Travel Tuesday: Eilan Hotel & Sea World San Antonio

by Marika Flatt on February 16, 2016 in Travel, San Antonio,
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Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway for two or a family escape that involves Sea World or Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Eilan Hotel & Spa offers a nice respite from the hustle. Built in 2012, they’re the new kid on the block in San Antonio. With its Texan-Tuscan motif, the Eilan Hotel is just across the street from Fiesta Texas on La Cantera Parkway.

Photo by Marika Flatt
Photo by Marika Flatt

“Our most common type of visitors are couples looking for a quiet, upscale, exclusive hotel, but we definitely cater to families, also,” says Melanie Koscelnak, Eilan’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are small and don’t have a lot of onsite amenities for kids, but we do have a great pool and five family suites that feature a living area with a fold-out sofa, a bedroom with two bunk beds, another room with a king and two bathrooms.”

Being so close to Fiesta Texas, it’s a great place for families to stay if they’re planning to visit the park. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the park, to the nearby shopping center, The Rim (where you can find many dining options), and anywhere else within a two-mile radius. And, soon, they will debut a Fiesta Texas package for families.

Highlights of Eilan Hotel include:

Photo by Marika Flatt
Photo by Marika Flatt
  • The outdoor pool, with its Tuscan/ Grecian style, beckons one to sit and relax. The water features surrounding the pool are a big draw and the poolside service was impeccable.
  • In addition to the family suites mentioned above, there are also junior suites that feature a sitting room that is connected by a hallway to the bedroom with two queens and a spacious bathroom. These suites typically run $499/night and are ideal for a family of five.
  • Sustenio Restaurant is a celebrity chef Stephen Pyles creation. You can find specific dishes on the menu, like the Honey Chicken (Round Rock honey is infused in layers between the skin and meat), that are specifically Pyles-designed. Also, the three ceviches are Pyles’ specialties (shrimp was my favorite.) The Ceasar Salad surprises with soft polenta “croutons,” and there’s an impressive Texas wine selection, such as the Becker Cabernet we enjoyed.
  • The hotel is a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel and puts an emphasis on customer service. “We are experience-makers, not transaction-takers,” says Koscelnak.

Here are a few points to note before you head out:

  • Check-in is 3 pm. If you get there before your room is ready, like we did, plan to change into your swimsuits and hang out at the pool for a while.
  • It’s typical for restaurants to charge 4x the actual cost for wine, beer, and cocktails, which is the case here, too. The room service cookie platter was $7 for 3 cookies. Again, typical for a resort.
  • Mercato Café on the third floor is a good option for families to grab a meal, whether it be breakfast tacos (only $2) or a pizza slice ($2), sandwich or salad at lunch.

Overall, the 165-room hotel is a nice option for a San Antonio visit.

Photo by Marika Flatt
Photo by Marika Flatt

The Eilan Hotel is a short drive from Sea World San Antonio (about a 10-15 minute drive) where we enjoyed an afternoon. The park was packed, but wasn’t at full summer function. The Aquatica waterpark was closed, some of the rides were closed and a few shows weren’t offered. However, we enjoyed the Beluga Show, the Shamu One Ocean show and the kids enjoyed the Lumberjack Competition between Texas and Alaska at the Ski Theatre. If you’re a fan of Shamu then you’ll want to go sometime soon, before they do away with their whale shows.

 

For a different perspective, we asked Marika’s 7-year-old son, Finn, for his take: 

The hotel: Our room had two beds, one couch and two chairs. There was an indoor and outdoor pool, but the indoor pool was closed. The outdoor pool had a waterfall, sprinklers and a hot tub.

Sea World is an awesome place! There are shows, rides, a playscape and aquarium. There was a Lumberjack Challenge (Alaska vs. Texas). It was cool. I had a good time there. I saw sharks, fish, killer whales, dolphins and penguins. There was two roller coasters: the Steel Eel and the Great White.  My favorite thing was the playscape.

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