Riverwalk VISTA Inn in San Antonio Texas was a dream vacation place in a big city; quaint, quiet, quirky and historic. When one has visited hotels for quarter of a century as part of the work and stayed in Marriotts and Four Seasons and Grand Bretagnes of the Europe and the Americas, historic little inns are an antidote. We found this one on the net. Small 16 room hotel in center of the town, built 1864. “It’s hunted”, my husband said. “I hope it is”, I said. The welcome was personal and unexpected warm. like visitng relatives. Old elevator to the second floor with old city photos led to dining area, where breakfast is served daily as well as 3pm lemonade with cookies and 5pm wine and snacks. Small conversations with other patrons were delightful an well with the ladies who ran the inn. No one was in a hurry. My kind of place! It was great to come in for a while after morning sightseeing and rest the weary legs and head out again for the night. High room size windows with view over Torch of Friendship monument, plank floors and comfortable furniture with period look but brand new. On the table were two journals for guest to records their experiences in this very room. Well, well, I am baffled what people do write! “We stayed here on our Honeymoon night, the bed head boards bangs too loudly on the wall.” “I came to see my old flame, but it did not work out. I cried all night.” ” We picked up a waitress from Durty Nelly’s to come up to our room. And boy did she serve!” To name the mildest. And the guests signed up their names and hometowns to it! Insane. Well, we slept well, there were so many places to visit. I added a note to the journal.
The Inn sat across the street to River Walk, the famous area for restaurants and night life. It was once described as “The American Venice” and it’s easy to see why. If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavors of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like the San Antonio River Walk. (Ernie Pyle) The $6 river cruise was worth the money, longer than I expected, several miles. it played some interesting views like a house with only one wall full of windows. It actually was a triangle shape but from the angle on the boat, it looks like having only that one skinny wall. A hotel had been moved brig by brig to an other locations. The detailed architectural sites were closer to view. The river was enforced by walls and pedestrian walks were built to protect the area from floods and water damage. Restaurants galore, music, shops, serenades. People, young and old. It was bustling every night! See also the collage here.
One could walk to Alamo from there, to the Spanish Market (filled up with stuff you don’t need cheap touristy knick- knack), to have lunch at Mi Tierra, Mexican restaurant that was packed full (food was tasteful, but average, service good), and to downtown in general. And to visit the missions around the town! My favorites! Gorgeous old sites and each one more different from the other.