The Most Thoughtful Staff: Hotel Contessa Review

hotel contessa

The view from our Hotel Contessa room

In January, the hubs and I took a little trip to San Antonio, Texas. We were celebrating our 4 year anniversary and also having a “baby-moon,” aka our last vacation together before the twins arrive.

I picked San Antonio because it was only about 8 hours from Baton Rouge, which meant preggo me didn’t have to fly. I remembered going to San Antonio with my family as a teenager, and I knew it would be so pretty around the holidays with all the lights. As you can see in the picture on the left, I was right. :)

San Antonio is famous for the Riverwalk, and so I really wanted to stay in a hotel that had great access to it. When doing my research, I found Hotel Contessa, and after obsessively reading reviews and Google mapping it, it seemed like it had the perfect location.

So, I booked 4 nights, mentioned to the hotel that it would be our anniversary, and called it a day!

The Kind Staff

I assumed the hotel would have a great staff given its high ratings, but I wasn’t prepared for how thoughtful they would be! When we arrived, they sent a little welcome tray to our room with chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, and little bits of cheesecake. It was such a nice treat after a long drive, and it was just what we needed.

However, it was really the ladies in the spa that totally made me do the hormonal I’m-so-happy preggo cry. Hubs and I booked a couple’s massage for our anniversary and of course, we made mine a prenatal massage. During the massage, they casually asked us about the pregnancy and whether we were having a boy or a girl. When we told them we were having one of each, they were so sweet and happy for us.

I thought this was a pretty normal conversation, but what I didn’t know was that it was their sneaky way of finding out some information so they could give us a gift. When our massages were over, they handed me a little bag to thank us for booking a massage.

I thought at the time that it would just be little samples of lotions or something – you know, spa stuff. But, when I got back to my room and opened the bag, they had put two bibs and two rubber duckies in there, one for each baby. It was so sweet. They were some of the first people to give us a gift for the babies, and it was a really nice extra touch that truly made an impression on me.

The Food

We had a lot of great meals in San Antonio, but the very best one happened right there in the hotel. We decided to stay in and celebrate our anniversary rather than going out and about, and I’m so glad we did.

Our waitress, Roxy, was top notch. I’d seriously ask for her if you go there! The restaurant is called Las Ramblas, and you can eat there even if you’re not staying at the hotel. I enjoyed a steak and the hubs got the “Mariscoc Superiora” which was paella filled with chicken, clam, snow crabs and calamari. It was so awesome.

Of course, the impeccable service struck again when it was time for dessert. The hubs and I were having trouble deciding between the sweet “horchata” fritters (deep fried rice pudding) and the lemon custard. We ended up ordering the lemon custard, but then Roxy brought out both for us to try complementary because she said the rice pudding was so unique and she wanted us to try it! It was a really kind thing to do for our anniversary and one that we won’t easily forget!

The Location

River lights boat tour

River lights boat tour

As I mentioned earlier, the location of Hotel Contessa is great.

We could see the river and all the lights from our room. We were able to walk just a few minutes and hop on a boat for a river lights tour.

On the day before our anniversary, we walked about 10 minutes to the mall at the end of the Riverwalk and saw a matinee movie.

You can also walk to the Alamo, various shops and other places of interest too. We didn’t use our car the entire time we were there! We just walked around and hung out in our room, and it was really, really nice and relaxing.

Overall, I’m so glad we decided to take this trip. We often talk ourselves out of doing things like this, but because it was a special occasion and the holidays, we decided to go. A big thanks goes out to the staff at the Hotel Contessa for making this such a memorable way to spend our last vacation before becoming parents! We really appreciate all your efforts!

Have you ever been to San Antonio? Or, do you have a favorite vacation spot to share?

Disclaimer: The kind folks at the hotel did offer me a media rate when booking my stay, but all the sweet little nothings mentioned above are my own opinions and true. :)

You CAN Go On a Nice Trip If You Do Your Research

go on a nice tripIf you’re planning your next trip, you may be dreaming of swanky locations by the sea or sipping wine by candlelight, but let’s face it, that sounds a little expensive!

However, with a little bit of research, careful planning, and a budget, you can go on a nice trip, and it might not be as far off as you might think!

Destination

The first step always begins with research. There are plenty of travel sites to peruse before deciding on a destination like Kayak for my US readers or Cosmos Cheap Holidays for my UK readers. You can also consult customer reviews for countries and regions rated as typically cheap in terms of accommodation and living costs.

Also, be smart about the area you want to visit! Flashy resorts on the ocean are likely to come at a higher cost than quieter inland villages. That said, travel companies often buy in bulk including hotel rooms in popular spots and sell them off for increasingly cheap rates as the dates approach, so keep your eyes peeled for last minute deals too.

Basically, it’s a case of shopping around to see how far your money will stretch. And if you can be flexible about traveling in late summer to early fall, it can be a lot more affordable.

Accommodation

This is likely going to be the biggest vacation expense you’ll encounter, so consider all the options. Many people opt for all-inclusives as a way to keep to a budget. You can also follow my tip of churning credit cards to earn hotel points.

If you’re a solo traveler, consider websites like Air bnb where you may find a room in a local’s house for a cheap rate, all while getting the experience of home-cooked meals and interaction with local peeps.

I’m also a huge fan of setting up a budget before traveling anywhere. It makes everything so much less stressful, and you don’t have to worry about the guilt of checking your credit card statement when you go home!

Now let’s hear from you. Where oh where in the whole world would you like to go next?