Friday, December 26, 2008

La Contessa & Rosarios in San Antonio.



San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, settled in 1691. It is the second largest city in Texas and the 7th largest in the USA. San Antonio attracts more tourists than any other Texas city.

I first visited San Antonio when our children were young and we did the normal Sea World / Alamo trip. Many years later my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in San Antone and stayed at La Canterra on the north side of town. In the 26 years living in Fort Worth we have visited San Antonio a dozen times and always like the visits.

On this last venture, my son's wedding, we stayed on the Riverwalk Hotel La Contessa which is a very attractive place. All rooms are suites and have a Riverwalk or street view. Here's the good and the bad, in my view:

Room: Our room was perfect, on the 1th floor, riverwalk view, and in the corner of a hallway. It could not have been quieter. Friends of ours had a street-side room and said the noise was more than enough to keep them up half the night. Travel hint: foam ear plugs purchased at any drugstore. Once you learn how to use them,they block noise so well you will wonder how you traveled without them. But as a general rule if I am in an inner city hotel I choose a room away from the street or highway. A good location usually means street noise, that's just the way it is.
Hotel Restaurant: Most hotel restaurants are mediocre at best for many reasons. The main one is that their clientele is always changing and they have little to draw locals back. Also, their business is cyclical creating challenges like keeping them staffed. La Contessa's restaurant seemed to have this particular problem. Nevertheless, the breakfast buffet looked good at the cost of about $12.
Miscellania: Valet parking at $25 per night is convenient but expensive especially after adding a tip. Which reminds me if you are wanting a "travel hotel" with do it yourself service and no tipping, this is not the place. They have excellent staff service but tips are expected.
On a Five Star rating system:
Room: 5
Restaurant: 2
Atmosphere: 4
Location: 5
Friendliness: 4
Cleanliness: 5
Cost for value: 4

All of that to say, I will return but if I can eat other places I will.

Rosarios is a Mi Cocina type Mexican restaurant within walking distance of the hotel with authentic Mexican dishes in large portions. It is the "very good" category and I would go back. I had the pork tacos in flour tortillas and the tacos were stuffed with a spicy pork.

Riverwalk dining. I learned many years ago never to eat anywhere where most of the clientel is tourists. It is usually expensive, the service is bad, and so is the food. The riverwalk may have some good restaurants but I will let someone else discover them.

The Riverwalk boatrides. It looks silly, but the boat drivers are knowledgable and provide much information about the area.

3 comments:

Rambler said...

Next trip, try Hung Fong's on Broadway, just north of downtown, if you are in the mood for Chinese. It's reliable and quite good. Ala Carte and family meals, not buffet. The neon tube ceiling is a definite plus.

Glad you took out the Google registration requirement. Best wishes for the rest of the Christmas season.

Francis Shivone said...

I was having trouble with dive bomber comments. I took it off a while ago and will keep it this way until they return.

Hung Fongs will be our next visit.

I'm not a buffet guy and I like the family style chinese.

Merry Christmas to you as well.

Anonymous said...

El Mirador on 722 S Saint Marys St is absolute greatness...The salsa seems like the peppers have been grilled before making...The enchiladas are the best I ever had...A must eat when we visit...