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“Will never go back to this hotel” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort

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Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1150 Caribe Ave., Ponce 00716, Puerto Rico   |  
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$99 (USD)
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Will never go back to this hotel”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2007

This was one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed at. The service is horrible and this is suppose to be a resort?? Tip #1 If you want a glass of water w/ your meal start asking for it early. It took exactly 4 request every time before I got one. 4 is the magic number. TIP #2 Prepare to have both of your room keys fail. Make sure you take both of them at all times because god forbid you get stuck outside of your room ...oh say about 12:00 at night because they will take thirty three minutes to send someone up to let you in. TIP#3 This is important. DO NOT plan on getting a buzz from any of the drinks mixed at the bars. Even though it "appears" that they are pour liquer into the drink take my advice and my 174.00 tab and go to the liquer store located just outside the guard gate (they will be more than happy to tell you where it is) and buy a bottle. Then purchase virgin drinks and add your own liquer. DO NOT expect to get good food here either and it is not inexpensive. Oh TIP#4 This one is for the women. If you are American be prepared. Apparently Puerto Rican women do not like American women EVEN THOUGH Puerto Rico is part of the United States. They treated my friend and I horrible. Tip#5 Unless you are from Manhattan or Tampa Bay you might just want to take a defensive driving course or get a prescription for Zanex. If you have never been to P.R you are instore for some of the worst drivers in the country. There are no white lines in the road. Yes that is right no lines therefore they are ALL OVER the place. I will never complain about New York drivers ever again. TIP#6 The final one. If you would like to blend in with the other drivers simply lay on the horn and just blow on through the red light or stop sign. Make sure your music is blarring so you can't hear anybody elses horns and you will be fine. BTW there is no service out on the beach so DO NOT EXPECT resort style service. This resort had more children in it than the Disney resorts. My advice is stay in San Juan there was much more to do and it is much more beautiful. Hope this helps someone save their hard earned money!! Happy Travels

  • Liked — The view from the beach
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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757 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2007

My husband, 17 year-old daughter and I stayed at the Ponce Hilton from April 9-15, 2007. We've traveled all over the world and we all agree that this one of our best vacations in terms of relaxing at a beautiful hotel. I would highly recommend it to others.

Some keys to a successful vacation here:
1) Pay the extra $20+/day to stay in the Executive Tower. It's worth it for entry into the executive lounge - free internet use, complimentary breakfast, all-day snack and drink availability. You may have to also be a Hilton Honored guest member to access the lounge; I saw a previous entry regarding that. My husband was, so I'm not sure. [Our room and bathroom were very modern and very clean. I am very particular and I was very impressed.]
2) Choose the pool that suits your needs. If you have young children, the pool at the main hotel will be fine - lots of activity and other kids. If you want a quiet, relaxing experience (which we did), choose the pool at the golf club. It's a 5-minute complimentary shuttle ride or drive your own car there (as we did). I have posted photos of this pool. Most days we had it all to ourselves.
3) Rent a car. We flew into the San Juan airport and drove approximately 1 1/2 hours to the hotel. The roads were very good. Major highway nearly all the way. Just like driving here on the mainland.

If you're looking for day trips, two excellent ones are:
1) One hour drive west and then a $6/person boat ride to Gilligan's Island. White sand, shallow clear waters, swim and lounge among channels of mangroves. Fantastic and beautiful. Never experienced anything like this before. Boat to the island leaves on the hour, so you may want to plan your arrival time.
2) Two hour drive northeast to Puerto del Rey to take a boat day trip (10-3:30). We went with EastWinds for $69/person. It was wonderful. Stopped at two snorkeling spots - great fish, good for both novice and experienced snorkelers, friendly staff, clean boat, nice lunch all the rum punch you can handle. Well worth the money and drive time. After the boat trip, we had just enough time to visit the El Yunque Rain Forest in that area. We hiked the Big Tree Trail to see a waterfall. The hike is very aerobic, down to the falls and back up to get out. It took us 45 minutes roundtrip walking at a quick pace, only stopping briefly to look at the falls. You can take a dip if you want. If you go to El Yunque, enter at the main northern entrance (El Portal).

As mentioned in a previous entry, the beach at the hotel is not that good. Supposedly there are excellent white sand beaches one half hour to the west, but we were so relaxed by the pool that we didn't feel the need to search out for anything more.

My husband golfed. He liked the course. Discounts are available for afternoon golfing. The best deal from 2-4PM, $50 including club rental.

We all got massages at the golf club. We've all had many before and this one was very good. The spa rates at the golf club are less expensive than at the main hotel.

Try Calypso Night - Wednesday nights at the golf club pool - happy hour and outdoor dining to a live Calypso band. Outside of the hotel, we ate at Pito's Seafood, Mark's at Melia's and La Casa de Tias. All were about $130 for three with appetizers and a bottle of wine. All were good, but our favorite was Mark's - linens, candlelight, one of the best meals I've ever had, great presentation. Also good is the main hotel pool dining area - Island Oasis - casual dining, very good daily specials.

All in all, a beautifully relaxing time. Just what the doctor ordered!

  • Liked — Golf Club Pool and Executive Lounge
  • Disliked — Pricey Dining and Cocktails - except Happy Hour
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2007

We stayed in the executive tower with access to executive room, you pay a little extra but get more value. Free breakfast, happy hour, deserts, fruits ect. Use of computers and express check out. Staff was friendly and helpful. Facility was nice and beach was good. Enjoyed our stay.

  • Liked — Staff was as helpul as they get.
  • Disliked — Restaraunt was a little expensive.
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2007

We stayed at the Hilton in Ponce, Puerto Rico, which I am about to review. However, first I think it would be helpful to say a few words about Puerto Rico in general and Ponce in particular. We visited Puerto Rico many years ago. In those days, Puerto Rico was very poor and frankly depressing. We chanced a trip back to San Juan about a year ago. I couldn't believe the difference.

We have traveled extensively in Latin America – our most recent trip being to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, where they definitely don't have their act together. Puerto Rico is a clean, prosperous and safe place to visit. It is heads and shoulders above anywhere else in Latin America we have ever visited. In Puerto Rico everything works – click, click, click. It is the only place in Latin America I know about where you can drink the tap water and eat the vegetables wihtout wishing you hadn't. You can trust the police. Bribes are not the tradition there. They use American money. Very good English is widely spoken. There were many times I could not hear a trace of an accent. It seems like nearly everyone drives a late model car. Both times we visited there, the weather was perfect – low eighties in the middle of the winter. I saw no beggars on the street. American stores and restaurants are everywhere. You don't need a passport to get there. Our Sprint cell phones had free roaming there – I can't tell you what a convenience that was. We could call each other when separated and our teenager when she wandered off. We could call businesses and have them tell us how to get there. Our teenager sat out on the balcony and talked to her friends back in the United States for hours.

We liked our stay in San Juan a lot during our last visit. We stayed in the Hilton there as well, which we also liked a lot. We decided to go to Ponce and stay there for four days just to see something different. There were three of us – two adults and a teenager. The only hitch we ran into is that we had booked a connecting flight from San Juan to Ponce on Cape Air with CheepoAir.com. We had an itinerary from CheepoAir that said we were booked on that flight. Cape Air stated that CheepoAir had canceled our flights – something never mentioned to us and something we certainaly never ordered or agreed to. However, Cape Air said they could get us on that flight, but it would cost a lot, lot more than the advance purchase fare we had booked. I don't know who made the mistake, but I do tend to get little a suspicious of profitable errors. Anyway, it worked out just great. We declined and walked right down to Hertz. The rental for the car for four days, including tax, was $148, which was much less than the original air fare for the connecting flight for one person, let alone three. Except for a short stretch in San Juan, it was all turnpike (about $6 in tolls each way) and a lovely drive through rolling hills. It took less than an hour and a half. We arrived before our scheduled three hour layover in San Juan was over and we had the use of the car while we were in Ponce. The total gas cost was $28 for the round trip and our running around in Ponce. The hotel charged something like $5 a day to park there.

Now to the Hilton Ponce. The bottom line is that we liked it. We stayed in a part of the hotel called the Executive Tower. You get a substantial discount on the room rate if you pay in full in advance, which we did. The room was spacious and clean. There were two double beds in the room. I wouldn't call the beds roomy, but they were adequate. We had a balcony that looked out on the ocean. There was a desk in the room. They wanted nearly ten dollars a day for a high speed internet connection. They had an Executive Center where you could get a free wireless connection. Swiping my room card at the door to get in would not work there, but the people on duty always quickly buzzed me in with a smile. The last evening I was there, however, the lady on duty told me that I had to be a Hilton VIP member to use that room. There was nothing on the door to that effect and I saw no mention of that in the guest guide in the room. While that rubbed me more than a little wrong, I have to say the lady was very apologetic and nice about it.

The grounds were beautifully landscaped. However, Ponce is not a beach destination. The hotel did have a narrow beach, which did not have a life guard and suffered from some liter. The pool is very nice. The food, while a bit pricy, was outstanding. You can figure on about $35 a person for supper, after taxes, but before tip and about $25 a person for lunch. I don't think Ponce is famous for its restaurants. We ate at several guide book recommended restaurants in Ponce. They were okay, but the food at the Hilton had us spoiled.

Most service personnel spoke English very well and they were very polite. Twice the maid forgot to leave coffee for the coffee maker in our room, but both times I called the front desk and a clerk showed up at our door almost at once with the coffee packs. Once the toilet stopped up. I called the front desk and a guy showed up in a flash to fix it. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly. Plenty of security. There are uniformed security guards wandering around all the time.

Ponce has a nice little square downtown, surrounded by nice shops. It's hard to find a place to park there. I had to park the car a couple of blocks away and walk, but that wasn't much of a problem. They have some sort of a shuttle bus there to get around the downtown area, but we didn't use it. There is also a nice boardwalk along a harbor with several local restaurants close to the hotel. It's a nice place to go for a stroll, especially at night. We ate at one of the restaurants on the boardwalk, but it did not impress us. Ponce is a nice. well kept little town, but you run out of things to see pretty fast. It's worth a few trips into town, but we spent most of our time at the Hilton, where there is plenty to do.

We arrived back to San Juan in our rental car hours before our mid-afternoon flight. We drove out to a part of San Juan called Condado for a leisurely lunch, which we enjoyed immensely. Condado is a tourist area in San Juan close to Old Town that has quite few really nice restaurants. It sure beats air port food, if you have the time and a car to get there.

In short, I highly recommend Puerto Rico, Ponce, the Ponce Hilton and Condado in San Juan. I also recommend that you rent a car to drive to Ponce rather than taking a connecting flight.

Stayed February 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2007

Perfect vacation for the rejuvenating effect. We decided to take a weekend off and go to the carribean. We had been to San Juan last year and thought ah it was ok. Ponce on the other hand, well at least this resort was very good. The only reason I dont give them an excellent was because of the first impression I got from the staff. The person that checked us in wasn't to helpful, granted we checked in at about 5:30am but he could of been friendlier. Other than that two thumbs up, the grounds of the resort are kept very well. Everything was clean lawns where manicured small beach but nice. Casino on the location is mainly slot machines but have 2 craps tables 2 roulette tables 1 black jack table 1 carribean poker table and 2 texa's hold'em tables. The locals are regulars in this casino they seem to be of the retired age and have nothing better to do than burn through their money.

The cost of things are U.S. prices, its not like traveling to D.R. where you'll get more for your dollar. Food is expensive in the hotel. $22 dollars lunch buffet and $30 dollars dinner buffet. There's this one seafood restaurant Pito's Seafood restaurant, food was good there service was ok we went there after a drive thru town. The golf area was very nicely kept they actually have residences on the grounds of the course its a 27 hole PGA course, which probably means they get funds from PGA to keep the place that clean.

Quick tricks for you if you do decide to go for a short stay
1- Pack light take carryon luggage only
2- Rent a car even if its for 2 days its worth going out into town and looking around. Get the economy size car its cheap and it'll be enough to get you around.
3- Fork over the extra 30 bucks to stay in the executive rooms, this will give you acces to the executive lounge which includes a free continental breakfast and free drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks throughout the day. Plus you get free internet access and you could check in and print your boarding pass when you are ready to leave.
4- Check out the pier right by the hotel lots of food kiosks for eating typical greasy puerto rican food

Overall good fun

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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San Juan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2007

great hotel with beautiful golf facilities...we really enjoyed our stay. My wife loved the beach and the spa facilities, The food and the restaurants were the Best in town.
For a relaxing vacation or a visit with the family this place has it all. I also saw a wedding celebration at the pool and it seems that they also cater for special events and banquets and groups.
we will be back for valentines day and spend another romantic get away..

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2007

This is a nice hotel. We got a great deal on a full suite with two rooms for four of us. Overall service was great. Room service was rediculously slow, but otherwise loved the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort

Address: 1150 Caribe Ave., Ponce 00716, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Ponce
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An extensive beachfront resort strategically located minutes from downtown Ponce, with easy access to most business and tourista attractions and landmarks of the South and Southwest Puerto Rico regions, like Castillo Serralles, La Guancha, Guanica Dry Forest, Cabo Rojo and Ponce Museum of Art, Ponce Airport and Sea Port. Amenities include direct beach access, championship golf course, 24/7 full service Casino, fitness center, rooms and suites with balconies and ocean views, and an ample range of meeting and banquet venues with business center support. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Ponce Golf And Casino Resort
Hilton Ponce Golf Hotel Ponce
Hilton Ponce Hotel
Hilton Ponce Resort

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