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“Near Perfection” 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
New York City
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Near Perfection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Stayed 11 days in June. Wish it were 111. Newly renovated main bldg rooms are wonderful. A/C removes humidity, bath lighting is excellent, something about the decor just makes you smile and feel happy. Want anything else from a hotel room?Grounds are beautifully manicured and sandy beach is combed of litter each evening. Outdoor tables with umbrellas at Palmeras restaurant was our favorite area for breakfast each day. Stunning views, cool breezes, great people watching, fresh sea air -- it doesn't get better than this -- except for the b'fast buffet. Terrific tropical fresh fruits, great omelettes, etc.But Caribe is all about its people. Ask anyone about anything and first response is a smile. And then they get the job done -- from simple requests to great pina coladas. You feel everything is "can do", and you can just relax and enjoy.And that's just what we did.Location is perfect too. 5 minute taxi to Old San Juan ($12). 10 minutes to Plaza Las Americas ($15) or the Condado area.Nearby park is great for doing laps on wide perimeter sidewalk (I do fast walking).Did the beach every day and went to incredible nearby restaurants almost every night. The San Juan restaurant scene deserves its own review -- start with incredible.For us, Caribe Hilton and San Juan have it all.

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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
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

Overall, we would recommend staying at the Caribe Hilton. Clean property grounds and comfy bed. The unexpected resort fee is 17% of each nights stay on top of your room rate. Which is for common hotel services, coffee in room and towels for the beach. So overall that was a disappointment because 2 coffe bags and towels for the beach should not equal an extra $100. But like I said before we enjoyed are stay. We recommend eating at Lemongrass Asian and sushi which is located on the property.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Caribe Hilton as your “home away from home” during your visit to beautiful Puerto Rico.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience while at our property. We appreciate your feedback and will share with our Management, We hope to see you back in the near future.
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Just first time staying and everyone so so nice. In the morning the staff is cleaning everything. What surprise me that they were cleaning the pool tile with tooth brushes wow and so many areas to rest feel the breeze and relax.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Nassau, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

My wife and I just returned from San Juan, Puerto Rico last night 07-13-2012 .We stayed at the Caribe Hilton. I am retired from the hospitality industry in New York City. I've been in hotel management for over 30 years. I have also had the opportunity to travel all over the world.
But I just don't recall ever pulling up to a hotel and not being greeted and helped by someone
like a bellman, or doorman, with my luggage. On Monday 07-09-2012 my wife and I pulled up in a taxi to the Caribe Hilton Hotel entrance. I noticed a flock of bellman standing around a podium
laughing and joking. Not one came over and offered my wife and me assistance with our luggage.
Not one of them turned and said welcome to the Caribe Hilton. My wife and I took several cabs into Old San Juan, and to Ashford Avenue, and only once did a bellman bother to help us get a cab.
The only time I noticed these cigar store Indians react was when a group arrived and from my experience as a hotel manager, it was obvious that their chief interest was in helping a large group, because the tips are substantial, when added together. I also want to mention that
the shower in the room leaked under the glass door, so although it seemed that the door closed well, the water got in between the bottom of the door and the floor, so the floor was continuously wet, and we had to mop it up constantly with towels. I also noticed mold on the shower ceiling. One afternoon, we returned to find the maid down the hall, but no towels in the bathroom. She explained that they were backed up, but did hand me a few towels and washcloths. However, if I would not have been lucky enough to catch her, we would have had a project ahead of us, trying to contact housekeeping to get towels. Also, there was a space on the floor against the balcony, which was dirty, and had several cigarette butts. The front desk is very sweet, but honestly I do not believe they are required to do any thinking whatsoever. I called and asked where the hotel mailbox was, and I was transferred to the concierge ( It was located about 20 feet from the front desk.) I called and asked where the closest pharmacy was, and again, I was transferred to the concierge. (The mini-mart (not a pharmacy), was about 40 feet from the entrance of the hotel.)After the front desk refused to use any brain cells whatsoever, the concierge sent me to the mini-mart, where I could not fill a prescription, but where I could get a bottle of Don Q, that I don't need.
There were some wonderful things about this place, which is why I gave it 3 stars. The private beach is incomparable and some of the staff were really courteous and professional. One concierge was great (I did not get his name), and one GSA at the front dest, Katherine, was very nice. One of the beach attendants, Mario, was also very courteous, and helpful.
On the last day my wife and I walked by the bell captain's desk, and , there were several bellmen
standing there, again, laughing and joking. We walked by these clowns carrying a rolling suitcase and two shoulder bags and not one of these guys even acknowledged us.
We had to get our own taxi. What happened? I stayed at the Caribe Hilton back in the 80s, and all your staff were courteous and helpful. We were greeted when we pulled up to your entrance.
Whose bright idea was it to take away the lifeguards? There is a deeper section of the beach.
In general this could be an outstanding property like it used to be.
Blackstone Group needs to re-train the staff and the rooms need to properly inspected and the problems need to to be addressed.

Room Tip: Run the shower before unpacking your stuff, to make sure that it doesn't leak, in case you want...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thank you for your feedback on your experience while you visited us recently. Please accept our apologies. We are very sorry that you left feeling this way. Feedback like yours help us to take corrective actions to prevent future guest from experiencing what you did. I will share your comments and suggestions with our team members and management.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we hope you give us the opportunity of serve you in the near future.

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

We are HHonors Gold. We booked a suite for 1 night after a cruise. We got there at 11:30. Room is not ready. They repeatedly say "stated check-in is 4:00 pm" Ok fine. We go eat. We walk around. We check on our room. Nothing. Wait some more. Nothing. I watch the Hhonors line and see nearly everyone that hits that line with the white 'check back later' card and many frustrated HHonors members. Meanwhile, the regular customer line is flying by and these people are getting rooms. After we'd lost the majority of our day waiting in the lobby, I went up and asked for a different room. Anything. We're losing our day! "Sorry, nothing. We cannot down grade you." I was honestly livid. Loyalty to Hilton gets you nothing at this resort. Apparently they must clean the big rooms last or the HHonors rooms last. I do understand check in times especially in large resorts, and I'm more than willing to wait, however, in my many years of being an HHonors gold, this is the first time we've waited for nearly 5 hours. One would think a little value could be placed on us members and a housekeeping employee directed to clean our room a little bit earlier?

We finally got our room at 4 pm. Our day is gone. We had too many electronics with us to leave them in the open air bell area (I could have easily walked away with several bags). By time we get in the beautiful pool the sun is starting to go down and it is getting a bit cool to swim for long. We never even got to go to the beach. Maybe if the maids weren't cleaning with one hand because they had a cellphone in the other we might have gotten into our room a bit earlier?

Food is EXPENSIVE here. There is no wifi in the rooms. Only one corded connection. Our room was gorgeous. Decor is beautiful and modern. Granite counters. Two bathrooms. Huge table with chairs. We really loved the room and the pool and wished we had been able to have more time to enjoy it.

Again, we do understand check in times. We really do. However, as well traveled as we are, this is the first time we've had to wait longer than a couple of hours after we've shown up in any Hilton family hotel. Stay at the Embassy in Isla Verde. Great pool and a fantastic staff. Free breakfast, free drinks and a beautiful beach a block away.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Caribe Hilton as your “home away from home” during your visit to beautiful Puerto Rico.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience while at our property. Please receive our apologies for this inconveniences. We trully value and respect our HHonor members. We appreciate your feedback and will share with our Management, We hope to see you back in the near future.

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Ana, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

Disclosure: I used HHonors points for my entire stay. Only had to pay for food, beverage and incidentals.

We were here for two weeks on honeymoon. This was a great location for two reasons, only 15 minutes walking across Dos Hermanos bridge to Condado where many excellent restaurants await (we ate at at-least 6 great ones over there) and it is a very inexpensive bus ride away to Old San Juan where there is a lot to see and eat (all buses that pass the Hilton lead there, .50 for the grey bus and .75 for the pink stripe bus).

Make no mistake, this is a VERY popular resort with tourists and locals. The hotel keeps its grounds fully booked on weekends for sure (private parties, conventions, etc.). If you are looking for solitude and quiet, you may find it on the private Hilton lagoon. If you want to be extra sure, you should really call before you book to check for big group buyouts because it can get packed. We were there over St. Johns Day (where at midnight you jump backwards into the ocean 7-12 times, look it up) and there was a huge hard ticket party at part of the lagoon area. The pool and majority of the lagoon were still available to regular guests. The party did continue outside, with music blazing, until about 3:30am, so be forewarned, if it's a hotel sanctioned event, 10pm may not be the cutoff for noise outside (could have been a special case since that night was akin to New Years Eve).

The pool is fine but gets murky pretty quickly in the day and the lagoon is fantastic. Poolside shaded lounging area is limited but you can chase palm tree shade effectively. The pool also gets VERY crowded on the weekends, go to the lagoon instead, the umbrellas are free.

The continental breakfast was pretty average. Two kinds of fruits, two types of pastries and two kinds of cereal. The local coffee is the best part about it (bypass Starbucks and get this coffee instead!). The hot breakfast was pretty good and wasn't exactly standard, more of a cross between lunch and breakfast with its fried food options (also standard eggs, waffles, sausage, etc.)

The restaurant options are okay. Italian/Pizza, Asian Fusion, and a Steakhouse. There really wasn't any surprise to how expensive the resort food and beverages are, it is a Hilton after all. A normal two person meal will cost $90 and every time you buy a couple Pina Coladas it'll set you back $24. But this is the land of rum and you can get a bottle of great rum for under $20 most anywhere (Like Casa DonQ in Old San Juan). Stock up and store it with some mixers in your refrigerator in the room to save the $$ for when you're lazy sitting by the pool and can't resist a $13 drink. For food, don't eat at the hotel, there are so many great restaurants at Condado and Old San Juan (don't just try the restaurants nearest to the ports, there are great ones further up the hill away from the Cruise Ship masses with no wait times). If you're looking for a quick cheap bite, 3 minutes walking from the hotel is a local Cafeteria (sandwiches and tiny buffet thing), a Subway, a Sushi/Japanese/Chinese place (great for lunch), and a puertoriccan cuisine bistro. There are also two very small mini marts for snacks and beverages (both adult and regular).

Our room was in the HHonors tower and was well kept. The hallway carpet was a bit dirty and needed a good cleaning however. The king bed, ocean/lagoon view room had a widescreen tv, refrigerator, large walk-in shower (no tub) and a nice comfortable balcony with a table and two chairs.

The bar staff is very friendly and make you forget how much you're paying for that Mojito. Don't overlook happy hour from 5-7pm everyday for $5 drinks and $5-7 appetizers.

There is one washer and drier available to guests that is very hidden. It's between the two towers in the little hotel 'strip mall' between the small boutique store and the larger sundries store. It has a nondescript unlabeled door with no handle that you push open and then immediately on your right is a glass door-ed laundry room with a change machine, soap/dryer sheet dispenser and the two machines. You'll need your room key for entrance.

We had a great time at this resort but it is definitely not for a sleepy vacation (that's what Waikoloa is for). We'll be back!

Room Tip: East side all face the lagoon, ocean, and Old San Juan. West side faces Condado and Fort Geronimo w...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Caribe Hilton as your “home away from home” during your visit to beautiful Puerto Rico.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience while at our property. We appreciate your feedback and will share with our Management, We hope to see you back in the near future.

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012 via mobile

My family (two adults and one older teen) spent six nights at the Caribe Hilton. I selected the Caribe because I had a great stay here while traveling on business eight or nine years ago. I travel frequently for business, and I generally choose Hilton properties because I have had good experiences.

Overall we had a good stay. Our room was in the main building on the ninth floor. The ninth floor does not seem to have been renovated in some time. Although the room showed some wear and tear, it was nice and clean at check in. Housekeeping of the room during the stay was also pretty good. There were a few small things that could be improved (sponges left behind in the room, toilet paper shortage), but overall the housekeeping staff did a nice job.

My one complaint has to do with the restaurants and their staffs. The food was comparable to what I have found at other resorts (decent, if a bit expensive) but the service was terrible. We dined at the pool bar and all of the restaurants except LemonGrass, and the only decent service we received in the hotel was at Morton's, and Starbucks. My son and I observed servers standing around at the pool grill and mixing and consuming drinks (alcoholic) instead of waiting on customers. The staff was at best slow and at worst rude. We did go to the Piña Colada Club which is adjacent to the hotel. The food was good, and our server Kat was friendly and took great care of us. I recommend that the hotel management take a close look at the food service areas and address the issues with the staff as the quality of the staff doesn't reflect well on the Hilton brand.

I would like to close by recognizing the great service we received from the SCUBA/SNUBA team on the beach. They were friendly and helpful, and most important they were knowledgable. It was great having a PADI certified group to work with at the resort.

We would certainly return to this hotel again. I hope the management will have had an opportunity to address the food service issues before our next trip.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
We trully appreciate your feedback. Rest assured that this will be shared with our Management. We are very glad that you spent your recent vacation with us. we apologize for any inconvenience you experienced during your visit.

We hope to see you soon again in the near future!
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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
#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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