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“HIGHLY Recommend” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton

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Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #27 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
virginia
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
“HIGHLY Recommend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

highly recommend this well-equipped, great value, family friendly resort, it just needs a few fixes to score a 5. Bottom line though is that we loved it here!

The Condado Lagoon is part of the Caribe Hilton and gets you common access to this expansive resort as a whole. The restaurant selection is very respectable, though very Americanized (a drawback for me personally). The Piña Colada Club family restaurant does serve local food, but it falls short of the quality of the real local food you would find if you left the hotel and went to a real local place. Still, Piña Colada Club is ok in a pinch, the staff is friendly and very accommodating, and it’s welcoming and excellent for kids servicing lots of cold treats. Regrettably, we didn’t make it to the lemongrass grill, although it was on our to-do list based on outstanding reviews.

The resort’s location is above average to excellent. If you like to be able to walk to the action right outside your door, then you might consider that a drawback because the hotel is tucked away, just a tiny bit, however the Condado district starts just a short bridge walk across the bay, about a 3 minute walk actually, then another 10 to 15 depending how deep into Condado you want to go. A cab ride in the opposite direction to downtown San Juan and Old San Juan is only $12-$15 max. A taxi is a wise choice at night to ensure safety, and for $15 it just makes sense to do the same during the day if you want to avoid the 2 mile hot walk.

The beach situation at this resort is excellent. It has a truly private beach, which in San Juan can be very important for casual safety. By contrast, across the bay the Hilton Condado Plaza’s beach is not only public, but its beach is right next to the street and sidewalk, making it ideal for a thief to grab your things and ride off on a bike. The beach at Caribe/Condado resort on the other hand is in a protected cove, inaccessible except by boat or through the hotel, is large enough to accommodate dozens of kayaks, and is protected and enclosed by a man made rock wall that has the added bonus of attracting some interesting sea life for snorkeling fun. There’s about 300 feet of sandy beaches, and several hundred feet of additional rocky ocean front for sunning in view of the beautiful Carribean on the remaining perimeter of the hotel.

It gets crowded by the pool and beach but there is crazy volume of beach chairs on this large property. Sure, we didn’t always get the poolside or beachside chairs, but we never, ever, were unable to find a place to park it for the day with our 3 kids in tow, no matter what time of day. Swimming pools were numerous and varied for different ages, and Condado Lagoon has its own 2 pools plus Jacuzzi in case you didn’t want to do the walk to the pools at the main resort.

Except for ice, pretty much everything is a sometimes annoying walk to the main resort. At the same time, the Condado Villas are away from the hustle and bustle of the main resort, and actual proximity to water view is light years closer. It has a completely different feel to it. If you look at the two hotels on a map you’ll see that the Caribe is set much further back, a few hundred feet, while the Condado Villas are about 12 feet from the bay. It boils down to what you like, a massive enclosed high rise hotel (the Caribe) or 4 story rows of villas with balconies 12 feet from the water. On the downside, it wasn’t until day 5 of 7 that we discovered a short cut to the main resort area, otherwise it’s twice as long of a walk to get to and through the main resort to the pool and beach. I don’t know if the shortcut we found was an official pathway, but it should be, and this seems like a HUGE oversight, not to mention an annoying one.

The fitness facilities are above average to excellent and include Tennis courts, as well as practice putting greens. They are however very strict about the minimum age requirement being 16, even if supervised, which is bit of an overkill if you have a 15 ½ year old.

Three or four resort shops cover essentials, plus clothes to gifts, all excellent quality, and an onsite Starbucks is great for an occasional quick snack at a bargain price compared to all other restaurant and to order food prices.

I read in another review a negative experience with towels all over the place in the pool area, and I did notice the same thing from time to time. But I have to say that I have rarely seen such a rampant case of guests not giving a crap about leaving their crap anywhere and everywhere. Wow. Toward the end of the day it looks like a wet towel graveyard. Unfortunately, it takes them a while to get the towels. Seriously, this was a unique group of guests at this hotel. Still, the towel situation falls squarely on the resort and they need to run more frequent shifts to stay on top of the slobs if that’s what it takes…

I saw comments about the hotel being worn and dated. Dated? We didn’t think so. We had two different rooms and everything about both was contemporary and up to date. Worn? Not really. There were no worn surfaces or baseboards, scrapes, nothing broken, etc., inside or out, and clean clean clean. Mild corrosion and sticking doors because of its proximity to the water? Yes, and a lot of it in some cases. The sprinklers in both our rooms for example were so covered in thick corrosion that we couldn’t imagine that they could possible work. The sliding glass door to the balcony required serious muscle to open and close, and the entry doors wouldn’t close completely unless they were open wide enough to generate enough inertia to slam closed on their own. But what struck me was how easily all of this could have been remedied with about 10 cents of WD40 or Teflon spray. Please, please, fix this. Then, set a reminder to spray all doors once a quarter! :-)

We had one king suite with kitchen (full size fridge, stove top, microwave, but no oven) and one double queen bed room with kitchenette (semi compact fridge and microwave only). Basically, if a full kitchen and a stove top is what you want and need, then expect a cramp bathroom that is difficult to get ready in if someone is showering. For that reason I recommend passing on the full size kitchen, and gain a huge bathroom where one can be showering while 3 others fix hair and brush teeth…

I noticed reviews that mentioned rude staff, yet others that completely raved about the customer service. Whenever I see reviews about customer service that seem miles apart, ranging all the way from condemnation to heartfelt praise, and very few in the middle ground, that usually signals an assimilation challenge to me. This is a great place to be on island time, just don’t necessarily expect the local professional to be. They tend to speak quickly, react quickly, and are to the point when it comes to professional services. They don’t have a ton of patience for drama or pandering to disrespectful tourists. One analogy might be a Midwesterner visiting New York for the first time. A Midwesterner might likely consider a New Yorker rude and curt for their pace and volume, but a fellow New Yorker might view the same person as typical and charming. Here’s an example, call the hotel operator, ask for the front desk, and you will probably hear a click that sounds like you were hung up on, but the next sound you hear is someone answering saying “front desk, can I help?” What’s missing is the, “please hold while I transfer you, thank you and have a wonderful day.” It’s just different is all, in fact I’m a big fan of the approach (probably because I resemble the New Yorker type of person!). If you’re one of those folks that thinks it’s their job to smile and take it when you get rude (and we saw plenty of these guests), you’re creating or at least contributing to your own bad experience (hospitality industry or not). Be respectful and you will encounter a culture that is eager to help you anyway they can, fix whatever you need fixed, and talk to you about their island.

Con:
The “children’s game room” serves absolutely no purpose, and in the 7 days we were there we never saw anyone using it, ever. First, lights are always off and it’s locked 24 hours a day. You have to get an attendant to let you in. That means standing in line at the rental desk, and then waiting some more until there is no one in the line at all so that the attendant can come downstairs to let you in. That’s just step one. All the games are locked up. The attendant asks which game you want, turns on the console, pops in the game for you, locks up the console and games again, and then leaves. Having trouble starting the game? Picture not right? Want to switch games? You have to trek back upstairs stairs and stand in line, again, to an attendant that gets annoyed that she has to come back down again to help you. We tried it again a second time (at my son’s behest), and it was the same routine. It was challenging enough that even my video junkie son didn’t want to check it out anymore, at all, for the remainder of the vaca. The children’s game room is useless and should be boarded up and removed from the hotels’ website and media, or alternatively they should put in games with controls and selections that are accessible even when secure from theft.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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313 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bronx, NY, United States
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Excellent service, all the staff that served us were very welcoming. Check-in was easy and they accommodated us at 1:00 pm, 3 hours before our scheduled check in. Our room was an ocean view, it was fantastic. The pool area is gorgeous, and also there is a private beach. Around the area of the beach and pool are a multitude of chairs, day beds, and cabanas to enjoy. The hotel has a section with hammocks. The buffet breakfast in "The Palmera" restaurant was great. We tried the outdoor pool bar and grill and it was the best :-). Also, we used the food service at the beach. They also received us with a Champagne bottle and a congratulation card in our room the first night, since we were on vacation celebrating our anniversary. We had an overall great experience at this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

I stayed at the Villa for the first time. I would stay there again as it had a good balance of quietness and proximity to the amenities. Be prepared to pay for this, though. I decided to get a suite, which is essentially two connecting rooms so my teenage son would have his own space. That was a good idea as he likes his quiet moments. The view of the Condado was awesome and we were treated to a little bit of a show with a couple of manatees swimming in the bay. We only had lunch at one of the restaurants and it was upon arrival as it was a really stormy day. Other meals were only the breakfast buffet which was really good. I would recommend this hotel as it has a lot of old time resort charm and it's very close to Old San Juan.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldwin, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

I was in San Juan for a week at a different hotel while on business. As a "nice treat" my fiancée and I changed hotels for the weekend in hopes to spend some quality leisure time together; we chose the Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe. I have to say that I was very disappointed and upset about our time spent here.
The night prior to check-in (I realize it was a bit late) I called the hotel to let them know that my fiancée was going to check-in, I would be working, so I wanted to change my reservation to include his name. They helped me notate this on my account and then even talked me into upgrading rooms and adding breakfast. Everything went fine and I assumed there would be no issues. When my fiancée went to check in, his name was not on the reservation and none of the upgrades were either. I then had to stop what I was doing with my client to send Hilton the confirmation email I received because they could not find any notation about anything on my account.
A little bump in the road, but nothing that terrible. I was willing to still not let this sway my positive attitude towards the hotel, mix-ups happen. When I arrived I went to the front desk and got an extra key for the room; Edward helped me- he was wonderful, friendly, helpful, overall just very nice; THANK YOU!

When it came to breakfast, that was a joke. We paid a little extra to have breakfast included. What they don't tell you is that the breakfast you get is, anything cold (pastries, cereal, fruit). for an additional fee on top of the extra $ you pay to get breakfast included, you can have the hot breakfast foods. The Lemongrass Restaurant, unfortunately is not that great. the service was good but the overall food was not. I would recommend the shrimp appetizer and that's about it. The best meal we had was at Morton's, which was very expensive.
They say you get free WiFi, only for 24 hours. After that you pay for it.

It was rainy majority of our weekend there so we wanted to ask the "Trips/Excursions" person for things they could recommend. The young girl with the glasses that works there is terrible. I know that sounds overly harsh but that was the nail in the coffin for me to write this review. She was ignorant and rude. All we asked was if she could recommend any activities that were not rained out and in return she rolled her eyes; that was only for a second as she barely looked up from texting on her cell phone. Her attitude sucked and she acted as if we were bothering her; it's your job...all we wanted was just maybe a pamphlet or two, apparently that was just too much to ask for. She was by far the worst person we came in contact with; she took the cake.
Overall, not a very good experience. The service really wasn't that good, more like non-existent. I am sure that others would disagree with my review but I only speak from my bad experience, and it indeed was a bad experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Booze is expensive, Food is expensive. Staff is great and very helpful. Beach is clean, pools were very busy. Karaoke Sunday night was lots of fun to watch!!! Dj Thursday night wasnt bad either, wish they had a better space to do these events. The bird/lizard area was cool/weird. They need to do a better job cleaning that space. Overall we had a great time for an under 30 couple. *one bad part. Won't go in to great detail but a waiter at the pool bar lost my credit card for about 25min. I had to go to the bar and find it myself. One of the Managers took care of us later on that week! Whats better than a good story to come home with.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Saint Clair Shores, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

When booking a "Villa" - make sure you know what you are getting. My husband and I were extremely disappointed in our room (villa) It was far from a villa. Other than the room my husband and I enjoyed our stay as we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The food, drinks, pool and beach were all fantastic. n

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Mercersburg, PA, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Nothing major good or bad about this hotel, but access to the Hilton next door's amenities was a major plus. We had some minor but continual issues with our room lock, our A/C seemed to be out of control (frigid room, even when temp was set in the 70s), and the maids couldn't make up their minds about how to make the bed. Aside from that, good experiences, good views, good location, and HHonors made it a win.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton

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
#9 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton 3.5*
Number of rooms: 264
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the freedom and flexibility offered at Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Part of the Caribe Hilton hotel complex, these spacious San Juan villa accommodations offer flexible units perfect for family retreats or large groups or gatherings. Set on an exclusive peninsula, made up of 17 acres of lush tropical gardens, this acclaimed San Juan resort offers a secluded beach and amenities tailored to families, couples and business travelers alike. The Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton are located just a 15-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU). Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton can be can be divided into three separate units or combined into spacious suites with a master bedroom, living room and fully equipped kitchen, many expanding up to 1,800 sq. ft. Admire the ocean view from your villa with private balcony. Relax with a body massage at Olas Spa or indulge in a full spa package with a combination of treatments like massage, facial, and manicure. Take advantage of all that this Caribbean resort complex has to offer, including beach and water activities and dining at Morton's Steakhouse or just lie in a hammock with a drink, listening to the sound of the waves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Condado Lagoon Villas At Caribe Hilton Hotel San Juan

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