Good Afternoon Insiders,
Our family recently made our annual trip to San Antonio to visit some dear friends. We usually stay with them at their house but this year was a little different as both families now have newborns. As such, my wife & I opted for staying at a hotel and it just so happened that the JW resort was the closest to their home. Now we're talkin'!
Nestled in the Texas Hill Country this resort is massive and is jam-packed with an incredible amount of activities and amenities, nearly all of which are family-friendly. A huge bonus for our stay was that it happened in the Christmas season, which meant daily activities and events all centered around the holidays.
The best word to describe the size of the property is sprawling. Golf course, spa, several restaurants, lazy river, multiple pools, and a water park, this resort has it all. The entire property was meticulously maintained and the grounds were clean and free of trash and clutter even though the resort itself was quite busy. The same could be said of the amenities such as the common areas and the water-related activity areas.
I booked us a King Bed Guest Room with a balcony and a "signature view." This room ended up being a nicely-situated place for us to stay as it overlooked the main Christmas displays that were in full swing in the evening and at night. The room itself was spacious and clean.
As I mentioned earlier the entire resort was decked out in holiday decorations. This made for an exceptionally magical experience. They even brought in a lone reindeer for the kids (and adults) to see.
The Food & Drinks
The resort offered a multitude of dining options including a sports bar, a lobby bar/lounge, a full-service restaurant in the main building, as well as an upscale restaurant in the golf club. Overall I found the food to be decent with the exception of Sunday Brunch, which I found to be downright awesome. I would also say the same thing for the drinks: decent, but nothing to particularly recommend. I'd say the food & beverage program was par-for-the-course for resorts and does a good job at suiting pretty much anyone's needs and palates, which is good. I particularly enjoyed 18 Oaks, which is the more upscale restaurant in the golf club (images below). It had a bit of a country club feel to it and appeared to have a nice wine program, which I always appreciate.
Margarita from Cibolo Moon
Old Fashioned from Crooked Branch
Pulled Pork Sliders from Crooked Branch
Sunday Brunch at 18 Oaks
As I alluded to earlier the most notable dining experience was Sunday Brunch (with Mr. & Mrs. Claus) at 18 Oaks. This was the third consecutive Sunday Brunch my wife & I have done recently, the last two being at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The Sunday Brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin is the pinnacle of brunches, as far as I'm concerned, and there were multiple times throughout the Sunday Brunch at the JW that I found myself thinking we were at the Four Seasons. Suffice it to say the JW's spread was exceptional, and so was the quality of the food.
The final aspect of our stay that I would like to highlight is the service. Just as I did with the Sunday Brunch I can easily draw a line of comparison between the service at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin and that of the JW Marriott in San Antonio. Every single person we dealt with was very kind and professional, from the front desk agent to the housekeepers to the holiday festivity coordinators. This made for a warm and welcoming experience.
My wife & I left the resort easily envisioning it being a place we visit each year around the holidays as a family tradition. We loved the property, the amenities, the service, and the overall feel of the place. Personally, I'm already trying to figure out a way to get us back sooner than next Christmas!