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Where to Stay in San Antonio in 2024 | Best Areas

Where to Stay in San Antonio in 2024 | Best Areas

Do you want to see a historic Spanish fortress from the 18th century, or do you prefer sipping a drink and walking by a mighty river running through the center of a city?

Perhaps you’d also like to add an NBA game to your itinerary, among many other activities. You can do all those things at the same time — and more — you only have to come to San Antonio, the seventh most populous city in the USA.

If you’d like to find out where to stay in San Antonio, stick with us ‘til the end, and we’ll share all there is to know about this fantastic Texas city.

The 5 Best Places to Stay in San Antonio

Where to Stay in San Antonio map in vector format featuring the best areas of town

San Antonio is one of those cities that has it all. It will tend to the needs and satisfy the desires of almost every visitor, no matter if they prefer history or the outdoors, vibrant clubs or bars, or relaxed parks and fun playgrounds for their kids.

Our favorite areas include:

  1. Downtown (Riverwalk): Packed with hotels, restaurants, shops, and museums, it’s definitely the best option for first-time visitors.
  2. Southtown and La Villita: Both very close to the Riverwalk, they’re the best alternative to the city center, and the nightclubs and bars are second to none.
  3. Pearl: A renovated and modern area with an alternative vibe and some great breweries, Pearl is probably the coolest district in the city.
  4. Northwest: Located around 10 miles from the center, it’s the perfect option both for lovers of the outdoors and for a family getaway.
  5. Missions & South San Antonio: Definitely the most historically important and the cheapest area in San Antonio, great for history buffs and tourists on a budget.

Where to Stay in San Antonio: Best Areas & Hotels

San Antonio attracts thousands of visitors every year, coming from all parts of America to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Thanks to that, the city is more than ready to receive crowds of visitors every year.

Taking that into account, there are significant differences between San Antonio’s districts in terms of the type and the price range of the accommodation options on offer.

Downtown, Southtown, and La Villita offer the best and the priciest hotels in the city and are mostly suitable for “conventional” tourists and first-time visitors to the city.

The famous Riverwalk, particularly, is the place where you’ll find the most luxurious accommodation options in the city, however.

That leaves Northwest, and especially the Missions area, with the most budget-friendly hotels and motels, while Pearl is somewhere between, with the best of both worlds — both luxury and budget-friendly options.  

1. Downtown and Riverwalk

Riverwalk as seen at dusk with colorful umbrellas along the water in Downtown/Riverwalk, one of the best areas to stay in San Antonio

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Downtown San Antonio is probably the most beautiful part of the city. Packed with historical landmarks and monuments, it’s a great place to learn more about the adventurous history of this city and Texas in general.

It also boasts many great restaurants and a wide range of accommodation options. The most popular and visited area in the city, however, is the famous pedestrian street along the San Antonio River — the Riverwalk.

It’s a pedestrian-only area that runs one level down from the automobile street. Simply put, this is the place where most of the fun happens.

The Riverwalk offers a wide range of restaurants, shopping places, art-related institutions, museums, and important buildings. Wherever you stay in San Antonio, at one point in time, you’ll find yourself strolling along the Riverwalk, wondering what to visit first.

The options, as we said, are plentiful: go shopping at the Shops at Rivercenter, marvel at the beauty of the Tower Life Building, or perhaps check out some great museums. There’s no easy answer, as all of that is worth it.  

Speaking of art and museums, you probably already know that San Antonio played an important part in the independence of Texas.

The Alamo, a small fortress that looks like an old temple, is probably the most well-known witness to the tribulations between the Americans and the Mexicans in the 19th century. Make sure to take a look and savor the atmosphere of one of the oldest buildings in Texas.

To wrap things up: the accommodation options in this part of San Antonio are simply great. Whether you’re looking for a cheap two-star hotel or a super luxurious elite option — it’s completely certain that you’ll find what you need.

Downtown and Riverwalk Budget Hotels

Downtown and Riverwalk Mid-Range Hotels

Downtown and Riverwalk Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Havana is a historic boutique hotel with four stars, built in early 1914, that offers both a sense of tradition and luxurious accommodation. Located five minutes from the Riverwalk, it also has a restaurant and a bar on the premises.  
  • Wyndham Garden River Walk Museum Reach is a gorgeous four-star hotel located right on the Riverwalk, boasting an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is pet-friendly, has a bar and a restaurant on the premises, and nice breakfast in the morning.

See All Hotels in San Antonio

2. Southtown and La Villita

San Fernando Cathedral in Main Plaze in La Villita, one of our top picks for areas to consider when thinking about where to stay in San Antonio

Christian Hinkle/Shutterstock

Just a little to the south of San Antonio’s Downtown lie the two charming neighborhoods called Southtown and La Villita. Both of them are practically part of the city center, and you can reach the Riverwalk and all of Downtown’s landmarks in a couple of minutes.

However, what sets them apart from the other parts of the city is the fact that they offer the most vibrant nightlife options in the whole of San Antonio.

We recommend both Southtown and La Villita to people who, most of all, want to have a fun night out.

For starters, the best thing we can do is to recommend the best and the most dynamic places where you can have a couple of drinks and dance the night away.

That said, La Villita is a story of its own and deserves a few words apart from Southtown. Located on the southern banks of the San Antonio River, it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.

The area is considered as historically important and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Founded in 1939, it’s packed with art galleries and local shops that sell Mexican folk art, jewelry, and pottery.

It’s also very close to many of Downtown’s most popular locations, like the Alamo,  the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Rivercenter Mall, and the Tower of the Americas.

It’s a perfect choice for those who want to experience the local (and especially Hispanic) vibes of San Antonio. Southtown and La Villita are great alternatives for those who can’t find accommodation options downtown.

The areas offer a lot of accommodation options of every type, size, and price range. It’s also, objectively speaking and simply put, more fun than the center proper, especially during the night.

Southtown and La Villita Budget Hotels

  • La Villita Inn is a very cheap but quite decent one-star hotel located in the La Villita area of the southern parts of San Antonio’s city center. It doesn’t offer much aside from the Wi-Fi and parking, but it has room service.
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk is a beautiful but surprisingly cheap three-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool. The premises are completely pet-friendly. Despite its budget category, you’ll find a restaurant, a bar, and even a fitness center. Great value!

Southtown and La Villita Mid-Range Hotels

  • Home2 Suites by Hilton San Antonio Downtown – Riverwalk, TX is a decent three-star hotel with an indoor swimming pool located just five minutes away from the Alamo. There’s a business center on the premises as well, and it offers guest laundry facilities.
  • Comfort Suites Alamo Riverwalk is a relatively cheap three-star hotel with free Wi-Fi and parking. Apart from the nice location (just a few blocks from the Alamo) and the fitness center on the premises, though, it doesn’t offer that much.

Southtown and La Villita Luxury Hotels

  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk is a gorgeous four-star hotel located a stone’s throw away from the Alamo, part of the famous Hyatt chain of luxurious hotels, which need no introduction. As you’d expect, you’ll have all the amenities, as well as an indoor swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises at your disposal.
  • San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter on the River Walk is another beautiful and expensive four-star hotel, and yet again, we’ve got Marriott. What stands out in San Antonio’s Marriott, though, is definitely the excellent restaurant on the premises, serving fantastic locally inspired and sourced dishes.

See All Hotels in San Antonio

3. Pearl

Photo of a park outside of an amphitheater in Peal, one of the best areas to stay in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – OCTOBER 7, 2017 – People walking and shopping at the Farmers Market at The Pearl Brewery/Moab Republic/Shutterstock

There’s only one word that can describe the neighborhood known as Pearl, and that word is cool. Located just a little bit to the north of Downtown, this area is packed with beautiful buildings, charming streets, fancy designer shops, and fashionable coffee places and restaurants.

As you go further north, the beautiful Texas countryside starts to sprout, transforming Pearl into an unusual hybrid area, popular both with hardened city-dwellers and passionate lovers of the outdoors.

The establishment that gave Pearl its fame was the cult Pearl Brewery. Today, the same place is still the center of the area but in a significantly different way.

The former brewery has been transformed into a lively and quite large entertainment complex, with plenty of restaurants and shops scattered on all sides.

Nowadays, it’s considered the most up-and-coming establishment in San Antonio, lifting the surrounding neighborhood with it. While Pearl is getting more modern and hipper with each passing day, it still holds tight to its brewing traditions.

The best breweries in the city are all located in this charming area, most of them offering their own homemade brew in combination with some traditional American dishes.

At some of them, you might just have even more fun on a night out than you would in a nightclub. Finally, as you go even higher up north, you’ll reach the two major nature attractions: the San Antonio Zoo and the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Like in most larger American cities, they’re conveniently next to each other and easily accessible, even if you’re visiting Pearl just for a couple of hours.  

Pearl has many accommodations, but most of them are either apartments or holiday homes. There are practically no hotels in this area of San Antonio.

Pearl Budget Hotels

  • Sunset Cottage is a small three-star apartment that comes at a really cheap price. It has free parking and free Wi-Fi, and it’s located in an area quite suitable for cycling. There are two bedrooms and a kitchen in the apartment.
  • Hess St is a very cheap three-star complex of apartments located in the northern parts of San Antonio. It offers completely pet-friendly premises, free Wi-Fi, a private bathroom with a bath in every apartment, as well as a plasma TV and a kitchen.

Pearl Mid-Range Hotels

  • Best Western Plus Downtown North is one of the rare hotels in this area. It boasts three stars, and it’s part of the reliable Best Western chain of hotels, offering an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center on the premises.  
  • Remodeled Modern 1BR1BA Apt Near Downtown, 5min Pearl is a relatively cheap three-star apartment with a beautiful garden, located very near the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The accommodation provides free Wi-Fi and free parking.

Pearl Luxury Hotels

  • Urban Elegance Retreat is a beautiful and quite expensive four-star villa. Offering three kitchens and three bedrooms, as well as a fully equipped kitchen and a living room, it’s perfect for longer stays in the city.
  • Tobin Hill 3-2 Apt 5minDT 2min Pearl and St Marys is a great three-star apartment located between San Pedro Springs Parks and the San Antonio Zoo. It offers multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as free parking and free Wi-Fi.

See All Hotels in San Antonio

4. Northwest

Sunken gardens in Brackenridge Park in Northwest, one of the best areas to stay in San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas, USA – June 23rd, 2021: Japanese Tea Garden (also known as Chinese Tea Garden or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park) view in summer/Victoria Ditkovsky/Shutterstock

We’ve already pointed out that Pearl may be a suitable choice for nature lovers, mainly because of the excellent Brackenridge Park.

But if you’re a passionate lover of the outdoors, especially the authentic and rugged Texas nature, the 10- to 12-mile trip northwest of San Antonio’s Downtown is well worth it.

In this area, simply known as the Northwest, you’ll truly get your money’s worth when it comes to the unblemished environment. Being a little further from the center also has other advantages.

There are practically no crowds in these parts of San Antonio, and the atmosphere is generally more relaxed and down-to-earth. If you’re looking for a family-friendly hidden gem, you’ve found it in San Antonio’s Northwest.

But what is there to see, exactly? Well, for starters, Government Canyon — a large park with hiking trails for both amateurs and professionals.

Those who want something more can join a guided canyon tour and experience the natural beauty of Texas to the fullest; others can simply take leisurely strolls and recharge their batteries with breathtaking landscapes.

In terms of family-friendly institutions and activities popular in the wider area, we’d include Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It’s probably the most famous amusement park in the region — and for a reason.

For those who prefer a water-oriented pastime and refreshing respite in the Texan summer, we recommend the nearby Aquatica San Antonio.

While Northwest San Antonio is not as popular as the flashy Riverwalk or the insomniac Southtown, it does boast plenty of accommodation options in all price ranges.

There are plenty of great two-star hotels, which are going to be popular with budget travelers, but also a bunch of luxurious four-star establishments to take care of the rest.

Northwest Budget Hotels

  • Quality Inn San Antonio Fiesta at Six Flags is the right palace for you if you prefer a cheap but great two-star pet-friendly hotel. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center on the premises, and a tasty breakfast in the morning.
  • Clarion Pointe near Medical Center is another great two-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. It also boasts a business center, facilities for disabled guests, and rooms equipped with free Wi-Fi and cable TV.

Northwest Mid-Range Hotels

Northwest Luxury Hotels

  • The Westin San Antonio North is definitely one of the best and most luxurious hotels in San Antonio, boasting no less than two swimming pools. This four-star hotel also has a tasty restaurant and a nice bar on the premises, where you can relax after a long day of adventures.
  • San Antonio Marriott Northwest offers both value and luxury in one nice package. The hotel also provides a free airport shuttle and has an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a restaurant, and a fitness center on the premises.

See All Hotels in San Antonio

5. Missions & South San Antonio

Ruins of Mission San Jose in Missions, one of the best areas to stay in San Antonio

Kushal Bose/Shutterstock

If you’re a history buff and you want to find out as much as you can about the interesting and adventurous history of San Antonio, you should stay closer to the central area.

While that’s completely correct, here’s a small footnote to that statement: your journey through the annals of Texas history wouldn’t be complete without visiting the southern parts of the city, especially the famous Missions of San Antonio.

The so-called San Antonio Missions are actually a huge national historical park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

They consist of five fully-preserved religious outposts built by the Spanish in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Those outposts were part of a global colonization process whose aim was to convert the Native population to Christianity.

Today, their rugged beauty and warlike atmosphere form what’s probably the most important historical landmark in San Antonio.

Here, you can visit four out of five missions. One we’ve already mentioned earlier — the Alamo (yes, it’s actually a mission complex and not just a fort); the other four, listed in order from north to south, are:

  • Mission Concepción
  • Mission San Jose
  • Mission San Juan
  • Mission Espada

Aside from these four buildings, there are two other places you just have to visit while visiting the historical park: Espada Acequia (also known as Piedras Creek Aqueduct).

The latter is still used to provide water to the area, and Ethel Wilson Harris House, a lovely looking historic house that was the home to one of San Antonio’s most loved artists.

There’s one more reason why this part of San Antonio is worth staying in: the prices of the accommodations. The southern parts of the city are the most suitable for budget travelers since there are plenty of hotels and motels that are quite the bargain.

That does, however, have its drawbacks — don’t expect anything even remotely luxurious unless you’re going for a big-brand hotel.

Missions/South San Antonio Budget Hotels

  • Motel 6-San Antonio, TX – Downtown – Alamo Dome is a very cheap two-star motel with rooms equipped with TVs with cable. The premises of the motel are completely pet-friendly, and there’s a decent outdoor swimming pool.
  • Baymont by Wyndham San Antonio South Park is a decent but quite cheap pet-friendly two-star motel located around 15 minutes from the city center of San Antonio. It has a really great outdoor pool and facilities for disabled guests.

Missions/South San Antonio Mid-Range Hotels

  • Best Western Plus Palo Alto Inn and Suites is a great three-star hotel, part of the famous Best Western chain of hotels. It has an indoor pool, a fitness center, and a bar on the premises, and it’s located close to some great golf courses in the area.
  • Econo Lodge Downtown South is a very cheap three-star hotel with a great location, around 10 minutes both from the Alamo and the Riverwalk. It has a decent enough outdoor swimming pool on the premises and a 24-hour front desk.

Missions/South San Antonio Luxury Hotels

  • Best Western Plus Palo Alto Inn and Suites is a great three-star hotel with an excellent indoor swimming pool on the premises. The hotel also boasts a fitness center and a bar, and rooms equipped with all the amenities, including a microwave and a refrigerator.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base is a three-star hotel and probably the best accommodation option in this part of San Antonio. It has a lovely outdoor pool and a relaxing spa and wellness center on its premises.

See All Hotels in San Antonio

So, Where Should You Stay in San Antonio?

Your San Antonio visit can be as dynamic or calm as you want it to be, given all the sights and activities you can devote your time to. However, before we put the final dot, let’s do a short recap of the five best areas in San Antonio.

🏆Best for First-Time VisitorsDowntown (Riverwalk)
🎉Best Area for NightlifeSouthtown and La Villita
🕶 The Coolest AreaPearl
👪 Most Family-Friendly AreaNorthwest
💸 Most Budget-Friendly AreaMissions & South San Antonio

So, with so much to see and do, and several amazing areas to stay for all travel types and budgets, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that San Antonio has to offer!