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“A good experience”

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O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Ranked #92 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Florida
Level Contributor
127 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A good experience”
Reviewed 29 July 2009

We were hesitant about our O'Brien reservation after reading what others had written, but our experience could not have been better. We had a 3rd-floor, king-bed, balcony room, it was quiet, clean, comfortable bed, attractive and updated. The location is ideal, away from the noise and crowds of the "main" riverwalk area, but only minutes away from a riverwalk entrance, and another few minutes walk to the restaurants and shops. Parking was not a problem for us (we used hotel parking), but there are not enough spots for every room, they advertise parking is limited--and it is--but we saw parking at adjacent lots for a reasonable price. Breakfast was slightly better than adequate--we had choices, and got what we needed to start the day. Free internet, wireless in the lobby, but they gave us a cord to connect in the room. Based on our experience, I would recommend the hotel, the staff was courteous and we had no surprises.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lovestotravelFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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444 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
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Colonial Heights, Virginia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2009

I agree with the previous review. However, the room was smaller than other hotels nearby. Although it is on located near the Riverwalk, it is located at the far end of the Riverwalk. The room had a nice whirlpool bath, free wireless internet, and a VERY small breakfast. The minuses are no fridge, small room, limited parking for an additional $10, the business center does not have business applications on the computer (Word 2003, Word 2007, XP, Powerpoint, etc.) so in most cases, you cannot use the printer. If your room is near the street, you will definitely hear traffic noises throughout the night. This would not be my first hotel recommendation to anyone visiting San Antonio. Not bad, but not my first and I've stayed at over 10 hotels in San Antonio.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LoriLions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 March 2009

After hearing a lot of great reviews my fiance and I were very excited about staying at this hotel, especially since we were getting a discount from my organization. We are young travelers, and not very picky, but this hotel was just an extreme disappointment.
The parking was a bit of a hassle, but we were able to get lucky and park in the lot across the street. We didn't move the car the entire time for fear that we would be stuck without a spot.
We had a balcony room with a king. The first thing that we noticed when we walked in was an overpowering smell, like something stale or old stagnant water. We figured that it was hot outside, the AC wasn't on yet, and maybe the air needed to start circulating since this was an older building. We opened the balcony door and turned on the AC. It did not work and the smell bothered us the entire time, so much that when we had a friend come visit that night, I was embarassed to let him use our bathroom before heading out, because the room smelled so terrible.
The next thing that really upset us was when we went to bed late that night, I noticed that the sheets felt filthy. There were so many grains of dirt or something on them, that I had to actually remove the sheets and beat them on the balcony. We would have called management that night, but it was so late and we were so tired that we resigned ourselves to just sleep on the sheets.
My fiance and I had been camping the prior weekend and what I felt waking up in a tent the morning after is very similair to what I felt waking up in this hotel. Dirty and tired. The continental breakfast was nothing special, and we got out of the hotel as soon as possible.
We are mostly disappointed because we had read so many wonderful reviews and were expecting a top notch place, and especially for the price we paid to stay there. However, we probably would have been better off staying at a Motel 6.
I will add that the front desk staff was very helpful and kind, but perhaps they need to hire a better cleaning crew.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TeacherTravelerRPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 23 February 2009

When one mentions the Clarion - O'Brien with 69 rooms, they may envision a small hotel that is either well patrolled or quaint. This hotel is adequate in both regards. My personal experience was influenced by being placed on the ground floor, just around the corner from the front desk.

The room was newly renovated and had a whirlpool bath. Once you closed the curtains, you were transposed to a lovely, well-appointed room with adequate space and facilities.
The hotel, I am told, had a fitness room that was unavailable, however, arrangements had been made to use a nearby health club as an alternative.

The desk clerk, Cynthia, was a sweetheart. I would come out of my room to flirt with her when I was in need of companionship. She was very helpful with suggestions about where to go for fun and good eats.

The hotel is located about a block and a half from the "Riverwalk", however, not the busiest part of the "walk". Another four blocks and you're in "the thick of things". A very pleasant experience. The hotel has a continental breakfast in the morning with seating on the second floor. The food for breakfast is located in the lobby and can be very ackward to sit and consume. Fortunately, being on the first floor, I could take whatever back to my room.

I would visit this hotel again.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2008

easy location without riverwalk high prices. Clean room with great service. Had steaks at Saltgrass on the riverwalk - fantastic!

Stayed December 2008, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank ma2me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2008

We've stayed at the OBrien Hotel a number of times in the past, but she's getting a bit "shabby." At least the carpet in our room was clean this visit ! There were some other cleanliness issues, however; mold around the bathtub & shower surround joints (a little bleach would get rid of this), and mildewing curtain sheers in the window (again, take 'em down & wash 'em with soap & some BLEACH !). The problem with the curtains seems to be caused by the A/C unit which is right under the window...and it blows the cool air UP INTO the curtains & against the window---INSTEAD of out into the room ! We had to leave the curtains wide open at night to be able to sleep (90+ degree heat outside), and this was not a lot of fun (considering we were on the 1st floor). People parking their cars in the back could stare right in the window (not that they would see anything !).
The beds were not as comfortable as in the past; I assume they have replaced their wonderfully soft & cushiony mattresses with the hard as a board (read CHEAP) ones usually found in budget-priced motels. Too bad---they used to be really luxurious & afforded us a great night's sleep !
Alas, the parking situation has not gotten any better...still nowhere near enough spaces for guests who have to DRIVE to S.A. (who wants to fly nowadays, anyway ??) And, DRIVERS BEWARE...if you park out front, DO NOT let any part of your automobile stick out over ANY SECTION OF THE SIDEWALK...the metermaids in downtown S.A. are particularly hungry as of late (maybe they work on a "commission " basis), and you will be TICKETED and/or TOWED. (Trust me, it WILL happen !!!)
The OBrien used to have wonderful continental breakfasts; now it is mostly pre-packaged junk like you would find on a wire rack at a convenience store (exception...the coffee machine still makes very good coffee---thank God !!) And the front desk clerks used to be really nice...more that a cut above the usual minimum-wage worker with an attitude. Now, the employees are the run-of-the-mill workers who really don't want to be there (but have to be), and don't seem to be able (or again don't want ) to help you with info. on restaurants, clubs, things to see & do, or to even assist you with a problem concerning your room. Oh, well, what do you expect for $6 something an hour, right ??
The O'Brien's location is still great for anyone who must attend meetings at the Convention Center, and the price for the hotel is still pretty much a bargain (considering the exorbitant prices for most downtown S.A. hotels), but a little cleaning & sprucing up would go a long way to encourage return customers. We will be returning to the Alamo City in Feb. 2009, but we are not sure we want to stay here again unless someone hits this hotel with some "elbow grease" !!!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — cleanliness of room & lack of adequate parking
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fastcheapandeasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBTX, GM at O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel, responded to this review, 20 August 2008
On behalf of the entire staff here at The O’Brien Historic Hotel in Downtown, San Antonio, I would like to express our sincerest apology for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay. Occasionally things happen that are out of our control. We do try to accommodate as many requests as possible; however, we are not always successful. Our parking is limited and we try to inform our guest the best we can with surrounding lot information.
. I did have housekeeping check all tubs and sheers to ensure that they are clean. I also had our maintenance man make sure that all beds are sitting properly on the bed frame. We have not changed our beds they are the same soft cushiony beds everyone has come to love. I am sorry you did not enjoy your sleep.
I thank you for continuing to stay with us and perhaps on your next visit I will get to meet you. My staff and I thank you once again for your comments and concerns.
Sincerely,
GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2008

Would not return to this hotel. Parking-alarms-locks don't work on windows. Didn't feel safe at all; around the hotel or on the walk to atractions. They are close, but not feel safe. Hotel has 39 rooms and only 12 parking spots for the cost of $10.00. Stayed on the 3rd floor and the windows loose and don't lock. Room across the hall robbed and hotel not too concerned. Room okay not very large it was narrow and claustrophobic. Trouble using the air conditioner remote control. The air conditioner unit on the wall by bathroom and blew on bed all night. No fan in bathroom. Also, the next morning 9 am. the fire alarm went off while we were eating on the 2nd floor. The maids were there and said not to worry--they were doing the laundry and always goes off. This disturbed some of the guest still sleeping. . Dingy and worn hotel--even though advertised as renovated. Staff was very helpful and pleasant. Would not return; we would stay at the higher priced hotels on the Riverwalk.

  • Liked — the front desk
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ketchican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBTX, General Manager at O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel, responded to this review, 6 August 2008
I am sorry that you left unsafe with our hotel and with the river walk attractions. I had our maintenance man check all window locks to ensure that they are all functional.
I must apologize for our parking situation. Although we have limited parking (as does the rest of the City) there are several public parking lots adjacent to our hotel. Unfortunately you will find that all the hotels in the Down Town area will charge you for parking. The guest who claimed to have been robed merely misplaced his items.
It is our goal at the O’Brien to provide the best customer service we can, thus ensuring that each of our guests has a wonderful stay while visiting one of America’s most visited and most unique cities. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and we hope to see you the next time you are in the San Antonio area. I will save you a parking space and ensure that everything is working properly in your room. Thank you for your feed back and your comments. Have a wonderful day.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel

Property: O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Address: 116 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2933
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The O'Brien Historic Hotel Downtown Riverwalk offers quiet luxury in the heart of Downtown San Antonio. We are centrally located one block from the famous Riverwalk (which offers an array of restaurants, shops and nightlife), four blocks from the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, three blocks from the Alamo Plaza. You can take a breath-taking walk on the Riverwalk and enjoy the history and magic that San Antonio has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection San Antonio
San Antonio Clarion Collection
Clarion San Antonio
O'Brien Historic Hotel, An Ascend Collection Hotel San Antonio, Texas

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