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“Welcoming in the heart of San Juan” 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 #4 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Colorado Springs, CO
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Welcoming in the heart of San Juan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We stayed at the Marriott SJ for a few days before starting an eastern Carib cruise on the Carnival Valor. We'd never been to SJ before.

First, as usual, Marriott service and the competent, friendly staff made the hotel stay thoroughly enjoyable. The consistency across Marriott resort properties (e.g., comparing the MSJ with the Marriott Kauai Beach Resort) is amazing.

We had a city-side room with view of the mountains, though all we saw were the perpetual April rain clouds over the mountains. We stayed on Marriott Reward Points, but we didn't know to try for a beach-side room. The room was spacious, comfortable and fastidious.

The location is a good proximity balance between Old SJ and the upscale hotel-casinos with good beaches on Ashford. We learned the hard way (our own fault, we didn't check) that you really can't walk comfortably from MSJ to Old SJ and the fortresses. The cab ride is short, but most importantly it saves a tough hill climb.

Ashford has some great restaurants, and the MSJ concierge gave us good advice. We're gluten-free, and his recommendations were perfect. (Of course, it helps that traditional PR cuisine is pretty low-/no-wheat anyway.)

The MSJ beach is excellent, and the staff helpfully setup your beach chairs and dig in the umbrellas. You can walk the beach (all public) past other hotels quite a ways up the beach toward the west end, not so far to the east. Unfortunately, with the strong trade winds, which established the PR colony in the first place, almost every day is a Red Flag day. The hotel staff is vigilant whistling swimmers away from rock outcrops on the west side of the beach in front of the MSJ. There's still plenty of good swimming away from those rocks, and the surf is decent for boogie board rides. In the distance (maybe quarter to half mile?), you can see big breakers over the reef that protected Spanish PR from its British, Dutch and French competitors, and today protects PR from hard hurricane seas. We saw some nut jobs out para-surfing maybe a 100 yards just inside the reef--MSJ wisely doesn't offer those beach toys. Parents should realize that MSJ doesn't provide a lifeguard in the State-side sense. Talking with MSJ staff, I got the impression that the PR lifeguard service normally performs recovery, not rescue, so watch your kids.

The pools and big slide seemed a bit small for the size of the property, but the beach is a better draw anyway. Landscaping separates the two pools and provides a sense of limited privacy for sunning poolside.

Like other Marriott properties we know, MSJ strictly limits vendor presence on the property, and the vendors are very polite. On the public beach in front of the MSJ there were more vendors, but I suspect the MSJ staff encourages them to be polite, too.

Arriving late the first night, we ate at the hotel restaurant, which was quite good.

We were most suprised and pleased to find that MSJ has live Latin dance music several nights each week. The concierge told us that most of SJ doesn't have live Latin music anymore. The bands were "real," not just a guy doing guitar play-along with his amped-up Mac Book, as we saw at other hotels. (Apple and its software authors are destroying performance music.) The dance floor is VERY tight on Friday and Saturday night, less so other nights. The crowd was extremely friendly.

Across the street are a Starbucks and a Haagen-Daz. Walgreens is half a block away, so you can affordably get the sunblock, aloe gel, etc, that you either forgot or didn't want to pack. The Walgreens sells some alcohol, and there's also a full liquor store just another half block away.

We hope to revisit SJ, as we had just barely begun to explore it, and there's a lot to see and do in PR. We expect to stay again at the MSJ.

Room Tip: Beach side rooms may be available
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,563 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,063)
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English first
Chicago, IL
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This was our first time staying at a Marriott, and we were impressed to be sure--with the ambiance, amenities, and incredibly friendly service from every single staff member we encountered during our four-night stay. A few points:

--We were traveling with a toddler and really appreciated the beautiful pool; it has a great shallow area for kids. We also greatly appreciated being allowed to check out a bit later to accommodate his nap.
--Loved our oceanfront room, although a (cheaper) partial oceanfront would probably have been just as nice.
--The workout room is clean and well equipped.
--It was easy to find lounge chairs at the pool and beach. The beach is lovely, although you do need to be careful swimming there--powerful waves.
--The hotel's location can't be beat. Tons of good restaurants are within a few blocks, along with two beautiful parks (one with a playground) and a handy Walgreen's. In the area, we enjoyed dinners at Ropa Vieja, Bar Gitano, and the Italian restaurant at La Ventana al Mar park (can't remember the name). We had breakfasts at Starbucks, Punk Burger (great acai bowls), and Ben & Jerry's (seriously, it was delicious) and lunches at Danny's (good pizza) and the Buns burger spot across from the hotel.
--Can't comment on the hotel restaurants since we didn't eat there. The breakfast buffet was way too expensive when you have so many options nearby. However, the pool bar makes great drinks--pricey, but worth it!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I deeply regret my choice of this hotel and feel trapped in it as I write this because of their prepayment policy. There is only one "outdoor" reataurant! Worse, it is really a modified indoor restaurant in which you sit under a roof and can't see the ocean fully because there is a large and decorated glass barrier between the restaurant where you sit to eat and the actual beach. This cuts off any ocean breeze and stifles the air. Truly awful. You are in
Puerto Rico, where many hotels have wide open vistas, tons of outdoor sitting and relaxing options, but NOT at the Marriott.Only reason to pick this San Juan option: the nice but crowded beach.

I am currently at a conference at the Hilton, which sits on a stunning location, with wide open vistas and lots of places to chill. I was booked out of the conference hotel and then picked the Marriott because of the good reviews, which I cannot understand and now feel misled by. Don't stay here ...it is as if they plucked a generic Marriott and plopped it down on the beach and didn't bother to create any outdoor lounging or eating options for the guests, who are here to enjoy the beautiful beach and weather. The one pool is so-so.

I wish I was at the Hilton, or even better, la concha, where I stayed two nights before the La Concha is beautiful with a soaring lobby, like the Hilton, lots of pools and seating area sprinkled throughout.

Honestly, I can't wait to leave this hotel every morning to get to the conference to enjoy the Hilton.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Farmingdale, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We were there from Wednesday to Sunday, just enough time to renew our energy and close enough from NY that travel wasn't to long. We had breakfast every morning at the La Vista and was greeted by a very friendly server Sonny who remembered us every morning and what we wanted. What a gem they have in him. The Red Coral lounge was a wonderful way to relax and they offered night snacks that were to die for, very tasty and just the right size. Our server there was Ming and she was always delightful and happy to see us.
In general we felt like we were home surrounded by friends who cared about our needs.

Room Tip: Choosing a room for us depends on how much time you are in it. We were down in a corner overlooking...
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  • Stayed April 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Located in the heart of Condado you can't ask for a much better location to be able to walk to restaurants and places to grab a drink. As for the hotel itself its rather dated however I found it clean and in good repair. I had a room overlooking the pool area that had a very good view of both the pool and ocean beyond. The casino is one of the few places you can play hold'em poker so that is always a perk. I stayed in the hotel on a business trip and found it to be your basic Marriott which was fine for my needs. The reason I rated it 3 stars is I believe if you are on vacation there are much better properties to stay just based on pool and beach accommodations.Don't get me wrong I found the pool fine for my use when I had an early day, I have stayed at other hotels on the island that seem to have more to offer a person on vacation.

Overall its a solid Marriott property that suited my needs just fine and I will stay there again. However on the 1-2 times a year the wife stays over for a long weekend we will visit another hotel for the touristy perks.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Staten Island
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Beautiful and clean. Friendly staff. Relaxing pool and great access to beach. Good security.

Hotel went out of their way to make our cruise critic group feel welcome by offering reduced priced drinks.

Our room, partial ocean view was large with a nice balcony. Bed was comfortable and we had all the amenities we needed I.e. coffee, free Internet, free bottles of water, free drink coupon, free beach chairs, and $40 match play in casino. We were greeted with complimentary punch.

We didn't eat at hotel because prices were high and review were not positive so we had a nice dinner just down the street Tijuana,to the left and a good breakfast at Latin to the right. Walgreens on corner was great for fresh fruit and snacks.

We would stay here again.

Room Tip: 14 floor was great
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
Salem, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

My sister and I spent five nights in a nice oceanfront room and the view was very nice. But the service was not so good and the resort fees were insane. One evening the maid left our door propped open after tidying up the room. Another evening she hung up the towels that we had put in the tub to be replaced. Dirty wine glasses were left behind and the floor wasn't vacuumed until we complained. By the way, I think the concept of re-using towels makes no sense - they don't dry overnight and no one wants to re-use a wet towel.

We had a repeating problem with keys not working. The lobby dispatched someone to replace the key as my sister waited at our door but sent him to the wrong floor.

The pool bar service was spotty - several people waited way too long for a cocktail or food. It was easier to get it yourself.

My husband is a lifetime gold member so we've been to many Marriott resorts and I would have to say that this one was the least pleasing.

Room Tip: Choose oceanfront, by all means.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
JCT-DOM-PR, Manager at Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear mchall6252

Thank you for your review of your expoerience during a recent stay at our property. Thank you also for your loyalty to Marriott International as is evidenced by your husband's lifetime gold status. It is truly appreciated.

Your experience is well below the expectations we have for ourselves and have been addressed with the relevant department heads within our organization so that your experience is not replicated in the future.

If you have the time, it would be greatly appreciated if you could contact me offline and let me know which room you stayed in, I will see if the problem you had with your door keys has been rectified fully or not.

If I can ever assist in a return stay to the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, please don't hesitate in contacting me at 787 289 5036 or via email at julian.cable-treadwell@marriotthotels.com.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in San Juan
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#1 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#2 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#3 Family Hotel in San Juan
#3 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#4 Business 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 & Stellaris Hotel San Juan
Marriott San Juan Resort And Stellaris Casino

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