Just returned from a 5-night stay at this property. This was our first visit to Puerto Rico, so we were very cautious in choosing where to stay. We were not renting a car (good choice!!), so we wanted a quality oceanfront property that was still easily accessible to attractions like Old San Juan, El Yunque Rainforest, etc. We read MANY Trip Advisor reviews about this and other properties, and chose this resort. We are VERY pleased that we did! Here are some PROS: beautiful oceanfront location with a lovely beach; every staff member we encountered was very friendly and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable- the bell crew always opened the front doors and were very outgoing with recommendations for where to eat, how to catch the bus, flagging taxis, directions, etc.; beach staff right on top of getting lounge chairs/umbrellas, etc.; Ashford Ave. location offers many dining options at all price options- if you don't want to pay the outrageous prices for the resort food/drink (see CONS below); pool is lovely and has a fun swim-up pool bar (although very pricey) plus both a tikes pool and "regular" pool + a slide. Very helpful to have a Walgreens one block from the front door, which included a small grocery market inside; rooms were good sized with very comfy beds; we had oceanfront rooms and our view from the 9th floor was very good (see pics); casino inside good sized and offers MANY different slots + table games.
Now the few CONS: Food and drink on property are outrageous (lunch our last day was 3 chicken tenders meals w. fries, a turkey wrap w. fries, 2 beers, a smoothie, and a pop = $81.32 before tip). You can eat @ Buns right across the street and have a huge meal for 1/2 the price. A beer at the bar is $7 ($2.50-$4 up and down Ashford Avenue), and other drinks are $11-15 each. I was disappointed in the Concierge/Travel desk (Jay I think his name was) when we tried to book a late Bio Bay excursion. The two companies the Marriott endorses were booked, and he told us that we would have to explore other companies on our own, as he only uses the two companies that were already full. Turns out, there are NINE Bio Bay tour companies that operate (see other review), and we made our own reservations and highly recommend the company we used! Would have been nice if Jay would have at least helped us with the other company names, web sites, etc. He did book us into a quality rainforest tour, but only promoted THEIR preferred providers. You do pay a "resort fee" per room, but that does give you Wi-Fi, 4 bottles of water daily (although this varied from 2-3 each day in reality), your lounge chairs/umbrellas on the beach, $20 in casino coupons, and more, so not too bad overall.
MISCELLANEOUS: the bus fare to Old San Juan is 75 cents/pp each way, but the buses don't run on a schedule, so prepare to wait. Taxis are mostly "flat rate", and the fare from resort to Old San Juan is $15 (we waited the first day w. others at the bus stop, and taxis offered us $2/pp, which we accepted, but only if there's 8-10 people riding. Taxis all are 12-15 passenger vans, and all we rode in were very clean w. very personable drivers- nothing like New York, Chicago, etc.). Highly recommend a visit to Old San Juan (make sure to check out the Segway Tour!), El Yunque Rainforest, and a Bio Bay tour during your visit- you won't regret any of these choices!! Unless you are a real adventurer, I don't recommend renting a car. Driving in San Juan is "unique". The roads are very congested, signage is ok, but finding where you are going would be almost impossible without a very good GPS. Transportation to/from most attractions is available for a reasonable price, and in my personal opinion, is WELL worth the extra $20/pp on average per event. If you do choose to rent a car, beware that parking will cost you everywhere you go, if you can find a parking spot! Taxis are reasonable, safe and clean.
In closing, whether you are traveling as a family like ours (2 adults + 2 teens) or as a couple, this property is first-class and worth the investment. I would absolutely stay here again if/when we get back to Puerto Rico! Hope this review helps another first-time visitor like ourselves!!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott San Juan Resort And Stellaris Casino
- Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Hotel San Juan