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“Would Go Back” 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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Ranked #15 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
NYC
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Would Go Back”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I was almost turned off this hotel by some of the negative reviews. I found myself arriving ready to be negative and was pleasantly surprised. The $21 less than 15 minute cab ride from the airport (posted as $19 but a "family rate" is $21) I thought here we go getting nickel and dimed already. We arrived to the hotel where at checkin we were told about the 16% fee. (we already knew about it, most of the decant hotels have it in some form) I really wish they just upped the room rate rather than this “amenities” fee. What next extra for the sheets and credit card deposit for pillows.
I was traveling with wife and 2 kids 6 & 7. Our room on the 4th floor had a very nice view of a rooftop so we asked to be moved to a higher floor. coming from NYC rooftop view for the weekend is a no no. We were asked to go back downstairs which we did bags and baggage and they put us on the 8th floor which had a beautiful view of the rough ocean and one of the historic watch towers was part of our view. The balcony is narrow but enough to fit table and chairs. The beach at first glance looks small and man made but it is nicely sheltered and the water is warmer than the pools. Saturday we quite happily spent most of the day on the beach - and got nice red sunburns to prove it- even though it was somewhat overcast. Toys were supplied by the hotel and the kids got a kick out of the oversized chess/ checkers, dominos and connect 4. We missed the hula hoop contest on Sat.
Fri. night the concierge advised going to Plaza Colon in Old San Juan and recommend a number of restaurants to us. We also asked the cab driver for advice he recommended cafe Puerto Rico on the Sq. there was quite a wait which with tiring kids we couldn’t do but the “mater D” asked where we were going to eat when we said Balys he said it would be fine but La Madre would be better. One block away we found La Madre and thoroughly enjoyed it, great food, really nice staff and priced for the area.
Breakfast: Palmers restaurant in the Caribe Hilton is more expensive for breakfast but its worth it, nice open view of the ocean as you sip nice PR coffee. with wide buffet choice. The other restaurant is nice, but its enclosed. We didn’t eat at Mortons Steakhouse or Lemongrass on site.
Cab rides to Old San Juan cost from $12 - $15 which seems to be at the drivers discretion. Its a ten min drive (i assumed that included tip and got no complaint). other reviews had said use cash which I did for all cab rides. FYI No stores likes seeing anything over a $20 bill. My wife speaks Spanish but everyone speaks English anyway - think Rickey Martin- thats how the majority speak.
the furthest we went on our short weekend break was El Morro which is one of the watchtowers with a lighthouse. Locals fly kites there... a lot. We walked from there to the walled Fort which is worth the $3 entry - kids free- to see the view.
Sat night the Hotel concierge recommended Barrachina which is in the heart of Old San Juan, It claims to be the founding location of the Pina Colada the concierge gave us a ticket for a free taste, (it tasted like more) and has a flamenco dance show which is nice. food was just ok. reservations are required for the Fri. and Sat night Taxis are recommended. We came across only nice people very willing to help out.
We ate at Metropol ($25 cab ride) family cuban/ P.R food with no frills and we felt just a bit rushed. We walked over to the intercontinental Hotel after dinner which looks great. nice beach but no loud crashing waves like CH.
Marmalade is a highly recommended eatery but was booked and we were told not for kids. Pamela's the only beach food spot we were told had mixed reviews recently.

Room Tip: 4th floor and lower on the low block has no ocean view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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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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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

My husband and I truly enjoyed the Caribe Hilton in San Juan this February. The hotel, while large, never felt that crowded to us. It has a relaxed feel with an unbelievably beautiful open-air lobby that has the most spectacular view of the ocean.
The gounds are well manicured with many palm trees and a stand of hammocks swaying by the ocean. (One of my favorite memories from the trip was laying in one of the hammocks at night listening to the ocean knowing it was 10 degrees at home!) There was a long pier that had a light at night that illuminated the fish. Some of them had to be four feel long!
Our room was nicely appointed with a king-size bed, chair, long dresser/desk combo, huge closet, marble-topped sink, refridgerator, safe, and an enormous closet with shelving. The decorations were sleek and modern. The large picture of an orchid by the bed was beautiful and fitting for such a tropical locale. We were very pleased with how meticulously our room was cleaned each day.
We ate at the italian restaurant in the lobby twice, because the food was delicious. The lemon chicken with capers, bruschetta, and manicotti were so good. We found the food to be a little on the pricey side, but what restaurant in a resort is inexpensive? The service was terrific as well, and be sure to order a mojito. It was hands down the best I've ever had.
We decided to partake of a pina colada from the lobby bar. The Caribe is said to have created the pina colada 50 years ago. (There's an official plaque and everything.) It, too, was probably the best I've had, but I don't order many pina coladas. The bar is great with the ocean breeze and view. We joined two other couples who were being entertained by the bartender who happened to be a card magician. Was he fantastic! He knew the cards five of us picked from piles of five, made a card appear out of nowhere by a drink, and tuned the deck to one suit! It was amazing and unexpected and added to our wonderful Valentine's Day there.
The Caribe Hilton is a mile or two away from Old San Juan. We drove and easily parked in a garage. The shops and houses are beautifully painted, and El Morro, the fort there, dates to the 1500's and silently stands guard over the ocean. I loved Old San Juan with it's rich history and pleasant shopkeepers.
We hope to return to San Juan very soon and see more of what Puerto Rico has to offer!

Room Tip: Make sure to request an ocean view room on a higher floor.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Hi there! thank you for your comments. It is certainly a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed our Hammocks, beach, piña coladas (yes it was born here!). hope you had a wonderful valentines day with us!

looking forward to your return.

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

My husband and I just spent a week at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The private beach was a plus. We never had to fight for a lounge as one was always available and if not, the staff was more than happy to find one for us. The location was ideal as we could walk to the Condado area if we wanted to and were a long walk or short ride to Old San Juan. I certainly plan to return to this resort for another stress free vacation

Room Tip: Rooms in the main buiding are more convenient than those in the suites.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
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, February 25, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and for your kind comments! It was a pleasure to serve you.

Looking forward to welcome you back soon.

At your service,

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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Boston
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

My wife and 2-year-old daughter just returned from our second stay at the Caribe Hilton, and I won't be surprised if we return again next year. We've now stayed in both the Main Building and the Tower, and they are pretty comparable (if the Tower is 'too far away' for your tastes, then you probably also don't care that the fitness center is above average for a hotel). Not identical, but hardly worlds apart. Overall, this is a solid place to stay, no doubt.

Pros:
1) Excellent location
- You can walk into Condado across the new 'Dos Hermanos' bridge to, among many other things, the Ben and Jerry's for a DELICIOUS breakfast in a very nice location (exactly 1 mile).
- Miramar area to the Pueblo supermarket (0.6 miles) for anything you have have forgotten to pack and snacks for your room.
- Bus into OSJ for 75 cents (bring quarters!), a major perk. Buses come quite often along this stretch and are nicer than the buses we have in Boston (ARRA funding, e.g. the stimulus). Very fast trip, no more than 6 or 7 minutes, since they travel largely on dedicated bus lanes. And then to come back, you can take any bus since they all leave the mini-island that is OSJ. We'd head into OSJ for at least one meal a day, sometimes two.
2) Expansive grounds
- We were traveling during school vacation week for most of the Eastern Seaboard of the US, and while the resort was pretty full, it didn't feel crowded. No problem getting a set of chairs at the pool or by the beach.
- Being able to wander around with an interesting area with a kid while you drink your coffee / pina colada is key. Between hunting for iguanas or lizards or turkeys, talking to the parrots in the lobby, or spending some time on the playground, you can be parenting while the kid largely amuses him/herself in a way that isn't in the face of other guests.

Cons
1) Meal options IF YOU SELF-SELECT AGAINST THE NICER PLACES.
- Traveling with a small child, we did not avail ourselves of Morton's or any of the other nicer places at the resort, we only ate at Atlantico and the Pina Colada Club. They are each fine for one meal during the course of your stay, maybe two, but really no more than that. They are convenient, but nothing more. There are far, far, better (and cheaper, if you're looking for it) options in OSJ. Eating at either of these places somewhat felt like surrendering. Again, not bad food, but easily forgettable.
2) Noise.
- If you're hoping to sit on your balcony, look out over the ocean, and relax (for example, when it is 8pm and your kid is asleep in the room, so you're in for the night), well, think again. We had a room that had a great view, but was also above what sounded like a jet engine bolted to the roof of an adjacent building (some older A/C system, I think). My wife and I could not carry on a conversation out there without yelling. Other rooms are near a construction zone, so if you're on the balcony during nap time with your book, it won't be terribly vacation-y. I'm sure there are some rooms where you can hear the coqui, the ocean, and nothing more at night, but I haven't found one yet.

I'd stay here again, but if you're traveling with kids and aren't willing to find ways to get off the property, either by walking to Condado or busing to OSJ, then you'll probably get weary of it. If you're traveling without kids, well, I can't remember what that would feel like at this point ;)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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, February 25, 2013
Thank you so much for your review of your recent stay with us in Puerto Rico. We appreciate your candor as we are always looking for ways to improve our guests’ experience. Please accept our apology for our missteps during your stay and know that having shared your feedback with our team we are all working to ensure we provide the best hotel experience possible moving forward. We hope you visit us again soon.

at your service

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Large resort that promised a lot but delivered less. We stayed in the Honors tower 5th floor with ocean view. The room was exceptional, marble bath, rain shower, private balcony. The lobby was always crowded the walkway a mini mall. The hot tub over loaded, beach chairs full. It lacked charm, relaxation.. It had a cosmopolitan atmosphere, high fashion,,multi cultural, business with pleasure.. climate. The beach looked man made, and the ocean in accessible other than for viewing. Now... the views were spectacular. the Atmosphere alluring.. lots of people watching
The gym was full, the tennis courts empty.. ( to our delight, we're both USTA players and loved the courts). Dinner at the Italian restaurant was good but expensive. Dinner at the Lemongrass was excellent. The location was close to Old San Juan and the Condado but we were advised not safe to walk at night. Cabs are $12 -15 flat charge for the less than 2mi trips.
It was fine for two nights, getting ready to return and access the airport.. not a vacation spot we'd return to.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher level floor if you'd like to enjoy the views. Try for a balcony.. they private...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, February 25, 2013
First of all, thank you for your candid feedback of your stay with us. I apologize that we did not meet your expectations and rest assured that this comments are shared with our team to ensure our standards of service and comfort are consistently met. We strive on providing our guests with a comfortable stay and we will do everything we need to do to ensure that these issues are corrected. I am always looking for reviews to provide insight into our guests experience and I will keep your review in mind. Thank you again for your feedback and I invite you back to stay with us the next time your travels bring you to the area.

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyattsville, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I don't typically stay at big resort hotels, and I expected little from the Hilton. But my daughter and i were traveling to Puerto Rico for just three days, and we were looking for a place with a good beach and relatively easy access to Old San Juan. In that regard, the Caribe Hilton totally filled the bill. We actually walked to Old San Juan from the hotel (not recommended--it's a LONG way), but there are plentiful taxis and public transportation. As to the beach--just pure pleasure. We bobbed in the blue waters of the Atlantic, protected from high surf by a constructed barrier reef, spotted some fish near the reef, and baked happily in the sun. We headed to the pool for lunch and drinks, and I sat on a barstool by the swim-up bar and drank a pina colada. It was just what our sun-starved, toil-weary bodies needed! We also had quite a decent breakfast from room service early one AM before boarding a tourist bus for El Yunque rain forest. Yes, we had one bad experience. We came in late one evening, tired and hungry, the restaurant on the ground floor was closing, we were treated like intruders making unreasonable demands when we asked for a cup of soup, and what we were served, spiced with more than a soupcon of rudeness, was cold and inedible. C'mon, Hilton, you can do better than that. Still--on the whole, the place met our needs for uncomplicated R&R quite well.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ocean side and courtyard are nicer, but ours, on the other side, had little view but it...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We first visited this resort as a family back in 2004. It still does not disappoint. We moat recently visited in mid February. The location is a scenic one. I have been to larger, nicer beaches, but this still does not feel crowded even though the beach is part of a lagoon. Part of the hotel is on a rocky peninsula. The towel stand sometimes has bread crumbs to give you so that you can feed the tropical fish off a viewing deck. Relaxation is not difficult here. There are many locations and types of lounge chairs to accomplish this goal. Be sure to try a hammock. Each day they have various resorts planned to serve many interests. The main problem with this resort is the expensive food.

Room Tip: Try one of the upper floors in the tower. Views are great.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#8 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#11 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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