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For a hotel that embodies the spirit of San Antonio, La Mansion del Rio is a good choice for first-time visitors to the Alamo City. Perhaps nowhere else along the River Walk is the rich, romantic sensibility of Old San Antonio better showcased. Built in 1892, this enchanting Spanish Colonial structure encircling a quiet courtyard was originally designed as a seminary, which later became St. Mary's College. An aura of Old Mexico still prevails in the traditional architectural elements, and artistic touches like Mexican tile floors, black scrolling wrought-iron, and wood-beam ceilings. Rooms are spacious and feature oversized wood furnishings and soft southwestern-themed colors. The iron Juliet balconies of the river-view rooms are level with the tall cypress and palm trees that line the River Walk, while other rooms offer courtyard views. Upgrades in 2013 and early 2014 included a full renovation of the hotel's meeting spaces and an impressive and pricey refurbishment of the Presidential Suite. The hotel's location along a lively section of the river is a plus, as is the proximity to The Majestic Theatre.  Many stars who play The Majestic stay here because they can walk out the stage door and be back in their rooms before fans realize they've left the building. The Omni chain claimed this property in 2006, and its staff is well-trained and attentive. Guests have signing privileges at the Mokara (another Omni property directly across the river) for its restaurant, spa, fitness center, and salon. For a heated outdoor pool guests can stay put, as there's one in the center of the La Mansion courtyard. The hotel's restaurant Las Canarias won Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence in 2012. Diners can enjoy fine wine and world-class cuisine while listening to flamenco guitars most nights, and the Sunday brunch is quite possibly the best in town. Depending on the weekend and season, rates can sometimes drop into the range of far less expensive hotels, so check here first. Parking can be pricey, but there are plenty of nearby garages for more affordable self-parking options. This hotel is so popular it often sells out on weekends, so be sure to book your stay well in advance.