Sunday, October 28, 2012

SAN ANTONIO: Marriott San Antonio Northwest

I recently spent one night at the Marriott San Antonio Northwest. It’s an older property and humble in comparison to the luxury of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country resort from which I’d just come, with an equally modest room rate of literally half what I paid at the resort. Nonetheless, it is a fine hotel for those seeking basic accommodations.

The hotel is a former Courtyard that has been rebranded a Marriott. That means a few things. The lobby is the open, multi-story affair that is common among Courtyards, complete with all its pros and cons. Although attractive, an open lobby can serve as an echo chamber for noise, which is most troublesome if your room opens directly to the atrium. At this particular property, many rooms are located down typical hotel corridors and do not face the atrium, so inquire upon check-in if that’s an issue for you.

The rebranding also means there’s no such thing as a free breakfast, though breakfast is available at one of the two onsite restaurants. The Red Rim Bistro offers southwestern cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The River City Cantina offers continental cuisine but only serves dinner.

Although the property is older, it has been well maintained. Furniture and fixtures in my guest room were in very decent shape, bed linens looked brand new, towels in the bath were of a thinner variety but not at all worn, and everything functioned as it should.

Guest rooms still have tube televisions instead of larger flat-screen TVs. The one in my room worked just fine so it’s only a “drawback” if, like me, you’re spoiled by larger, flat-screen models.

Other features include iron and ironing board, shampoo and other lotions and potions in the bath, a hairdryer, etc. I did not see an in-room safe, which is always nice for securing one’s traveling electronics.

While a refresh would help the hotel and its guest rooms look more contemporary and more appealing, it wouldn’t fix the lower ceilings in the rooms and the somewhat tight feeling that goes with them.

Service was very good. When I tried to log on to the wireless Internet, which was supposed to be complimentary, I was presented only pay-for-use options. A quick call to the front desk and the clerk assured me that he would take the per-day rate off my bill so I would not be charged. Service in the lounge was also attentive. The one hiccup was that the bathrobe I’d requested never came.

This property has a swimming pool, a fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights, maps with suggested routes for joggers, a business center and an airline check-in kiosk at the front desk. The hotel offers complimentary coffee in the lobby and a free shuttle to nearby San Antonio Airport hourly. Both start at 6:00 a.m.

While pleasant, it’s not luxurious. If luxury is what you’re after, you’ll have to choose another hotel and likely the higher rate that will come with it. But if convenience, good service, and modest but pleasant surroundings meet your needs, so will the Marriott San Antonio Northwest.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos by Carl Dombek
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