La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio
Chiseled into and sitting on top of some of the highest and most magnificent rolling hills in North San Antonio is one of the most luxurious resorts in Texas -
As we approached the Resort, our first view is of the beautifully architected white buildings with red tile roofs towering atop the tree covered hills of North San Antonio. Continuing up the hill to the Resort we passed one of the lush green fairways and saw some of the other golf holes sculptured into and on top of the surrounding hillsides. We immediately sensed we were in for something special - and we weren't disappointed! And then we were greeted by some of the friendliest and most helpful valets and bellboys we have ever met who made our unloading and check-in process painless.
This AAA Four-Diamond “Texas Colonial” landmark is reflective of the traditions, cultures and legends of Texas, with a Lone Star State upscale feel conveyed through elements taken directly from the legendary King Ranch in South Texas. This lavish hilltop retreat (don't forget to have a drink and enjoy the sunset at City View Terrace) features 496 well appointed guestrooms, 25 spacious suites, and 34 unique and newly renovated villas in the Casita Village plus several restaurants, a new (2017) 25,000 square foot spa and wellness center, 4 incredible pools, two of the best golf courses in Texas, nine different dining options, tennis courts, and lots more for you to enjoy.
La Cantera Resort & Spa was taken over by Destination Hotels (a collection of luxury and upscale independent hotels, resorts and residences across the United States) who in 2014 and 2015 completed a $100 million renovation and is continuing to make improvements including the new spa and the Resort Course renovations in 2017!! La Cantera Resort & Spa has been one of our favorite Texas resorts for several years and when we visited shortly after Destination Hotels took over we were curious to find out how they could spend $100 million to improve what we thought was already one of the best resorts in Texas. As soon as we pulled into the entrance to the La Cantera Resort & Spa we started to notice the improvements and they are very impressive. Some of what Destination had done at that time to keep La Cantera Resort & Spa an award winning resort include:
a completely new entrance with a water feature and a slew of attentive staff ready to help make your stay enjoyable
a brand new lobby with rich, luxurious, and comfortable furniture sitting on beautiful tile and overlooking a new courtyard with water features, grass, fire pits, waterfalls, outdoor furniture, and stunning views
- a new upscale lobby bar as well as two new unique restaurants
a fantastic pool complex with two infinity pools each with their own bar and with stunning views of the rolling hills and some of the fairways of the golf course
a new kids pool with two slides and a splash pool
- a new 10,000 square foot event center was still under construction when we visited
We were told there is more to come! In fact, when we returned in June 2017 the Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness, the exclusive Seven (an adults guest floor), The Villas, and the outstanding new Signature restaurant were open plus the Resort Course was undergoing some major renovations. No question, La Cantera Resort & Spa remains at the top of our list of favorite Texas resorts. Everything throughout the Resort is first class and very well done, the staff is friendly and focused on making sure your stay is enjoyable, the amenities are outstanding, the rooms are comfortable, and the food is good.
Golf at La Cantera Resort & Spa
Not only does La Cantera Resort & Spa provide some of the best luxury amenities and services in Texas, but it also offers golfers 36 holes of outstanding golf. The Palmer Course is one of Arnold Palmer's signature courses and the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish designed Resort Course is a masterpiece. The Palmer Course is the harder of the two courses as it plays up the hills and along a ridge line with stunning views for miles and miles, and then back down to one of the best golf holes in Texas - #18 is a blind uphill shot, then down a roller coaster fairway with two huge bunkers guarding the green plus a pond and cascading rock waterfall on the right side.
The Resort Course also has some beautiful scenery, dramatic elevation changes, several challenging but very fair holes, lots of bunkers, dog legs, and uphill as well as downhill shots. When we visited La Cantera Resort & Spa in June 2017 the Resort Course was closed for some major renovations, which included: new green (TifEagle grass and increased speed) and tee complexes plus changes to the bunkers including removing some bunkers and relocating others plus adding white sand. In addition, the practice and tee area are being leveled and resurfaced.
Both courses offer unparalleled scenic beauty with magnificent panoramic views, lots of unique and fun holes, lush fairways and greens in near perfect condition, and lots of opportunities to test your golf skills. Both courses made Texas Outside's list of the Best of the Best Golf Courses in Texas and our list of the Best Resort Courses in Texas. To learn more about each course click on the link for the Review of Palmer Course and Resort Course.
Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness Center La Cantera Resort & Spa
On our most recent visit to La Cantera Resort & Spa we got to enjoy the new and unbelievable Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness Center - wow! Loma de Vida is 25,000 square feet of beauty, luxury, pampering, serenity, and first class service - all with a fantastic view of one of the Resort Course golf holes, the treed and rolling hills, and San Antonio off in the distance. It is extremely well done both inside and out with lots of glass to let the outside in, rich wood siding and flooring, and colorful landscaping, Loma de Vida offers a variety of services, men's and women's solariums, 15 treatment rooms, an infinity pool, a fitness center, and more - read about extremely enjoyable visit to Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness Center at La Cantera Resort & Spa .
Dining at La Cantera Resort & Spa
Basking in the sun, soaking in the infinity pool, sipping some drinks, and reflecting on a marvelous spa treatment can make a fellow hungry. With nine restaurants to choose from, it took us a while to make a decision on which restaurant to choose for dinner. After looking at the menu's we decided to try the new Signature Restaurant which opened in early 2017. It was such a superb dining experience that we've dedicated a page Dining at Signature - check it out.
La Cantera Resort & Spa offers lots of choices from coffee and danish in the morning to gourmet meals with wine or tequila pairings - and based on having to let a couple notches out of my belt, I sampled a lot of everything that the Resort had to offer. And I love their restaurant motto: "Nourish the Body and the Soul Will Follow." To start each day during our stay we headed to SweetFire Kitchen for breakfast and over the three day stay we enjoyed a unique and very good version of Eggs Benedict (10 hour slow cooked smoked pulled pork, poached eggs, and BBQ Hollandaise) and the breakfast buffet loaded with everything from custom made omelets and waffles to eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, muffins, fruit, biscuits and gravy, juice, and lots more.
We also had dinner at SweetFire Kitchen and sat next to a window overlooking the rolling hills and golf course and a beautiful sunset. SweetFire Kitchen features an open-air exhibition style kitchen with a wood fired pizza oven and is the in Resort restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For our dinner we really enjoyed the Tasso Spiced Pork Chop with a bourbon glaze and corn relish plus crawfish mac & cheese and the Wine Braised Short Ribs with herb and garlic fries, pearl onion, and steak sauce - so tender the meat melted in my mouth.
For lunch, after our round of golf we ate at the Palmer Grille at the Clubhouse and enjoyed a great burger and excellent salad but what I enjoyed most was sitting on the outside patio, with a drink, and watching fellow golfers try to par the spectacular 18th hole. It was refreshing to note that I wasn't the only one to dribble a couple shots, land in the cascading waterfall, and three putt!
Primo Cantina has a seamless indoor/outdoor setting at the infinity pool. It's hard to beat a good meal overlooking the infinity pool and the rolling hills and the lush fairways and white sand bunkers of the Resort and Palmer Golf Courses. Primo Cantina serves lunch and dinner, has a full bar, and some very good and interesting Tex-Flex entrees. Since the menu changes frequently, I'm not going to get your taste buds excited because that item may not be there for your visit. But the craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails will be waiting for you.
The other options for food and alcohol include: the comfortable and cozy Sire Bar in the lobby; Bocado, which is adjacent to the Sire Bar is the charcuterie featuring smoked meats, gourmet cheeses, sweets, and small bites; Topaz poolside bar at the adult pool and Vista Grille at the infinity pool; Henrietta's Market is like a farm stand in a small town and offers a variety of necessities plus some grab and go food and snacks including ice and coffee; the healthy cuisine and drinks at Quenche Juicery at the Spa; and the grills at the golf course clubhouses. You won't go hungry, in fact each evening I waddled back to my room with a full tummy!
Accommodations at La Cantera Resort & Spa
Speaking of rooms, when you stay at La Cantera Resort & Spa, you can choose from a variety of accommodations. The regular "Deluxe Rooms" are 395 square feet with plush pillow top beds, a flat screen TV, a bathroom with double sinks and a fully adjustable dual shower head plus ultra-soft bathrobes, a separate vanity just outside of the bathroom, and a thoughtfully stocked mini-bar. The vast majority of the rooms have a small standing room only balcony with majestic views of the surrounding hillside, the lush golf course fairways going up and down the hills, the pools, and Fiesta Texas. You'll also enjoy the sunrise or sunset on your balcony as the perfect start or finish to a fun filled day.
If you need something a little more spacious, there are a variety of suites within the main building which can include up to three adjoining rooms. On our last visit to La Cantera Resort & Spa, we stayed in one of the Junior Suites which is over 550 square feet and included:
a large living area with a tile entry, small kitchen/bar area with a sink and coffee maker, a round table with 4 leather chairs, a large credenza with a big flat screen, a small fridge (stocked with wine, beer water, gatorade, and more), a coffee table, two large upholstered chairs, two end tables, and a very comfortable leather couch that converts to a double bed
a bathroom and shower off of the living area plus a large bathroom with two sinks, a glass and tile shower
ultra soft bathrobes
a large bedroom with a soft king bed, a credenza with a flat screen and stocked mini-refrigerator, two upholstered chairs and an ottoman, Keurig coffee maker, a huge closet, and a small walk-out balcony
If you're over 21, look into the exclusive SEVEN, an adults-only guest floor with 46 rooms with king-sized beds, Nespresso coffee products, Aromatherapy Associates London bath products, rain showerheads and an Amazon Echo intelligent personal assistant. Upon arrival at SEVEN you'll enjoy either champagne in the lounge or a SEVEN ambassador can prepare any latte, cappuccino or expresso. Morning small plates and happy hour are offered daily.
Nestled in the heart of the Hill Country and just a couple minute golf cart ride away on winding paths among majestic oak, mesquite and pine trees are 34 Villas that are perfect for groups; families, wedding guests, corporate retreats Exclusivity and privacy characterize the Villas with whitewashed stucco exteriors, tiled roofs, and wooden plank doors. The Villas are secluded on a tree-shaded hillside a few hundred yards south of the main hotel (each Villa is given a golf cart to use during your stay) and they are arranged around a beautifully landscaped courtyard housing a pool, hot tub, and a marble clad bar exclusive to Villa guests. The Villas are upscale and well appointed and nearly all rooms have separate tubs and rainfall showers and elevated Bvlgari bath products. Many of the King Villas are connected to double Queen Villas and the Briscoe Suite, the largest Villa at 1,800 sq. ft. is equipped with two bedrooms.
Another option for a large family or a group are the Luxury and Executive Suites which are perfect. They range from 1006 to 1698 square feet and can include one or two bedrooms with a king or double bed, a huge parlor with a flat screen, couch that makes into a bed, dining table, overstuffed chairs, and 180 degree wrap around windows with views of the pool, golf course, and the hill country. On a previous trip to La Cantera Resort & Spa we stayed in a Luxury Suite with our immediate family and it was very well appointed and perfect for all 9 of us!
La Cantera Resort & Spa Amenities and Things to Do
In addition to the restaurants, Spa, and two golf courses, La Cantera Resort & Spa offers visitors a wide variety of amenities some of which include:
City View Terrace which is a really cool patio chiseled into the edge of a bluff overlooking one of the golf holes and has unbelievable (for Texas) panoramic vistas for what seems like hundreds of miles - you relax in the rocking chairs or at a table with a snack or sit at the bar and watch the sunrise with a cup of coffer or just enjoy a rocking chair with a good book and fabulous views or watch the Fiesta Texas fireworks in the evening
several places where you can relax to the sounds of water features and enjoy some stunning hill country vistas or have a drink with friends or family in a unique setting or around any of several gas fire pits
a three or five mile trail for you to hike or run around the Resort and up and down some scenic rolling hills
a well done and upscale lobby richly appointed with comfy furniture, views of the courtyard, and the warmth from the huge fireplace - perfect for small get togethers, a drink, or coffee with the newspaper in the morning
All of that is great but it pales in comparison to the new pool complex! When Destination Hotels took over one of the first things they did was build a new and stunning pool complex that is unmatched in Texas. In fact, it is more reminiscence of what you might find on a Caribbean island or in Hawaii overlooking the ocean! They built a huge infinity pool, added a bar area, very comfy lounge chairs, cabanas, great landscaping, tall palm trees swaying in the breeze, and crystal clear water - all overlooking the golf course and rolling north San Antonio hills.
And just below that infinity pool is the adult only infinity pool with it's own bar, cabanas (with a cabana refrigerator, HDTV, safe, ceiling fan, suntan lotion, Evian spray mist, complimentary chips and salsa and a personal cabana attendant), lounge chairs and an equally impressive view. We spent several hours in the water on the edge of the infinity pools with some of the best margaritas I've ever had - it just doesn't get any better.
La Cantera Resort & Spa caters to adults but it is very kid friendly and there are plenty of things for the kids to enjoy, some of which include:
a kids pool with two slides and a splash area
- bocce ball court and bean bag toss boards
- an arcade with several machines and a game room with a pool table, foosball, and more
a Kids Club Camp with interactive and engaging indoor and outdoor activities
a fire pit and free s'mores each evening
a supervised Kids Club for kids activities (painting, legos, coloring, etc) and games
Corporate Meetings, Weddings, & Reunions
If you are a social or business planner or looking for a special place to get married, then you need to book La Cantera Resort & Spa as your venue. For meetings, events, or wedding they offer:
115,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor event space including the 17,000 square-foot San Antonio Grand Ballroom
6,500-square-foot pre-function foyer and terrace with stunning panoramic views of the resort’s two magnificent golf courses.
eight separate meeting rooms and three executive boardrooms
3,100-square-foot Palo Duro stunning views of the city lights and the breathtaking Texas Hill Country
plenty of options for outdoor space for receptions, get togethers, or dinners
Nearby Fun Things to See & Do
One of the other great things about La Cantera Resort & Spa is that you are very close to tons of fun things to see and do in and around the San Antonio area. The kids will love (a two minute drive) or Sea World and Sea World's Aquatica Waterpark which are about 15 minutes away.
If you like shopping, you're in shopper's heaven at San Antonio's newest upscale retail center, The Shops at La Cantera Resort & Spa which is just outside the Resort entrance. Downtown San Antonio is only 20 minutes south and has plenty to keep you entertained - check Texas Outside's Guide to San Antonio to find fun things to see and do ranging from the Riverwalk to the Alamo.
Some of our favorite things to do while in San Antonio include: listen to some good country music in the infamous John T. Floore Country Store; stroll along the world famous River Walk and sip a margarita at one of the many outdoor patios along the River Walk; ride mountain bikes at any of the great trails in San Antonio; take the grandkids to or Sea World; and head over to for some good Mexican food, an excellent deck, outstanding margaritas, and lively music on the deck. And if you need to play another golf course, there are several excellent courses within 20 minutes of La Cantera Resort & Spa - check out this San Antonio Golf Map to find a nearby golf course and here is a link to what we consider the Best Golf Courses in the San Antonio Area.
La Cantera Resort & Spa, thanks to Destination Hotels has been transformed into one of the best resorts in Texas. You just can't beat two outstanding golf courses, good food, a fantastic spa, excellent service, the best resort pool complex in Texas, and more! We can't wait to go back again.