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“Beautiful place with a staff that went above and beyond.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caribe Hilton San Juan

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Caribe Hilton San Juan
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #15 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Brick, New Jersey
2 reviews
“Beautiful place with a staff that went above and beyond.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

My family of four stayed at the Caribe Hilton last month. We had a tremendous view. The restaurants on site had great food and friendly staff. The infinity pool was beautiful and fun for my 8 and 9 year old daughters. The beach area was hotel-only accessible with a swimming area that was very safe and calm but still had beautiful fish and snorkeling. It was a quick cab ride to charming Old San Juan restaurants and shopping.
My daughter lost her beloved stuffed animal and the staff was very compassionate and understanding and did everything they could to find the lovey and make things right! A week later, the manager sent it home to us via Fed Ex with a letter and photos from the stuffed animal explaining that he was sorry he had to stay behind and vacation there himself! I cried.

I would tell anyone that this is the best place to stay in the San Juan vicinity. And we did visit many beautiful hotels in the area. The other hotels were beautiful, but their beaches were not as calm as the Caribe Hilton.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 29, 2011
Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to share you great experience with us. This is wonderful to hear and this is why we work hard everyday! Thank you again this is what we like to hear!
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (825)
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Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

I typically stay in a hotel once a week for business and/or personal trips. I've stayed at both mid-range properties (Marriott Courtyard, Hampton Inns, etc.), to higher-end locations (Intercontinental, Four Seasons, Waldorf, etc.). Based on my years of experience with hotel stays, I can honestly say that my experience at the Hilton Caribe San Juan was one of the worst hotel experiences I've had in about 10 years.

My first complaint is regarding the service my family and I received upon arriving at the hotel. We arrived on a Sunday, which I later found out was typically the hotels busiest day. It was a madhouse, but this was no excuse for the lax attitude of the staff. After a long 3.5 hour flight and 35 minute drive to the hotel, we were greeted by a traffic jam of cars and buses at the hotel lobby entrance. I saw more than enough adequate staff to handle the volume of cars and visitors, but no one seemed to be leading the staff or the guests. I saw some bellhops helping guests, but no one ever came up to our car to assist, so I finally just hopped out of the car and unloaded my own luggage. While my wife went to check-in, I walked over to the valet and requested that they park my car. Isn't the valet supposed to greet you upon arrival and offer this service? I would expect better service for $20/day parking. Once we checked-in a received our room number, I then had to walk over to the bellhop station and request luggage assistance. Again, I thought the bellhops were supposed to great the guests, not the other way around! The bellhop supervisor didn't even ask for my room number. I had to ask him if he needed it. Had I not done this, I don't know how we would have gotten our bags.

Prior to leaving for San Juan we were somewhat concerned about the quality of the rooms based on many of the Hilton Caribe reviews on tripadvisor.com. Thus, my wife had exchanged several emails with Hilton Caribe and Hilton Corporate staff to request a clean/upgraded room. This also includes several email exchanges with Nitzamarie Escalera, who you can see has responded to many posts about the Hilton Caribe on tripadvisor.com. We were assured that we would be booked in a clean/upgraded room. My wife is a bit picky about hotel room cleanliness. I am not as picky (I travel too much for business to worry about that kind of thing), I still prefer a clean room.

So with that in mind, after spending about an hour in the lobby, we were finally able to go up to our room in the Hilton Caribe tower. What a disappointment! The room was filthy, even by my standards. Specifically, the baseboards were caked with grime and dust. I wiped one down with a wet wipe and it was black with months of gunk and grime. The rug clearly and not been vacuumed. The room had a tile floor that had obviously not been mopped. There were large food crumbs in corners. There were visible crumbs and dust on the entertainment system under the television. The air conditioner vent leaked water from the ceiling to the floor of the room. Overall, this room was not representative of any Hilton property I'd ever stayed in. When we called the front-desk to complain, they did immediately send a supervisor from housekeeping to inspect the room. She gave the room a quick once over, and sent someone up to clean the room. The guy they sent, did a quick spot clean on a few areas on the floor, vacuumed the rug with an ancient vacuum that spewed toxic fumes/dust and left. I still ended up wiping down the base boards and surfaces of the room myself (he couldn't be troubled to do that). Even the hallway entrance leading to our room was filthy. There was debris all over the floor. It was as if the vacuums that housekeeping used didn't work at all. This whole process had wasted about an hour of our time and we still didn't have our bags! I had to go back downstairs and again ask the bellhop captain to send someone up with our luggage.

I should also mention that just about everyone we encountered at the hotel (valet, bellhops, housekeeping) I found not to be very friendly or helpful. Whenever we requested assistance it seemed like we were "bothering" the hotel staff. In our previous emails with Nitzamarie Escalera and Hilton corporate, we'd gotten the sense that the staff would really go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. However, this was not the case at all.

To sum-up our nightmare at this hotel, after our experience at check-in we finally decided to throw in the (dirty) towel. We ended up driving across the bay to the Conrad Hilton to see if their rooms were any better. Of course, before leaving, it took us about 30 minutes to get our car out of the Hilton Caribe valet. We found that the Conrad Hilton, while also showing it's age, was quite a bit cleaner and more organized than the Hilton Caribe. After speaking with a helpful manager at this property we were able to get one of their few remaining double rooms. We then went back to the Hilton Caribe, packed our bags, and checked-out. This whole process took about 4 hours, note that we'd been up since 5 am to catch our flight to Puerto Rico. What a wonderful way to start our first trip to Puerto Rico!!

Overall the Hilton Caribe is a very old property and is showing it's age very badly. Having an older hotel does not have to be a bad thing, if the owners of the property keep the hotel in good condition. This hotel is falling apart. I will say that they have one of the better locations/beaches in the area, but I still would never stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Harrisburg, PA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

Hotel was very nice upon pulling up. Open air lobby, with immediate assistance from the desk staff. We were upgraded to a room on the lagoon side, and had a nice view of the water. BUT...upon entering our room, we immediately commented that it smelled musty, and was damp. We only stayed one night, before leaving for a cruise. The bathroom was very large, and offered a soaking tub, as well as shower, double vanity and separate toilet area. We wouldn't walk barefoot in our room (which I generally don't anyway), because the carpet felt damp, as did the bedding. The next day when we unpacked in our room on the ship, we noticed our clothes were actually wet as well, and had a slightly damp smell to them. The grounds were beautiful, and very large. There was a garden area with a Koi pond, swan and a peacock wandering around, a large pool area with swim up bar, and there was an old fort right in front of the property (Which is gated, so you can't enter). Overall, a nice stop for the night, but wouldn't want to stay for the whole week.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 29, 2011
Thank you for you time, we really appreciate the feedback. San Geronimo fort is closed because there is work being done to avoid deterioration. Thank you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

I just checked in the hotel and I'm here for business. I will be here for 7 days. Unfortunately the hotel was not what I expected from a Hilton property. The carpet in the hallways leading to the room was old. My room had dirty grout around the tub. There is pink gum stuck to the wall by one of the beds. I had lunch in the main bar area near the lobby and the floor was filthy. I witnessed a bird fly around the room and it pooped on one of the chair cushions. :o( I'm really not looking forward to be being here 6 more days. On a positive note, the staff is very nice and the bed linens look clean. I think that will help get me through. Also, I'm glad I'm not paying for my stay.

Room Tip: Beds are nice. Room has everything you need, just not very clean.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 29, 2011
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. The lack of clealiness that you experienced is unacceptable. I want to assure you that we take this feedback very seriously. Also we have a renovation to the Main Building schedule for september. Thank you for you feedback
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Oakland, New Jersey
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

ok, so the Caribe isn't the cheapest, but it has to be the best service. The staff is super helpful, the atmosphere is a resort of world class status. The conseriege desk is super helpful helping arranging tours and making dining suggestions. When I made the reservation I asked for an upgrade and at check in I was told I had a suite waiting for me. Luxury! The buffet breakfast is a MUST! Over looking the pools and the palm trees and the local birds is amazing. On our way to the room, right after checking in, walking across the gardens, we were met by iguana and a beautiful peacock. I knew this was going to a trip to remember forever. The pools are amazing. The pictures do not do them justice. They are rarely crowded and they are clean and beautiful. Don't miss out on a few minutes in the hot tubs! Save your pennies for a once in a lifetime luxury. I'm not a big fan of hotel restaraunts so we opted to go nightly into town and we were never disapointed. One tiny downside: It's a large hotel and you can get lost. Ask for directions. After a day, you'll find your way around. It's like finding your way around a cruise ship on the first day.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade when you reserve. The front desk is super helpful.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Thank you for your wonderful review! How proud we are to read this review! It's a great thing to know that you enjoyed our property with that kind of passion! Hope to see you soon! Thank you again for this feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mass
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

The price was excellent for my family of five. Driving from the airport to the hotel i thought what did we get ourselfs into, the surronding city is pretty run down and rough looking. Once inside the resort we felt relieved. The food is extremely expensive especially if you have children with you. The only saving grace was the Pina Colada Club, the staff is excellent and the food is great. Lemongrass is way over rated and while there dining four seperate people complained about either their food or drinks. The italian place wasn't much better we have 5 different waiters and they kept screwing upp the order wouldn't recommend it at all. We never had the breakfast as we would go to starbucks every morning, which is also pricy. Overall i enjoyed the hotel , my family loved the beach and the pools and all the reptiles running around on the grounds. Maid service was a little slow which didn't really bother us unless we were out of towels. The staff were friendly and helpful. Also there is a subway right around the corner if your looking for some cheap food and a little convience store that has some things but not much.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Thank you for sharing this information with us, we really appreciated. It's always good to know that our effort are paying out! We are sending this feedback to the Food and Beverage director for action and follow up. Thank you again for the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011 via mobile

Great lobby, amenities and location. Room was rather run down, and dated. But for the price, reasonable.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Thank you for the feedback! We are happy to announce that beggining September we are renovation our Main Building to update our rooms! Thank you again for the review!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caribe Hilton San Juan

Address: 1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#5 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#8 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#11 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#12 Business Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Caribe Hilton San Juan 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribe Hilton hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Puerto Rico, is set on an exclusive peninsula, made up of 17 acres of lush tropical gardens. This Puerto Rico Hilton is ideally situated between historic old San Juan and the exciting Condado area, offering a secluded beach, lavish accommodations and amenities tailored to families, couples and business travelers alike. This San Juan hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin Airport and five minutes from San Juan's new Convention Center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hilton San Juan Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel Caribe
Hilton San Juan
San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel

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