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“Like a tropical russian gulag” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino

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Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3315 Ponce Bypass, Ponce 00728, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Like a tropical russian gulag”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Awful. First a list of what they don't have : hot water, competent staff, modern amenities, decent food, and a clue of how to run a hotel.

Now for the long story:
We "stayed" here for three hours. Arriving exhausted after a flight to San Juan and a long drive to Ponce we were starving and all wanted showers. We ordered room service, not expecting miracles but maybe a hot decent meal. NO SUCH LUCK. It was inedible. I was given soup that tasted like watered down dog food. This is not an exaggeration. It smelled and tasted like Alpo.

After that charming food, I decided to take a shower. I turned on the water and waited a few seconds for it to get warm. Then a few minutes.Nothing. I turn to leave and the door won't open. I had to pound on the wall to get one of my family members to open it from the outside like a prison cell. Did Ariel Castro design this hotel? We called the front desk and no one answered so one of us went down to get help.

Two maintenance men finally showed up and fixed the door by replacing the handle. Then they "fixed" the hot water by running both the tap and shower at the same time, which produced about 3 mins of hot water. Enough time for them to leave and dupe us into thinking it had been fixed.

The excuse they gave us was that it took time for hot water to reach the 5th floor. Do these jibaros think we've never stayed in a hotel before? They also told us that Puerto Ricans shower with cold water. Uh huh ok. We're Puerto Rican so we were like "Um no.Nice try. Does that work on gringos?"

Anyway shower attempt #2 produced 3 minutes of warm water followed by gulag cold. Once again a trip had to be made downstairs (their phones are decorative, I guess). Another attempt of the glorious "have two taps on at once" method failed. They offered us two other rooms, each one with equally cold water. The manager offered to go find a room that DID have hot water and call us when this precious gem had been found. We returned to the original room, packed, took one look at each other and decided to leave. I was exhausted, angry, and on the brink of tears.

We called corporate from the car on the way to another hotel. A formal complaint has been lodged. My father is a platinum member at IHG and we have stayed at many Holiday Inns and never had such a terrible experience.

PS: The other Hotel, Pichi's, had hot water immediately and it was the best shower I ever had :)

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Dear talesfrommiami,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments online. We take all comments seriously and value the chance to make improvements where possible.

I am very much disappointed to hear that your stay did not live up to your expectations. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the dissatisfaction you had with the condition of your room and truly sorry that this has negatively affected your overall experience with us. This is definitely not up to our standards, as such, your comments will certainly be looked into and will be used to target opportunity areas.

I have taken note and wish to thank you for all your valuable comments. These are of great importance to us and allow us to monitor and improve our service continually. We hope that you give us a chance to change your perception of our hotel.

Sincerely,

Dhan M
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

A good hotel in the south of the island. Have acceptable facilities, the pool is good, the staff friendly. The restaurants have good food, good value. Plenty of parking. Good overall cleanliness of the hotel and the room. That day I had problems with the TV and I could not watch TV in my room. Overall a good hotel.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

Great hotel for the price, great customer service, the room was a nice size and the beds are comfortable. Very safe to walk at night and the casino and the bar was very nice. The pool and the view was breath taken. The employees was very pleasant.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here 6/6-11 after a horrible experience at a parador in La Parguera. This was our first stay here and wondered why we hadn't thought of this hotel before. Every expectation was met. The pool was wonderful. The food was good but kind of pricey. The hotel is located on a hill so you always can enjoy the sea breezes. We travel to Puerto Rico every year to visit family and will definitely be back.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Maryland
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We stayed here for a couple of nights over Easter weekend and had a lovely time. The service was very good and the front desk helpful. This is not a 5 star property, but they do what they do well. We booked the "Honeymoon package" for our family which included tshirts, a bottle of champagne, dinner for 2 at the hotel restaurant one night, $10 voucher for the casino and 2 breakfasts each day of our stay. Needless to say, it was fun getting a few treats and a souvenir shirt!

Our room had a mini fridge, small balcony, coffee maker and bathroom amenities. We never had any issues with noise or the temperature in the room. The beds were comfortable and the TV had enough channels to keep us entertained. The bathroom was fine and extra towels were provided for the pool. Our room overlooked the pool area and the water in the distance!

The pool had lots of seating around it and was a nice size. We didn't get to sip cocktails at the bar with the view, but would have imagined it would be nice. The hotel restaurant was average though the service was good and they did offer kid friendly menu items for dinner. Breakfast was a buffet with both hot items, breads and fruit. With our vouchers we could also order a "hot" item (though they were typically all availble on the buffet). The coffee was very good. As a fun treat on Easter Sunday, they had little "goody bags" for all the kids!

We never got to try the casino but it looked like it would be fun. The hotel has a small lobby area that was comfortable. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention they had free wifi throughout the hotel! It worked in the room and at the pool area. No extra charge either!

All in, if we were back in Ponce I would certainly stay here again. There was plenty of parking onsite. The hotel is a little outside the downtown area, but an easy drive into town and to nearby stores and restaurants. The staff were all pleasant and everything seemed pretty well maintained.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
NYC
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

This was quite a surprise for us. This was one of the cleanest Holiday Inn Hotels we have every stayed in. The room was comfortable ,clean and had a lovely pool view .The pool was very large. The casino was good with live music.There was also a bar-lounge with a singer.Both singers were very good. We ate a late snack in the restaurant and breakfast in the morning. The food was good and the service excellent. I would definitely stay here on a trip to Ponce or if I were planning a beach stay in Guanica which is about 40 min away. I would also say that the front desk and all other employees were very attentive and helpful. They provided us with toothbrushes and tooth paste because we had forgotten these items. We highly recommend this hotel,especially for those who want to get away from San Juan for a few days

Stayed April 2013
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Philadelphia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The hotel is in a secluded area, with a great view from the top of the hill. The pool is okay, although there is not bar or snacks outside. The rooms and halls are a little run down, and the TV only got a few channels. The front desk staff were very nice and helpful. I don't remember too many hotels in the Caribbean that have rugs... they always seemed damp. We got coupons for the bar at the front desk since I am a Priority Club member, but the bar never seemed to be open. The casino (we didn't go) was pretty busy, and in the evening it was hard to get a parking spot. I don't know why they don't have a guest only lot and a casino lot.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Dear KC2008,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments regarding your stay with us. We rely on you, our guest, to let us know how we are doing and how we can better meet your needs. We have taken note and wish to thank you for all your comments. These are of great importance to us and allow us to monitor and improve our service continually.

Sincerely,

Joel B
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino

Address: 3315 Ponce Bypass, Ponce 00728, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Ponce
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino 3*
Number of rooms: 116
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Para informaciÏŒn en Español, haga click: Holiday Inn Ponce HotelBeautifully nestled on top of a panoramic mountain with a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea and the Historical City of Ponce known as the City of Museums. The Holiday Inn Ponce Hotel & Tropical Casino offers 116 renovated and spacious guest rooms and junior suites with individually climate control air conditioners and private balconies. Privileged location - El Tropical Casino located in our main lobby opened 24 hours daily. We are located just one mile from the Speed and Splash Water and Racing Theme Park and only 7 miles from the new Costa Caribe Golf Course. Easy access to the heart of Ponce and the tourists zone. Located 80 miles from the main airport Luis Munoz Marin in San Juan and only 12 miles away from the regional Mercedita Airport. Smoke detectors & fire sprinklers. Olympic size pool and kiddy pool with a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea. Banquet and meeting facilities for up to 300 persons. Wheel Chair Accessible and non-smoking rooms available. Locally acclaimed restaurant 'Tanama,' Ponce's Nouvelle Cuisine. Live music Friday and Saturday at the Barlavista Lobby Bar with a breathtaking view of the pool and Caribbean Sea. Game Room. Fitness Center. El Tropical Casino is open daily 24 hours with the newest tropical atmosphere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Ponce And Tropical Casino
Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Hotel Ponce
Ponce Holiday Inn

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