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San Antonio/Northwest - La Cantera Resort 4*

lalalindica
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lalalindica
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Joined: December 13th, 2000, 11:31 am

April 16th, 2001, 12:07 am #1

We stayed at this beautiful resort from April 8th through the 12th. I first got 2 nights through Priceline for $30 (plus $20 Am Ex bonus), then went for 2 additional days for $29 (plus $20 bonus) a night. Total price with taxes & fees paid through Priceline for all 4 nights was $152.00. The lowest available price for one night (during my stay dates) was $219 a night!

As soon as I got both bids through priceline I called the hotel to tell them that we would be staying there for 4 consecutive days and to please combine our reservations. The person on the phone was not very pleasant, told me that they were very booked during those days and that they could not guarantee that we wouldn't have to move to another room mid-stay. I also requested a room with two double beds (for both portions of our stay). He also could not guarantee this. I took this to mean that the employee was not happy dealing with priceline customers and almost regretted getting the two bids.

Well, we arrived at the hotel around 4 PM. There were two buses unloading when we arrived, so I guess the person wasn't lying about the hotel being booked during our stay. One of the groups was Sony. They had lots going on in the hotel throughout our stay.

The La Cantera is situated right next to Fiesta Texas (Six Flags), perched on top of the highest point around and has breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. The roses were in bloom and the hotel was gorgeous! The bellhops were very polite and helpful with our luggage and the front desk people were very friendly to me and my kids (even after finding out we were with priceline). I asked if it was possible to have the same room during our entire stay. The woman helping us said it would not be a problem at all. I told her we were Starwood members and asked if it was possible to get a pretty view. We were assigned a room on the sixth floor (room 6273). I could not believe the view once we arrived in our room! We were on the top floor, centrally located overlooking the nicely landscaped pools in the courtyard! We had a balcony! To the right were the rolling hills & the golf course, to the left we could see downtown San Antonio. Straight ahead the 4 or 5 pools, hot tubs, waterfalls.

I had requested a room with two beds (I was with my two kids who are OK with sharing a bed). We had two doubles, in addition to an armchair, a table with two chairs, two phones, an armoire housing several drawers, a TV, a small refrigerator, & a coffee maker. There were two robes for our use in addition to a iron and ironing board in the closet. We had two closets with plenty of hangers. The bathroom was huge with marble tile on the floor, a double sink with a granite top, a huge well-lit mirror, a batub/shower combo. The toilet was separate with it's own door. There was a vanity table outside of the bathroom area with it's own bench, a large mirror & a hair dryer.

The room charge listed on the back of our hotel room door listed the room charge at $495 a night!!

The room was very spacious and clean. The beds may not be "heavenly beds" but they did have a pillow top and were very comfortable. We asked for extra pillows and were asked whether we wanted feather pillows. The blankets were covered with a duvet-type cover; the bed was covered with a bedspread.

Valet parking was $10 a day with in and out privaleges. Self-parking was free in the lot down the hill (a short walk from the entrance). The bellhops often offer to drive you to the parking lot.

We were charged a $10 a day resort fee. When I asked if we could get out of being charged this fee, I was told eliminating the charge was not an option. When I asked what the fee included I was told it included: the use of the health club & the tennis courts, free unlimited local phone calls, a daily newspaper, free coffee packets for the coffee maker in the room, free sodas and spring water repenished in our room's refrigerator daily (two sodas, two waters a day), and so on. I thought it was a pretty good deal. The friendly front desk person also gave my kids special "kids cups" so that they could get free sodas anytime anywhere in the hotel (with the cups).

Other great things about this resort: They have 24 hour room service. The maid never knocked on our door in the mornings no matter how late it was when we left the room. The concierge always knew my name before answering the phone. The hotel provides free hourly shuttle service to Fiesta Texas (which is right next door). The wait staff is very attentive around the pool area(& they make the best Strawberry Coladas!). There is a game room with an air hockey table that my kids loved playing. Ping pong rackets are available free of charge. We rented a couple of tennis rackets at $5 each. There is an "adults only" pool and jacuzzi area. Pay per view movies in the room were $9.99 each. They have a full spa offering manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. One of the pools had a nicely designed slide, as well as two waterfalls. There was a volleyball net set up at another of the pools.

It took us about a half an hour to drive to downtown San Antonio. If you take rt. 10 towards downtown there are many restaurants nearby, in addition to sev fast food places around the corner from the resort (nothing within walking distance though).

This stay was a wonderful experience! It's a wonderful place to vacation! My kids and I can't wait for the opportunity to visit again!

Edited to reflect the re-rating to Resort. -Sheryl
Back to 4* - jenniann
Last edited by lalalindica on July 15th, 2014, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jabez
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Jabez
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Joined: July 1st, 2001, 6:19 pm

July 1st, 2001, 11:19 am #2

A great property. Well worth there 4 stars.
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Taister
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Taister
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Joined: July 4th, 2001, 2:24 pm

July 4th, 2001, 7:24 am #3

I was not a member of the Starwood club at the time of my Priceline bid. I enrolled after reading this report about the hotel. When I asked for an upgrade as the room I had was overlooking rooftops of the resort not any view at all, I was informed that it would be a 20 dollar extra charge for *view* rooms and that the classification of the priceline rooms are limited view. Personaly I dont know if I did not ask the right person or if it is some other perk of more points in a Starwood account but the room itself is not where I was staying most of my time there at the hotel so I was not displeased at all.
The one thing I will say to any who are wanting to utilize the pools sauna and health club ask for a room on that wing of the hotel (south wing I think) because it can be a daunting walk in your trunks or suit there and back. On the 4th and 5th floors the hallways go all the way along the hotel so you dont need to go thru the lobby to get there.
Ditto on the experence, well worth the money and a very relaxing time. I received a questionare from JD Powers 2 days ago asking after my stay my impressions so it seems that Westin is making sure its customer service there is meeting its requirements.
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Meamfa
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Meamfa
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Joined: May 31st, 2001, 12:34 am

July 5th, 2001, 5:52 pm #4

Just got back from our stay here (June 27-29). Agree with lalalindica - great hotel. Employees were all extremely helpful and friendly. Our room overlooked a pretty courtyard (Emily's Rose Courtyard) on the 5th floor and had a balcony where we watched the fireworks from Fiesta Texas each night. Although there are rooms with better views, we were still very impressed with ours. We requested and received a room with two double beds at check-in; also got a roll-away bed since we had three kids staying, which was a one-time charge of $25! Was charged the $10/night resort fee, but no energy surcharge. Overall, a great hotel and a great bargain, and we would definitely come back.
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kasprzyk
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kasprzyk
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Joined: July 18th, 2001, 9:25 am

July 18th, 2001, 2:25 am #5

Must whole heartedly agree with everyone about this resort. Just returned from our stay. Room with a view please? No problem. May I park your car? No charge sir, its getting late. This one's on the house. Fabulous room, fabulous view! Great service. Bellhop noticed door was sticking slightly...Have someone to fix that right away...Maintenance arrives in less than 30 minutes.

Emailed the customer rep this morning telling him how pleased I was with the stay. received a reply before the end of the day.

We will definitely stay here again.

Gene
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lalalindica
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lalalindica
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Joined: December 13th, 2000, 11:31 am

August 8th, 2001, 6:52 pm #6

We stayed at the La Cantera again last week, Monday through Friday. This time we were given a "city view" room on the third floor (lobby level), in the "West Wing" which is the wing closer to the pool (room 3337). Our room given to us during our previous visit was better located (on the 6th/top floor facing the pool) but otherwise the same, except that our balcony was wider then - the balcony was wide enough to fit a chair or two. This time it was standing room only. I noticed that the balcony width increases the higher you are (the rooms below us didn't seem to have a balcony but only sliding glass doors with a rail).

It was quiet a hike from the lobby area, but once we got used to it (and once we discovered the side exit & stairwell) we appreciated being closer to the self-park lot and the tennis courts. We also had a nice view of the nightly fireworks at Fiesta Texas.

I discoved the library this time around. It's a separate room with it's own door with many books, magazines, etc.

We had a great stay! Everyone is just so nice there! No complaints whatsoever, except housekeeping was a bit more aggressive in the AMs, possibly because we were on lobby level.

I signed my kids up for three private lessons at the golf academy (three days in a row). The cost was $45/hour for one child (ages 7 through 16); $10 extra for additional children. My children have never played golf before and they enjoyed this very much. They were nice enough to provide the equipment (I'm not sure if this is standard). Their instructor's name was Rocky and he was wonderful. They also have group lessons for kids in the mornings for $59 per child per day (I think they are 3 hour lessons). The Golf Academy's number is 210/558-1307 for more information.

They also had group activities set up such as star gazing and nature walks.

I checked the prices out for the "Enchanted Rock Kid's Club" for children ages 4 through 12 years old for those of you with smaller children. It seems very reasonable at $15 a session per child, either morning (8-12 AM) or afternoon (1-5 PM) (but you can't do both in the same day). They apparently do arts and crafts and other such activities, but we didn't try it so I can't comment on the quality of the care.

We ate at Brannons several times because it was so convenient (the restaurant nearest to the pool) and it was OK. There are some fast food places down near rt 1604 (a Pizza Hut, Subway, a 24 hour Whataburger, etc) and a multitude of restaurants down rt 10.

Can't wait to have the opportunity to stay here again!
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readymade
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readymade
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Joined: July 25th, 2000, 1:00 pm

October 25th, 2001, 11:08 pm #7

The current _Conde Nast Traveller_ magazine rates this hotel as the second best resort property in ALL OF NORTH AMERICA! And it can be had for a pittance through Priceline. Can you believe this?

And how on earth can PL downgrade it to a 3*? It really sounds as though it should be a 4*, or resort. Maybe they're afraid of people recognizing what specific hotel is available since there might be no others in the zone.
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lalalindica
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lalalindica
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Joined: December 13th, 2000, 11:31 am

December 27th, 2001, 6:11 am #8

The La Cantera now has "heavenly beds"!!!! We have a room with two doubles; each bed has 4 pillows, in addition to two other pillows stashed away in the closet.

Everyone is still as nice as can be and we are very happy to be back, this time via a non-priceline reservation. They were nice to give us a larger room, with a sofa, coffee table and walk-out terrace with a lounge chair. I love this place!!
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vipernsane
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vipernsane
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Joined: October 19th, 2001, 3:13 am

February 26th, 2002, 4:14 pm #9

Unbelieveble hotel. I can't believe its ranked a 3*, and not a 4*, MUST be due to the lack of 4*s in that area. Thsi is one of the best hotels we have stayed at, nice heavenly beds, super-friendly staff, and no one mentioned priceline, or treated me like a pauper once.

I will defienately be staying here again, probably at full-price, just to be sure.
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wanative57
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wanative57
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Joined: November 30th, 2000, 6:11 am

April 25th, 2002, 12:37 am #10

We stayed here just one night, 4/22, for $50.

Wish we could've stayed a lot longer--what a place! Heavenly beds, heavenly soap, heavenly bath--and worthy of the name. We didn't get a room with a view, but otherwise everything was perfect. Certainly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. Beautiful pool area, huge exercise/spa facility, tennis courts, golf course, activities for the kids, Fiesta Texas right next door.

The next time we're in San Antonio, we might try for a nice hotel on the Riverwalk--then again, maybe we'll just head straight for La Cantera. Either way, I think we'd be happy.
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