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“Either the best or second best hotel, depending on your preferences....” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino

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Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1309 Ashford Ave, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #7 of 45 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
London, England
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
“Either the best or second best hotel, depending on your preferences....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

There is no perfect hotel in the San Juan area, so you have to compromise on something and in this review I'll do my best to explain what those compromises are.

Location

Basically there are four areas in San Juan you can stay: Old town San Juan, Condado, Ocean Park or Isla Verde.

Old Town just does not have any beach so that rules it out for me immediately. Condado is excellent location with good restaurants some funky bars and is a great place for tourists to stay. Ocean Park is another good option, not as busy, quite funky, but no big hotels. Isla Verde has several famous and big-name hotels and is a consideration but please note that this is now quite a distance from old town (25 minutes by car) and they were probably slightly fewer good restaurants here.

In terms of beaches, all 3 apart from Old Town have very good beaches. The beach at Isla Verde is the best but probably not so much better that it makes much different.

The Marriott hotel
this is a great hotel. The staff here are almost without exception very friendly and helpful. Importantly, all communal areas, the bars, and the rooms are kept absolutely, totally, spotlessly clean. 10 out of 10 for cleanliness.

Note that this is not the case with some of the other top brand hotels you might also be considering. Look at the reviews on this site carefully.

The beach is immediately outside the hotel and is a good one. The pool area is not huge but is fine.

One of the issues with this hotel and several of the others along the coast is that they face North. This means that whilst there is a balcony here for all rooms, the ocean facing rooms, i.e. North facing rooms, never get any direct sunlight. These rooms DO get 180° sea view but you just don't get any sunshine directly onto the balcony. Ever. The west facing rooms, whilst not having full Sea view and are over the Pool, do get sun in the afternoons. I had one of the north facing rooms and on reflection the fantastic Seaview is probably better than the west facing rooms.

The fact that everyone has a balcony in the Marriot is a major plus side. The other competing hotel just 200 m down the beach, the Concha Renaissance, far fewer rooms have balconies then down here at the Marriott.

I wold strongly recommend a room in the main tower, on a high floor. The other block 'looks out on' the pool and that would annoy me!

AC is good. Wifi is 'free' (ie included in $16 resort fee) and is ok, not the best, not the worst.

The hotel is in a very good state of repair, with good fittings and good beds. However, don't expect trendy! The Marriot is quite conservative in terms of decor. If you want a trendier environment then your better bet is the Renaissance just down the road, which IS quite funky.

At the Marriott, there is a beach bar and also a cocktail bar (Red Coral Bar) which is situated in a special section in the large reception area. It is a great place to sit, drinks are ok (not enough cocktails!) , and I enjoyed the atmosphere.

So it's a lively hotel, very well run, good rooms (although not particularly large) and I would definitely recommend staying here.

But is it the best?

Other hotels

The Renaissance Concha is very close (200m down the beach) and very similar, both owned by Marriott. The beach is very similar in both locations. But the lack of balconies at the Concha (they have windows that open but no proper balcony for most rooms) would put me off. But to be honest there's not much in it.

Up in Isla Verde district, the Ritz Carlton is not one of their best and is too clinical (boring?) for my taste. The Hilton (El San Juan resort) has a long history in San Juan and the reception and bar areas are amazing and fantastic but I would warn you to read the reviews on trip advisor about that hotel and I would not stay there. And both a bit far out. Great beaches, though,

Other tips
the weather here when we visited in October was excellent with highs in the upper 80s and very little rain. so it was a good time to visit. You can tell that we are in off-season because there are not many crowds but I can't imagine this place gets incredibly busy in peak season.
I would definitely hire a car when you are here (unless you intend to spend the entire time on a beach) because there is so much to see around this relatively small island.
Don't both with more than 1 day in San Juan. Get out and about to the far corners of the island where it's really beautiful.
Don't expect too much from the food or shopping in Condado, it's ok but not excellent.

If you've found this review helpful I'd appreciate it a lot if you clicked the useful button! Thanks!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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DULUTH
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We recently spent two nights at the Marriott, the staff were very helpful, in fact they searched for a nice upper floor room with a partial view of the water even though we were booked for a city view. The room was ready which was a plus and very spacious with a king bed. The pool area makes one feel like they are on a nice resort away from the city. We really like the location, you can walk up and down the street and there are plenty of restaurants and shops to enjoy. We ate one night at Rao's Italian and it was delicious. The other evening we ate at the hotel, they had a special 3 course dinner for $35.00 which was delicious, try the shrimp with coconut, very different and very good!! They do charge a resort fee, so be prepared and there tax is 7%. Would return again!!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bradenton
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Suzie and John Hen -

We are very pleased with both the service and accomodations at Marriott Condado. We especially comment Lani with her great service and wonderful personality . Lani makes our stay at the hotel seamless and comfortable.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed for 6 nights...super fast check-in and out. Greeted warmly with rum punch drinks. Awesome food in the hotel and right outside on the avenue there are great restaurants-would highly recommend Miro, Danny's and a sushi place a few blocks down. Staff cleaned our room often-brought fresh towels, complimentary water almost every day.
The hotel is right on the beach which was beautiful and convenient. When you are done battling the waves, hit the pool area and hot tub. Clean and very pretty especially at night when they light it all up.
Stayed on the 6th floor with a city view-but did have a partial ocean view which was a bonus. Balcony area is nice too. Semi-comfy beds...quiet on the 6th floor.
Walgreens is a block down-have anything you would need-again a bit pricey but convenient.
Bus to Old San Juan is .75 cents per person. Trolley will take you around to see the castles and cathedrals. Great markets and food stands. Taxi's are cheap too. $20 bucks from the airport with a family of four.
Weather was awesome...88...a few times rain came in but only lasted a short time.

Highly recommend El Yunque Rainforest. Talk to taxi drivers...they can hook you up with private tours which are significantly cheaper than the hotel package offered. Tip well and you'll be rewarded.

Free Wi-Fi is awesome...and worked well. Teenagers were not disappointed.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Friendship, Maryland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed for 3 nights. Check-in was very smooth. We had an oceanfront room on the 5th floor and the view was amazing. I loved how close everything was which gave us the flexibility to walk around the streets and eat at various places. We had the breakfast buffet twice which was a little pricey for adults (reasonable for kids), but was very good. The pool was nice. Ocean was warm, but rough. Chairs and umbrellas for the beach were handled by the hotel nicely. Towels for the pool and beach are readily available near the pool area (along with the surprise batch of cookies :)). Room was always cleaned very well. WiFi was included, but having to keep re-signing in to the service was sometimes annoying. Casino was small but sufficient. All but 1 of the craps dealers were very proficient. We took a taxi to old San Juan and went to the castles. Sun is very strong so bring sunblock and keep water with you. The free trolley/train was nice for getting around old San Juan. We took the opportunity to walk around old San Juan as well and look in some of the shops. Fitness center was very nice. We usually felt safe walking around in search of restaurants though there were many homeless people begging on the streets. Taxis are expensive. Bellmen/doormen were excellent. All in all an excellent vacation in large part to this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

We stayed here for three days - check in is smooth. They have a business center that lets you print documents for free. Rooms are clean and well furnished. The toiletries are from Bath & Body works. We had a side room with an excellent view of the beach off a small patio. The pools are fine - the pool bar was closed for most of the time we were there - it was closed for maintenance. A very nice aspect of this hotel is that beach chaises, umbrellas and towels are provided free of charge. Just tip for the chairs. Unfortunately we did not spend as much time in the water as we would have liked. The hotel is conveniently located close to a Walgreens, Starbucks and several restaurants. The area appears safe since there are many cops patrolling the streets. The hotel does have a restaurant which we didn't try. I had their coffee --- they have a little coffee bar. It was expensive and not memorable. The hotel was very accomodating and allowed us to keep our bags there for an extra day after we checked out. Would highly recommend this hotel - but just remember that the beach is not the best for just playing around.

Room Tip: We had a Tower room on the 12th floor and really liked the view we got.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

We are having a great stay here! Although the ocean current is rough probably because of the recent Hurricanes the staff and security on the beach kept a close watch on the swimmers. My son was having some trouble and in distress with the undertow and current. Edjardo G with no hesitation ran into the ocean and pulled him to safety! Thank you very much for your quick actions Edjardo our Hero!

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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 Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino

Address: 1309 Ashford Ave, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in San Juan
#4 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#4 Business Hotel in San Juan
#4 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 525
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only five miles from Luis Munoz International Airport, located in the prestigious Condado neighborhood of San Juan in a highly desirable beachfront location only minutes from numerous restaurants and bars.The property boasts 513 spacious guest rooms and 12 suites, most with spectacular Atlantic Ocean views; the 24 hour Stellaris Casino on site, two outdoor pools, two lighted tennis courts and Ocean Club Wellness Center that features a wide array of massages and treatments in addition to the health club.Food & Beverage offerings include La Vista Latin Grill, La Isla Beach Bar & Grill, La Isla Pool Bar, Wan Chai Noodle Bar, Coffee Merchant and the ultra chic Red Coral Lounge.Come and enjoy the comfortand atmosphere of everything this "Caribbean Cosmoplitan Beach Club" has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott San Juan Resort And Stellaris Casino
Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Hotel San Juan

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