In the world of hotels the Ritz Carlton, San Juan is four stars. In the world of Ritz Carlton's it's one or two. It is the attentive, caring staff that gives this hotel it's fourth star. As a Ritz Carlton it is sorely lacking and in need of some major renovation. It's just tired. Lobby bar furniture is worn. Pool grill furniture dinged up, crumbs in the glass table tops, faded worn wooden place mats. In the rooms, carpet is stained, furnishings are sparse. How about an extra picture on the wall and a table in front of the loveseat?
An early evening cocktail in the lobby bar is a time for most to sit, talk, review the days activities. Hard to do here with a DJ playing loud music you would expect to hear in a club at midnight not in a Ritz lobby at 5:30.
Breakfast at buffet with coffee and tip for two will run around $80. Ok. I get it. It's the Ritz. You expect expensive. But come on. When the breakfast tab starts approaching $100, you might be looking for something special. If the food is ordinary at least a spectacular presentation. And I always look for something special at a Ritz.
It was disappointing that one of the two fine ding restaurants did not offer menus with a local flavor, contemporary Puerto Rican cooking. Instead there is a steakhouse no better or worse than any other high end steak house. Nothing special here. The second is Il Mulino, an over rated New York Italian restaurant with a boring menu of classic Italian dishes you find at most Italian restaurants. Having said that, you do get a good meal at either one. Just not memorable.
The hotel caters to families so expect the pool to be jammed with kids. The pool and pool area is really too small for the size of the hotel. Drink and food service poolside is spotty at best.
Room wasn't made up until late afternoon each day and never received turndown service. Maybe because we returned to the room too early, usually around 9 pm.
The Ritz is part of the Marriott chain. Marriott hotels are known for dependable high quality. This hotel meets that Marriott standard. But as a Ritz Carlton, a step above, it misses the mark. Take down the Ritz Carlton name, call it a Marriott. Expectations met.