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“Overall good” 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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Special Rate
$169 (USD)
Ranked #18 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Overall good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

The staff overall were very nice here. The open lobby is very nice and relaxing. We didn't spend much time at the beach or pool but it seemed nice, and like they had lots of options for sun-worshippers: I think at least two pools, a real beach with sand, another area where you could lay out in a sort of peninsula that extends out into the water with lounge chairs, some beach beds with curtains, etc.

There was also another nice area, small but very lush and tropical feeling, with dense trees and geese, a swan, some peacocks, and I think a rooster or two.

My sense (at least during my visit in December) was that a whole section of the hotel seems to be not in use. From our room which overlooked the roof of the hotel's conference rooms/function halls and the ocean beyond, we could see another attached building (it had the old looking Caribe Hilton sign on it), and that building appeared to be entirely unoccupied. Sort of strange as to why it was so empty seeming....

Since our package inlcuded complimentary continental breakfast at the restaurant (I think it had an Italian name?) near the stairs in the main lobby, we partook of that most days. It was fine...nothing extraordinary but it did the trick. Most days we found available muffins, english muffins, wheat bread (though soft, not very hearty), jams and peanut butter, oatmeal (but sorta liquidy at that), and usually some kind of cut fruit (pineapple or cantaloupe) and sometimes hard-boiled eggs. They also had a coffee machine which made pretty good cappucino. There was another section in the buffet that I think offered scrambled eggs and some other items, but that was not part of the continental breakfast plan and we'd have to pay more if we wanted that.

As for our room, it was fine. Nothing extraordinary (but then I don't find your average hotel room anything special anyway...). There was quite a bit of humidity when we were there and some nights it was downright uncomfortable to sleep but if we turned on the A/C that seemed to help. Even still, the sheets and our clothing did end up feeling/smelling a bit damp. (It seems to me that dehumidifiers should be in order in such climates, but I suppose the people who live there are used to all the humidity....?)

There's a Starbucks in the lobby which is nice for those of us looking for something familiar.

One night we ate at the hotel's Lemongrass restaurant, a sort of pan-Asian restaurant I guess you could say. It is located near the lush, tropical area I previously mentioned, so when you first enter, you could almost imagine you were in Thailand or something. The restaurant has indoor seating as well as outdoor seating where you can feel you are part of the tropical forest.

As for the food, I was not so impressed and thought it was quite expensive all things considered. My friend got a tuna appetizer....I think it was raw tuna on little cracker things. The tuna was more or less a pink/shrimp color, NOT a color I'd expect to see for raw tuna?! The taste was very bland. My friend also got a sushi dish that was very bland as well. I got the salmon with a wasabi crust which was actually quite good. But overall I think this place is grossly overpriced.

Also, just in case the hotel is interested in noting this, the hostess that night seemed very out of place. She was wearing like a leather jacket, a white hoodie, and dark jeans. It just didn't go at all for an asian restaurant in Puerto Rico. Also, we were sitting on the outside veranda somewhat near to the body of water/pool. We could smell a sort of dank/musty odor there.

As for the overall area of this hotel, you can walk to other parts of Condado (though it is a bit of a walk and requires walking over a bridge that is currently still under construction). There is a bus stop nearby where you can catch a bus to Old San Juan. There is also a park just across from the hotel where we were fortunate enough to catch an outdoor fair with some free live salsa music (but I'm not sure how often events like this might occur there). Other than that, there didn't seem to be much for tourists to see or do in the general area of the hotel. It didnt' seem conducive to going for a nice leisurely walk at night.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the Fitness Center. It was quite nice, and more comprehensive than many other hotel gyms I've seen. They probably had over 20 machines, free weights, balls, and yoga mats. There is also a spa attached where one can get beauty services, massages etc. This spa also has a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna but (much to my surprise) hotel guests must pay $25 just to use these things. I would have expected these things to be free to all hotel guests.

All in all, I'd say this was a pretty good hotel. There's also a Morton's (steak house) here, and I think an Italian restaurant, but we didn't try either of those....

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Helsinki, Finland
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

The hotel is in nice property and the beach is secluded and the pool area nice. Most of the visitors end up spending a lot of time to find and get to their rooms since they mostly are far away from the entrance area. Personnel is quite helpful but not to normal European/US Hilton standard. Concierge tries to get you do your researches/requests by yourself. The receptio folks are polite but somhow indifferent toward the customer.
The most expensive breakfast is certainly very nice and service there excellent.
The room was spacious but the ventilation system was so noisy that it was clearly hearable even with earplugs on. Spectacular view from the window.
Local small plane airport is close and the planes start to take off at around 7 in the morning. May also disturb since the fly practically straight in front of your balcony.

Room Tip: If problem with walking, ask close by the reception.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Southern Utah
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011 via mobile

I would like to start by saying that I have stayed at other resort hotels in Puerto Rico and I have to say that the Caribe Hilton has earned my repeat business.

On Thanksgiving day we arrived at the hotel and were greeted right away and checked in to our balcony ocean view room immediately. What a great deal on the room, it was half of other places we had looked at in the old San Juan area and I truly feel it excided my expectations.

Dinner at the Pina Colada club was fantastic, nothing like a gourmet turkey dinner to set the mood and the drinks were a wonderful delight.

With a view of the ocean and the harbor from our room and the great breakfast buffet in the lobby to get the day going even better.

Three days of wonderful service, great staff and a wonderful beach was more than I could have as for.

I will be back soon.

Thanks again.

  • Stayed November 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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Cointrin, Switzerland
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

We stayed (my partner and I in 1 room and a friend in a second room) for 6 nights, after a southern Carribbean cruise in this hotel.

The lobby is really nice and spacious.
The pool area is lovely and there are Iguanas walking around. The view is very nice and the area is clean. The water in the pool should, in my opinion, be slightly warmer.
The room was really nice and well furnished but we had an awfull view on a couple of trees and an old air-conditionning building. Our friend was a couple of floors higher is still had the same view. We had problems with our room door which would not open a couple of times. They had to come and fix it.
The restaurants are over-priced and the food is just not that good.
In our rate, breakfast was included, but we still had to leave a tip (they were not happy when we didn't leave 1 the first day) so 15% on 21$, times 3 persons, times 6 days was about 60$. Since it was included I can not understand that. And it was a buffet so they didn't have to serve anything anyway...
You have to put a card on your bed if you want the sheets changed, we did that twice, but they never changed the sheets.
The room was not well cleaned.
We took part in one of the hotel's bingo, it was meant to start at 2pm, the person in charge of it only arrived at 2:45 pm.
On our last day, we left our luggage with the bell man, he told us we had to pay 1$ per bag (I think he said that to make sure he gets a tip) and we told him it was included in the resort fee, we would have given him 1$ per bag as a tip if he didn't try to make us pay as a fixed charge.
The spa is really good and we had a great time there, but again, the prices were way too high.
Everyday, there is a Pina Colada tasting, but don't be fooled, there is no alcohol in it... (That's not a Pina Colada to me).
In the end, I would say that the hotel is really good exept for it's staff and the views from the room.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
manchester
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

We stayed here a couple of nights before and one night after a cruise. This hotel is ideally placed for access to both the port and the airport. Whilst you could walk to town it is in my opinion just a little too far in the heat. The room was lovely and the bathroom spacious. The bed and pillows were some of the comfiest I have had on holiday. The walls are quite thin and I did get wakened up at 7am by the conversations through in the next room. The bar and staff in the bar are wonderful as is the breakfast. Whilst the usual signs are in the bathroom about being eco friendly for washing towels etc, and they have a lovely conservation area for animals and fish, I find it confusing that they serve food from the pool bar in disposable polystyrene cartons and they have disposable cups in the room for the coffee maker. A little contradictory. The location of the hotel on the beach, the pools and the layout of the grounds make this an ideal short stay but I think it is too remote for me to spend a longer time here. We ate out in old San Juan where there is a good selection of pubs and restaurants. I cannot comment on the other restaurants in the hotel as I did not try them out although I did try the bar snacks and found them pretty bland and basic. As mentioned in previous reviews the only free wifi available is in the hotel lobby. In this day when you can experience this facility in small coffee shops, I do think it time that hotels rolled this out as standard in all rooms. This would definitely be a plus for us when choosing a location to stay. To sum it up a nice, comfortable hotel spread over a wide area with nice facilities that could be better with the addition of a few small extras.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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, December 10, 2011
Thank you for sharing this valuable feedback with us! We really appreciate all the input that we can get from our guests. Thank you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

It's not often I say that a hotel is good for business - and family, yet the Caribe Hilton of San Juan has never disappointed as a good place to stay during business travel and when I have my family with me. The employees of the hotel are all nice and friendly. I would steer clear of the non-hotel owned valet company and park your car yourself; they've dented my rental car on two occasions, are expensive and failed to pay when asked. They also just watch you pull up to the hotel and don't approach your car unless you literally get out and make them notice you. I guess the salary is better than the tips . . .

The hotel has plenty of open space to relax or work - - or just watch the parrots squawk in their outdoor cage. There is a Starbucks in the lobby that opens really, really early in the morning and has great last minute gifts. If you are a Hilton Honors member, you can use your breakfast coupons at the Starbucks vs. cash. The many pool areas are great for kids and adults of all ages and the beach is small enough to enjoy, yet large enough to not be crowded. The rooms are spacious - I recommend staying at one of the Condado Villas or in the Garden Wing of the main hotel if you need extra space or have family with you. Keep the camera near also, there is a great display of peacock, swans, Koi and other wildlife right in the hotel garden area. If you stay in the Villas, avoid the ground level, as workers and people fishing frequent the ally way behind the hotel where there is no barrier between the road and people can look right into your villa room (and see you).

The hotel is about 15 min. ride from the airport and located just a short car ride (maybe 2 miles) to Ole' San Juan area.

Room Tip: The Condado Villas or the Garden Wing rooms appear to be the nicest at this hotel.
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

Welcome to Paradise! We stayed here the night before and after our cruise. The staff and grounds are wonderful and well kept. The building and rooms are in good shape - we would definitely stay at the Caribe again. Drinks and food were very pricey here, but that is almost expected in this area. You need a taxi to get to the Old San Juan and the cruise terminal. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport (without traffic or a road race). Bring your mask and snorkel for the swimming area, there are quite a few fish that they feed.

Room Tip: Ask for a caribbean sea view window with balcony.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, December 10, 2011
Great!! This is wonderful to hear! Hope we see you back soon!
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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:
#5 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#10 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#11 Business Hotel in San Juan
#12 Romantic 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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