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“Best Location in San Juan” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Cristo St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #3 of 45 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Best Location in San Juan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Situated in the Old San Guan El Convento is ideally placed to explore the old San Guan.Admittedly, a little price at $450 a night, we stayed there prior to joining a Royal Caribbean Cruise. The Hotel is a converted Convent and one has to accept that rooms/bathrooms will not be big, although it is well appointed. The service is excellent and you could regard it as a boutique/family hotel that is stepped in history: Indeed it is a city landmark and a recognised historic site. It overlooks the cathedral and could not be better positioned for exploring the old city. It has the usual pool, deck and (rather surprisingly a laundry-great for cleaning clothes on a long trip). The food is Ok but not great: There are great restaurants close by so that's not a grat problem. All in all a great place to stay a few days in San Guan!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,979 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (397)
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English first
Elmira, New York, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I led a group of 24 university students studying the Caribbean on a tall ship. At the conclusion of the class, we spent 2 nights experiencing Viejo San Juan by staying at El Convento. Few boutique hotels could accomodate such a group in the professional manner that El Convento showed us. Nothing could have been better: a room for our meeting, special attention, great food and personized treatment at every turn. Its an easy thing for a hotel to blow off a group of traveling college students. But not these people - they are true professionals. I'll take my classes back here any time.

Oh, and I know you are wondering: did my group disturb the other guests? Certainly not - we follow the Italian rule of "fare una bella figura" at all times, something traveling Americans should also do at all times. The students discovered the joys of salsa and paella and la isla encantada outside the walls of this special place on the cobble stone streets of Old San Juan ( did you know that they were laid down by the early colonists, using ballast from the incoming Spanish treasure ships?)

Recommendation: watch those monster cruise ships come and go from the pool deck at the hotel. And then go have a mojito under the ancient branches of the nespero tree (read: lowquat tree) in the hotel's atrium.

Prof. Joe

Room Tip: Ask for a room high up on the west side and watch the ships entering and leaving San Juan harbor.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013 via mobile

This place deserves its number 1 rating.
True, it is very expensive at $450 per night. However, paying a little extra for a few days is worth it.
The location in Old San Juan, gets you a five minute walk from El Morro and the crashing breakers of the north coast.
You are centrally located in the coolest walking, observing, and shopping area I have ever visited. There are restaurants galore within a 5 minute walk.
The hotel is built like a classic beautiful Spanish hacienda, with a large, open court in the center, replete with birds, tropical vegetation, and open sky above. Breakfast in the court is a memorable experience, to be sure. Rooms rise for 5 stories above the open court.
Rooms are comfortable, with great towels, robes, and a very comfortable shower. They have marble floors as do the bathrooms.
Spend time lounging on the top floor hot tub/pool, and make sure not to miss the daily 6pm complimentary wine, cheese, and crackerfest!
They are very attentive to your every need, from the sumptuous towels at the hot tub, to their answering each call to the front desk by addressing you by name.
Do yourself a favor. Spend your money and allow yourself to be enveloped by the relaxing ambiance.

Stayed January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel Dec. 27th and 28th, 2012, prior to embarking on a cruise. We arrived at the hotel at approx. 2:30 from the airport and we were told that we could not check in until 4:00 p.m. as the room was not ready. The only place to change was a bathroom stall (which was a little awkward at best). They did take our luggage and secure it, which helped as we passed the time walking around the area. The hotel itself is lovely and there are positives and negatives. The positive is the wine and cheese reception in the evening (6:00 p.m.) is lovely - we really enjoyed that. The negative is in the restaurant. When we were waiting for check in we went to the bar and ordered drinks - $10.00 for a cocktail and $9.00 for a beer was a little steep. We had reservations for that evening in the restaurant and the service was terrible. We stood at the entrance for at least 10 - 15 minutes and no one even came to greet us. I finally had to go the the front desk and ask to speak to a manager. She, in turn, accompanied us back to the dining room and then she disappeared for another 5 minutes before she returned with the Food and Beverage Manager. He informed us that he was short staffed and he was in the back "doing paperwork". Maybe it's just me, but I would think that if you are short staffed and you are in charge of the restaurant that just maybe you should assume some duties and pitch in(?) Anyway, the food was fine and the rest of the stay was good. The really nice thing about this hotel is the location - right in the heart of old San Juan. A little tip - while out walking we discovered the best Mexican Restaurant I have ever eaten at - it was fabulous!! It is called Restaurante La Madre and it is located at 351 Call San Francisco (within walking distance to the hotel). Best crab cakes ever and everything (food and drinks) are so fresh. It was delightful!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Hotel El Convento is located in the heart of all the action in old San Juan. Walking distance to Historic sites,shopping and great restaurants. If taking a cruise ship a 5 minute Taxi ride.
The rooms are spacious with an old world charm. Great free wine and cheese at 6pm every evening.

Room Tip: Rooms on the third floor are near the open coffee/tea bar.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This hotel is beautiful and in a great location in the heart of old San Juan. Made it very easy to do a day-long walking tour of all the major sites. The wine and cheese reception is a nice and relaxing way to wind down the day. Weekend brunch was delicious. Room service food was solid. The on site tapas restaurant and pizzeria are both very good. The service in all espects of the hotel was great. The rooms are clean and nicely furnished. Our tv was a little tempermental, but that wasn't really an issue.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a long weekend in San Juan. We stayed at El Convento for four nights and it was absolutely wonderful!, My sister lived in Puerto Rico for 20 years and we have been there many times but never stayed in Old San Juan. The hotel is wonderful - a retreat from a stressful world. We had breakfast in the courtyard restaurant every morning and it was great. Their coffee is divine and their orange juice is squeezed from local oranges - it tasted like the oranges we had in the mountains and it was, in fact, made from local oranges. We had lunch there every day and dinner one night. The food was great and our room wonderful. We got a full ocean view room on the 4th floor and we loved it. The bathrooms are great and the beds are too. The terrace is absolutely beautiful. There is a plunge pool and hot tub on the 4th floor terrace and I did water aerobics in the plunge pool every morning (it's too small for swimming laps) and they have a cocktail hour on the 3rd floor every evening which is great. They also have a beautiful terrace on the 4th floor called the Mirador Terrace where my husband and I went with our wine during cocktail hour on nights when we weren't feeling social where there were no people at all and they had pots of herbs and lounge chairs and you sat in the tree top watching the cocktail hour bats fly around (our friends - they eat mosquitoes). We also had some wonderful cocktail hours on the 3rd floor terrace with great conversations and socializing. In sum: El Convento is a wonderful oasis in old San Juan with great food and spaces and we will go back there. We didn't go to their beach club but we will do that next time. Aside from El Convento we dined twice at Carli's Fine Bistro and Piano in the Banco Popular building which is a world class music and dining place and which I will review separately. Carli's place was the reason we went to San Juan - we met him through my sister when she lived there and his place is as good as the Village Vanguard in New York. All in all we had a perfect 4-day vacation in San Juan, staying at El Convento and going
to Carli's twice for dinner and music. There can be some minor lapses in the service but El Convento is a wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Convento

Address: 100 Cristo St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel El Convento 4*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of historic Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento has set new standards of luxury, comfort and service while preserving the rich character of this former 16th century convent. This landmark treasure, a member of Historic Hotels of America and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has earned four diamonds from AAA each year since its opening. This is the exclusive hotel experience to indulge the most discriminating of travelers, and is a hotel like no other. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Convento San Juan

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