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Fitting a resort into both the landscape and the community

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By Wayne Lazarus on March 14th, 2011

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

The Westin La Cantera was built on one of the highest hills overlooking San Antonio in 1996 and from the beginning, it was designed to be both a resort, an ambassador for Texas and as a member of the community.Westin pool

Inspired by the Big House at the historic King Ranch in Kingsville, the lobby’s blue slate tile, white walls and red tile roof are reminiscent of old Texas ranch houses. The lobby is named for Tio Kleberg, agricultural manager at the Ranch. Tio’s portrait, complete with his thick handlebar mustache, hangs in the lobby.

To the left is the Esparza library, named for Gregorio Esparza, one of the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo, close to all Texans’ hearts and located in nearby San Antonio.

westin breakfastBrannon’s, the restaurant that serves three meals at the Westin and looks out over two of the resort’s six pools, was named for Cal Brannon, who claimed the land on this hill in 1881. Brannon’s is one of several restaurant choices at the resort. All are excellent.

Other historic figures are honored int his resort, but it connects with modern San Antonio residents as well. Last November, the resort threw its Legendary Holidays from November 18 through January 8, with lights, decorations, Christmas music and food.  The staff turned one of the swimming pools into an ice rink, set up cookie and toy making areas for children and served S’mores at the firepit. More than 22,000 visitors participated in the holiday activities and the resort donated $5,000 from the admission proceeds to the Carver Academy, a non-profit school founded by NBA star David Robinson in San Antonio.westin golf

The resort has an extensive green program, from using non-toxic chemicals to clean, to serving locally sourced and organic foods in its restaurants as much as possible. Guests can participate – those who do without maid service get a $5 daily credit. The 36-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course, one of the resort’s signature features, utilizes extensive recycling, irrigation and natural preserve ares to minimize watering. The wonderful Castle Rock Health Club and Spa re-uses, re-cycles and offers natural and organic products as well.

The Westin La Cantera offers shuttle service to both the Shops at La Cantera and Six Flags Over Texas. They have a terrific kids program on site as well. If you’re not staying with them, come by and enjoy the view of Texas Hill Country from one side and the city from the other. Enjoy the local art on the walls and the historic portraits. Staff members are welcoming and will probably offer you a glass of lemonade.

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