What: Though it’s Texas’ second-largest city, San Antonio isn’t renowned for its luxurious accommodations. But in a display of geographic irony, the quiet metropolis is home to Mokara Hotel & Spa, one of the finest properties in the Lone Star State. Once the Frank Saddlery in the 1800s, the 99-room Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel walks with one cowboy boot steeped in its past (a front desk made of stretched leather; Wild West pictures and other accents tastefully dot additional areas of the hotel) and another focused on class (rooms have 12-foot ceilings, four-poster beds and bath butlers to draw your water).
Where: If there’s anything more attractive about Mokara than its tasteful décor, it’s the divine location in downtown San Antonio. Not only situated just an eight-minute walk from the Alamo, the hotel is less than a five-minute cab ride from popular attractions such as Tower of the Americas and the Institute of Texas Cultures. Still, its finest logistical quality might be the fact that it actually sits alongside the famed River Walk. Guests can either peer down the waterway from their room or get an Instagram-worthy view from the outside dining area at Ostra, the polished seafood restaurant on the hotel’s ground level.
When: Locals would probably say that April (for the Fiesta festival) and May (San Antonio Spurs’ playoff basketball) are the best times for a visit to the city, but with all of the sweet-sounding offers at Mokara throughout the year, you could blindly throw a dart at the calendar and hit something good. Take the Rejuvenation Package, for example; through December 31, guests who take advantage of this offer will get a 50-minute massage or facial at The Mokara Spa, daily breakfast at Ostra and complimentary valet service. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa is a two-level, 17,000-square-foot oasis of calming earth tones, polished woods and attentive staffers. After your service, be sure to check out the on-site boutique for nail polishes, jewelry, exclusive BABOR skincare products and much more.
Why: Few places provide posh amenities and proximity to area hot spots as well as Mokara. In the event those two aspects aren’t enough to sway you, Ostra’s menu probably will. With everything from housemade ceviche and local farm chicken to whole snapper and tuna niçoise available at Ostra (Spanish for “oyster”), sophisticated diners have gotten to know executive chef John Brand’s work very well. And after a relaxing night stroll along the River Walk, or when you’ve finished watching the Spurs’ NBA Finals action at a nearby bar, Ostra absolutely lights up—and that’s primarily due to the marine blue river hue radiating throughout the establishment and the impressive roster of 70-plus tequilas such as Don Julio 1942 and the rare 1800 Colección being poured by the bartenders.
Photos Courtesy of Mokara Hotel And Spa