We just returned from a 4 night stay at this lovely resort, and I have to rank this vacation among our top five ever, largely because of our experience at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan.
I'd read many of the reviews before we got there, good and bad, but kept an open mind. The only action I took in response to the bad reviews was to request a renovated room upon checking in, and the woman who checked us in changed our original room assignment to accommodate our request without any fuss. Our room was clean, attractive, nice-sized and had a view of the old fort just east of the property. The bed was amazingly comfortable, with a fresh white duvet every day. The bathroom had plenty of big fluffy towels and high end toiletries on the marble counter.
The property itself is quite beautiful. You enter into a spacious open-air lobby with plenty of comfortable seating areas. There's a really pretty tropical garden in the center of the resort featuring a big koi pond. The garden space is also home to swans, peacocks and a family of turkeys. A walk through the garden leads you to the Lemon Grass restaurant with its covered outdoor dining patio and fabulous pan-Asian menu. There's free wi-fi in the lobby, and it was kind of funny to see people sitting everywhere, spending their vacation engaged with their iPads, mobile phones and laptops.
We loved the private beach, with its abundance of lounges and umbrellas. The water was clear and warm with gentle waves that are buffered by a breakwater to keep the surf from getting rough. We rented snorkle equipment one afternoon and were able to see all kinds of interesting tropical fish right inside the breakwater. There's also a circular sundeck jutting out over the water, a couple of floating platforms you can swim to, and an area between the pools and the beach with hammocks strung between the palm trees. We didn't use the pools because we prefer the beach, but they looked pretty and clean and had multiple levels and a swim-up bar.
The restaurants were priced a little on the high side, but were no more expensive than going out for a nice dinner anywhere, and there were a number of choices. If you want cheap eats, you can grab breakfast, lunch or a snack at the Starbucks, and there's a happy hour menu at the lobby bar with a few tasty plates between $3 and $7.
We'd never been to San Juan before, and found it to be a great place to visit. Old San Juan has plenty of shops and museums and little parks and restaurants of every description. It's a very pretty place just to stroll around. The Hilton is an easy walk across a bridge to the Condado area that has many more shops and restaurants, with every cuisine imaginable including Asian, Tapas, Peruvian and traditional Puerto Rican food (and for the less adventurous there's a Denny's, a Chili's, and an Outback Steakhouse, Subways, Baskin Robbins and Coldstone Creamery).
We found the Caribe Hilton well maintained, with friendly, helpful, competent staff. It was busy, but didn't felt crowded. We got an excellent price through cheapcaribbean.com, so for us it was an incredible value. I never wanted to leave, and would return in a heartbeat.
You have no recent hotel searches.