“If you are inside luxury leave. If you are paying for outdoor scenery, stay!”
My husband and I stayed at the Caribe Hilton for four nights. When you arrive you will be in awe with the lobby. It is absolutely beautiful. As you walk through the lobby and to the outdoor space you will find a beautiful landscape full of great seating, bars, pool, hot tub, beds, and hammocks. The view of the ocean and the Condado area is breathtaking. The grounds have a pond with swans, I saw an iguana, peacocks, wild turkeys, and some crabs on the ocean wall. In comparison to the other hotels in San Juan, I feel that the Caribe has the best outdoor amenities.
Once you enter into your hotel room all that luxurious ambience takes a quick turn left. WAY LEFT!! We stayed in the Villas which are part of the "old" section of the hotel. Although the room appeared to be clean our initial room reeked of urine. We called the front desk and immediately the housekeeping manager came to inspect the room and she agreed that the smell was no bueno! As a result we were moved next door to a first floor villa which also had a "funk" to it. Exhausted from a six hour flight, my husband and I said forget it because we did not plan on spending that much time in the room anyway. The room was simply decorated, the bed was comfortable, and the french doors led to a quaint patio with a spectacular view of the water. All of that said I must elaborate on the smell of the room. I believe that since the hotel is so close to the water all of the dampness creates a mildew type smell. So if you are a person who can't tolerate smells I would not recommend the Caribe.
As for the onsite amenities, this place is super expensive!! $20 for a burger, $20 for a quesadilla, and $10 for drinks, oh and did I mention $5 for a bottle of water. The bad part is the hotel doesn't accept cash so you have to charge everything to the room. At check-in when they placed the $300 hold on my credit card I was thinking that I would not be anywhere close to that in hotel incidentals. Oh how wrong I was, upon check-out $277 in expenses! Not to mention the $20 cab rides into Old San Juan. One day my husband and I decided to hike instead of pay of the money. It is a good 2.5 mile walk. At first I was like we are not in Kansas anymore then we stumbled upon the capitol building. We walked inside and were given a tour. This building was amazing, italian marble throughout and we learned about the political history of the island. We proceeded up the street and made it to the first fort. Honestly you need to only pay for one fort instead of the two. I mean I found that a fort is a fort. Once we exited the fort you are right in Old San Juan. I highly recommend eating at Cafe Puerto Rico. The food was great! We also ate at El Jabirito in OSJ and Waiters in Condado.
With all that said, if you are looking to stay at a resort with a beautiful outdoor space this is the place however if you like luxurious rooms, go to the Ritz.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 31, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Condado Lagoon Villas at 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 in our property and apologize for any inconvenience. I remember to attend to your call when you arrived and mentioned the room had a bad smell. In deed our HSKP supervisor went to your room and immediately showed you another room which you liked and agreed to stay in, I personally went to you room and spoke to you to make sure everything was ok and you were happy, you said yes. Later I went in to the original room you were in and found no signs of urine; we changed the area rug which was the only carpet we had in the rooms since they are tiled floors, to make sure we had no unpleasant smells. Nevertheless, we apologize again for the inconvenience and hope you come back and give us the opportunity to serve you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.