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“Beautiful Hotel in San Juan” 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
Middletown, Connecticut
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel in San Juan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Stayed here with my family for a five day vacation. The hotel is large and very beautiful. You arrive to an open concept lobby which flows through to the bar and pool area. The rooms are clean and spacious!! As I mentioned, there is a pool, which includes a jacuzzi, but there is also a private beach area as well. There are also plenty of hammocks and sitting areas to relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon. We look forward to returning to the Caribe Hilton on our next stay in San Juan!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
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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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St. John's, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Ask for the newer wing of the hotel, but still the older wing had big bathrooms and all we needed. The pool area was excellent with swimming areas on the beach for the kids, hammocks and relaxation areas for adults with no need to go anywhere else and lots of space. It's a beautiful setting with very helpful staff. Great food and restaurants are all very close, and it's just a short taxi ride to shopping and old San Juan. Great location!

Room Tip: Stay in the newest renovated wing
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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, September 2, 2014
Hello! thank you for choosing the Caribe Hilton as your home away from home in beautiful Puerto Rico. We hope you and your family had a wonderful vacation.

Please visit us again soon. It will be our pleasure to serve you again!

Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Last minute stay here over labor day. Super cheap with private very small beach. The amazing concierge and rental car folks make this hotel perfect. Thr location isnt super convenient but I strongly recommend renting a car and exploring PR outside of san juan. Super easy from hotel and they give easy directions. The major hotel construction is really irritating but who really goes on vacation just to hang out in hotel lobbies?

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

Depending on what you're looking for, this might not be the hotel for you. The Caribe Hilton is an amazing hotel on a beautiful beachfront property with an impressive history, a private beach area, and a 17th century fort, a short distance from the Dos Hermanos bridge into the Condado, Old San Juan, and Puerto Rico Convention Center areas. It was the first Hilton hotel outside of the continental U.S.. It was the birthplace of the Piña Colada (a debatable fact considering Old San Juan lays claim to it as well). It's been home to celebrities, big bands, a well known casino, parties, restaurants, etc., etc., etc.

The hotel itself has grown throughout the years, but the classic essence is still there, with its beautiful gardens, koi pond, beautiful indian peafowls, private beach, fish lookouts and walkways where you can observe large barracudas, tarpon, and other tropical fish, etc. Having grown up going to the Caribe Hilton quite often, it's nice to see certain details remain the same, whilst modernizing others, but the essence has remained even if the casino disappeared and the hotel has been expanded again and again. It's still a beautiful property.

But it's not for everyone. The Caribe Hilton is a happening place, and a large one at that, which means, that it's a very busy place. There's always something going on: parties, meetings, conventions, activities, etc. And since it's an old hotel, you often see renovations of certain areas in order to make it better. There was a major overhaul in the late 90s, but if you look around, you can tell that the main structure is much older. You should ignore those details, as this is a charming, very tropical, yet modern hotel. If you want a quiet hotel though, this is not for you.

My wife and I stayed for 10 nights during August 2014. I hadn't visited in 7 years, and was happy to see that despite all the new buildings and renovations, it still maintained a lot of its charm. We arrived to see the classic bar, before it was removed for the Piña Colada anniversary party, and closed down for a full renovation of that entire pool entry and bar area into something that at least in the photos provided, looks spectacular. We were happy to see the classic looking place one last time, and it was unfortunate that we weren't able to enjoy it during this particular stay. Not that there aren't enough other places to enjoy in this hotel.

I love the open lobby. Some people don't like it and would prefer an air conditioned lobby, but we find it fantastic and well in tune with the Caribbean experience. The hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful, especially the housekeeping personnel and Albert Caleb at the front desk who definitely deserves a raise. It's been a while since I've seen someone at a front desk work that hard and be that efficient and helpful. We got the wrong room when we arrived, receiving a garden view instead of the ocean view we had paid for, and in just a few minutes Albert took care of it, giving us a room in the original building right above the lobby, which was exactly what we wanted. We wouldn't have minded the tall tower and its spectacular views, but as someone who has so many memories in this hotel, I preferred the original tower.

The room was modern, fully equipped, with an excellent air conditioning and simply superb. The view was absolute wow, and the WiFi signal strong. Since it's an older renovation, you can tell that some parts are aged. The bathroom slider door had knicks and scuffs on the top, and the bathtub had a few as well, plus, the security latch on the door was slightly broken on the bottom (but worked). The shower worked well (it was a 4 setting cascading shower –very nice), though I personally would prefer a removable showerhead. These are minor, nearly unnoticeable details that have no bearing on the in-room experience, especially since the room was nice, modern looking and absolutely spotless... as in always. The housekeeping staff was awesome. Everything was perfect every single day. And the bed was super comfortable with that beautiful view you can enjoy while having your breakfast in bed with plenty of pillows and covers. It was fantastic and a really pleasant experience. As a super plus, there were plenty of wall plugs to charge our cameras, iPhones, and iPad.

The private beach area is awesome. It's a bit small, but it's also beautiful and very safe, as it has a break area which turns the beach into a slightly enclosed bay. There's even two platforms in the center of the area to jump into and out of the water from. Next to it is the old Normandy hotel and the public Escambrón beach. There's some great snorkeling around the area and even some wonderful nighttime scuba diving behind the break, where the hotel has a platform to view large, tropical fish at night. There are a number of pools to choose from with 2 large hot tubs and an in pool bar, where we enjoyed some nice Piña Coladas. The pool area is busy during peak hours, but pleasant all the same. You can always choose a different pool, and the main pool serves as a great lap pool. There's also some nice hammocks to relax in and enjoy the Caribbean breeze, as well as a Starbucks by the pool (there's another one in the lobby area). The whole beachfront garden area is a wonderful playground by the sea and its walkways and platforms offer spectacular views of the ocean, the beach, the Condado strip and lagoon, and the awesome 17th century, San Gerónimo fort.

Food options abound throughout the hotel with both proper restaurants, and fast foods like Quizno's, Starbucks, and Subway. Las Palmeras, where the casino used to be at one point, is quite nice next to the pool area, and Il Giardino imitates an italian bistro. We certainly had no complaints about the food options, though it's certainly worth venturing outside the hotel for some of San Juan's fantastic dining. Right across the lagoon, in the Miramar area, you have Lima, with wonderful Peruvian Cuisine, and other local and fast food restaurants, as well as the Fine Arts Cinema. Soda, next to the gas station, was tiny, but awesome. It was probably the best burger and fries I've ever had, and the price was reasonable. Old San Juan is full of fantastic dining options, and we got lucky and were there for the SoFo food festival (South Fortaleza street). It's definitely worth it. Venture out further. You won't regret it.

Conclusion: With its fantastically central location between Old San Juan, Condado, and the Miramar-Convention Center areas, and the highways to everywhere else, its private beach and multiple pool options, and its comfortable rooms and super friendly staff, the Caribe Hilton hotel is a wonderful place to spend your holidays in Puerto Rico. You can easily jump from here to anywhere on the island or simply relax at the hotel itself with its numerous entertainment and activity options. It's large, super busy, which is not for everyone, and it has some noticeable aging in some places. But if you like or don't mind the action, and don't mind those insignificant items, then this is certainly the place for you and your family. We loved it.

Pros: Location, private beach, on premises eating options, comfort, safe, friendly staff, piña coladas, lots of taxis available, great lobby music, spacious balcony, lots of wall plugs.
Possible cons for some guests: Busy, aging elements, need vehicular transportation to nearby tourist areas.

Room Tip: • The original tower is closer to the busy noise (including the current renovation noise) than the t...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 via mobile

Was everything me and my husband hoped for. Service was excellent staff was great and very informative.Would definitely stay here indefinitely with every trip to PR. The private beach pool are excellent and the Pina Colada restaurant amazing!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 via mobile

I stay at the Caribe whenever I am in San Juan for work. Overall, I can say it is a good layover hotel. The rooms are clean and tiled. The bathrooms are above average, with large showers and most have both normal shower heads and overhead rain-type shower heads.

The real upside to this hotel is the beach and swimming. They are located on a lagoon with a break water which keeps the water relatively calm. They have two swim platforms which tend to have some interesting tropical fish hanging around underneath them. There is a large, round platform shaped like a banjo with many mattresses to lay out on with no reservations required. They also have cabanas near the rocky, main shore in front of the hotel which require reservations. The pool looks nice and there are usually many people using it. However, with the nice, shallow swimming beach/area I didn't see a need for the pool.

This hotel lays claim to inventing the Piña Colada, so of course you may want to try one at either of the outdoor bars around the pool area. Don't expect anything earth shattering...but at least you can say you a Piña Colada at the birth place of the Piña Colada!

If you are there at night, wonder down to the break water. You will see a platform overlooking the ocean near where the lagoon meets the ocean. It is lit up by large lights shining down into the ocean. Depending on what is in the water that night, you should be able to see some fish....usually Barracuda. On my most recent visit, there were about 6-8 large Barracuda patrolling the area for whatever fish were attracted to the light. It was pretty neat to see!

Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, August 29, 2014
Thank you for your review, We are happy to hear you enjoyed our beach and amenities the resort has to offer..

Feedback is extremely important to us, and we take immediate measures to address, I thank you for the opportunity to address..
If you travel should bring you back to San Juan, please give us another opportunity to serve you..

Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

My family and I went to San Juan for a Family trip from July 27-Aug 2 and stayed at this property. Working at the Hilton myself, I wasn't impress with the overall stay and neither were my family. Horrible beach/pool view! Housekeeping did not keep the room up in respect to changing the sheets. Concierge didn't seem as friendly in respect to explaining the different activities to do or places to eat in the area. Just was handed a brochure and sent on our way. The 2 pleasant departments were, one the valet/bellmen. They were extremely helpful and attentive, I was highly impressed. Greeted my entire family and made sure we were helped to the fullest capacity. And secondly the Gym Facility was amazing. Worked out 4 out of the 7 days and I had an amazing time to the assistant of every staff member but special thanks to Kung Fu Panda (Emilio) and the young lady that worked in the morning who help with the sore in my upper back that I was dealing with for months, referred but Emilio! Not to mention the beautiful structure of the Facility and the array of equipment. By far the best gym I have experience.

Room Tip: The beach view was not a good view so I would not ask for that.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 ( 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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