Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa in San Antonio — Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons
Words and pictures can’t quite capture the heart and soul of Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa in San Antonio, which seems to exude from each and every aspect of the hotel, especially the employees. They're passionate about what they do, and just as friendly. It’s really no surprise they recently became one of the newest members of Marriott’s elite Autograph Collection of luxury hotels and resorts.
You inevitably get swept away the moment you step into this elegant, Tuscan-style hotel, which is the centerpiece of its cool, mixed-use urban village. Eilan Hotel is conveniently located near Fiesta, Texas, and fabulous shopping sites such as La Cantera and The Rim.
This magnificent hotel has innumerable world-class amenities, such as the 10,000-square-foot spa, golf simulation room and Junior Olympic-sized lap pool, as well as the "Best Resort Pool in Texas,” according to Texas Monthly Magazine. The pool's complete with a swim-up bar and private cabanas you can lounge in while sipping specialty drinks, just like any celebrity.
However, the gem of this hotel is their on-site restaurant Sustenio, which launched an entirely brand new Mediterranean-inspired menu in March 2014, designed by celebrity chef Stephan Pyles, who was the first person in the Southwest to win a James Beard Award for "Best Chef."
Those here on a short business trip will enjoy the variety of options available for an affordable business lunch as well as fantastic service, which is quick but not rushed. If you don’t have the pleasure of staying at the hotel, make sure to include dinner plans at Sustenio on your itinerary. One of the perks is complimentary valet service for all restaurant guests, but that’s just the beginning.
The décor is beautifully contemporary, with classy yet comfortable seating and fashionable light fixtures. You can have a seat at the impressive bar, the communal table, one of the more intimate dining tables or outside on their spacious patio, if it’s a lovely Texas evening.
The menu is an amalgam of influences from Chef Pyles’ travels to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. It showcases ingredients often sourced locally. Farm-to-table is a natural fit for Sustenio being that the Ripe Farmer’s Market takes place at Eilan every Sunday. Sustenio uses approximately two dozen of these fabulous vendors, including a purveyor of Texas-raised Wagyu beef.
Cinnamon and Ginger Spiced Pork Osso Bucco — Photo courtesy of Sustenio
Dishes range from fresh and light, such as the Whole Roasted Branzino and Grilled Swordfish, to rich and decadent, such as the Berkshire Pepperoni De Arrabbiata (house linguini), the gluten-free Gnocchi with scallops and brown butter and the Cinnamon and Ginger Spiced Pork Osso Bucco.
Executive Sous Chef John Herdman talks exuberantly about the vastly expanded menu, ceviche bar tastings and his weekend demos in the lobby featuring such treats as “Instant Ice Cream,” made with liquid nitrogen. Imagine the smoothest, creamiest ice cream you can, and then multiply it times ten. One of Chef Herdman’s favorite flavors is the Candied Bacon with Caramel.
“There’s a lot of fun that’s coming to Sustenio,” says Herdman. You can be sure of it!