We all know there is a difference between what a search engine believes to be kid-friendly (more of a ‘families are welcome vibe’) and what we moms consider a place that caters to the youngest of our crews.
When scouring Google for information like kids’ club calendars and heated pools, I have to deep dive into hotel websites to find detailed information on how kid-friendly a property is or go through almost a year’s worth of posts before I find one that looks like kids actually stay there. I have a sneaking suspicion I am not the only mama out here doing Facebook-level stalking of a hotel’s social platforms to assess kid-friendliness, so I thought I would share my findings with you. Without further ado, here are six of my favorite kid-friendly hotels in San Antonio and five more worth mentioning that I would consider family-friendly with great amenities.
If you do not have time for the full rundown of details, check out the handy table of amenities below. (Click to enlarge.) Then, skim the article for calendars, fact sheets, and site links!
I started down the path of compiling hotel information when our family put a hiatus on planning a big vacation and decided to book a few local stays instead. By breaking up summer, we created enough excitement to make everyone happy, but we are not so drained that we all need a vacation from our vacation. I also have family coming to visit starting in the fall and through the New Year, so having a list of hotels in hand when my family asks where to say is incredibly useful. It is a bonus that I can bring my kiddo by, and we can all enjoy the kid-friendly amenities!
ALL OF THE KID-FRIENDLY INFORMATION!
When digging into the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa information, I couldn’t believe the extensive amenities listed on their fact sheet. This Hyatt location is the only property I visited with a playground on their map. It also offers a dedicated kids’ activity area and calendar (s’mores and, of course, movie nights).
Some of my favorite kid-friendly amenities include:
- Five-acre waterpark playground
- Texas-shaped pool
- Wave machine
- Rollaway and pack & plays upon request (Fees may apply.)
- Bike rentals for adults and children
Just a hop, skip and jump away from SeaWorld; it’s a MUST STAY property on our staycation list!
I have to say I am particularly partial to this hotel. It was our first stay in SA, and they made it magical. When you enter the property, it doesn’t feel like you’re in San Antonio anymore. We have had the privilege of staying in both the central hotel and the villas. Honestly, both are wonderful. We have so many amazing memories of our time spent there from spa visits to bump pictures and family celebrations.
A few of my kiddos’ favorite activities at La Cantera Spa & Resort include, but aren’t limited to:
- The waterslides, always the waterslides
- Heated kids’ pool
- Kid-friendly casual dining options
- Henrietta’s, a 24-hour café/ice cream shop
- Outdoor movies
- S’mores by the fire
- Seasonal activities, like Easter egg hunts or holiday brunch
And, if you want to enjoy more of San Antonio, La Cantera’s location on the north side of SA is a bonus. I’m sure you can understand why this hotel is our home away from home. You can spend the entire time on property and want for nothing!
The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Spa & Resort is the next stay on our list. They have a nine-acre waterpark! NINE ACRES!
Kids will have more than enough to do with a pool area specifically for them, waterslides, a lazy river, and a sandy beach pool. Check out their full photo gallery here. You will not be disappointed!
- Kids’ Night Out
- Longhorn scavenger hunt
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Zoomagination wild animal experience
- Slime factory
- Wind chime decorating
- Cookie decorating
- Decorate-your-own inner tube
- Build-your-own birdhouse
- Sand art creations
All I can say is once my kids get a load of this place, I doubt they’ll want to leave. I doubt I’ll want to leave either, if we’re being honest!
Since I still consider my family new to San Antonio, I didn’t know about this gem. I initially found it based on reviews, and OMG, it did not disappoint! This property is one of my new favorites. If you are looking for a downtown getaway where the kids will enjoy themselves as much as you will, Hotel Contessa is the place to stay. It will be my hotel for Fiesta since it’s right on the water, and they have an entire setup for all of San Antonio’s events!
The list below is just a little bit of what they offer, so reach out to them on their website for a list of the current activities!
- Go Rio Boat Cruises board outside the hotel on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Scavenger hunt
- Holiday parade viewing parties with face painting, live music, dancers, and more
- Animal encounters with San Antonio Zoo (will begin in October)
- Family packages with Go Rio Boat Cruises, the zoo, Six Flags, and SeaWorld
- Discounted tickets to area theme parks
- In-room pantry featuring candy, sweets, salty bites, sodas, and more
And since they have a childcare service on speed dial through their concierge, I will definitely be checking out their spa!
Home2 Suites holds a special place for me on this list. On one of our San Antonio visits, we stayed in a Home2, and I loved the space and how family-friendly it was. Since then, we search for Home2 properties if we have a quick trip to make anywhere. They are such a comfortable place to stay and even allow pets. We booked one for each night we traveled during our move from Rhode Island back to Texas.
This downtown location has one of the best kid-friendly atmospheres of all my Home2 stays! And it’s two hotels in one: the Home2 and a Hampton. What!?! When you walk in, they have a bulletin board with local activities and a treasure chest for kiddos to grab a little something special. There is even a bull statue in the lobby that is a selfie must for everyone. They are also a prime spot for downtown San Antonio activities and parades that you can even view from your room.
Here are some property highlights that make it a must for the whole family:
- Coloring sheets to keep kids busy
- Breakfast from the Hampton restaurant and the Home2 Suites side, including their awesome Texas-shaped waffles
- Direct access to the river and Go Rio
- Family changing tables
- Rooms with bunkbeds (Book in advance, as these go fast!))
- Saltwater pool
You can also call the hotel in advance for any special requests. Their team will go above and beyond to make it memorable! Balloons for birthdays, special treats in the room… You name it!
The Westin is another beautiful property on the River Walk, and they have a lot of little treats for the kids, including the Westin® Kid’s Club. Details on their kid’s club can be found on their website’s Experiences page. They are also in the middle of revamping their property, implementing a Westin Eat Well kid-friendly menu with gluten-free options and a full calendar with seasonal events. While I’ve shared a few pictures below from my visit, make sure to check out their update on the hotel’s photo gallery page.
Here are a few of their kid-friendly amenities that I know my kids would love and that make my life easier:
- Service Express® (provides diapers, bottle warmers, booster seats, and more)
- Kids’ menu at Zocca Cuisine D’Italia with a special breakfast just for the younger crowd
- Kid-friendly room service
- Heated pool
- Large family suites
I mean, come on! Staying in a newly-renovated hotel right off the River Walk where they will provide diapers, a bottle warmer, and anything else a family with littles might need? Take my money now!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
OK, while the above list of kid-friendly hotels is a pretty good list to start with, I have five more hotels that provide ample accommodations and are worth mentioning. Some might not offer kid-centered activities like waterparks and kids’ clubs, but they are close to all the shopping, attractions, and everything else your heart could desire.
- Courtyard by Marriott San Antonio SeaWorld®/Westover Hills—Family-friendly and a SeaWorld Shamu Approved Hotel©
- Estancia del Norte San Antonio—Newly renovated family-friendly hotel and Lazo with Don Strange. Make sure to check out their Hispanic Heritage Month events too!
- The St. Anthony—Beautiful property, family-friendly, and close to everything downtown.
- Drury Inn & Suites San Antonio Riverwalk—Has excellent reviews and offers lots of complimentary snacks for the whole family.
- The Menger Hotel—Historic property that offers fun seasonal kids’ activities and their famous mango ice cream that I can’t wait to try!
I’m sure I probably left some great places off this list. After page five of a Google search, multiple booking sites, and my boots-on-the-ground research, my brain quit!
Now, I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite kid-friendly hotels in SATX?
If you have a favorite kid-friendly hotel, drop the information below, and I’ll check them out! Also, tag us in your posts/stories because first-hand accounts are everything! Join our Facebook group or find us on Instagram to share your adventures.
Want to see all the hotels in one place? Check out this handy Google map.