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“Overall, a good experience there.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental San Juan

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InterContinental San Juan
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   5961 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico (Formerly San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence 2014
new york
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Overall, a good experience there.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I stayed at the Intercontinental for five days with my family (husband and 10-YO daughter) this past week. We'd been to San Juan several times but this was our first stay at this hotel. It is an older style hotel from the 1960s or so that has been redone nicely. Lobby and bar/lounge areas were tasteful and modern. Check-in was fine -- our flight arrived at 3 am from New York, and with a 30-minute wait in the lobby and an extra $100 for early check-in, we were able to check in by 4 am and sleep. Restaurants on the property were good: Momoyama has great sushi and hibachi food with friendly staff. Ruth's Chris was pricey with excellent service. Poolside bar/restaurant had excellent homemade pizzas and frozen mojitos. Bartenders are very firiendly. The cafe in hotel lobby is overpriced -- $5 for my daughter's Snapple -- but a good place for morning coffee. We ate the buffet breakfast once and it was good. Gym is clean and has beautiful ocean views, but is outside main hotel in spa building. Our room was spacious enough for two queen beds. The bathroom needed an overhaul. Small, low ceiling, underwhelming. Hotel elevators were slow but it was crowded that week. Beach was lovely, pool area nice, and hot tub was actually hot. Crowd was mostly families and generally friendly. I would recommend!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms next to elevator!!!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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895 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (324)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Overall I really liked the hotel. Its really nice inside and the pictures to not do it credit. I was really struggling if I should give this a 4 or 5 star rating. I would have given it a 4.5 if I could have. The property is really nice and has some amenities that you cannot see (they have a ping pong table, foosball table and kids play area). Not sure why they don't include that in the descriptions but maybe they want couples and don't want to seem as family friendly. My family had a great time and found most of the staff very helpful and the hotel cleaner and nicer than the pictures.

There were some negatives. The hotel really nickles and dimes you. When I checked in my room wasn't ready and I had some items that needed to be refrigerated. They told me that to "hold" my items in a refrigerator they were going to charge me $40. I told them that if they put me in my room I could use the rooms refrigerator (which was promised a no charge fridge to me when I made the reservation) but the room wasn't ready. So I had to pay them extra because my room wasn't ready? After waiting 20 minutes for a manager they begrudgingly let me use it for "free" until my room was read at 4pm. Ridiculous. If the room isn't ready they should let you use the refrigerator for free.

They also charge you an astronomical "resort fee". A lot of hotels pull this but at least it includes the basics. You'd think for $35-50 a night they would at least give you an umbrella on the beach. No, that's an extra $10. I'd think for $50 a night the resort fee would include this. There were a lot of other nickle and dime examples.

They also remind you to "please return your towels" at the pool. Really? For $50 a night in "resort fee" I think you can hire someone to pick up my towels. Mind you, I would have returned them anyway, but it felt like they were talking to me like a child to "reminding" me while I'm on vacation. A 5 star resort shouldn't remind people to pick up after themselves - why else do we go on vacation?

So all in all a really nice place, they just should decide - do they want to be a 5 star resort - if so provide great service or decide to be a 4 star and people can pick up after themselves and not have an astronomical resort fee.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

We stayed at the InterContinental in February during a busy time of the year for them with our two young children. The hotel has a great pool, an amazing hot tub (really quite large and not scolding) that our children loved and a nice beach.

I was worried about check-in but it was a hassle-free experience. Our flight got in very late and I had called ahead to alert the hotel. They had our connecting rooms ready to go. I very much appreciated that, having two very tired children to carry to bed. Our luggage was brought up quickly as well.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, although a bit noisy. We were on the 14th floor and could hear the noise from the street. The AC unit is also quite noisy. This doesn't really bother any of us and we were all able to sleep but it may bother light sleepers. The walls are also quite thin and you can hear some of the noises from the other rooms. Overall, the rooms are decorated well and in a modern style. The beds are comfy and the bathrooms work well. There's a ton of drawer space and closet space.

The breakfast buffet is pretty good but not great. I would have liked to have seen more selection. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is very good and up to the standards of a Ruth's Chris in the US. The Trattoria is actually below average. The food is similar to what you would find at a below average strip mall restaurant. I'm not a gourmand at all and even I found the food to be awful. My wife was horrified. My fish was over-salted. My wife's lasagna was terrible. The only salvation was my son's chicken fingers. Cafe Medeteraneo, the beach cafe, provided some good food. Our children loved the pizza and I liked their various sandwiches. My wife enjoyed her burger.

We did have a relaxing time and our children enjoyed it very much. Its a nice, clean hotel that's lacking service at times. There are some very good hotel staff but they are clearly understaffed. Overall, we will not be coming back.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinental_SJU, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental San Juan, responded to this review, March 7, 2014
Thank you very much for posting a review. We are glad to know that you’re check in process was a hassle free experience and that you liked your room.

We are very disappointed to hear that you will not be coming back to our property. Please accept our apologies for not meeting your expectations this time and please rest assured that your comments concern us deeply. Your comments have been shares with the appropriate departments and proper measures will be taken to ensure that the service delivered meet our guests’ expectations.

Thank you again for your valuable feedback and we sincerely hope you give us another opportunity to serve you in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

We spent 4 nights here to rest and relax and bask in the warm sunshine, and we got it all! The hotel, situated on the beach in Isla Verde, was wonderful. the beach was clean and great for swimming. The Hotel grounds,and pool area were well maintained and the staff were always right there to make you feel at home. We were able to walk to nearby restaurants as well. The room was spacious,and kept clean but the bathroom was small and it could use updating. The Hotel concierge Nestor, was very helpful to us. He confirmed our return flights,printed our boarding passes and had it delivered to our room . The hotel was a bit quiet in the evenings, but we were able to walk 5 minutes next door to the El San Juan Hotel, where every evening they offered entertainment and dancing in the lobby which was very enjoyable. We would definitely stay at the Intercontinental San Juan again .

Room Tip: A room on a high floor with a pool/ocean view is sooooo nice!!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaford, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

We just finished out stay here and we're truly in awe of the beauty and kindness of staff. Staff were always saying good morning, asking to help, opening and closing doors, etc. I have stayed in many hotels but none this impressive! We had read reviews that were good and bad, but I'm glad I can put the other review to rest by saying this was a beautiful hotel. Lots of restaurants and stores near by. Ruth Chris and the Sushi restaurant were great. We met a great employee named William who gave us a detailed map of Old San Juan- and a personal favorite restaurant there. We were so grateful for his kindness and glad he told us about the diamond of a restaurant!! Irene at the front desk was so kind and welcoming. I also appreciated that even though our flight took off late and check out was at noon- they provided us with a hospitality suite to change and shower even though we had already checked out. Wonderful experience!!

  • Stayed February 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

I would not call this property dated although some might think so. I am most interested in clean and comfortable places and that it was for sure. I would also rate this hotel as somewhat conservative, a nice place to relax and mind your own. A special shout out to Lourdes and William whom we began our days with at the plentiful breakfast buffet, I regret Lourdes was off on the day of our last morning. We are sure to return!

Room Tip: Request a high floor for the best view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Let me begin by saying that I travel frequently, understand real estate & location, and have stayed previously in 3 other intercontinental hotels.

The reason for this stay was for a seminar which I extended into a mini vacation. Our seminar pricing was $259/night. What you find out with some research or at the end when you get your bill is that there is an additional $80/night in resort fees, taxes, etc. As I am all about the bottom line, this makes it a $340/night (non-all-inclusive) hotel. Okay. This is acceptable if the hotel provides with you with a nice luxurious stay. Unfortunately, these rooms are absolutely as pedestrian as they come. This is not a 1 or 2 bedroom suite. This is a basic room with a very small balcony (no room for furniture out there) and an average apartment-style bathroom. This was at best a $130/night hotel room. I repeat, at best. The grounds were fairly nice -remember that I travel quite a bit and have a fair basis for comparison- with a decent, but unimpressive pool. As beaches go, the sand is rather typical Gulf-of-Mexico color, not white like many other caribbean beaches. There was a great deal of seaweed washing up at this time of year (Valentine's Day), but the water was not bad aside from that. Decent temperature and pretty colors. Not spectacular, but nice. Region-wise, I would choose Punta Cana, Domincan Republic for beautiful beaches way over this area. Luckily, we were fortunate to have great weather (72-84 F) throughout this trip.
The hotel staff wasn't bad at all, and mostly quite friendly. Aside from our having to stay in a room with 2 double beds the first night (as a couple, we booked a room with 1 king-size bed) before being moved into a more appropriate room on the second day, we didn't have any problems. The casino is small and nothing to see as a draw for this hotel unless you are just really into gambling. Didn't bother staying in there for more than 8 minutes.
The breakfast buffet was minimal, quite basic really; however, they charge you $27 per person for it. The better option is to walk to some of the local restaurants nearby.
The location of this hotel is a plus since it is only a few minutes ($14 cab ride) from the airport. Additionally, there are many local bars/restaurants within walking distance.

All in all, this is not a hotel I would even consider returning to. It is way over-priced for the room you stay in and simply doesn't meet the quality of other Intercontinental hotels.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a better view. There is a large unattractive roof just at the posterior base of...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
InterContinental_SJU, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental San Juan, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear DocHolloway, thank you for posting a review about your last experience at our property. We are glad to read that you found convenient our location and that you liked the friendliness of our staff.

Please accept our sincerest apology if your stay was less than satisfactory. Your comments are highly valuable to us and will assist us in our continuous efforts to maintain and improve the service level we aim for.

We would love you give us another chance to serve you and please do not hesitate to contact us directly at icsanjuan@ihg.com if you might reconsider staying with us again in the future so we can ensure you a more comfortable stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental San Juan

Address: 5961 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico (Formerly San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#6 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — InterContinental San Juan 4*
Number of rooms: 397
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beachfront InterContinental San Juan is located on Isla Verde and is a great setting for both business and pleasure. With the best sparkling beach of the area, perfect weather, amazing restaurants, natural beauty, fun and adventure, sizzling nightlife and great shopping your stay will sure be a memorable one. San Juan International airport is just three miles away. Conducting business is a breeze and it's easy to balance with pleasure. During the day, your group can enjoy our flexible meeting spaces and executive breakout rooms. Our team of experts will orchestrate the finer points, while you sit back in pampered elegance. Old San Juan and the main financial and business districts are just 15 minutes away. Nature lovers will not want to miss El Yunque Rain Forest, The Rio Camuy Caves or the Bioluminescent Bay. Free children (under 16 years old) and free Wi-Fi are just a few of the perks. Do more than just visit an exotic place; immerse yourself in it. Stay at InterContinental San Juan and allow us to pamper you with our warm hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
Intercontinental San Juan Resort And Casino
InterContinental San Juan Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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