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Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

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ejm
houston
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Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

Hi...this is my first time posting to a travel related forum as we rarely travel. We are going to be in S.A. for 3 nights/4days to take our 3 children (4, 7 and 12) to Seaworld. I'm looking for a good place to stay. I've done the online research but it's hard to locate a good site that will sort according to our prefered amenities...

We would PREFER...not NEED but w/ 3 kids prefer is definitely stressed...(lol)...

a suite/jr suite type room w/ 2 beds

microwave/refridg in room

breakfast served (prefer full but continental would be ok)

2 Tv's in suite

close to pool area (pool needs to be nice w/ a 3.5ft area for my short 4yr old)

am I being too picky?

my other ?? is although I thought I had my list narrowed I don't know which areas of S.A may be less than ideal due to crime rates etc... I don't want to end up booking on skid row know what I mean?

Nor do I want to be awoken by landing aircraft all night if I'm too close to the airport...

ack..

this is harder than I thought it would be...

our preferred price range is $100 or less a night (not incl the tax - I know it's 20% in SA...)...

thanks in advance for any advice you can give us..

Oh...our plan is to do the 2 day seaworld and also visit the riverwalk, alamo and witte muesum (heb kids treehouse thingy)... if there's anything else you guys can think of that is a MUST see please share....

thanks again!

ej

San Antonio, Texas
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1,548 posts
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1. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

I would say that it's going to be pretty tough to find everything you want for under $100. If you want a suite with two tvs, then you should expect to pay close to $200. This site might be helpful: san-antonio-texas-hotels-discounts-reservati… There's a link on there to find hotels near Seaworld as well as downtown.

Any hotel around Seaworld is safe as far as I know. Seaworld is on the far west side of San Antonio, which is growing like crazy and far away from the really bad areas of town such as east and south of downtown. I'm assuming you'll stay a couple of nights there and one night downtown, which is pretty safe as well. Tourists are SA's bread-n-butter, so there are plenty of police downtown to make sure you are safe. Obviously, avoid dark alleys and other uncertain areas....but, for the most part, you'll have no worries. I work downtown and feel safe walking anywhere around the Riverwalk at all times. This is another web site that might be helpful: http://san-antonio.live.net/

i think it's good to take your kids to the alamo, but make it quick - they'll get bored fast. (heck, i get bored there. LOL) They might like Ripley's Believe it or not (across from the Alamo); however, it's pretty expensive. If you go to the Witte Museum, then afterwards go to Brackenridge Park (just behind the museum). There's a playground and lots of places to run around. There's a mini-train ride you can take around the park and you could go to the Zoo there as well. have fun!

San Antonio, TX
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for San Antonio
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2. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

I'm a nut for the caves. I think it's a pretty good activity for the whole family, and it is nice and cool down there. Just North of SA on I-35 probably close to an hour from the Sea World area is Natural Bridge Caverns. This would be my first choice; it is the most developed and they also have a drive through safari. http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com/

Closer, up I-10 to Boerne and just a little north and east is Cave Without a Name. This is my second favorite cave and the least developed. http://www.cavewithoutaname.com/

Just South of Boerne (closest) is Cascade Caverns, my third choice, because it is a little on the cheesy side. http://www.cascadecaverns.com/

Two additional kiddo attractions downtown are The Children's Museum http://www.sakids.org/ and the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum http://www.buckhornmuseum.com/. The Children's Museum has hands on discovery exhibits like making giant bubbles. The Buckhorn is a little more touristy.

As to accommodations, we generally lean towards the inexpensive side, figuring we won���t be at the hotel/motel for very long. The airport area is less expensive than around Sea World or Downtown.

Roswell, New Mexico
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3. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

The rate might be a problem anywhere in SA. I've blown 120 bucks on a La Quinta on the South Side (not the place to be). If you're willing to spend a bit more, try the Embassy Suites on i-10 near the Medical Center. I've found the place on Hotwire for $84, but you may be so lucky. Even the regular rate is pretty good as SA hotels can be expensive. The suites are large, you get a full, made-to-order b'fast, you get cocktails and snacks in the eve, and they have a pool. It is in a good part of town, with eay access to lots of gricery stores, retaurants, etc... The Italian place on the corner has good pizza. You can make up for the cost of the room with the free amenities, and eat good cheap Mexican food for dinner from Taco Cabana, or bring pizza in. When we made our monthly escapse from Laredo, we almost always stayed here. The large suites are a godsend when you have kiddos.

On hotwire, look for the 3 1/2 star (maybe 4?) suite in the Medical Center area with all the aforementioned amenities listed.

San Antonio, TX
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4. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

You might want to try the AmeriSuites Hotels, either the Northwest or Riverwalk locations. The northwest location will probably be a little cheaper ($125 approx) than the riverwalk location ($150 approx) for weekday rates and both have suites with double beds, free continental breakfast, and swimming pools. You might also want to try the Drury Inn Suites - Northwest, but it will probably be a little more expensive. All three locations are good. The AmeriSuites - Northwest and the Drury Inn are practically across from each other and are close to a lot of restaurants and have easy access to the highway for your trip to Seaworld and the Riverwalk. The AmeriSuites - Riverwalk also has quick access to the highway and is close to some good restaurants, but not the fastfood variety which may come in handy for your kids. It is probably best to try each hotels website for the suite rates.

Hope this helps. Good luck in finding a hotel and I hope you enjoy your trip.

Good luck

ejm
houston
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5 posts
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5. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

Thank you all so much for the advice.

I think I got VERY lucky... I went thru the SAVE promo site and got a double queen suite in the Drury Riverwalk for $109 for that first night and then booked the double queen suite at Hill Country Suites (a little further out than I had planned but the reviews were so great as far as being "family oriented" that I couldn't pass it up).... and it was $70 for the remaining 2 nights.

I"m pretty pleased with myself...as I know for a fact I got all the ameninities I wanted (not sure on the 2 tv at the drury but hey it's ON the riverwalk..lol)... my husband was pretty happy with me too. The kids can't WAIT to swim in the rooftop pool at the drury...and I personally figured that the breakfast they offer more than makes up for going a bit over my price range..not to mention my savings on the OTHER 2 nights (Hill country also offers breakfast :) something they don't readily advertise).

The only thing that I didn't like thus far was that when I booked the drury they didn't offer me my TOTAL that would be billed to my cc nor did they mention the 20% tax - I knew thanks to you guys here but had I been on a strict budget I would have been plenty miffed about not being told in advance by the agent about that 20% add on. Hill Country was booked thru hotel.com so I also am eligible for 3 printable coupon discounts for restaurants/attractions etc.. I'm choosing them this evening..so that saves me even MORE money! I thank you all very much for taking the time to reply and I am researching all the kid friendly activities you guys suggested over the next couple days... I think this is going to be a GREAT trip! Thanks again!

ejm
houston
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5 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

Thank you all so much for the advice.

I think I got VERY lucky... I went thru the SAVE promo site and got a double queen suite in the Drury Riverwalk for $109 for that first night and then booked the double queen suite at Hill Country Suites (a little further out than I had planned but the reviews were so great as far as being "family oriented" that I couldn't pass it up).... and it was $70 for the remaining 2 nights.

I"m pretty pleased with myself...as I know for a fact I got all the ameninities I wanted (not sure on the 2 tv at the drury but hey it's ON the riverwalk..lol)... my husband was pretty happy with me too. The kids can't WAIT to swim in the rooftop pool at the drury...and I personally figured that the breakfast they offer more than makes up for going a bit over my price range..not to mention my savings on the OTHER 2 nights (Hill country also offers breakfast :) something they don't readily advertise).

The only thing that I didn't like thus far was that when I booked the drury they didn't offer me my TOTAL that would be billed to my cc nor did they mention the 20% tax - I knew thanks to you guys here but had I been on a strict budget I would have been plenty miffed about not being told in advance by the agent about that 20% add on. Hill Country was booked thru hotel.com so I also am eligible for 3 printable coupon discounts for restaurants/attractions etc.. I'm choosing them this evening..so that saves me even MORE money! I thank you all very much for taking the time to reply and I am researching all the kid friendly activities you guys suggested over the next couple days... I think this is going to be a GREAT trip! Thanks again!

austin texas
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114 posts
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7. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

I enjoyed all the info you got but.....What is the SAVE promo website? Don't want to miss anything.

ejm
houston
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5 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

I saw someone else recommend it to another poster so I'd thought I'd take a look.

The definitely have some good deals...

go to www.sanantoniovisit.com and click the "SAVE discount" link at the bottom. What I also did was open an additional browser window for mapquest and another for hotels.com

and using all 3 kinda back and forth was able to narrow down my choices of hotels to 2 on or very near the river walk...then called using the SAVE # given on that hotel names link to check availibility and exact prices... my first call was the drury and I booked it then upon hearing the price.

I then had to decide what area of town I wanted to stay in for the 2nd leg of our trip...and narrowed that down to 2 areas of town ....and then chose 4 hotels based on price and amenities inside those 2 areas....... SO....I then used mapquest to check the area out a bit and map out the route from seaworld...distance wise etc..

from the 2 closest that I was MOST interested in I went and read some reviews here at tripadvisor...which made me narrow it to my #1 choice. I actually had chosed another lowbudget kinda hotel/motel but after reading a couple not so good reviews decided that I'd rather drive 20miles further than encounter the problems they did.

I totally understand why people pay big bucks for the "package" kinda vacations and getaways! Man it was a serious pITA!

And I am kinda wishing that our 2nd leg was a bit further WEST than what it is...but I'm hoping the reviews are right and that it is a great kid friendly hotel.....heck if the pool is as good as I read then I'll be happy.

:)

GL on your search!

Houston
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9. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

I would like to know how you liked the Drury inn. I have a few nights booked there at the end of July and a little leary about the price and being on the riverwalk.

ejm
houston
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5 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: Need help w/ accomidations and area information...

Well we went - we saw - and we LOVED IT!!

We arrived 2 hours than we had planned to the Drury but got good parking (that garage is a NIGHTMARE if your in a large vehicle!) and checked in. Began to unload and found our room wasn't ready and REEKED of cigarrettes. So.... 2 rooms later we settled in. The desk clerk (monique) was SUPER nice...she was plenty peeved that the housekeeping staff had fibbed when she called up to check if our room was ready for occupancy when we checked in and knocked off an add'l $20 off my $109 room price AND the $10 parking! So my grand total w/ tax was $104 for the night.

It was GREAT....

our biggest feat was trying to find a restaurant that didn't have an hour wait...and we ate LATE! We settled on the hard rock because it's so kid friendly (my kids were dueling w/ balloon swords in the aisle while we finished up and not one person - staff OR guest even BLINKED in our direction! ~not that I like them acting like they've never been out before..) it was a GREAT atmosphere.

One thing we noticed pretty quickly is that although the attractions LOOK far they really really aren't...we walked (via street, riverwalk would have taken longer w/ crowds) to the Alamo, to the hard rock etc...

and their breakfast was really good!

Hill country was nice....kinda had an atmosphere like when you camp out for a couple days...people mingle, the kids all play together....you sit out on the patio and have a beer w/ your neighbor...very family friendly.

The pool is what was great though... it was shaped funky...and had a wall separating the deeper from the shallow "baby" areas...easy to keep an eye on your kids.

We were right on the playground (which was GREAT...and HUGE..all w/ nice clean sand to cushion falls)..so it was easy to hang out on our private patio and watch them play.

the only BAD thing was that the water pipes were so loud. My husband took a shower that first evening and we thought a train was coming thru the room!

THEN...we get up to go to seaworld and find NO WATER!!

yes we were sooo not amused.

the office SWORE that every door had a notice on it because they were doing water repairs.... uh...I looked NOT ONE DOOR had a notice...there was a whole mob of upset people.

Thankfully we had bottled water w/ us...so we cleaned up and spent the day at seaworld. By the time we got home the water was up and running...just as loud but hey it worked .

I can't say 100% we would choose the Hill country again...maybe if it was another "family oriented" trip....yes the pool and playground make it worth it...but if it were dh and I alone UH UH..no way.

The drury? IN A HEARTBEAT...

oh did I mention my 4yr old got locked out of our room by accident....he followed me out after I had already gotten on the elevator to get something from the dryer up on 7....I came down 2 min later to see him sitting on the floor crying to one of the employees and drinking a mountain dew... They had already notified the front desk and security was on it's way up... he knew his name but all the hotel doors looked alike and he couldn't remember which was ours.

moral to the story? easy....if you leave the room make sure your spouse knows who your taking and who your leaving in their care. Let me tell you my life flashed before my eyes when I realized what had happened and what COULD have happened.