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“Superb 3-day experience”

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Mokara Hotel and Spa
Ranked #2 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
113 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Superb 3-day experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2011

We expected to drive through San Antonio on our anniversary, so we booked three days at the Mokara for early December. The booking had to be made through Omni's central facility, not the hotel, so it was impossible to get solid answers to various questions from the corporate-polite drone at the other end. Still, we arrived to find that we'd gotten what we'd hoped for: a room facing the river on the highly desirable spa floor.

We were greeted warmly by a helpful and hugely friendly door/bell staff which took perfect care of the mountains of stuff from our SUV. The front desk manager was equally helpful, so in all we felt thoroughly spoiled from the get-go -- and for the most part this good vibe remained throughout our stay.

Although valet parking is offered, we sequestered our vehicle at a high-rise garage a block or so away where Mokara has an abundance of reserved spaces. With so much within walking distance, we never needed anything but shoe leather during our stay.

The facilities were excellent. The room itself, with high ceilings, was very nicely appointed, even if the color scheme and tapestry patterns were bland. The ample marble bathroom included a Jacuzzi tub, luxurious shower and, a la France, a private stall for the toilet. There was a small balcony overlooking the river and front entrance which we made use of even though the weather was unusually cold even by seasonal standards.

We ate at their Ostra restaurant two nights, and once at the Las Canarias sister restaurant across the river. Both get high marks, but Ostra's food was too much of a triumph for the other to equal.

However, Ostra consists of one very large room which can get decidedly noisy and unromantic when convention-goers swarm, cellphones and all. Las Canarias' room across the river better retains its charm during these busy periods.

Withal, Ostra's meals were nothing short of outstanding, as good as we've had anywhere in Texas in our many years of visiting there. Flawless service, as well, which came as a pleasant surprise given comments to the contrary from some other reviewers.

We also partook of two breakfasts there, both excellent, and one room service -- ditto. Spring for the Tex-Mex "Migas" if you're a demanding two-fisted eater.

The Riverfront area appears to cater primarily to conventioneers, as well as youthful adults barhopping and otherwise looking for a lively evening. (Order is maintained by city police on bicycle.) Summer also reportedly brings families with youngsters in tow. Solo romantic couples like us exist, but stand out mainly on slow days. As a result much of what the Riverfront and adjacent facilities have to offer is touristy and occasionally tacky, but not where the Mokara is located.

On the lower floors you look out over not only the expected river, but also at architecture that is virtually all period or reproduction period. The boxy eyesores that pass for hotels and such not far away are all but unseen when you're on a lower floor facing the river, so try to secure one of these. You'll marvel at the serene and charming view.

Notwithstanding all this, we had a few disappointments. One day the maid left the place half done -- some bedding on the floor, trash unemptied, some consumables not replaced -- although the evening maid later resolved these things at our request. Too, there were brown spots on the floor by the toilet when we arrived; these were never cleaned until we wiped them up ourselves just before leaving.

The yesteryear Internet connection was a major disappointment. Although its WiFi signal was powerful, throughput usually measured 1-2 MB downlink, although that was erratic to the point of nothing at times. Far worse was the uplink, which ran only 0-100 kB. God only knows how much time we wasted waiting for this 1990s connection to produce even minimal results when we were trying to get going to enjoy the Riverfront, spa and other temptations. This apparently is an Omni problem, rather than dimwitted local management, as a central contract provider for hotels is used. But we consistently get vastly better performance at $80-100 motels along Interstates than we found at Mokara. Indeed, later in our trip we stayed at the similar-quality Inn at Biltmore Estate, where downlink typically measured 17 MB, uplink 16 MB.

Not enough? One day we were disconnected and had to sign in anew a number of times, including once during a download. The soup nazi has nothing on these folks.

Back to the good stuff. My wife fell in love with their spa. She's done any number of spas here and abroad, but this was as good as she's experienced.

In all, a superb and memorable experience.

Room Tip: Face the river, and the lower down, the better.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cochon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2011

Amazing experience from the champagne registration to the well appointed rooms. We loved the balcony that overlooked the Riverwalk...best view around. Do not miss out on this lovely hotel.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank nicoleinTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2011

We stayed seven nights in this hotel, and took their Amor del Rio package. The package is good value: breakfast, evening bottle of wine and nibbles, valet parking. Our room on the 7th floor was superb, and as it faced away from the Riverwalk was beautifully quiet. Everyone from the Front Desk and Concierge to the dining staff and maids was friendly and eager to please.

The restaurant, OSTRA, is right on the Riverwalk. Service is excellent, though there were too many people asking us if everything was OK. After a while you just want to get on and eat. We had two evening meals there and found the food first rate, inventive and beautifully presented.

However, there were some small things that took the shine off the hotel. We had to have our room card keys re-programmed several times. Often they simply wouldn't open the doors or let us use the elevators. Other guests appeared to be having some of the same difficulties. Management must do something about this.
The Wi-Fi gave endless trouble: at first we couldn't sign in and we spent the best part of an hour on the 'phone to the Omni help desk before this was straightened out. Even when we were able to get it to respond it was extremely slow and dropped us for no reason every few minutes. Again, attention to this is badly needed, especially as many affluent business people stay at the Mokara. At room rates $450 and up reliable WiFi is a must.
Communications between room service and front desk were sometimes haphazard, leading to extra 'phone calls to get certain things. Though the maids were very thorough, they often forgot to renew some things. Thank goodness for the Concierge and many of the Front Desk people. They can be relied on to get things running smoothly again.

We will certainly stay at Mokara again, but hope that the niggling little problems are sorted out.

Room Tip: Facing away from Riverwalk for quiet
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PatrickB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midland, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2011

Fabulous service! This is my fourth year to come to the hotel and spa and every year it just gets better. The hotel staff are amazingly friendly and the spa staff is excellent. Paul is the best masseuse and aesthetician I have ever encountered. Room service is prompt and customer service oriented. Looking forward to next year!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jchanlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2011

I have been coming to the Mokara fka The Watermark since 2004. The spa is one of, if not the best I have ever been to. The staff is amazing. From room service, especially Jesus and Larry, to housekeeping to the bell staff, valet and front desk they all do their best to make every wish come true.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank meastham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tennessee
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2011

Great location, super friendly staff, quiet rooms, beautiful decor, wonderful spa. Can't say enough good things- we will be back!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Perpesca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
97 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2011

We spent 3 nights at this lovely property and enjoyed it immensely. The “rejuvenation package” was $359 and included a standard room, free valet parking ($32 value/night), free breakfast ($35-$60 value), and $150 spa credit per night. Ultimately, the room $127/night + taxes which is a GREAT VALUE!
The Valet parking was friendly and extremely efficient both in dropping off the car and calling for the car.
The breakfast was beyond expectations. Two days we had breakfast in Ostra and had a buffet selection for $17/person and they would serve pancakes and French toast from the kitchen. Buffet isn’t a great term to describe the breakfast offered; it was classy and elegant and had a lot of high end selections of cheeses, fruits, jams, butters, omelet station, fabulous blueberry sausage and crispy bacon. The French toast was fabulous! One morning we had room service breakfast (before our spa appointments) and that was also above expectations and included for no charge (except tip) with the daily breakfast package.
The room (273) was a nice size and we upgraded to the balcony river view for $100 night. The hardwood in the room was nice (vs. carpet) but was stained, scratched and filled and could have used refinishing. The bed—HEAVENLY linens, very comfortable! The in room espresso machine was a very nice touch. The TV wasn’t a flat screen and I would upgrade this if I ran the property. The furniture in the room was nice and comfy, the lamps a little worn. The internet in the room was sporadic. Sine we had a street/river front room, there were times that it was noisy and if you are sensitive to noise, I would move to a higher floor.
In the bathroom, we loved the jetted tub for two in the and the victorian faucet to fill it. The marble décor was nice and neutral and made the bath feel clean. The vanity and fixtures were nice and the ability to dim the lighting was nice. Our only outlet in the bathroom did not work the first day but was fixed after we reported the issue to the front desk. The shower was nice and the showerhead had excellent flow and the volume control function was nice. The shower could have been larger to accommodate two people.
At the spa, m husband and I booked a 50 minute couples massage which was FABULOUS. We then had lunch at the rooftop pool (which we loved) and came back down to enjoy the spa amenities individually before our afternoon facials. The spa amenities included a steam room, sauna, hot tub, shower, lockers, relaxation room etc. I was disappointed in some of the details/upkeep at the spa including the hot tub area where the ceiling was somewhat dirty and the “candles” on the wall burnt out. Additionally, in the relaxation room, we could hear every customers being given the tour, toilets flushing, showers, etc. The biggest disappointment of all is the lack of unisex/couples space. My husband and I could not use the amenities together and only the massage offered couples time together. I believe the lack of couples amenities is a big negative for this spa and the attention to details sometimes seemed overlooked.
The Service at this property was Excellent!!! from Check in, check out, restaurant, room service, housekeeping, spa, pool—a great team has been assembled at this hotel and is very customer focused. Standouts include Kate at Ostra (breakfast), Carol at the rooftop café/bar, Robert at the spa, and an older friendly lady at the pool changing the chair covers. They all had that extra special genuine touch truly happy personalities-- wanting the guest to experience to be extremely positive.
I would stay here again with a package deal, I would have been disappointed if we had paid $299/night just for the room. However, the staff is wonderful and the location on the river walk is great.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank vacationloverOh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John W, General Manager at Mokara Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 29 November 2011
Thank you for being our guest and for sharing your experience. We are so pleased to know you enjoyed the hotel and spa. We are also excited to let you know that we will be renovating the guestrooms over the next few months to include new bedding, furniture, carpeting, LCD televisions and even re-finishing of the wood floor you noted. While we are a bit limited on space to extend our couples relaxation area, we will also be refurnishing that room. Thank you for again for allowing us to serve you. I assure you we will use your comments and observations in our ongoing efforts to improve Mokara.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mokara Hotel and Spa

Property: Mokara Hotel and Spa
Address: 212 W. Crockett, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > San Antonio > East Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in San Antonio
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Antonio
#3 Business Hotel in San Antonio
#5 Family Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mokara Hotel and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mokara Hotel & Spa, a relaxing retreat on San Antonio’s world-famous River Walk. Just steps from all the action yet worlds away, this inviting oasis has all the best creature comforts easily at hand, including luxurious accommodations, first-class amenities, fine dining and a full-service spa. Plus, our attentive staff is always available to make your stay in San Antonio a truly memorable one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mokara Hotel San Antonio
Watermark Hotel San Antonio
Mokara Hotel And Spa San Antonio, Texas

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