When you visit San Antonio, Texas you are surrounded in history. Just three blocks from The Alamo and the famed River Walk and across the street from Travis Park, the historic St. Anthony Hotel sits right next to two of the largest draws for travelers in the country. There are so many things to see and do in San Antonio, I was lucky enough to visit Texas during Fiesta in April and again to kick up my heels with cowboys at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February. I used the St. Anthony Hotel for my home base due to its central location and I wanted to check out its recent renovation. This Texas jewel, a National Historic Landmark property, is as fancy as a peacock’s tail feathers, yet as comfortable as a favorite pair of cowboy boots.
The St. Anthony recently went through a multi-million dollar renovation that spruced up the historic hotel and brought new restaurants and a sexy roof top pool to the property. While a grand staircase was removed to make room for the Library Cafe, some things remain the same. Dorthy Draper’s signature green touches are still prevalent throughout the luxury hotel and the famous Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano still sits gracefully outside the entrance of the St. Anthony Club. Originally ordered from Steinway New York in 1924 by the Russian Government to grace their Russian Embassy in Paris, France, hotel owner Ralph Morrison eventually managed to snag the piano back.
If the walls of this hotel could talk, you’d know that the Southwest Airlines concept came to life at the St. Anthony Club and the airline “got its wings” so to speak when the first airline route was penned on a cocktail napkin. If you are a San Antonio Spurs fan, you’ll be interested to know that Red McCombs negotiated the deal to buy the basketball team in the Club.
Enough about history, let’s talk hotel room details. I stayed in a superior king room, #412, on the fourth floor, overlooking Travis Park. The 342 square foot room offered plenty of room for two people and a privacy door so one person was able to use the bathroom while the other showered. No bath tub in this room, but I glanced into a suite upstairs and you could have a dance party in the bathroom and the tub was inside the shower area! All guests receive complimentary WiFi and there is a stocked refreshment center in the room and water bottles were left nightly with turn down service. FYI, there is no in-room coffee, you’ll need to head down to the lobby for fresh coffee, but it is worth the trek as it is much better than the freeze dried option. You’ll also have to call to the front desk if you want ice delivered to your room – no ice machines on any of the floors – then again, no poor sap gets stuck listening to ice cubes fall in the event they are housed next to the ice machine. There’s also a desk and 42 inch tv in the room, in addition to a Bose Wave music system. The plush robes and white slippers are a bonus for lounging like a celebrity – you may keep the slippers, not the robe.
Want to look good in those skin tight jeans or that fancy cocktail dress? There’s a fitness center located in the hotel and an outdoor rooftop heated swimming pool on property. If this is a romantic weekend you’ll want to head to the 10th floor for the perfect photo op or snuggle in the lounge chairs.
Traveling with your dog? The St. Anthony is pet-friendly, but only to four pawed pups under 40 pounds. The welcome kit includes a bed, bowl and mat for Fido.
St. Anthony dining options
There are six restaurants and bars under the roof of the St. Anthony hotel. Head to Haunt Bar for “spirited” cocktails. I enjoyed the Lavender Lady with lavender gin, lavender bitters, lemon & Processo, while my husband liked The Emerick Ghost whiskey, rose water, simple syrup and amarena cherry juice. It’s very clever how the Haunt Bar cocktails are named after ghosts. There were so many things to like about Rebelle Restaurant, from the 7 deadly sins libations menu to Chef Stefan Bowers take on French-inspired cuisine, you’ll not be disappointed. Try the char-broiled oysters or feast charred beets if they are on the menu. Of course, when in Texas, order the grilled quail or the rosemary & red pepper spiced lamb shank. For those who appreciate nostalgia – and a really tasty vegetable – order the St. Anthony famous spinach pudding – heavenly.
Need to know:
Rates start at $189.00 to $5,000.00 for the Presidential Suite per night, plus tax. Superior King room with view rates range from $229 – $549. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. There is a daily charge for parking at the hotel:$39 valet parking and $59 valet parking for oversized vehicles. The St. Anthony is a member of The Luxury Collection, Starwood SPG and San Antonio Lodging Association.
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
If you happen to stay at the hotel on a Tuesday night, you’ll want to hit up the Manager’s Reception from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday brunch anyone? Order El Gaucho with sirloin steak, pappas bravas & bacon if you like meat and tortillas at Rebelle. A friend ordered the Parisian Brioche French Toast and strawberries and was quite pleased with her selection. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and @theStAnthony on Twitter.
If You Go:
The St. Anthony Hotel (210) 227-4392
300 East Travis Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
The St. Anthony Hotel review, video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of St. Anthony Hotel while writing an article about the San Antonio Rodeo for another online publication.