When I headed to San Antonio this week to attend an event with Cooper Tire, I was super excited about the historical hotel we would be staying at. Located in a city rich in history, the Omni La Mansion del Rio also has quite a story of its own.
While today it stands as a beautiful Spanish-style hotel with arches and columns, cloistered courtyards and a gorgeous riverfront location, this San Antonio family-friendly hotel has a story and location rich in culture and history.
The year after the fall of the Alamo in 1852, a small school originally known as St. Mary’s Institute occupied the land and opened its doors for the first time to students. Over the next 100+ years, the school grew to ultimately a law school where it remained open until 1966 when it was moved to the Woodlawn campus.
A former St. Mary’s law student then purchased the property, an addition was added and the entire location was transformed from the European building that it had been for years into a luxury, riverfront, Spanish-style hotel to reflect the city’s cultural ties to Spain and Mexico.
The Omni La Mansion del Rio is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio on the banks of the Paseo de Rio and along the historic River Walk.
One of the best features of this hotel is the proximity to most of the major kid-friendly activities in the city. Don’t forget your walking shoes because not only will you be steps away from the River Walk (well, the hotel is actually riverfront property!), you are a short walk to The Alamo, El Mercado, San Antonio Children’s Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Plaza Theatre of Wax, Amazing Mirror Maze, dinosaur exhibit at the mall, plenty of shopping and a variety parks for the kids to play.
Upon arriving at the La Mansion, guests are greeted by a staff of courteous and helpful valet employees. If you are traveling with children, a kid’s mini-backpack will be handed to them with small toys and a candy or two to keep them busy during the check-in process. Nice touch!
The check-in was easy and painless and I breezed through it in less than 5 minutes with the help of the extraordinary staff at the front desk.
On my way to my room, I stopped to chat with the concierge to find out the best places to shop and eat in the vicinity. I was very pleased with his knowledge of the area and grateful that he gave me a map and pointed me in the direction of all the kid-friendly activities that are available to families in downtown San Antonio.
The hotel is extremely well-kept and I loved the Spanish influence throughout the property including the sombreros when you walk in to the dramatic columns and arches at every turn.
My room was perfect from not only having one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in at a hotel in a long time but it was complete with an amazing view of the River Walk. For parents traveling with small kids, cribs are available in your rooms and I found that there was plenty of room to accommodate one.
If you can manage a room with a River Walk view, I highly recommend it as it would keep the kids busy people watching for quite a while. Of course, young children should be supervised at all time on the balcony.
For guests looking to eat at the hotel, there is the wonderful restaurant, Las Canarias, on the first floor. While you can have a romantic dinner for two, the restaurant also happily accommodates children with plenty of high chairs and a kids’ menu. Reservations are not required but are recommended during busier dining times and on weekends.
For travelers looking for something a little more low-key, there is a bar in the lobby that also serves food but it is the same selection (comes from the same kitchen) as the main restaurant.
There is a beautiful, heated pool in the center of the hotel that is great for the kids, and if you visit on a Saturday night, they even feature poolside, kid-friendly movies.
There are no workout facilities on property but there is a luxurious Mobil Four Star Spa & world-class Fitness center located directly across the River Walk at their companion property, Mokara Hotel & Spa. I didn’t have time this trip to explore this spa but you can be assured it is on my to-do list for the next time I visit.
Overall, if you are looking for a great place to stay with the family in San Antonio that is the heart of the action, the Omni La Mansion Del Rio is a fabulous choice. Don’t forget to watch our travel video review of the Omni La Mansion del Rio at the top of the post to get an up close and personal look at the hotel!