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“Exceptional Hotel” 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 #16 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Orlando, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Exceptional Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

We booked this hotel to stay for one night when we flew into Puerto Rico before boarding a cruise ship. I made my decision based on the "Hilton" name and the pictures on thier website. The hotel was EXACTLY as it appears in the pictures. It is beautiful, clean, and the rooms are so spacious and beautiful. We knew the moment we got there, that we would be taking our next vacation at this hotel.

The service was excellent. A special shout out to the first person we made contact with, Julio, at the front desk. He seemed as happy to be there as we were. He was all smiles, kind, fun, informative, and a pleasant surprise to our day. Also very appreciated was the male server withing Starbucks in the lobby. I'm so sorry I didn't get his name but my husband and I loved talking to him and the service was great. The bartenders out at the swim up bar were right there to take your order and even the girl at the towel desk was very kind.

This must be a great place to work because the employees are terrific! Would advise anyone to go and enjoy this hotel. You will love the beach area, the lounge chairs at the pool, but most of all, the service.

Room Tip: Don't think there's a bad place here. We did a standard room and absolutely loved it.
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  • Stayed September 2011, 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
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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, September 27, 2011
Thank you for your review! We are so glad to hear that Julio made such a good impression on you! We are very proud!! This is why we work everyday! Thank you again for your feedback.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (788)
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Cranford, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

Just returned from a week at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had a nice room on the 10th floor overlooking the ocean with beautiul views of the ocean and surrounding area. The room had two double beds, a small balcony, a refrigerator, and a good sized bathroom. The room was a good size, clean and everything was up to date. The grounds of this property are exceptionally nice, with a walkway right up against the ocean and around the hotel. There is a private becah, whcih I beleive is the only one on the island. This is a nice feature as locals are not permitted o the beach to sell beads and wood carvings. There are 10 hammocks strung between palm trees which were fun to hang out on. Near the ocean there were outdoor all weather beds with cushions to relax on as you heard the waves breaking. There was also a raft a short swim from the shore that could fit at least 10 people. The pools was huge and had a series of cascading waterfalls that enhanced the overall appearence of the outdoors areas. There were also 2 hot tubs available for use. The nicest part of the pool and beach area was the fact there were always plenty of lounge chairs available, which made it a pleasure to visit as you did not have to search for a chair. There towels provided in the pool/beach area were also plentiful and plush. A a swim-up bar in the pool area was pretty cool and did a brisk business on the hot days during our stay. They were always good about checking your room key before you entered the pool area to avoid unregisterd guests from using hte facilities. We only ate at one of the 4 or 5 restaurants on the property that was a hamburger/sandwich place located on the far end of the hotel. The food was reasonably priced and very good. Other guests told us the food in all of the restaurants on the property was quite good as well. The drinks at the hotel and pool bar were priced quite high, but that is to be expected at a resport property such as this. We had a rental car, and there was a self parking garage across the street at a price of $16.00 per day. We were in san Juan for a convention and our room rate was $127.00 per day which I felt was a grea price. Every employee of the hotel was very accomodating in all departments. If I were ever to return to Puerto Rico, I would strongly consider staying at the Caribe Hilton once again.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor overlooking the ocean,.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, September 27, 2011
Thank you for taking some of your time to share your experience with us. Security is one of our main concerns and we work very hard to ensure the well-being of our guest.
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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

The location of the hotel is not convenient...You have to take a cab to most places. We upgraded ourselves to a suite, but its really not worth paying the extra money for – you just get a big living room with a kitchenette and a very uninspiring décor. The worst thing about this hotel is callous service. The housekeeping folks accidentally picked up a pair of my shorts which had been wrapped in a towel. Not only did I not get those back, but the staff did not even offer an apology!

Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, September 22, 2011
Thank you for your review of our property. We're very sorry that we misplace your shorts, this is unacceptable. Thank you for the feedback.
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Elmwood, Illinois
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

Front Desk customer service representative "Julio" was simply fantastic. Professional, personable and very outgoing. Even though we were in town only for one night (arriving late and checking out early) on business...Julio went well above and beyond and ensured we had all the information needed to enjoy our short stay. Julio also explained all of the amenities of the hotel in detail and provided his "expert advice" on how to take full advantage and maximize our experience. He was definitely the right person for the job and we thoroughly enjoyed our short stay experience...thanks to Julio.

Room Tip: It is a LONG trek to the Villas II and can be confusing trying to find your room!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, September 22, 2011
Great!!! We are so proud of Julio!!! This is the way to go! This is a great motivation not only for Julio but for all our staff! Thank you for sharing this with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011 via mobile

We stayed at Caribe Hilton for six nights as part of a convention. We had a choice of staying at the Sheraton Convention center or the Hilton. I was leery of staying at the Caribe Hilton because I read so many bad reviews. But, after much research decided to stay near the beach. My family and I were so happy we chose the Hilton. It is a beautiful hotel and the staff was so friendly. We called and faxed the hotel ahead of time to let them know that besides coming for a convention we were also celebrating 50th birthdays and a 25th anniversary. We were upgraded to the Hilton Honors Towers on the 12th floor facing the private beach. The view was beautiful!! The rooms were spacious and clean. The bathrooms were huge! We arrived at 1:15 AM because of a delayed flight. We were greeted by the most pleasant front desk assistants. Even at that extremely late hour everyone was so kind. I was afraid we would get rooms that were not very nice because we were so late but our rooms were beautiful! We were sent a bottle of Champagne from someone back home and the hotel gave us a complimentary bottle as well. Everyone that works at the Caribe Hilton is friendly and helpful! Try the Bingo at 2PM it is free and we won twice. Don't forget the free Piña Colada tasting at 1PM. Take time to eat at Atlantico Pool Grill. Choose a table right near the water. You'll think you are in a Corona commercial. Starbucks was awesome for a quick snack. Hammocks were so relaxing. There was always an empty lounge chair near the pool or beach. It never seemed too crowded even with a big convention staying there. Would definitely recommend this hotel if you are trying to decide between this and any other hotel in San Juan. Thank you Caribe Hilton for making our trip such a special and enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, September 22, 2011
Thank you for the chance to prove our service! It's great to hear that despite the bad reviews you chose our hotel and we make it right! Thank you for the feedback we appreciated!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

As a frequent visitor to San Juan, I had mixed feelings when my national convention was scheduled at this hotel. Mixed reviews and my own personal visit earlier had shown me there could be a lack of service and adequate lodging. After 8 nights there, I feel a little better about this property.

Checking in was non-eventful although the upgrade I'd been promised was not available. Being from Florida, I was not surprised at the large dead roach just inside our door when we arrived - I was just glad he was dead - but it was representative of the less than perfect housekeeping. Although we tipped daily, all we could expect was the bed being made, the towels replaced, and a replacement (most of the time) of coffee for the coffeemaker. The bed was very comfortable and the internet service ($49.95 for 7 days) was excellent. It is free in the lobby and people sit at Starbucks for hours on their computers. Our room in the Hilton Honors tower was nicer than the ones in the older building, which smelled like mildew to me.

Interaction with the staff was okay. Some were great and some were just civil. The Pina Colada Club on property is owned by a successful restaurant group in San Juan and the food and service were very good. Beer everywhere is $6 or $7 for local beer and $10 for tropical types. Buffet breakfast at Palmeris Restaurant in the lobby was very good for $15 continental and $22 including hot items. Starbucks coffee and pastries could add up very quickly so this was a better deal.

There is a Subway down the block but I didn't care for it. I preferred to walk to El Hamburger or KFC half a mile to the right, or left over the bridge to the Condado (ritzy area) for more choices. We walked to the Casino at the Conrad hotel just over the bridge (half a mile) several times at night and never felt threatened.

The setting is very nice and there is a nice beach protected from waves but you need to wear water shoes. There are rocks and sealife and a man stepped on a sea urchin, getting several spines through his foot, and was taken away by ambulance. I did not see any recommendations to protect your feet.

You can take a taxi to Old San Juan for about $12 or walk the two miles, which we chose to do. We passed several large iquanas and lizards along the way, which was entertaining.

As a frequent visitor to the island, I usually stay with relatives but love to stay at the La Concha Renaissance when I do stay in a hotel. This will be a backup when the price is right, which for me would be in the $100-125 range. The resort fee and tax will tack on another 20 percent or so.

Definitely better than expected but I'm not sure I would recommend it to a first time visitor due to its location.

Room Tip: Main building has better views but has an old feel (and smell) to it. Ask for tower room with view...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, September 22, 2011
Thank you for sharing this review with us. We love to have our guest's feeback this way we can always improve our service. We appreciate a second chance to prove the quality of service that we deliver.
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Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
451 helpful votes 451 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

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.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
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
#7 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#12 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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