FrontRunners: On the Mark
The Watermark Hotel and Spa (866.605.1212, www.watermarkhotel.com), the newest and most elegant hotel on the San Antonio River Walk, does not offer the overt Tex-Mex ambience of its sister property, the legendary La Mansión del Rio. But the Watermark, set directly across the water from its venerable sibling, is pure Lone Star State.
Occupying the site of a former saddlery, the Watermark reflects its roots with hearty Texas limestone, heavy iron-trimmed light fixtures, and leather wall tiles and furnishings that fill the hotel with a faint new-car aroma. Historic photos line the walls, and the hotel spa—the only one on the River Walk—welcomes guests with treatment rooms named after Texas waterways. And while there is nothing obviously Texan about the hotel’s fine seafood restaurant, Pesca—which boasts an oyster bar and 35 types of wine by the glass—its bartenders serve a mean margarita, lest you still need to be reminded of your whereabouts.