Trip Review Westin La Cantera Resort San Antonio: Part 1

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Do you remember earlier this year when Starwood Preferred Guest ran a fantastic promotion that awarded a free resort night after three stays at SPG hotels?  That may be my favorite hotel promotion this year as it allowed us to earn a free resort night and sneak away to the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio.  This night was part of our anniversary weekend in San Antonio.  You can read about our first night staying on the Riverwalk in this post.  Since San Antonio is within driving distance for us, it was the perfect compromise between getting some time away to ourselves, but not being gone so long as to over-burden Grandma and Grandpa (not to mention we really start missing Little C!).  On the second day of our weekend we left the Riverwalk area and headed to the Westin and took full advantage of our free resort night away!

The Westin La Cantera is located away from downtown and is literally right next to the Six Flags theme park.  They have a shuttle that will take you to the theme park, so that is a huge plus if you are looking for some roller coaster action for your family.  The resort is also very close to Seaworld.  On this visit, we were not there for theme parks, we were there for adult relaxation, and that is pretty much what we got.  I had emailed with the resort prior to our arrival to tell them it was our anniversary and that we would very much appreciate assistance in obtaining an upgraded room (no, I did not mention I was a blogger!).    I offered to use additional SPG points or pay a premium, if necessary, but I wanted to make sure that we had an enjoyable room.  I received a prompt reply stating that they would provide us a complimentary upgrade to a suite in one of their “Casitas”.  I was very excited and blown away with their generosity, especially given that our Saturday night was already free anyway!

We arrived to the resort around 2PM and were told upon check-in that the suite was not yet ready.  The woman checking us in said that we were to be in an executive suite, not one of the Casitas.  I hadn’t memorized their room list, so at first was a bit disappointed that the room we were told we would get had changed.  The Casitas are advertized to be in a private section of the resort and looked really nice online.  The lady at check-in assured me that the room we were now assigned was even better and that it was worth the wait.  That was good enough for me (especially since the upgrade was complimentary to begin with), so we sat in their lobby and relaxed for a bit while we waited for our room to be cleaned.  They took our cell phone number and said they would call as soon as it was ready.

I did ask how much it would cost to get Club access.  I really like having Club access as it helps cut down on our snack and drink bills – plus I would love to let you know some details about the Club.  The cost to have access to the room for the night was $40.  We almost said yes, but decided that we probably wouldn’t quite get our money’s worth….in hindsight we should have said yes; maybe next time.

After about an hour or so of lounging around and exploring the outdoor portions of the hotel, we inquired if there was an update as to when the room might be ready.  We were then told that essentially the group before us was refusing to check-out.  Apparently they had not been granted late check-out, but had not yet left several hours later.  Not sure what that was all about, but they were not able to give us a good estimate of when the room would be ready.  Again, since we were waiting for a suite we didn’t exactly pay for, we were hard pressed to complain too much, but it was a little annoying.  We decided to change into our swimsuits and head to the adult pool while the squatters remained in our suite.  🙂

While I don’t get to frequent Adult Pools that often these days, I very much appreciate that they exist.  What was great about this one was that it didn’t seem like an after-thought.  It was really fairly large and very well designed.  There was a good number of people enjoying the pool, but it didn’t seem over-crowded.

There was also a separate adult hot tub that was unoccupied for most of the time we were there.  We had planned to go back to try out the hot tub at night, but will have to save it for next time as we just didn’t have enough time to squeeze everything in!

It doesn’t hurt that both the adult pool and hot tub are essentially overlooking a beautiful Hill Country drop-off.

Another great perk was that we got to the adult area just as they were starting to play “Battle of the Sexes”.  Basically it was just a resort staff member coming around asking some trivia questions to men and women and giving a free drink coupon to the winner.  Most couples around us were having a good time with it and ended up being given a drink coupon whether they won or lost.  That was pretty awesome since the pool drinks were in the $10-$12 range!  I had a pina colada and a mojito and they were both delicious.  They had drink service at the adult pool, but there is also a walk-up bar that is located next to the main pool.  We visited that bar a little later in the day for a snack and a drink.  We split a ham sandwich that, while totally edible, was nothing at all to get excited about.  I would personally stick to the drinks at this bar and try to get your snack food somewhere either a little tastier or a little less expensive.

Since we do hope to bring Little C to San Antonio with us in the future, we checked out the main pool from a kiddo point of view.  It is a pretty large pool that has different areas to it.  There is a toddler area right across from the bar that looked perfect for the under 3 age group.  I hate seeing other little kids when C isn’t with us, because it makes me wish she was there!

There was a section for volleyball that didn’t really seem to be utilized while we were there.

There was also a slide and some other just general swimming sections.  The slide didn’t look quite as large as the one we had previously visited at the Hyatt Lost Pines, but you could tell the kids using it were having a blast anyway!

While most of the other guests at the resort seemed to be either families or couples, there was a group of college-aged kids that were hanging out at the main pool smoking and drinking beer out of their cooler.  They definitely had their own little party going on.  While I am all for fun and parties, it seemed very out of place for the part of the pool that all the kids were in.  For lack of a better word, it seemed a bit trashy for this resort.  If I had been there with C I would not have wanted her to be around their group.  I was happy when the resort eventually sent some security over to their group.  Bringing your own drinks to the pool was clearly posted as being against “the rules” and wouldn’t be surprised if the smoking was as well.  Anyway, I was glad that the resort didn’t just ignore the issue – especially since it was in the kid area of the pool.

While we were outside, we took a look at another pretty outside area that was located near the slide section of the pool.  I would guess that some weddings have happened in this area – it was very serene and had a gorgeous view of the Hill Country.

We also saw that they had a Discovery Junction Kid’s Zone that had several inflatable “bounce houses” for kids to play on.  None of the bouncy contraptions were inflated while we were there, but it looked like a fun spot for kids when it is operational.

The resort also has a kid’s club area, tennis courts, a great-looking golf course, and regularly scheduled activities including s’mores and outdoor movies.  I really wanted a s’more, but the time they are offered conflicted with our dinner reservation (which I will talk more about in Part 2 of this review).

While we were at the adult pool, the front desk called to inform that our room was ready.  I’m not sure exactly what time it was when they called, but it had been at least a couple hours from when we originally arrived.  However, it was absolutely worth the wait.  I’ll save the actual room review, the dining review, and a few other tidbits for Part 2 of this write-up coming later this week.  🙂

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  1. Glad to hear about the upgrade! I bet those kids drinking beer and smoking were underage 😉 Looking forward to the rest of the review!

  2. @Jimgotkp, that wouldn’t surprise me if they were!

    @Jarnison, that would be awesome. I’m still in the middle between Gold and Platinum. If I routed all of my stays to SPG next year I could probably do it, but now that I have Hyatt Diamond from the SMD3, it is hard to choose SPG over Hyatt when they are both available! In fact, tonight I am “cheating” on my go-to SPG hotel so that I can use my Diamond benefits at a less convenient Hyatt. Oh, decisions, decisions. SPG Platinum would be nice though. 🙂

    @Steve, this would be perfect for your group! I promise to show you the suite soon. It made me feel guilty we didn’t have our crew with us to enjoy it!

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