This exceptional boutique hotel, built in 2005, takes visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the River Walk, and gives them pause to relax in luxury. The decor is contemporary, but warm, with rooms and common areas featuring exposed brick, stone walls, and flora. The service is solid, and not too fussy. Suites are rare among hotels right on the river, and these have some indulgent amenities, such as fireplaces and marble bathrooms. The hotel also has an Aveda spa, as well as a heated outdoor pool (rare in San Antonio) and a hot tub. Definitely a destination for romantic weekends, the hotel also hosts many weddings.
Sep 18, 2013
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE LAS RAMBLAS RESTAURANT AT THE HOTEL CONTESSA, NOT A REVIEW OF THE HOTEL CONTESSA ITSELF. My spouse and I dined at Las Ramblas at the Hotel Contessa for dinner in early July 2013. We made a reservation for dinner using the Open Table reservation system. The Hotel Contessa is a hip-looking hotel, with a large lobby area filled with interesting seating arrangements and a nice bar. We had hoped that Las Ramblas would offer us
an upscale dining opportunity; however, we were very disappointed. When we arrived, although the restaurant recognized our reservation, it was clear that patrons were seated any place where there was room, we were initially seated at a table set for four patrons, and the hostess removed two of the place settings. (This was our first clue that no one had really given any thought to seating arrangements, service, or food.) The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, although the outdoor seating area was full. Several large parties (10+ guests) seemed to monopolize the attention of the wait staff. The restaurant claims to be a tapas restaurant, so we assumed that when we ordered six small plates, they would be delivered as they were ready from the kitchen; however, all six plates were delivered at the same time, after a wait of about one hour. One of the dishes that we ordered was a plate of mixed olives; surely this dish that required no cooking could have been delivered sooner than an hour after ordering? We asked the waiter if this was the usual method of delivering tapas in the restaurant (everything at once), and he assured us that it was. Several of our dishes that were supposed to be served hot were cold. One bruschetta dish arrived on bread so soggy that we could not pick it up. A Brussel sprout dish was completely white in color from being boiled too long, and had a cooked cabbage taste. One dish that we loved and felt was really unique was a dish of piquillo peppers drizzled with aioli and sprinkled with coarse sea salt. The manager ended up removing several of the dishes from our bill because of our dissatisfaction. Our dinner at Las Ramblas was a complete waste of time! In fact, it gave us such a lack of confidence in what fine/upscale dining was in San Antonio that we cancelled both our lunch and dinner reservations the next day and walked into more casual restaurants, rather than waste our time and money on another unacceptable hotel restaurant meal.