Before I get to my specific issues, let me reiterate what other guests have said. It's a lovely property, with wonderful pools, beautiful grounds and a nice beach.
That said it provides an uneven guest experience which will account for the mixed reviews on here.
My 9-year-old son and I stayed here for one night ahead of a cruise. The hotel served its purpose. It was luxurious, casual and had nice pools and a beach. If staying one night ahead of a cruise is your only criteria, might I recommend the Sheraton in old San Juan which is directly across from the pier where Carnival ships depart from.
That said, it was an expensive property. Not sure I would ever book this hotel as a destination for more than one or two nights. And as a convention hotel, I'd love it. But as other reviewers have pointed out, it is not within walking distance of much and meals here are quite expensive (which begs the question, if you can't afford the meals, should you even be considering this hotel in the first place?)
Service here seemed to be an afterthought. I'm a Hilton Gold member. When we checked in, there was a long line for the special "Hilton HHonors" checkin. Turns out that by waiting on the regular checkin line we got faster service than by waiting in the "HHonors" line. So a note to people who don't sign up for loyalty programs, in this case you actually got preferential treatment than the people who do sign up for the benefits!
And now the part that was guest-specific. Our reservation someone got messed up (errors happen.) We booked a room with two queen beds. After we took all of our bags up to the 20th floor to our room, we discovered there was only 1 king bed. When I called downstairs they said there was nothing they could do because they were full. But when I went down to the front desk, they were able to accomodate us on the fifth floor, with 2 queens. Just puzzled as to how a reservation booked and confirmed 4 months in advance could find us potentially with 1 king instead of 2 queens. Bottom line is it was ironed out, but then had to go back and wait on line for checkin, and once again, the regular checkin was faster than the gold Hilton Hhonors!
Another issue was breakfast. Yes, we had a "continental breakfast" included in our rate. But if you want anything more substantial than their skimpy offerings, there's a six dollar surcharge. Again, there are no bargains at this hotel.
We also were berated by the towel people who oversee the kids' playroom for spending more than the alloted amount of time on the video games. Problem was that we went in, played for 20 minutes and then left to go to the local Subway and returned an hour later. A member of the staff saw us there and thought we'd been playing non-stop. It was all chalked up to a misunderstanding, but clearly we were guilty before proving our innocence with a Subway sandwich and a receipt with a time on it!
Another objection during my stay, and again, guest-specific and subject to my tastes, maybe not yours, was the loud blaring DJ music at the pool. Some guests might consider it a nice touch to have a live DJ playing music during the afternoon, but I thought it was intrusive and loud, especially right by the quiet hammock area. Again, it's all subjective, but I'd prefer peace and quiet in a relaxing environment.
This hotel could be a fantastic property. The grounds are lovely, the setting is wonderful and for the most part it's a well-maintained property. But pay attention to the other reviews. Food is pricey, it's an expensive cab ride ($15 for what would be a $6 ride here in NYC to and from Old San Juan) and there's not much beyond the property other than a convenience store, a subway and a wine/beer store. I'm confident my review will be getting a response from hotel management and I can't wait to see what they say. I might add I'm a low maintenance guest. I tend to suffer in silence and then vote with my dollars.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.