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“Very enjoyable stay at the CH and in OSJ” 4 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 #20 of 45 Hotels in San Juan
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
115 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable stay at the CH and in OSJ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

We stayed at the Caribe Hilton for 6 nights in celebration of our anniversary at the beginning of August. We had never been to Puerto Rico before, and I was looking for a hotel close to Old San Juan, but also with a nice beach. We got both in the CH. I scored a nice rate as part of a promotion late in the spring.

I reserved a King Villa Stuido in the Condado Lagoon Villas portion of the CH. At check-in, we were upgraded to a larger suite with a full kitchen and right on the water. I am a Hilton Gold member, so the upgrade was automatic. There was almost no line for check-in on a Thursday. The weekends can be a different story.

The lobby is beautiful, open, and airy. We enjoyed the parrots. The gift shop was well stocked and Starbucks was always busy.

We were awed by the view from our fourth floor room. The balcony was directly facing the fort and ocean so we had a completely unobstructed view. There was a large table, two chairs, and a swivel chair and stool on the patio. We loved the patio and spent a lot of time relaxing there.

The bed was very comfortable with a ceiling fan overhead. The kitchen was full size, with a dishwasher, full-size refrigerator, stove and microwave. There were lots of cupboards with pots, pans, plates, everything we needed. My husband especially loved the ice maker in the freezer. The air conditioner was downright frosty. There were only four small drawers, so for a longer stay for 2 people, we did have to get a little creative with where to put our clothes. I think every room must be a little different in the Villas section. The room was very clean, and the daily maid service was fantastic - they always came in the morning, which suited our schedule well.

There was also a bar area with stools, and a dining table with 3 chairs. Lots of places to enjoy a meal in your room. A large chair with ottoman was also in the room.

The bathroom was tiny, which may have been necessitated by the full size kitchen. There was a makeup mirror and scale. There was also a marble shower stall with a glass door that opened outward. The door was under 6 feet high, so while I had no problem getting in and out, my husband routinely bumped his head on the shower door frame. There was absolutely no hint of mold or mildew smell in the room or bathroom.

The hotel itself was very clean. Based on prior reviews, I was expecting dirt everywhere, and it just wasn't so. We saw cleaning people all the time.

There are lots of shortcuts that you can take to get around the resort, but it is sprawling and it took us two days to get comfortable with the layout. Therefore, this might not be the ideal hotel for just a one night stay.

The beach itself is lovely. The breakers provide for a very large, calm swimming area. There were plenty of lounge chairs around the beach and pool area. We never had a problem finding a lounge chair. Most of the days, the beach was not crowded, but on Saturday, it was packed. I think they get a lot of families there for the weekends only. We never used the lovely sundeck, but I did take advantage of one of the many hammocks.

The pool area is well designed with three levels including waterfalls. The swimup pool has whirlpool like jets with bench seating on either end, which were very relaxing. The service at the Atlantico pool bar was very good and everyone was friendly. There are also two heated jacuzzis connected to the pool area. There are also a separate small pool and jacuzzi in the Condado Lagoon Villas area.

I knew going in that this hotel catered to families, and as a parent, I have no problem with that. However, as a hotel that is obviously also trying to attract couples, I have one small request. The swim-up pool (the smallest of the 3 pools) should be adults only. And please make one of the jacuzzis adults only. There were kids doing flips from the swim up pool to the second level, splashing, snorkeling, and it just wasn't enjoyable for us.

The wildlife area was also a gem - we enjoyed watching the white and black swans, along with the turtles, geese, lizards, and peacocks.

The fitness center is one of the best that I've seen in the Caribbean. Everything is new and state-of-the-art Precor equipment. There were 7 ellipticals, 5 treadmills, 4 bikes, along with numerous weight machines and free weights. It opens at 6:00 during the week and at 7:00 on the weekends. We used it every day and loved it. Plenty of towels, water, and sanitizing wipes, too. My husband jogged outside a few days, and thoroughly enjoyed the views.

True, the hotel is not within easy walking distance to many restaurants. We did succumb to the temptation of Subway about midway through our trip after a full day of touring old San Juan. The convenience store across the street from the hotel is not a good option for stocking up for the week. We got a few supplies here (including an overpriced bottle of rum), then hit the SuperMax near the Doubletree on Friday.

We made the decision to take advantage of the cabs. We enjoy a few cocktails with our meals, so we did not want to drink and drive. What a luxury to have cabs everywhere! The ride from the airport was $19 plus $1 per bag. The ride into Old San Juan was $12 (plus tips). El Morro was $14. When we factored in the price of a rental car and parking, it was MUCH cheaper to take the cabs. As long as you understand the situation going in, it shouldn't be a concern. Tip: the cabs congregate near the end of Forteneza Street and Colon Plaza, so it's easy to catch a ride back to the hotel.

We got free passes for continental breakfast at Il Giordino (I think because of the Gold status). There was a huge selection of pastries, breads, fruit, cereals, juices, and even hard boiled eggs. We "upgraded" for $5 one day to try the hot selections, too. There were sausage, eggs, and the usual hot items, but you only get one go around, so we were perfectly happy with our free continental breakfast the other days. Seating was easy most days for breakfast, however the weekend was crazy. The line was out the door for the restaurant next to Il Giordino on the weekend.

We had our anniversary dinner at Lemongrass. We ate outside on the deck area and enjoyed dining to the sounds of coqui. I had the angus steak special which was so tender I could have cut it with my fork. The total price was $180/two (including tip), but that included appetizer, bottle of wine, and cocktails (remember, we weren't driving, yipee!).

We had to try to Pina Coladas at the Oasis lobby bar one evening. They were quite tasty and I believe under $10, so really just normal big hotel prices.

We LOVED Old San Juan. We went into town several nights for dinner. Our particular favorite was the Parrot Club (live jazz on Tuesday evenings). The service there was fantastic, and the Cuban Burger is to die for (hamburger, pork, ham, swiss cheese and impossible to finish). Booty's bar and grill also had the best made from scratch Mojito in town.

We toured El Morro early on a Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The views are amazing, and it is incredible to stand in a structure that was started in 1539.

We loved strolling the narrow cobblestone streets of Old San Juan.

We took a snorkeling cruise on the "Spread Eagle" which was coordinated through the Tour desk at the hotel. This is a very long day, as the bus picked us up at 8:10 a.m., and we didn't get back until 5:00. But the catmaran crew was excellent. They provided lunch and drinks (except beer, which was available for $2.14). We stopped at two different places to snorkel. One family brought a young toddler (less than 2), and I strongly caution everyone that this is not the place for very small kids.

The snorkeling directly off the CH beach was just fine. Lots of fish towards the breakers and along the rock walls.

All in all, we thought the staff were all wonderful and friendly and we completely enjoyed our trip. The only thing stopping me from giving the CH resort five stars is that I stayed at the Phoenix in Belize last year, and that sets the standard for five star resorts. Also, the lack of an adult only pool and jacuzzi was a downer at the CH. But other than that, we loved the Caribe Hilton.

  • Stayed August 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
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, August 11, 2011
Thank you for taking from your time to make this very detailed review of our property. It's great to hear that you and your family enjoyed our facilities so much. Thank you again for your review!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (1,110)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

This hotel should be rated higher. Stayed with family and was pleasantly greeted by staff as soon as the taxi door opened in the driveway. Full assistance with luggage. Small line at registration. Easy registration and booked through discount travel website.
The room was very clean and air-conditioned with luxurious bed sheets and mattress. Bathroom was large and updated. Balcony big enough to enjoy the evening breeze with a cocktail overlooking the Carribean Sea and small fort. Very cool.
The bar lobby was spectacular and the garden and pool area were lively. Parking and car rental located across the street and Old San Juan attractions are about a mile's hike away. Small beaches also in walking distance. Most restaurants are within taxi distance, maybe 5 minutes drive. No shuttle to airport but a line of taxis always available.
The only thing I saw that might be a turn off was poorly maintained hotel hallways. Looks like they haven't painted in a while. However the roof was being replaced on another hotel building so it seems it's only a matter of time before the maintenance fixes it. Besides, you'd normaly spend 10 seconds in the hallways. Who cares?
Overall, very pleased, excellent service and accomodations in a great centralized location between Condado and Old San Juan areas.

Room Tip: Request an ocean view room if possible
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  • Stayed July 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
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, August 11, 2011
Thank you for giving us a chance to prove that we deliver great service. We really appreciate that you took the time to share your great experience with us. We hope to see you back soon! Thanks again!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Leandro, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

Where to begin. Selections of rooms (type, size, location) is unequaled in PR. This place is huge. Pool-side food is excellent. Bars everywhere, reasonable prices. Fine dining on the premises. Also, a buffet to die for. Tennis, gym, etc. All the amenities. Use the consierge service! Their dining recommendation were right on. Ten days worth. Sophies was our favorite. There is always a taxi waiting to take you to points of interest. Walk to Old San Juan (half an hour to 45minutes), you can eaily spend a day or two exploring the old town. Lots of shopping and dining selection. Or just walk across the bridge to the Condado district for dining entertainment and gambling. You will want to visit the rain forest @ El Yunque National Forest.

Room Tip: They are all great! The tower rooms have the best views. There are suites adjacent to the lagoon.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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, August 11, 2011
Thank you for your review, we are glad that you enjoyed our property as well as Old San Juan. The city is incredible and has a centuries of mystery to discover. Thank you again for your review.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

We have stayed at the Caribe Hilton once before in the main part of the hotel. This stay was even better than the last. We booked our stay on priceline and won this hotel for about half price. We booked 2 rooms as there were 5 of us. I HIGHLY recommend you call the day before and the day of arrival if you need something special such as connecting rooms. I think this made a big difference for us. We ended up in the villas and at first I wasn't excited. When I saw the rooms, I was thrilled. They are large with mini fridge and counter with sink. It was really great with kids. The room was clean and very comfortable. The beach area is nice, especially if you have younger kids. The pool is not terribly clean, but it was fairly close to the end of the day and had a ton of sand in it. The grounds and lobby area are really lovely. If you need a place to stay for a couple of nights I highly recommend this hotel. The staff was very accomodating and always gracious. The ONLY off site restaurant within a decent walk is Subway. At breakfast the Subway is at least a 30 minute wait and the folks there aren't too happy about working there. Save yourself some grief and eat in the Starbucks at the hotel for a less expensive, no hassles breakfast. I don't think I would want to stay in San Juan over 2 nights as it is crowded and congested, but it is fun for just a few days. Book this one on priceline name your own price and save a bundle!

Room Tip: call the day before and day of trip to assure your room specifics
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

This hotel was wonderful. Just for reference, it is hard to find a hotel in Puerto Rico that has bathtubs they are mostly showers. The Ocean front is wonderful, everything from the outside bar, pool, hammocks, view, to swimming in the cove. The lobby is open on both sides, so you can sit downstairs and just enjoy the breeze. There is a nice salon and restaurant on either side of the hotel. I would suggest this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Book the hotel online to get the best rates!
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  • Stayed October 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

I have stayed at this hotel numerous times for business and have never had a complaint. I always request the tower and I am never disappointed in the ocean view. It has several restaurants onsite including Mortons. Pricey but excellent food! There is also a Starbucks onsite and the staff is very friendly and recognize me so I never even have to order, they are very fast. This location has an excellent view of the ocean with a protected beach area, as well as a nice swim bar area. It is close to Old San Juan and the bridge over the lagoon is now open where you can wak to many restaurants, bars, and a couple of casinos.

Room Tip: Ask for the Tower.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

I stayed at this hotel at the end of June for almost 2 weeks with my husband and 12 year old son. The line for check in was extremely long when we were checking in, but I never saw a line the rest of the time I was in the lobby. I guess if you hit it at the wrong time (4pm) you will have to wait a while. I did receive a complimentary non alcoholic pina colada while I was in line though. The grounds are really nice and I liked my room and big bathroom. One guest I met in the elevator said he had to move rooms b/c of mold, which I didn't see in my room, but housekeeping wasn't what I would expect staying at a Hilton (dusty ac vents and dirty rugs stick out to me). I know some other people complained about the AC but I found it worked fine and my room was able to get nice and cold, and then warm up if it was too cold.

My major issue was regarding the lack of things to do in the area and place to eat. We didn't rent a car because we didn't want to pay for parking at the hotel on top of the rental fee, and thought we could just take a taxi everywhere we went, in an attempt to save money. It didn't quite work out that way. Since the only thing within walking distance was a Subway and a park, we had to take a taxi to go everywhere. After 7 or 8 days Subway got old, and the overpriced (though tasty) hotel restaurants were taking their toll. We did rent a car for one day, and made good use of it. I guess if you're prepared to spend $40-$60 a day on taxis or pay for the parking and try and navigate the roads yourself, you will have a better time.

A few more things to mention.
*The internet was not free. This is 2011 not 1996 when the internet was new and exciting and something only business people used. Seriously? Charge $5 more a night for each room and then take away the internet charges and provide everyone with internet, no one will know the difference and guests will think it's just one more awesome thing about staying at a Hilton.
*The beds were extremely soft and comfy at first. But then after all the walking, my pregnant back began hurting. I have a bad back to begin with, so that may have been it, but the soft and plushness of the bed meant there wasn't as much support.
*The fitness center was nice, and my husband used it almost every day. It has all the basic equipment you would see at a gym, and they have headphones to use and plug into the treadmills so you could listen to music or watch tv. I would bring my own headphones if I knew that was how the treadmills were set up.
*The showers suck- water pressure isn't great and neither is the drainage.
*The pool was a little cold, and I am surprised it's not heated (and I went in June when it was really warm out so that is saying something).

Overall, it wasn't a bad trip, I think it was just too long of a trip. I enjoyed the amenities at the hotel, and my son thoroughly enjoyed the pool and beach. The garden area was nice and I enjoyed feeding the fish as well.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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
#10 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#12 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#12 Family Hotel in San Juan
#13 Business Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Caribe Hilton San Juan 4*
Number of rooms: 916
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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