As American cities go, San Antonio is not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion. But visiting the “Fiesta City” doesn’t have to mean resigning yourself to a forgettable stay at one of the big chains. The Hotel Valencia Riverwalk towers over El Paseo del Rio, the famed riverside promenade, and is located just a stone’s throw from El Mercado, the biggest Mexican-style market square north of the border.
The Valencia’s 200-plus guest rooms are stylish and creatively lit spaces, fusing classic good looks with the kind of contemporary style you’d expect to see on the coasts. Fine white linens are spiced up with playful modern touches and splashes of color; the public spaces, too, are unusually vibrant, a welcome change from the stiff-collar atmosphere of so many upscale hotels. Business travelers might find the lobby’s waterfall a bit much, but style-conscious travelers will delight in the funky details. And both contingents will appreciate the technologically up-to-date services, including free wireless internet access in all areas of the hotel.
The carefully constructed artistic vibe at the Valencia reverberates through the restaurant, the Spanish-influenced Citrus (Crisp Gulf Snapper and Shrimp, anyone?), and especially at the sleek Vbar. This swanky nightspot, popular with guests and locals alike, plays host to a variety of creative events. Exhibits of digital photography, fashion shows featuring the fanciful work of San Antonio designers – it’s apparent that the Valencia Riverwalk is single-handedly upping the cool quotient of downtown San Antonio.
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