Mokara Hotel & Spa (formerly The Watermark) is the best hotel in San Antonio -- urbane, sophisticated, and set right on the historic River Walk, a shady canal haven rich with birds, people, restaurants -- and no cars! What a luxury!
Mokara Hotel & Spa was originally a 19th century Saddlery (yes, that means they made saddles there), then a department store. It stood empty for a while, then in 2003 was reopened as a 99-room luxury hotel called The Watermark.
The Birth of Mokara
A few years later it was purchased by Omni Hotels and Resorts, which in 2010 transformed The Watermark into the first Mokara Hotel and Spa. This is a line of luxury boutique hotels with locations in Fort Worth, Houston, in Denver, and Las Colinas, an upscale planned community near Dalls.
Now all Mokara Hotel & Spa experiences begin before check-in as guests receive a personal phone call prior to arrival to note preferences and make spa appointments, dinner reservations and any other arrangements. After a gracious welcome, guests enjoy complimentary signature beverages, coffee delivery and Wi-Fi access. (Nice! I hate paying $12.50 a day for that!)
The rooms at Mokara Hotel & Spa, San Antonio, have unusually high ceilings, a throwback to their 19th century origin, and a restrained, sophisticated style that includes leather chairs. Rooms facing the River Walk boast balconies with charming views, and literally, a breath of fresh air. Marble bathrooms are roomy and have Jacuzzi tubs.
Guests at The Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio are treated to lots of extras that incorporate the spa experience into the room experience, including a special arrival amenity, a nightly turndown with sleep masks, lavender spray for linens, a daily wellness tip, and a choice of bath salts. You can even have a "bath butler" come run your bath so that's it's ready at a certain time -- no charge.
Mokara - A Spectacular Spa
Mokara Spa is large -- 17,000 square-feet -- with 18 private treatment rooms, separate men's and ladies' private relaxation lounges, whirlpools, steam rooms and saunas. A grand, curving staircase sweeps up to the second floor, where you check in. On the top floor of the hotel is a nice mind-body studio with a Kundalini yoga class from 8 to 9 am on weekends (free for guests), a small pool, and a rooftop cafe where you can eat lunch in your robe.
The Mokara Restoration is one of the signature treatments. It starts with a Swedish massage with Naturopathica's Arnica body oil, a miracle-worker for easing aching muscles (and one of my favorites). It really penetrates when the therapist rubs in a healing yucca serum and wraps warm, moist towels around your legs and on your back.
Mokara's restaurant is Ostra (the Spanish word for “oyster,”) which offers tasting menus using the freshest ingredients from favorite local sources such as Bluebonnet Farms, Oak Hill Farms, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Texas Quail Farm and more. It has a big oyster bar (no surprise) and a charming outdoor cafe right on the River Walk - the perfect place to breakfast.
When you're ready to go a little more retro, dine at Las Canarias, a formal restaurant with live flamenco music at the historic La Mansion del Rio, a sister property just across the canal.
Mokara's interesting history, sophistication and romantic River Walk location make it a truly unique destination. This spa is for you if you want to stay at the best hotel in San Antonio, with a luxurious spa experience.
Mokara Hotel & Spa At A Glance:
Type of Spa: Urban Hotel Spa
212 West Crockett Street, San Antonio, Texas, 78205.
Telephone: 866-605-1212 or 210-396-5800 (spa)