Mokara Hotel and Spa (and its sister property, Omni La Mansión del Rio Hotel), are both located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, in a prime location close to the River Walk, one of the city’s best-loved attractions.
Mokara is named after a rare orchid containing healing properties, fitting for a luxury hotel and its 17,000-square-foot, European-style Forbes Four Star spa.
Mokara’s 99 richly-designed rooms are outfitted with wooden ceiling fans, lots of wood furnishings and cream-coloured walls and lamp shades. The lobby is equally glorious, with beautifully upholstered furniture adding a luxurious element to the former Watermark Hotel and Spa, rebranded in 2010 as an Omni property.
Historic photographs, hand-cut metal artifacts, custom-made furnishings and specially commissioned artworks by renowned Texas and California artists can be found throughout the hotel, adding to this hotel’s stately elegance.
The staff are welcoming and accommodating during my three-day stay in San Antonio. Especially helpful is their superstar concierge, Jenny, who’s provided several dining and city tips along the way.
Guest rooms have 12-foot ceilings, marble jacuzzi soaker tubs, four-poster beds and oversized leather-topped wooden desks with comfy chair and reading lamp.
While wall outlets aren’t as plentiful as some of the newer luxury hotels I’ve stayed in, they’re in the right place, close enough to the desk to plug in and get to work.
Bathrooms have large dark green marbled countertops containing Mokara’s own brand of luxury amenities. A bottle of bath salts and soap sits atop a towel at the edge of the bathtub, ready for a relaxing end to the day. And if you’re too tired, simply phone housekeeping and a staff member will draw the bath for you.
A separate shower with good water pressure helps greet the day after being cozily tucked into 300-thread-count linens. Behind the bed is a tasteful pale gold patterned linen curtain that ties in the rest of the room’s decor.
Another winning feature is a TV set inside the wooden cupboard containing a mini-bar and coffee making service that can be closed off and hidden from view.
In another corner of the room is an oversized lounge chair with ottoman, reading lamp and wooden table perfect for an evening read or glass of wine (or both).
The list is long, and this hotel takes great care to see that guest’s needs at met at every turn. A rooftop swimming pool, café, pool concierge and fitness center are all on the top floor.
Free high-speed wifi (enhanced wifi for a fee), valet parking, iHome docking stations, selection of down and non-allergenic pillows, in-room safes, bathrobes, ironing boards and iron, daily newspaper, nightly turndown and other services add to a great hotel stay.
Welcome beverages are served on weekdays; weekend check-ins are treated to complimentary champagne. Talk about arriving in style!
Sustainable seafood restaurant Ostra (Spanish for oyster) is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar service down on the riverfront. The raw bar includes freshly-shucked oysters on the half shell, clams, crab, shrimp and ceviche.
A recent Wine Spectator 2016 Award of Excellence winner, Ostra offers a rich and varied list of options. If you’re a tequila fan, they’ve got you covered with over 70 labels — Ostra has more tequila and mescal in their collection than any other establishment in downtown San Antonio.
I did enjoy breakfast here in the morning — dining along the River Walk is great for people-watching!
Mokara’s spa includes 17 treatment rooms, a couple’s treatment room, private sanctuary lounges, sauna, steam and whirlpool, Vichy showers and a range of private label shampoos, conditioners, bath soaps and body treatments that contain ingredients indigenous to both Texas and San Antonio.
If you’re looking to unwind, the spa offers massages, aromatherapy, reflexology, shiatsu, body wraps, manis and pedis, facials and other spa therapies.
Head outside the front entrance and many sights are within walking distance: The Alamo, Market Square, San Fernando Cathedral, Main Square, Rivercenter Mall and Rio San Antonio Cruise, a 35-minute boat tour that explores the San Antonio River Walk (operates daily from 9 am to 9 pm).
The 15-mile, pedestrian-friendly San Antonio River Walk is lined on either side with restaurants, shops and public parks. It’s a popular draw for cyclists, kayakers and nature lovers.
The Walk also connects major tourist attractions: the Alamo, Rivercenter Mall, San Antonio Museum of Art, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo and Pearl, a restored former brewery and stables.
Another section of the River Walk heading north is Museum Reach, with 11 works of public art by local, national and international artists.
Heading south is Mission Reach, where over 300 acres of riparian woodland habitat have been restored; over 60 native grass and wildflower species along with over 23,000 young trees and shrubs (of 30 native varieties) have been planted here, attracting migratory birds and other wildlife.
Mokara Hotel and Spa is located at 212 West Crockett Street in San Antonio, Texas.
I was a guest of Mokara Hotel and Spa. Opinions, as always, are my own. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Mokara Hotel and Spa.