Many visitors choose to stay downtown to be close to the Alamo, River Walk, museums, and other attractions. Once you're downtown, almost everything is accessible on foot or via river taxi or trolley; a car isn't needed and parking can be expensive. The city has one shuttle service from the airport that serves all downtown hotels ($14 one way, $24 round-trip). It runs from 7 am to 11 pm right from the airport. Several national chain hotels are concentrated along the River Walk and adjacent to the convention center. The Menger and Crockett hotels lead the list of historic hotels next to the Alamo. In recent years several boutique hotels have opened up, promoting spa weekends and indulgent getaways. Downtown has also seen the opening of some larger, value-oriented and extended-stay chains.

Several full-service resorts within the city limits, most near Sea World and Fiesta Texas amusement park, offer golf, tennis, on-site water parks, children's activities, restaurants, and the services you'd expect from a resort—a good option for families. Most major resorts are a 15- to 20-minute drive from downtown.

Bed-and-breakfasts are concentrated in a few of the national historic districts but still offer a range of mid-range and pricier room options. Virtually all are no-smoking, and only a few accept children younger than 12.

San Antonio is a major convention destination, so it's feast or famine for hotel rooms; peak seasons are generally spring and late fall. At the right time you can get some great deals for top-quality accommodations, but during special events (Fiesta week, the NCAA Final Four tournament, during major conventions) expect to pay top dollar and make reservations months in advance. Because of the city's appeal for business travelers, you can actually find lower rates on weekends at many hotels.