The San Luis Experience

October 1st, 2019

By Alisa Star

Upon my arrival at the infamous San Luis Resort, my expectations were set high. The resort is known as “The Galveston Resort” for its luxury, beauty, lavish accommodations, food, beautiful and breezy gulf views and feeling pampered.

As you pull into the valet, you are greeted with smiles and helpful attendants as you walk into the lavish hotel. The lobby was breathtakingly beautiful with high rounded cathedral ceilings, beautiful lighting and windows all across both sides revealing the pool area and lounge, with seating areas on both sides. The front lobby is decorated to the T. with breathtaking floral arrangements that surround the check-in area, and make you feel like you’re where you want to be.

The front lobby has two lovely dress shops, Aqua and Style and Trends. Aqua is a one stop shop for beachwear, swimsuits, cover ups and resortwear. They have a wide variety and are reasonably priced. Style and Trends is a high end clothes and apparel shop for men and women. They carry a wide selection of clothing brands, designer sunglasses, and much more. If you need a nice outfit for an elegant dining experience, they will surely have what you need.

Meet Phydias, the resort’s resident Macaw! Take his picture and don’t forget to say “hello” and he might just say it right back!

While you are checking in, be sure to go over and say hello to PHYDIAS. He is the resort’s colorful famous Macaw parrot. I never did get a hello back, but I swear he said “see ya later” when I left. He will be sure to put a smile on your child’s face.

The San Luis offers three first class places for your eating pleasures. The Steakhouse, Grotto’s, Blake’s Bistro,and Cup+Cone for dessert. The Steakhouse offers the Island’s finest steaks, chops, and cuisine. The staff and the atmosphere was incredible. The main seating area at The Steakhouse is very intimate and quaint. The seating is white linen tables with beautiful hand blown glass chandelier lights that give a warm amber glow and welcoming feel. The staff is superb and very attentive to your complete needs. The food is five star! The steaks melt in your mouth like butter, and the Barolo Braised Short Rib Cannelloni was smooth and decadent. When you’re looking for a great dining experience and wants a steak night while visiting the San Luis, I highly recommend the Steakhouse.

Grotto’s features classic Italian food such as spaghetti and meatballs, veal, chicken, seafood, and in-house made pastas. If you’re a wine connoisseur you will be impressed by the selections they have to offer that pair perfectly with your meal. The decor has a welcoming feel with window seating on the beachfront side of the resort.

Blake’s Bistro offers all the great classic foods, burgers, oversized sandwiches, chicken fried steaks, all the comfort foods you can imagine, Blake’s is sure to have. The Sunday brunch is amazing. The huge eye pleasing buffet will not disappoint you – come hungry!!

Cup+Cone is one for the adults and the kids. You can enjoy the famous Starbuck’s coffee, while the kids get their ice cream cone of choice.

The San Luis Resort has one of the best spas around the Galveston area. So while visiting, pamper yourself to a relaxing massage, body scrub, or a hydrotherapy bath. I personally, was in need of a massage, and was in heaven the whole 80 minutes. They also feature a full workout fitness center.

The Cove is the spectacular pool side area at the resort. The pool is spacious, with a swim up bar, surrounded with flatscreen TVs. The staff are very friendly and the service is prompt. The Cove offers private cabanas to rent for the day, for more privacy and comfort. The hot tub area also has incredible views of the beach.

The rooms are extremely spacious and decorated lavishly, with views of the scenic Galveston beaches that you will never forget.

The San Luis resort can accommodate many other needs as well, such as meetings, business conferences, special occasions, and weddings.

I personally can not say enough about the people at the San Luis Hotel and the way I was treated, like family not just a guest. They went beyond my expectations. When you’re looking for a five star resort with elegance and class for a family vacation, a romantic getaway for two, be sure to put your vacation in the hands of the incredible staff. The San Luis resort will accommodate your needs accordingly, graciously, and completely. Look no further – The San Luis Resort is your final destination.

Is Fishing Still an Affordable Outing for Families?

December 1st, 2016

Eight-year-old Aden Viet Johnson with an impressive redfish.

Eight-year-old Aden Viet Johnson with an impressive redfish.

By Joe Kent

Fishing has always been one of the favorite pastimes for a large percentage of our population.  If you are a fisherman or, more appropriately phrased, fisherperson, then we can skip reciting all of the fun and benefits of this sport.

A concern of many on the fishing scene today is whether this sport is still affordable to families on limited incomes?

This question cropped up again recently when one of the favorite family fishing parks, Seawolf Park on Pelican Island in Galveston, raised their admission fees.

The increase applies only to non-residents of Galveston Island; however, that includes a large number of the park’s visitors.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2016, non-residents of Galveston Island will see an increase of 50 percent for adults and 33 percent for children and senior citizens.  Prior to enactment of the increase, the rates were the same for both residents and non-residents and were $6 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors.

Today non-residents of Galveston Island pay $9 and $4 respectively while Galveston residents did not see an increase in their admission fees.

This added burden on families and other groups of anglers is just another straw added to the camel’s back and raises the question of when will that incremental straw finally breaks its back.

For the benefit of the younger readers, let’s take a look at how recreational fishing has evolved over the past 60 years.

During my childhood, fishing was my greatest joy.  I looked forward to my parents taking me to the water to enjoy a day or an afternoon of fishing.  There were almost endless numbers of piers and docks available for fishing and just about every dock or pier owner had no problem with families and children fishing and crabbing from their facility.

For me, using natural baits purchased at the bait stands was a real luxury, as my family balked at paying 50 cents for a box of dead shrimp or squid.  Often generous anglers fishing near me on piers would offer a few pieces of dead shrimp after seeing me try to catch fish with chicken parts.

So for the Kent family, an afternoon spent on fishing piers from Seabrook to Galveston was an inexpensive way of enjoying a Saturday or Sunday.

As the decades rolled on, more and more of the piers and docks were lost to storms and other events leaving less and less affordable fishing spots for families and others on limited income to enjoy.

Today the situation is worse than ever, with few pier and dock owners willing to allow the public to fish from their facilities.  The reason is obvious, fear of liability.

While there are a few free fishing piers around, the more popular public fishing piers are commercial and require an admission fee.  So, let’s take a look at what it costs a family of four on a limited budget to go fishing for the day versus to a movie or other recreational activity.

The cost of admission is anywhere from free, meaning free fishing piers, beachfront, or anywhere they can access water without being considered a trespasser to say the rate at Seawolf Park which would be $26 for two adults and two children.

Gasoline from Houston (round trip) would be in the five gallon category which based on today prices would be about $10 or less and bait could cost from $3 to $10.

Most likely a picnic lunch or dinner would be carried, so we will not place a price tag on that.

The other big cost is for fishing licenses.  The adults would need fishing licenses if they fish, kids under 17 are exempt.  That cost would be in the range of $70 for two adult saltwater fishing licenses for the entire year.

How about going to a movie? That cost could easily run $26 or more and the attraction of popcorn and candy would be hard to resist, so out comes the wallet.

Other activities likely would cost at least that much or more, so while hardly anything is free of cost today, fishing outings can still be integrated into the family budget as one of the less costly activities. This is especially true when considering that other activities usually take up just a few hours while fishing can be a day-long experience with memories attached. Let’s all work to keep it that way!