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Grand Hyatt San Antonio REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Grand Hyatt San Antonio REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Mar 28, 08, 3:14 pm
  #1  
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Grand Hyatt San Antonio REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Well my first stay at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio was not that great. I was here for a convention. Understand a lot of my review comes while this hotel is probably only 75% complete and there was ongoing construction. I will stay here again in the future because the staff seemed very apologetic to everyone. The hotel as many know was supposed to open in early-mid February but it did not open until last week (somewhere in the neigborhood of March 20). The hotel was obviously not ready for occupancy. I checked in on Tuesday March 25. I get to the hotel around noon and was told my room would not be available until 4:00p at the earliest. Come to find out my room was still under construction in some form when I arrived. I finally got into my room around 4:00p. The door would not lock, the toilet didn't work and the ac was out. Not a good start. They came quickly to fix the door and toilet but not the ac. Fortunately it was a pretty cool eveing in SA so it was not too uncomfortable in the room. The problem was that at 6:00am someone was knocking on the door to fix the ac. Didn't answer they knocked again around 6:45a and I sternly asked them to come back when I was up and showered. AC did get fixed. Got back from the convention and I found the worst job ever from hotel maid service in making up the room. They did not pick up any trash just threw the comforter on the bed in a very sloppy manner and they did not replenish the coffee. We did call to come and replinish the coffee but didn't show up until almost 11:00p to do so. That was Wednesday night. Thursday seemed really ok until bed time. I was on the fifteenth floor. About 11:00p last night they started working to finish all the rooms on 16, 17, 18, and 19 and the few rooms on 15 that weren't finished in time for the arrival of all the Final Four Folks next week. All night we had to endure the sounds that come along with hotel rooms under construction. This morning when I went to check out the staff were very accomodating. I explained to them my stay was less than pleasant. They comped all my food and drinks and cut my room bill in half. I think the staff were clearly frustrated at the situation when the hotel probably should not have opened when it did. The problem was they pre booked the convention that I am at and the Final Four and with no rooms available in the city their hands are tied. Like I say I will come back because the staff seemed truly sorry and did what they could to accomodate. I definitely don't put this on them but on Hyatt Corporate or whoever actually owns the hotel for being so zealous in getting this hotel opened. I am sure after they get all the kinks worked out this will be a fine Grand Hyatt with the service we would all expect. On a good not the food in the restaurant was really good and they have a great breakfast buffet.
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Old May 7, 08, 5:21 am
  #2  
 
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I stayed last week.

THE CHECK-IN:
I drove up in my pickup with an entire bell cart worth of stuff for a conference. While I was asked how I wished to park (self -- for $23 -- thus saving $7 a day + tips over valet), I was not offered any assistance with unloading the 3 cases, 3 boxes, and two personal bags. However, I was quickly assisted when I began to pull the cart toward the check-in desk myself. They apparently didn't like me pulling the cart.

The line at check-in was long but there was no one using the touch screen self-check-in, so I headed there. I swiped the card I guaranteed the room with and it showed me two potential options; one was me and one was a name completely unlike mine from Indiana or some other state I've never been to... I can only guess that her CC# was close to mine. I touched my name and thought I was home free. It then asked for my confirmation number, which I entered and pressed "OK." I got an error message that said "Incorrect Key." From there I had to start all over. After getting the same message (and examining the screen closely to see that my only options were number buttons, "cancel," and "ok"), a front desk agent came over and assisted me.

Then I was off to my room. I saw my cart sitting near the elevators, with no bell staff visible anywhere in the lobby (save for the two manning the bell desk about 75 yards away). Not eager to wait any longer, I grabbed my cart and headed toward the elevator. The bellstaff quickly appeared out of nowhere to help me out then.

THE ROOM:
The 24th floor (concierge floor) was the only floor not at all open; I stayed on the 19th floor and apparently the 20th-23rd floors still had some work going on. (Actually the 19th still clearly had some work to be done, as exactly half of the elevator lobby on the floor had wallpaper. The other half had primed walls which I would have just thought was a very dull color if I hadn't seen where the wallpaper stopped.

Also, the guest hallways have several recesses for storage, ice/vending, etc. which look very much like the entrance to the elevator lobby and can be pretty confusing. (The Waterford Marriott in OKC has the same problems).

When I got back to my room later the first evening, there was a sizable wet spot in the carpet. I called downstairs and they sent an engineer up. The engineer found the spot and had a conversation on his radio that indicated there had been a construction-related leak on 20 earlier that day and they believed that to be the source of the spot. Whatever. The wet spot did not appear to be getting larger and there was no way I was going to move all my stuff. My room was a bit muggy that evening, but it was fine by the next day.

There was lots of finish work that wasn't done or was done sloppily in the guest areas. In the hall on 19, there were some issues with carpet seams and with carpet not being laid straight (they used stripes that cut across the hall, but part of the hall is perpendicular to the main hall, thus wavy lines where they should clearly be straight). There were marks on guestroom doors and the wall corners in hallways where either construction equipment or furniture had scraped by indiscriminately; likewise with dirty spots on the brand new carpet. My shower tiles had measurements written on them in pencil that had never been rubbed/washed off and the undermount sink had caulk-cicles hanging down all around the edge of the marble countertop.

The closet had a very cool giant wall/door that, while neat, would have gone much better in a 1000+ SF master suite than in a ~350 SF hotel room. When opened all the way, it came within 3 inches of creating an completely sealed off ante-room, which may have been the idea, though I have no idea why.

The one place they most clearly went cheap was with the connecting doors. The guest in the room next to mine was on the phone until about 12:30 - 1:00 AM both nights I was there. I tried turning on the TV, but could still hear him over my TV.

MEETING ROOMS
My room was not the only muggy part of the hotel. The entire first day of our meeting, the meeting rooms were tremendously muggy. The foam core signs outside the rooms were all curled up and I smelled like a wet sheep in my wool suit. At least the temperature was good in our room, which is more than I can say for some of the other rooms I was in briefly that day.

Again, there were finishing details that were off. There was a three inch wide patch of carpet (about 15-20 feet long) that appeared to be done with remnants because they either had failed to order the threshold for the location or because someone had screwed up the carpet order. Throughout much of the 2nd floor there was no baseboard so the rough edge of the carpet and rough bottom of the wall covering were exposed. A couple places had peeling wallpaper (probably not unrelated to the humidity/HVAC issues). And some of their fancy directional monitors (both listing all meetings and those listing just meetings in a certain room) appeared not to fit the hole that was roughed out for them (in some cases they had a bezel and there was still a gap; in some cases they were waiting on a bezel).

The banquet staff was pretty good, though they tended to make themselves scarce during the breaks, which, coincidentally, is when all the food and coffee disappears and is in need of refill. It was annoying on day 1 to see them bring out a refill of food AFTER the attendees went back in the room (in a steamer tray that looked big enough to have all the food in the first place). Also, neither the banquet staff nor the bell staff seemed to understand how to handle exhibitors, which led to long delays in getting any help of any sort.

That said, the quality of the banquet food at all times of the day was very good.

I went to the business center. They had a big copier/printer, which was nice. It was in a separate room, presumably to cut down on noise. The separate room was walled off by glass for which there was no door hardware -- just a couple 1/2 inch holes in anticipation of hardware and lots of greasy fingerprints around the holes on the door.

FOOD & BEVERAGE:
I did not dine in the restaurant, but the dinner and dessert I had in my room one night was good. The beverage selection in the Roja Bar was good, though the wait staff was less than attentive. The salty/sweet snack mix at the bar was terrific.

PARKING:
The garage is still under construction and there are lots of places that are clearly spaces though there are no lines. This was nice because it meant there were often good spaces where people were just too timid to park. Downside to the whole situation was that after walking through the garage you had so much dust on your shoes that walking on the marble floors of the lobby were like walking on ice.

Well, that's about all I've got, I think... if I think of more and it's important, I'll add it.

Overall, this probably WILL BE a nice hotel, in about 6 months or so. It certainly will be well appointed and I don't see Hyatt letting service fall at their new property (even if it means they raid the cupboard at the very well managed Regency about 8 blocks away). Well, let's hope that the finishing out of the condos (floors 25 and up) doesn't last too long or cause too many problems for hotel guests.

As an aside, the original open date was Feb 6. The actual date was March 23, but that was VERY limited capacity for the first couple weeks. This is all rumor, but I heard from various sources (could be echo chamber, I admit) that the contractor was coughing up $75,000/day for every day after Feb 6 that they weren't open (two sources told me $500k/week; one source told me $75k/day; none of these three sources worked for the same company or -- to my knowledge -- know each other).

Hope that helps.
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Old May 7, 08, 9:11 am
  #3  
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lets just say this place is on the bottom of my list of hotel choices in the CC or RW area

they called me one week prior to my arrival that the property opening is behind schedule and rebooked me to a piece of crap property a 15 minute walk away.. so I rebooked myself at the MR RW across the street

After getting a suite at the MR RW, it was quite clear this property was not even close to being completed and that waiting till a week before to call me was nothing short of bush league management

the above post only supports this stance that this is a bush league run property
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Old Oct 10, 08, 8:58 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I stayed there last weekend. From the second I pulled in, from the bell boy to the check in desk, everybody was very attentive. The parking staff was opening the door before I even unbuckled my seat belt and welcoming me to the hotel. The car was unloaded and parked before I could say “Thank you”. I walked to the front desk to check in. The computer terminals were not working, but the desks were fully manned so the check in was seamless. I was given a “diamond choice” coupon for every room, which was a nice touch. We were up to the rooms in less than 5 minutes. One room was for me and my wife, the other was for my daughter and her best friend. Our room was average on the 18th floor, but with a great view of San Antonio. The bell boy, after unloading our luggage, took the girls to their room, unloaded then came back to inform me that the girls found the room satisfactory but according to him it had a lingering cigarette smoke smell and was wondering if we wanted to change it. We told him that the room was fine if the girls did not have a problem.
At this point I realized that I did not know where the Regency lounge was. I called the front desk and was told that the Regency lounge was not opened yet, but it was scheduled to be opened on October 6th. At that point I asked about breakfast coupons. I was offered a coupon for each person for each day. I thought that was a nice touch. My wife and I had dinner at restaurant at the river level. The service was impeccable, the location was perfect – at the end of the Riverwalk next to the convention center, away from the beaten path. As a result it was a very nice evening, with very few people walking by.
The next morning we tried the workout room on the fifth floor. It has stunning views of the downtown with a beautiful vanishing swimming pool. We had breakfast back at the restaurant. The food was the average offering, but the service, again, was excellent. I will stay there again.
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Old Nov 30, 08, 6:31 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I just checked out today after a two night stay using FFN certs. Mrs drnp and I have a 3 month old baby, so we thought we would burn my FFNs on some place close by. I called the hotel the night before and requested a crib for my room. We booked a standard King room.

Check-in: Got there a little after 4pm, parked in the previously mentioned parking garage across the street for 1/3 of the price of the Hyatt garage. No line at check-in desk. Plenty of kiosks available as well. I went to the manned desk. Agent told me she could see that I had requested a crib on the reservation notes and that it should already be set up, but to call if there were any problems. She did this before I even had a chance to ask about the crib.^ Lobby is very nicely decorated. Decor is modern with plenty of sofas in lobby for longing, as well as a bar and a small coffee shop.
Room: Had 2162, which is a standard room king room. Had a decent view of San Antonio. The crib was indeed already set up with some mini bottles of baby lotion and powder as a nice touch. Bathroom was very nice. Marble sink and the white ginger bath amenities. It is a good size for a standard room. There was a sofa along the window and a wide desk for work if needed.
Room service: Ordered room service the first night. Had a cheeseburger, grilled chicken sandwich, and an appetizer which all tasted pretty good. Total bill was around $50. Took about 40 mins to deliver.
Location: it is right next to the convention center. It is within walking distance to the Alamo, rivercenter mall, and has an entrance to the riverwalk (its downstairs from the lobby next to the restaurant). We never needed to take the car out of the garage until we went home.
Service: On the first night, there were many people making noise in the hallway outside our room. It started about 11pm and they got progressively louder. We called the front desk and was told security would be called. We heard security telling them to be quiet about 15 mins later. However, noise continued well past midnight. At this point, our baby kept waking up because of the noise. We called down again, and again security came about 15 mins later. This time, he knocked on our door. When we opened it, he asked "did we call to complain about the noise?", to which we said yes. He turned and told everyone to go to their rooms or to the lobby and that this was their final warning. Turns out it was about 6-7 people, adults and kids, sitting in the area right outside our door. They were sitting down on the floor and eating fast food The next day, a manager called our room to apologize for the complaints the night before and to tell us that those guests had checked out as their convention had ended that day. She went on to ask if she could offer us free breakfast the next day to make it up to us.^ We asked if we could have it in the form of room service instead of the breakfast buffet. She agreed and told us to order whatever we would like. Every member of the staff that we encountered was extremely polite and professional. We would recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a nice hotel in San Antonio. Also, I did not see any signs of construction or hear any construction noise while I was there.

drnp
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Old Dec 7, 08, 10:57 am
  #6  
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Just finished my first (of two) stays at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio Riverwalk and was unimpressed. The listed room rate on the door placard was $750 a night; I would be royally miffed if I had paid 1/3 that amount.

The negatives:
  • The hotel changed the "guaranteed rate" upwards $5 on the first stay - the associate tells me it's been raised $6 for the second stay; can't be changed by front desk staff. As this wasn't on my travel authorization, it comes from my pocket (complaint to GoldPassport forthcoming). In addition, this is "too late to cancel your other stay; you would be charged anyway".
  • Someone had opened and drank some of the water out of one of the $4 bottles of water, of which I notified the front desk. I had only read about this on FT previously.
  • Attention to detail is lacking; evidence:
    1. The door of the room wouldn't latch unless forceably closed - this is not only a personal safety / property safety issue but a fire safety issue.
    2. The thermostat in the room clicks very loudly when turning AC / heat on; this is next to the bed.
    3. Could see a "ring" on bathroom counter where someone had placed a drink.
    4. Halls and corridors looked a lot better than expected (based upon previous posts) but the patching / painting of walls, particularly in the recreation area roof, was very kludge.

Positive aspects:
  • Sitting in the lounge in the room (22nd floor), looked directly at the Tower of the Americas; very nice in the evenings.
  • Very broad away of equipment available in the recreation area.
  • Pool was a comfortable temperature for a December evening (now when one got out, that was a different story . . .)

I think I would have been better off staying in the Hyatt Place a short walk away, although location is not as desirable.
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Old Dec 8, 08, 3:14 pm
  #7  
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

Didn't get a response to any of the e-mails or original phone call; called back and spoke to polite individual in Accounting - he fixed the rate for previous stay as well as current. Was checked back into the same darn room I was in the night before last, and the same darn opened bottle of $4 water was there. A housekeeper asked if my room was OK and replaced the bottle when I showed her although I won't be using it (just seems to be "icky" to me). At least off to a better start to round two.
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Old Jun 2, 09, 9:36 pm
  #8  
thc
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I stayed at this property for 1 night about a month ago. It's a great property. The Regency Club is very nice and well staffed. As a Diamond, I got an upgrade to a suite (my stay was right after all the recent changes to the Diamond program).

But the best thing about this hotel has to be the gym. The gym is amazing. It's huge for a hotel gym and very spacious.

The only negative about this hotel is that the location is a little out of the way. If you want to be in the center of everything, the older Hyatt on Losoya is a much better choice.
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Old Sep 9, 09, 2:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Just stayed in this hotel over Labor Day weekend and was very pleased. As a convention center hotel, it didn't seem very busy as we expected for a holiday weekend. Others have indicated it is off the beaten path, which we didn't find to be a problem since it is a nice stroll or river taxi ride to all the Riverwalk restaurants and shopping.

As a Diamond, we were upgraded (without asking) to a "Grand Suite," which consisted of 2 connecting rooms, one of which had a bed, bathroom, lounge chair desk and TV, the other had a large Queen sofa bed, coffee table, full bathroom, desk and TV. Having the extra bathroom and TV worked out nicely traveling with our teenage daughter. Suite was on the 21st floor with nondescript city view. Soundproofing was very good. Our bedroom was adjacent to a mechanical room that was quite noisy in the hall, but we couldn't hear a thing inside our room.

The Grand Club on the 23rd floor was very nice and has a great view of the Tower of the Americas. Their coffee machine is the best I've seen at a Hyatt. It is very fast and offers a nice variety of latte, espresso, capuccino coffees. They keep refrigerators stocked with water, soft drinks and juices to help yourself to throughout the day with an honor bar in the evening. Breakfast was a nice assortment of pastries, bagles, fresh fruit (Sliced pineapples and papayas reminded me of the clubs in Hawaii.) Huge cookies were offered mid day with cold hors d'ouvres and delicious desserts in the evening.

We found the service at the hotel to be excellent, although there seemed to be an issue with the posting of our GP credits, which a call to CS rectified. My DH is staying at this property on business next month and has already been notified he has been upgraded to a suite again. They do treat their Diamonds well there!

You can find some great offer codes for this and other San Antonio properties at the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau website: visitsanantonio.com.
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Old Jan 1, 10, 5:57 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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A Great New Year's Eve Destination...Despite Issues

First, let me say the Stbeeman Family loves this property, and we will be back. We've stayed at the property three times this year, and each has been very enjoyable. Our most recent stay was New Year's Eve 2009 on FFN credits. We booked early through the Hyatt Diamond Line, requesting 2 adjoining rooms (one King, one with Doubles) and zero feather products in the rooms (Mrs. Stbeeman has a violent go-to-the-ER allergy). Incidentally, "feather-free" is part of my profile (will be significant later). Once the reservations were confirmed, I called the hotel to speak to the Director of Rooms, Mr. S-- who I had met previously, to try and work out a few special details for the stay. His assistant was wonderful, super helpful, and ensured we had adjoining rooms with a view of the Tower of the Americas where the evening's fireworks display would be. On New Year's Eve I called the Hyatt and spoke to a front desk manager to ensure all the details were correct. They lost the record for "feather free" so we spoke about correcting that, and confirmed the view, etc. About five hours later we drove down to check in. That's where the problems started.

First, we couldn't get to the hotel. While 250,000 people converge on San Antonio's Hemisfair Park for the event, that was not the problem. The GH valet simply could not process cars quickly enough. The police had to block one entrance to the hotel with a cruiser, resulting in a completely different traffic pattern. Normally, we exit I-37 on Commerce Street, make a left on Bowie, and head straight into the property - a 5 minute exercise. In this case, it took over an hour, because the valets couldn't keep up and the police kept directing folks to circulate. Once we did get onto the property, there were 2 valets there, 20+ baggage carts, and no bellmen. No wonder they were backed up!

Check In went great through the Diamond VIP position. I confirmed with Ms. G-- that we had adjoining rooms on 12th floor (1263, 1265) and that they were free of feather bedding. She arranged for Mr. S-- to greet me, and the two of them offered our family a series of additional amenities since we did not get dessert at the Grand Club on 23 (it was closing as we arrived). The personal attention was outstanding, and both were very apologetic about the valet issue (this has been a problem on 3 of our four stays at the property, 2 this year).

After greeting the bellman at our room (who did not offer any assistance with ice, etc. in spite of a $20 tip), Little Beeman and I headed over to the Grand Club just in case it was unlocked: I needed coffee, and Mrs. Stbeeman wanted a bottle of water. It turned out Ms. J- was on duty, who recognized me from our prior stay and went to the kitchen to get out cheesecake, cookies, and snacks that were already put away. She gave us a handful of waters, some coffee, and some sodas and helped us take it back to the room. Absolutely wonderful service and WAY beyond the call of duty!

By the time we got back to the room, Mr. S-- had sent up a bottle of Canvas Merlot, two scotches (a fine Oban 14 - yes they know me there!) and a sample of cheeses and fruits. The gentleman who delivered everything filled our ice buckets and wished us a Happy New Year. Much toasting, snacking, and such ensued while we waited for the fireworks display. When midnight struck, we were treated to the finest display I've ever seen, including Boston's and DC's. Sitting almost adjacent to the fireworks was simply awesome, and doing it in the comfort of a wonderful hotel room with snacks and booze was A-OK!

Then it was time for bed (0100) and we found - dah da dum! - the bedding was all down and the pillows were feather pillows. We called the front desk immediately to ask for assistance correcting the situation and the Housekeeping Manager, Mr. E-- came up and personally rectified the situation. I explained to him (after he asked) that we had made the request a week ago, confirmed it same day, and been assured the room was feather-free at check in. He was aghast, apologized, and within 5 minutes our room was made up all over again. We slept great - even the party crowd in 1250 didn't affect our rest (they invited me and Lil' Beeman to come over, but he's only 8!) as the walls are thick and the doors fit tightly.

Breakfast came via room service the next morning...after an hour wait! When it arrived, the order was wrong but a call to room service had a corrected order at the door in about 10 minutes ^^. The food was decent, but not outstanding, and the bill was $71 for eggs & bacon for 3.

Upon checkout, I did mention the problems (valet, feathers, wrong breakfast) to the front desk. They offered to comp our entire stay, which I told them was unnecessary. Every problem we had was rectified, and it was taken care of quickly by caring, super professional and friendly staff. New Year's Eve is a tough night on a property in this location, and they handled it pretty well. Plus they offered us lots of extra service (extra Grand Club access after closing, personal assistance, extra amenities, etc.). ^^ Plus we had a great time! ^ So no need for compensation. I did ask them to work a bit on the attention to detail in the kitchen, but that was it.

I do believe there are some issues with attention to detail at the hotel, and staff training for the Valet is definitely in order (a consistent problem at this property is inability to get in/out due to backups in Valet). I know Mr. S-- is in discussion, as is the GM, with the City to get some help with traffic lights and patterns, but the real problem (as I see it) is insufficient staffing. There are never enough people on duty to keep up with the traffic flow in/out of valet.

We would highly recommend this property, both for business travelers and folks on vacation. The location is great, the property is new and modern, and the gym/pool are incredible. Food is average, but the Riverwalk is right around the corner as are a dozen great restaurants (PM or email if you want tips) - no need to eat at the hotel unless you want to. Most importantly, the staff are great: very caring, very supportive, and they go out of their way to work issues when they inevitably come up.
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Old Jan 1, 10, 9:19 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 813
We were at this hotel for New Year's Eve this year as well. Given the 800 check-ins they had that day (went from 20%-100% occupancy) I thought the staff did a remarkable job! We arrived about 5:30 pm and did not encounter the parking issues stbeeman endured. We drove right up and self-parked. I could not find a designated Diamond check-in desk, but after a short wait, we were able to check in. At check-in we were offered a 2 pm checkout without having to ask. Despite having called the day before and confirming a King bed, we were checked in to a suite with 2 doubles. A call to the front desk rectified the situation and new keys were quickly delivered to our room. Likewise, a couple of maintenance issues (safe was locked in open position upon arrival and dead cordless phone battery) were addressed promptly. The maintenance man even gave me his business card with his direct extension if we had any other issues!

Like stbeeman, I believe the Grand Club staff is wonderful! Judy really does go above and beyond. The club was very busy and she was dealing with complaints from people upset that it would close at 10 pm and not be available for viewing the midnight fireworks. She took the time to call around and find a restaurant that could seat us for dinner. (We expected a wait, but didn't realize that most of the restaurants were not even taking walk-ins that night.)

We were pleased to receive an upgrade to a lovely hospitality suite, especially given our $112 Convention & Visitors Bureau rate with full breakfast for 2. Unfortunately, none of the suites at this hotel face the Tower of the Americas, where the fireworks display took place. Since the Grand Club closes at 10, we had to go outside to view the midnight fireworks on a chilly, windy night. (stbeeman would be interested to know that there were quite a few valets out there with us watching the fireworks.) As we returned to our suite, we smelled the very distinct odor of pot when we stepped off the elevator. I think that's the first time I've encountered pot being smoked in a hotel!

All in all, we enjoyed our stay and we will return!
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Old Apr 15, 10, 5:34 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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I had a pleasant stay here. Given that it is a 1000 room convention hotel, they really work hard to make the individual guest comfortable.

About 4 days before my arrival, I got an email stating that I had been given a complimentary upgrade to a hospitality suite. And indeed I had. It was a massive suite on the 12th floor. The bedroom was like any other, comfortable size with a large chaise by the window. The bathroom had the shower in the tub. The living/dining room was huge. There was a dining table with seats for 6, a bar/kitchen, and an extensive sitting area with a big flat screen TV. However, I gave it up. The Grand Club is on the 23rd floor. There is no direct access from the 12th floor to the 23rd floor. You must take the elevator to the 5th floor, walk to a different bank, and go back up to the 23rd floor. The hotel was hosting a large convention (900 attendees) and there were hospitality suites on the 5th floor. I was alone, and didn't need all the excess space. I happily gave it up in exchange for a room on the 22nd floor.

The lounge is quite nice for a US hotel. Given the size of the hotel, I was surprised to find very few people in the lounge at any time. It had a variety of seating areas, as well as a few tables and a longer bar table with bar stools on both sides. The food was quite good. There were a number of beverage refrigerators with a range of juices, water (sparkling and still), and soft drinks. Continental breakfast was reasonably extensive, with cereals, yogurt, hardboiled eggs, salmon, capers, onion, bagels, muffins, and breads. There were cookies in the afternoon. Evening appetizers were all cold, but again good. There were a range of roasted vegetables, hummus, some cheeses, salmon, prosciutto, and crackers. The hosts, both morning and evening, were very warm and hospitable.

The hotel is "on the riverwalk" but an extension built down to the Convention Center with no shops or restaurants. Still, it was just 5 to 7 minutes to walk to a very busy elbow in the Riverwalk. There were a number of restaurants there. It was also only a 5 minute walk to La Villita, a historic village with artisan shops. La Villita is open from 10am to 6pm.

New York Times published an article two weeks ago on 36 hours in San Antonio.

Taxi fare to the hotel is roughly $24, not much of a premium on the $18 that the shuttle van charges.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 16, 10, 6:01 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
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We have a timeshare exchange to this hotel in May & I'm a platinum level. Do I have an access to the lounge?
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Old May 30, 10, 3:21 pm
  #14  
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Had a one stay with FFNs and they upgraded me to the Monarch Suite (2436) -- massive entry, sitting area, TV area, office area, and of course, a bed room. Great service, nice hotel, and a credit to the brand.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 12:02 am
  #15  
 
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GENERAL/ROOM

Just finished a three day weekend here. My PLA applied a Diamond suite upgrade (have plenty, in use-or-lose mode given plans thru Feb). Got a massive Hospitality suite on the 8th floor. Very nice suite - corner location, parlor is equal to 3 bedrooms in size with sofa, 2nd bath, additional soft chairs for four, dining table for eight, "kitchenette" area with micro, full size fridge and wine cooler. No plates/silverware but those easily obtained from the Club. Bathrooms have nice hot water, large floor-level showers with sufficient but not lots of water pressure. White Ginger toiletries. Left note with a couple extra bucks first night asking for Quince-Bergamot if available, but no success. Towels/toiletries fully replaced every day. Check-in easy, late check-out and Diamond amenity offered up front; extra points for a well trained front desk staff. Nice welcome note from general manager waiting for us at check-in.

BAR/CLUB

Bar selection ok but unexciting; two local beers (Shiner Bock and, I think, Alamo). Club didn't have any local beer. Club service, overall, very good. Not the best I've ever experienced, but in the top three. Club breakfast presentation is smoked salmon plus fruits and croissants, some small variation each day. Hors d'oeuvres was same each night (ham slice, various veggies, hummus). Drinks poured by GC concierges; not self-pour.

We tried the pork empanadas appetizer at the bar and were unimpressed. The empanada was relatively tasteless and the asian-style sauce overpowered the meat completely. It is the same appetizer as served in the restaurant. Lunch in the restaurant was better. The chicken and turkey sandwiches were both tasty and the pepper-filled corn bread extremely good.

PARKING/LOCATION

The direct access to the riverwalk and easy walk distance to many historical sites was a big plus. We avoided the hotel parking at $34/night and instead parked at the Riverwalk Mall parking lot a block over and up at Commerce right before Alamo for $18 per 24 hours (no in/out, but lesser rate if you stay less than 6 hours). There is another city lot immediately across Market that is a flat $9 but you must be out before 8AM. Surface lots within a few blocks offer prices between $10 and $15 but have restrictions such as "exit by 4AM".

FACILITIES

Nice big exercise room. Pool also on 5th floor. Nice place to read your paper, basic rooftop lap pool. Despite multiple conventions in progress, hotel was not noisy and elevators were only rarely full. We did not find the "down to 5, cross over to go up to 23" for Club access any more than an extra minute or two delay at any time.

SUMMARY

We found the Grand to be a very good choice for a long weekend visit and were quite pleased. We'd certainly return again.
jtaft is offline  

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