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During a family trip to Texas, TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert enjoyed a two-night stay at the St. Anthony Hotel, a recent addition to Starwood’s Luxury Collection. Read on for her full impressions.
My family and I recently made a brief stop at the St. Anthony Hotel, part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection portfolio in San Antonio. We were in town to enjoy some Tex-Mex and to take in a Spurs vs. Clippers game, meeting about halfway between our respective homes of New York and San Diego. And though our seats at the AT&T Center weren’t quite as impressive as the ones TPG has enjoyed at Knicks games thanks to SPG Moments, the hotel itself provided all the luxury and comfort we could have wanted.
Set about a five-minute stroll from the River Walk, the St. Anthony Hotel only recently came into the Starwood fold. The property itself is hardly new, though. In fact, it was the first property in the world to be fully air-conditioned, and LBJ famously honeymooned here. The building’s history is on display via throwback decor and hardcover books placed in every guestroom, and from the building itself to the furniture it’s clear why the St. Anthony Hotel earned a place among Starwood’s most unique portfolio of hotels. The grand opening for the newly minted Luxury Collection property took place in July, and everything about the property was classy and modern.
We booked our stay during Starwood’s Cyber Monday sale and were able to nab each standard room for about $214 per night, including taxes. The St. Anthony is a Category 4 Starwood hotel, meaning it’s bookable for 10,000 Starpoints a night. Considering that standard rooms are going for $289 and up per night in February and March (before tax), this property could be a great candidate for an award redemption. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, Starpoints are worth 2.5 cents apiece, so redeeming 10,000 points equals about $210 per night — better than the previously mentioned rates for upcoming months.
With the current sign-up offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, which nets you 25,000 points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening, you could earn two free nights at this property and would be just 2,000 Starpoints shy of one additional award night (factoring in the points you’d earn by spending $3,000).
After a 4-hour United flight from Newark, my boyfriend and I arrived at San Antonio International Airport (SAT) around 9pm, from which it was a painless 15-minute Uber ride to the St. Anthony Hotel in Downtown San Antonio. Upon stepping into the hotel, we were immediately struck by the unique furniture and modern-library-esque decor, not to mention the pleasant but very strong scent of candles and/or home fragrance.
There was no wait at check-in and the associate at the front desk was very friendly, asking us if we wanted any restaurant recommendations for the night and arranging the room keys to be ready for my parents when they checked in slightly later. Even though we traveled light, a porter insisted on accompanying us to our room to unlock our mini-bar. He, too, was very friendly — this was definitely an ongoing theme throughout our stay.
We had booked two rooms: one for my boyfriend and me, and one for my parents. One room was upgraded to a deluxe room and the other to a junior suite (thanks to his SPG Platinum status) — we opted to take the former so my parents could enjoy the larger space.
It turned out that the biggest difference between these room categories was a small living room and a bigger bathroom in the suite — in any case, both rooms were quite spacious.
We found a welcome gift of chocolate-covered strawberries in our room (my parents got the same thing in theirs).
Our Deluxe room overlooked Travis Park, a small square that was beautifully decked out in Christmas lights. I appreciated the large windows, which let in plenty of light in addition to providing a great view of the festive scene below.
I was a fan of the decor, which walks the line between modern and Old World with a mix of Art Deco headboards, emerald-green velvet pillows and simple furniture. The King bed was pretty comfortable though the pillows were a bit too stiff for my liking. Still, that didn’t stop me from getting some quality sleep both nights of our stay.
The bathroom includes a very spacious shower (no tub) and is stocked with Elemis products, which are among the better toiletries you’ll find at a Starwood hotel.
My parents were very happy with their suite, which included a modestly sized living room with a couch and a coffee table, as well as a larger shower.
Otherwise, the junior suite was pretty much identical to our deluxe room in terms of amenities and decor.
While our room looked out over Travis Park, the junior suite offered a view of the hotel’s pool deck. It was a tad too chilly for any of us to go for a swim, but it looked like a great place to hang out in warmer months.
Service and Amenities
My parents were hungry when they landed around 10:30pm, when most nearby restaurants were already closed, so they decided to order room service — and I opted to join them. They enjoyed a club sandwich and I ordered a side of French fries, which were absolutely delicious (and not in a greasy way). Room service also sent up two complimentary slices of gingerbread cheesecake, a nice gesture of holiday cheer.
It’s also worth noting that the mini-bar items were very reasonably priced. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beer for anything near as low as $6 at a Starwood property before! Even though I didn’t partake of anything this time around, it’s nice to know there are onsite drink and snack options that won’t break the bank. Also worth noting: Wi-Fi at this property was some of the fastest we’ve ever used at a Starwood hotel.
There’s a fitness center located on the sixth floor, and it includes a comprehensive selection of modern equipment.
The facility also provided cold towels (arranged with cold cucumbers — a nice, luxe touch) and cold water bottles.
I didn’t use the gym during our stay — though it would have been a great way to burn off some of our heavy Tex-Mex meals — but it seemed very well-maintained.
We chose continental breakfast as our SPG Platinum benefit, and we were impressed by the selection offered at the restaurant set off the lobby. The staff said we could choose anything on the menu — including multiple items — and we tried a variety of options on our two mornings at the hotel. Standouts were the Texas-shaped Belgian waffles and the shrimp and grits.
In addition to offering lovely rooms and nice breakfast entrées, the St. Anthony Hotel boasts incredibly friendly staff. In addition to the check-in agent, porter and concierge who assisted us on our first night, we had a great server at breakfast named Will. He chatted with us about San Antonio, basketball, Mexican food and more — and on our morning of departure he brought us candles and the same book about the St. Anthony Hotel found in our guestroom. I was so charmed by how friendly he (and everyone) else was, and while I don’t have a problem with the anonymity of bigger hotels, the staff here definitely made this stay memorable.
I’m not usually one to gush about hotels, but the St. Anthony definitely holds a special place among several great Starwood hotels I’ve visited recently. The classy/quirky decor and spacious guestrooms were lovely, and the above-and-beyond hospitality made all of us feel welcome. My family’s decided to make San Antonio an annual destination, and I highly doubt we’ll be staying anywhere other than the St. Anthony Hotel when we return!
Have you stayed at this property? Share your experience in the comments below!
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