Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary accommodations for two nights in a suite at the JW Marriott in San Antonio but we handled all of our other expenses. I received no additional compensation and all opinions are mine. This post does contain affiliate links.
San Antonio winter weather isn’t something most people complain about. Warm one day and cool the next, we rarely need to pull out heavy coats to stay comfortable. We’ve even enjoyed a few days in the 80s recently. But this is Texas and the weather constantly changes. The coming weekend’s forecast promises colder temps and rain. But that’s what I love about a winter getaway to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa: no matter the weather, there’s always something relaxing, family-friendly, and fun to do during your stay there.
Our son’s birthday is right after Christmas. Each year we find ways to make his family birthday party stand out so he still feels special among all of the holiday hub bub. An invitation to stay at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa to experience their winter activities was the perfect place for our family to celebrate his big day.
I brought along my new Christmas present: a Samsung NX300M mirrorless DSLR. The only way to learn something new is to jump in headfirst. I was nervous I wouldn’t understand it well enough to get good photos but I forced myself to leave my trusty old Nikon at home. The Samsung shot all of the photos you see here (except those noted as contributed by the JW Marriott team). Not bad, right? Maybe I’m getting the hang of this new fangled technology after all!
Ever the optimists, we packed swimsuits with the hope of using the JW’s outdoor, heated pool(s). But we also knew, from looking at the resort’s activity guide, that even if it turned out to be chilly or raining during our stay, we’d still find lots of fun activities we could all enjoy indoors.
Our suite was large yet cozy at the same time, providing plenty of room for the kids to play in the living room while my husband and I could slip away to the bedroom so we could hear ourselves think. If you’re planning a longer stay at the JW in San Antonio or you have a large family, a suite is the way to go. In addition to the living room (which includes a cool, fold-into-the-wall bed!), dining room, and bedroom, there’s a small kitchen with a coffee maker, little refrigerator, and a microwave. Bring in your own food for breakfast, store leftovers from meals you enjoy at the wonderful onsite restaurants, or microwave some popcorn when you watch a movie.
Guess what? It did turn out to be very cold and wet during our stay. The kids were bummed to miss out on the awesome pools the JW San Antonio is known for. But I assured them we’d find lots to do. The resort activity guide is a godsend when deciding how to spend your days at the resort. Be sure to get one when you check in as the activities vary from day to day. Kids love playing in the giant hamster balls in the ballroom or on the lawn, watching movies, making S’mores (which take place outdoors and indoors, depending on the weather), and seeing the cool animals at the Zoomagination show. Some of the additional kid-themed activities, including painting classes presented by The Royal Canvas, do have an extra charge, but they’re a great way to while away a chilly winter day.
One of my personal favorite parts of our winter getaway at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort was a visit to the Lantana Spa. My sweet husband suggested I take some time to myself for a little winter relaxation. I booked a massage and a facial and headed to the spa an hour early so I could take advantage of their onsite facilities including the whirlpool, sauna, steam room, and cozy lounge area. I even brought a book to keep me company while I waited for my services to begin and I actually read it. During the day. Without interruption! That’s a luxury right up there with a massage, if you ask me.
The JW Marriott San Antonio’s Lantana Spa is huge. And glorious. And looks just like you’d imagine heaven to be. The colors are calming. The furniture (and your robe) are so plush, you’ll never want to slip out of them. If you book a spa service, access to all of the spa’s areas and amenities are included. And, if you’re pressed for time and can’t book a service, but you still want to experience the relaxing environment of the spa, you can, for just $30 a day. The JW’s spa offers monthly specials so you can treat yourself to visits throughout the year. Me? I just want to move in and never leave.
But, as lovely as my time at the spa was, my very favorite moments at the JW Marriott were those I spent with my family, especially the winter walk my seven-year-old son and I took to explore this gorgeous property. The rain had cleared and, while the temperature was still close to freezing, we didn’t mind the cold. The beauty all around us warmed us up from the inside.
My husband and I aren’t golfers so we didn’t spend time with that activity, but the JW’s courses are open all winter, weather allowing, for those who love the sport. We did see many happy golfers enjoying their favorite sport even in the cooler weather.
Before our mild San Antonio winter turns straight into a blistering summer (as you know it does around here!), make plans to spend some family time at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.