality of breakfast served here (included) is notable. It was worthy of the china and crystal tableware.
The hosts were friendly and very helpful. If you ask nicely, they might help you get tickets for the community theatre that's nearby (Alamo Street Theater).
We enjoyed using the parlor of the B&B to play games.
This makes an excellent shoice for a honeymoon. The Royal Swan is set in the historic King William district near downtown. Here, you will find a lot of historic homes, some of which have been converted into B&B's. There are some very nice rooms to choose from. We chose the Emerald Room, which had excellent furniture and decor. Just across the hall was the bathroom with a very large clawfooted bathtub. The common areas and the breakfast room is also well furnished. We enjoyed our stay and may very well return one day.
Close to the downtown trolley. Parking is available in the driveway.
Wow - I was surprised... I just happened upon this hotel - it had just been converted from a Doubletree (dump) and is finishing a multi-million dollar renovation. Was a stones throw from the airport and only 15 minutes from downtown shopping and the riverwalk. The staff was really nice - the rooms were beautiful -- what a great surprise! (I got a deal on the room rate too... they gave me a coupon to book directly on their website for a great rate!)
High Speed Wireless internet -- FREE! LOVE IT -- also had a free shuttle, free parking and a free microwave and refrigerator (though I did have to ask for it at the front desk)... they even had Nintendo in the room!
This is sort of a hybrid mix of an elegant downtown Hilton and its namesake Embassy Suites. The rooms have two areas: bedroom and a living/work area with a small fridge and microwave. On the first floor there is a cavernous area used for the complementary hot breakfast in the morning and the nightly manager's Reception from 5:30 to 7:30.
Almost half the rooms have small but functional balconies, most of which look out over the Riverwalk.
29 December 2009
Brand Senior Vice President
Howard Johnson and Travelodge
Wyndham Hotel Group
22 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ 07054
President and Chief Executive Officer
Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.
500 W. Madison Ave., Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60661
Re: Majid Akbani is Why I Will Never Stay at a Howard Johnson Express Inn Again
To the Management of Howard Johnson International, Inc. and Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.:
After riding my motorcycle through several hundred miles of winter rain, I arrived at the Howard Johnson Express Inn - San Antonio (13279 West IH-10, San Antonio TX 78249) just before 5:00am CT on 24 December 2009. I was exhausted, soaked, shivering cold, and badly in need of warmth and rest. I held a printout of my Orbitz reservation against the glass door of the front office to convince the young Indian night clerk to let me in. He informed me that although my three-night stay was prepaid, I would not be allowed to check in before 11:00am. Desperate for shelter from the wet and cold, I readily agreed to pay the full rate for an extra night in order to check in immediately. The clerk then noted that my reservation was for a ground floor room with a king bed, and that all he had available was a second floor room with two queens. I quickly said I'd take it. So he took my cash, handed me a key card, and assured me twice in the process I would have the option of either staying in that room, or moving to one like I had reserved later in the day.
I parked my Harley behind the motel, and then lugged my gear up to room 227. Once inside, I opened my "waterproof" touring bag to discover that almost everything I'd packed was soaking wet. So I turned the heater up to high, and began hanging and spreading my clothes to dry as best I could throughout the room. By the time I was done it was nearly 6:00am, so I returned to the hotel lobby for some hot coffee and nourishment. I was seated in the tiny breakfast nook eating tasteless powdered eggs and what I guessed to be airline surplus "turkey bacon" when the droning of the TV news channel was overcome by what sounded like an argument in a foreign language. I looked over my left shoulder to see the night clerk receiving what I suspect was a chewing-out from another Indian who was apparently his superior. That man then looked and pointed over at me, curtly demanding to know if I was "the guy in 227". I said I was, and he ordered--not asked, ordered--me to come to the front desk and re-register later in the day. I asked why, and he snapped back with "Because that is what you have to do!" Not being one to respond well to orders, threats or ultimatums, I made it clear to the irritating little tyrant that I would stop by the front desk when I was finished eating, and he could do whatever he needed to do then. He fumed back with "Fine!"
A few minutes later, I walked over to re-register with the ill-tempered (mis)manager I now know to be Majid Akbani. As he banged away on his keyboard, he arrogantly asserted "Let's see if I will let you stay in the same room." Well, having spent all that time spreading out my wet clothes in a room I'd been told twice was mine to keep, I assured him that I expected that commitment to be honored. He sharply blurted back that my room assignment was *his* to make, and threatened me with "I can kick you out right now if I want to!" Shocked but not intimidated, I warned him that any such action on his part would assure more negative online reviews for him and his motel, and severely damage the Howard Johnson brand reputation for hospitality. He scoffed at that, claiming he "could care less" about his terrible reviews because the motel stayed booked up every night anyway. He then glared at me, and perhaps I glared back at him. And after a pregnant pause, his voice went up an octave as he shouted "You think I am afraid of you? I am not afraid of you! I am going to let you stay in 227, but not because I am afraid of you!"
My only response was to take my new key card and return to the room. From there, at a little after 7:00am, I called Howard Johnson Customer Service at 1-800-544-9881 and filed complaint #2469548. In so doing, I realized I had not taken note of the rude manager's name, so I put on my jacket and went back to the office to get it. On the wall to the left of the front counter was a Howard Johnson's franchise plaque that read "MAJID AKBANI, General Manager". As he was standing close by, I asked if that was his name. He said yes, and I started to write it down in my notebook. Observing that, he spit out "Here! Take my business card!" and literally threw a card at me which reads as follows:
13279 W. Interstate 10 . San Antonio, TX 78249-2207
Phone: 210-558-7152 . Fax: 210-558-7228
Operated under franchise agreement with Howard Johnson International, Inc.
He then said something I didn't quite catch, but it ended up with "I am calling the police to throw you out of here!"
I discounted this threat as a temper tantrum, and turned around to walk into the "Business/Fitness Center" and check my email on an antiquated PC. I then returned to my room, thinking the worst of the drama was behind me, and hoping I could finally get some sleep. Not long after I dozed off, though, my slumber was interrupted by the ringing of the room phone. It was, of course, Majid Akbani, claiming he had called both Howard Johnson corporate and Orbitz to say he was refunding my money and demanding that I leave immediately. I reassured him I had no intention of leaving before my three paid days were up, and hung up the phone with him still babbling on unintelligibly. Too tired to be infuriated at that point, I soon fell back to sleep.
An hour or so later, my much-needed rest was disrupted once more, this time by someone knocking on the door. I assumed it was Majid Akbani continuing his insane tirade, and ignored the banging. Minutes later, the room phone rang again. This time, it was Majid Akbani informing me that the police were on site and waiting to speak to me. I suggested he send them up. Moments later, I answered a renewed pounding on my door by yelling for whoever to hold on while I put on a shirt. I then opened the door, and invited in the two representatives of San Antonio's finest who'd been bruising their knuckles.
Once inside my room, the two policemen were very relaxed and polite, and almost seemed to be holding back snickers as they dutifully informed me that Majid Akbani was "allowing me to stay, so long as I agreed not to do anything to him". I then related my side of the story, with which they clearly sympathized. They then both smiled as I assured them that, although Majid Akbani was the rudest hotel manager/clerk I had ever known, I was not about to slit his throat on Christmas Eve.
The rest of my stay at the Howard Johnson Express Inn of San Antonio was uneventful, with Majid Akbani either looking the other way or walking the other way whenever our paths almost crossed. But the damage was done, and I hereby urge you to take whatever action is necessary to assure that Majid Akbani is never again allowed to rudely abuse another innocent and unsuspecting hotel guest. At a minimum, I insist that (a) Majid Akbani's affiliations with Howard Johnson International, Inc. and the Wyndham Hotel Group be permanently severed, and (b) the Howard Johnson Express Inn of San Antonio be removed from the Orbitz hotel/motel reservations database until these and all other appropriate corrective actions have been taken.
In closing, please note that the numerous negative online reviews you will find in the Google search results I link hereinbelow provide ample evidence that the intolerably rude manner in which I was treated by Majid Akbani was not an isolated incident, but rather part of a consistent and inexcusable pattern of hotel guest abuse which neither Howard Johnson International nor Orbitz Worldwide can afford to ignore:
And finally, know that inaction on your part will assure further action on mine.
88--- Overseas Hwy, Unit -----
Islamorada, FL 33036
[ NeverStayAtHoJoSA@yahoo.com ]
Read this document online here: http://neverstayathojosa.ueuo.com/
Majid Akbani, General Manager of the Howard Johnson Express Inn of San Antonio, is the rudest hotel manager or clerk I have ever had the displeasure to deal with.
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