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“Bed Bugs, Rude Staff, We Switched hotels”

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O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Ranked #112 of 358 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 March 2012

The rooms are run down, you felt every spring in the bed. and furniture stained and old, They booked a party next to us, who woke us up at 3am, partying outside our door on the patio. The staff moved us to another room, Then the following day we returned from sightseeing to take a nap, as we didn't get much the night before only to find all of our stuff had been packed up and moved to another room, with no attempt to call or contact us. We checked out immediately after that.. after fighting about the bill.....once I got to new hotel. (Omni) and showered we noticed we were covered in bites. DO NOT STAY HERE!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tx_becca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (458)
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288 - 292 of 458 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2012

Great price (Sunday night), great location within 1 block of riverwalk and 2 blocks to La Villiata. Rooms were upscale, CLEAN, lots of extras (glassware vs plastic, robes,etc). Chose a 3rd floor room with a balcony overlooking parking lot and side streets - interesting view and nice space. From reviews, we were expecting a tiny room but it was plenty large. Since we were leaving early, the very friendly man offered us food from the breakfast buffet. It was nice that the Danish were prewrapped, plus fruit and coffee to go. Parking was $10 and lots of room (again it was Sunday). Would definitly choose O'Brien again!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank DianeDuluth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Big room for the age of the property. The staff was friendly, the room was clean, but needed some maintenance. Price is good for the area, and the river walk is about a block away, so the location is very good. It would be nice if they provided a movie channel like HBO or something.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony room.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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Thank YourNextGuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Did not get the best welcome from reception as we turned up before 3pm and were told that under no circumstances could we be allowed to check in any earlier. The girl on the desk said that her sister would not be happy if she had allowed us to checkin earlier .. Nothing to do with the room not being ready! So that was a bit annoying .. Other than that the room was a fair size but quite dark. Breakfast was waffles, orange juice, cereals, yoghurt which was laid out in reception then you had to go to the second floor and sit outside people's room to eat it... Bit of a funny arrangement and must have been quite noisy for people in the second floor rooms. On the plus side, the location was good.

Room Tip: Avoid 2nd floor for reasons described above.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank gwendy_bird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Just back from a 4 day stay at the O'Brien Historic Hotel, and it definitely met and mostly exceeded my expectations. Loved it, and will stay again!

The pros: perfect location 1 block from the riverwalk and walking distance to absolutely everything downtown; safe area to walk; cheap parking; friendly staff; great balcony; comfortable beds; best price of any comparable property near the riverwalk.

The cons: very small bathroom (2nd and 3rd floor--not sure about whirlpool rooms on 1st--corner rooms appeared slightly larger) with no vent fan; early morning light on east side (back of hotel), small parking lot.

Room Tips: (in case you read no further!)--Rooms on the backside of the hotel 2nd and 3rd floors face east and have a single door leading out to a balcony. The doors are brand new, glassed in and have a lever to shut a blind inside the glass of the door for privacy. Problem is, they still let in a great deal of morning light, and have no curtain on them. One of the beds is just a few feet from this door, so If you are light sensitive, get a room on the front side of the hotel. Other reviews mention road noise from the front, though in our room, the fan/A/C blocked most ambient noise without being too annoying. Also, rooms in the mid-section of the hotel on the second floor (203-4 and 211-12 maybe? not sure) open into the hotel's breakfast eating area. Noise could be a problem. The balcony is covered on the 2nd floor, but not the 3rd, fyi.

Have to say, this place is absolutely perfect if location is paramount, especially if you are a single or couple. The bathroom was as small as it could be and still be functional, but had nice amenities like a makeup mirror, plenty of light and nice size tub/shower with good water pressure and adjustable spray head. One glaring omission in this city of high heat and humidity is a bathroom vent fan. Completely ridiculous, given the climate!! There is definitely a musty smell in the room due to high humidity if you turn off the A/C. Common in many SA hotels, in my experience, so can't fault them too much. The remedy for this is opening the door onto the balcony, if you are in a balcony room. Not sure what you would do in summertime....so I'm not sure I would stay here in the heat of summer. A/C did a good job (nice to be able to set it yourself), but hard to say if it would keep up in summer. Humidity could be an issue.

Yes, the parking is limited, but I counted approximately18 spaces, maybe more, for a hotel with 30+ rooms, and there is a parking lot across the street and a parking garage one block up. Some of the hotel's parking is in the rear, some across the street. You can't beat the price of $10.00!! All rooms appeared full at the time we were here (holiday weekend) and we got the last space at midnight on a Friday night, and later had no problem finding a spot when we moved the car. Pretty good odds of getting parking most times, I suspect. One review mentioned a car getting broken into in the lot. To me, the back lot appeared pretty secure, and front lot was well-lit. Hey, its downtown, anything can happen, as in all urban parking lots. Don't leave valuables in the car (and yes, they have signs posted everywhere to remind you of this fact).

Staff was friendly and did a great job. Especially great was the gentleman working when we arrived at midnight after a long trip and exasperating rental car issue, and in a blinding rain storm. He quickly told us that one parking spot was left, then went outside to either move his car to make space, or point out the spot (not sure, I stayed inside--either way, he went above and beyond to help us in the rain). Check-in was quick and easy. Unless dealing with other customers, front desk staff said hello or told us to have a nice day each time we crossed to the front door, and other staff were also friendly. We had no problems, so can't rate how they handled issues.

Our room was on the second floor, near the end. Beds and bedding above-average, lots of pillows, both firm and soft, great TV, the best WiFi of any hotel we've stayed in recent memory, coffee pot, and extras like bottled water and toiletries. Cleanliness was good, but the hotel opened in 2003 and little things show its age, such as small areas of torn wallpaper, bathroom doors which need to be repainted, old toilet seats etc. According to one staff member, they are getting ready to install new carpeting, and they just put in new doors from the balcony rooms to the balcony, so it appears they are addressing routine maintenance issues related to aging.

Breakfast was great all mornings--plenty of food, and we were always there pretty late. Every morning there was a selection of baked goods (bagels, muffins,bread for toast etc), cereals, milk, juice, yogurt, fresh fruit and make your own waffles. One really nice feature was a commercial coffee/tea/hot chocolate machine available 24/7 in the lobby. Also, they restocked the coffee and tea in our room daily. One oddity is that the breakfast items are in the lobby on the first floor, but tables are located on the second floor. They supply trays for you to carry food up, but a bit awkward.

Loved the balcony, even though it isn't completely private (see the pics). Added so much to our stay to be able sit out morning and evening with a cup of tea or drink, watching the comings and goings from La Villita. This hotel is not "pristine," but offers a number of amenities, lower price, friendly staff and a fantastic location. It is, truly, a "boutique" historic hotel, with the floor-plan oddities inherent, as such. If you want perfect, don't stay here. If you enjoy historic properties, and aren't a perfectionist, like a comfy bed and a balcony, you'll enjoy it.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sati09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: ₹ 6,515 - ₹ 12,449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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