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“Buestiful Place but Bring your wallet” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel

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El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico   |  
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Special Offer
Free Night & $100 Credit
Ranked #8 of 14 Hotels in Isla Verde
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Buestiful Place but Bring your wallet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

We just spent a week in Puerto Rico at the El San Juan (06/30-07/07). The resort is close to the airport in Isla Verde. The grounds are fantastic and the hotel is beautiful. The lobby is incredible. we stayed in the main tower and the rooms were big and bright, nicely done. The staff were hit an miss, not super friendly at checkin, but it was quick. The place is popular by locals and other vsiitors as the lobby has live misic 4 nights per week. When we walked in our first day, they had a DJ settling up for a Wedding reception in the lobby.. pretty loud. The bands overall were good, and the place gets hopping.
The pool area is very very nice, they do daily wrist bans to keep no guests out, and issue towels, you can get to the pool early and grab a chaise longe or the beach area also has plenty of lounges. Swim up pool bar was great, and the beach is great to walk or jog on.. very nice setting.
we actually met folks that were staying at the ritz who felt that this was as nice a place or nicer!
Now, as far as prices go.. i am not cheap by any means, but do not expect to spend more for a drink in PR than in vegas (ha ha) as an exampel, $18 buck for 2 mich ultras is insane!, almost all cocktails were $15 bucks. That said.. walk along the beach to the Ciao Mediterrian cafe (on the beach and part of the intercontential... more reasonably priced drinks and food...and the food was good! also go a little ffarther down by the public beach area and you cna find 3rd base sports bar and Al Alamerbra grill... very reasonably priced. off the beach and on the main street is Lupis and El Taquito.. good food and reasonably priced.
One last thing.. there are Walgreens around for all your shopping needs
The only inconvenience we had was when a movie crew took over the hotel for a few days to shoot a movie... the hotel was not really prepared, but did the right thing at check out and gave you a credit for the inconvenience.
Would I stay here again.. Yes, now that I know how and where to spend my money
Cheers

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,195 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (684)
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Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

The only sign of "upscale" hotel would be the entrance/lobby area. The rooms are a pretty good size, but the restrooms are extremely small and uncomfortable. The furniture and/or finishings need replacement. Pools are nice, but beach area is filled with plastic waste after 6pm. Straws and cups are laying on the sand only inches from the ocean. I would have expected the hotel staff to clean up the beach, but apparently they will let the government paid workers to do that job early in the morning. Meantime, the fact that the ocean would pick lots of that waste did not seem to interest or concern them. Prices? Be prepared to spend a lot. A beer would cost $8 and a cocktail about $12. Employees don't seem to know how to smile (with few exceptions - of course). The filming of the "major" movie as the hotel put it was annoying - certain area were closed and to be able to access the beach one would have to follow strict pathways to not interfere with the movie crew - lots of crowds. Would have been nice if, at time of booking, the hotel would have let us know about the "major" movie inconvenience. The housekeeping did a good job in cleaning the room though. The lobby entertainment stands out if one is a salsa/merengue fan. No bachata, rumba, nor cha cha. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my choice of stay this time.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Ramsey, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

Four Seasons prices with Motel 6 quality. Where do I start? The four hours it took to check in? The movie they were shooting which closed the lobby and front entrance for an entire day or the two days we couldn't use the "Olympic Size" (LOL) pool due to the set up for movie shoot. Really, they must have known about the movie shoot months in advance. Why didn't they inform the guest BEFORE THEY ARRIVED that certain area would be off limits during the week? Restaurants.......don't eat here unless absolutely necessary. First night after the 4 hour check in, we had no choice but to eat at Koco. There were about 3 other tables seated when we arrived. The waiters were totally unprofessional. When was the last time you had a waiter wearing a hat in an upscale restaurant. After waiting for over an hour for our food, there were 8 of us and all we had on the table was water, one of the servers came out and gave us two plates of salad, complements of the chef. Eight people and 2 of them were teenagers who hadn’t eaten in over12 hours. How long do you think it took to finish those 2 plates of salad? When we asked for bread, we were told "we don't serve bread....we're not that kind of a restaurant". What kind of a restaurant would put bread on the table......a good restaurant. After again asking where our food is, the waiter said it being plated now. Either the chef only had one hand or no plates. Another 15 minutes went by and a few of us canceled our orders. Once the remaining food finally came, it was cold and the steaks were raw. We asked for medium well. We send it back, and when it was returned, it was only partially cooked. Asking again why it took so long, we were told the chef had to go all the way to the other side of the hotel to get the steaks. ?????? You would think a restaurant that has steak on the menu would actually have steaks in the kitchen. But, what do I know?

Now, let’s get to the price of drinks. At the blue bar I asked for a shot of Patron. How about $15 for a shot. Figuring a bottle of the stuff is about $54, and there are about 25 shots to a bottle, well you figure the markup. During our day at the pool, which there was no waiter service, I went up to the bar for 3 bottles of water. They charged me $15! After they charged it to my room and I noticed the price, I told them I changed my mind and credit my account. Carmen, who was working the bar, gave me an attitude when I asked for a credit receipt. She said they don't issue them, but it would be credited to my account. I asked her to sign the back of my charge receipt, and she did so begrudging. That was the last time during our weeks stay we bought a drink from the hotel. I instead went inside to the sundries shop and bought 4 of the same bottles of water for $9.98. There's also a Pueblo supermarket with a liquor store about a block away.

I could go on and on about the guy on the beach trying to charge us $25 for an umbrella when it said on the hotel website they were only $10. The trash floating in the pools. I thought the chicken bone floating in the fantasy pool was a nice touch. Of course there were no hotel employees around the pool to keep it clean. The breakfast buffet that was overpriced and most of the items were cold. It actually made Denny's look like a 5 star restaurant. For a real nice brunch, try the Ritz Carlton down the block.

I am a Hilton Honors member, but staying at this place will make me think twice again before I stay at another Hilton Resort.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write this review on this web site. On behalf of the associates of the El San Juan Hotel & Casino, I would like to apologize for any inconvenience that you experienced during your recent stay. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our product and services; and your feedback is very important in achieving this.
Under the recent filming of some of the scenes of an upcoming, major motion picture, the comfort and security of our guests was our main priority, allowing the filming to be during very late evening/ early morning, in efforts to ensure the least inconvenience for our guests.

I have also forwarded your comments to the ownership of KoKo, for their immediate attention.
Again my deepest apologies for what was less than an exemplary stay, I'd be happy to discuss with you, in further detail, at your convenience.
Warm Regards
Susan.Wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

Just arrived back from a 4 night stay. Everything was wonderful EXCEPT for two things. One...the bathroom shower was absolutely disgusting. Think of the grossest bathroom you saw at a party in college...and multiply times 2. I complained the first day (first time every complaining at a hotel) and they said it would be fixed. I never got a follow up call or anything; and obviously it was not fixed during my stay. I want to add that it's not the cleaning service fault (they actually did a wonderful job, and cleaned our sandfilled room perfectly everyday) it's just that the whole shower needed replaced. And....the hotel definitely knows this because during our stay I saw workers replacing other hotel room showers and toilets on our floor. I'm sorry but if you know it's gross...why still give it to someone to stay in!? Second...other than Josue that checked me in, a wonderful lady at concierge, the pool check in ladies, and one of the guide booking workers...everywhere else within the hotel the service was horrible. This includes other front desk staff and the other lady who booked tours/guides (sorry forgot her name). It amazes me that your forced to pay $200+ per night for the basic of rooms in a "resort" and get treated with such poor service and hospitality. It always seemed like we were burdening the person if we asked a question or had a request. Thumbs down!

Now the good things...the beach was absolutely wonderful. Calm crystal blue waters. Clean beach, and chairs and umbrellas were always available. Pool was cleanest in the morning so that's the best time to get in there. The area wasn't bad either with a few restaurants within walking distance. My recommendation: Mi Casita (in a strip mall) and Metropol (next to the Cockfighting rink....weird I know...but it's actually a fancy restaurant!). Also, the bus stops close to the hotel, so if you don't want to cab it you can use that.

If you decide to stay and don't want to pay Wi-Fi....the mexican bar next door (I think it's called Lupitos) has free wi-fi so eat/drink there and get wonderful internet service.

Sadly, while most of the hotel was wonderful...the state of the shower along with the just really knocks this review down 3 stars. I should add that upon checking in b/c I was a Hilton silver member they upgraded me to a better room. I don't want to think what the room (specifically the bathroom) would have been like.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2012
I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this review and sharing your comments. Our management team is constantly looking for ways to improve services and facility for all of our repeat guests, as well as future, potential guests. I thank you again, your feedback will assist in improving facility and services for your future enjoyment.

Best Regards

Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

We went for a five night stay with out son and daughter-in-law.

Positives: The resort is very well kept and the grounds were lovely. Pools were large and we were always able to find charis. Our room was very large and very clean. Bedding was some of the best anywhere that we have stayed. Air conditioning worked TOO well. We almost froze the first night but figured out what it needed to be set on to keep us thawed! The staff was friendly.

Negatives: I had sent two emails prior to arriving indicating that we were celebrating our 30th anniversary and our son was celebrating his 2nd anniversary. I said that I would be appreciative for anything that they could do to make this special. They did nothing. Our room was on the third floor of the main building. We had a patio that was on the roof (I think over the parking area). The patio was chipped, paint spattered tile that was on a roof of gravel and asphalt with a white fence around the roof. It truely looked like the slums of Brazil (no offense to Brazil!). However, I guess that I should have been thankful as other floors had no balcony or patio at all!

Smoking Policy: This is a non-smoking resort. I assumed that meant that that there was no smoking allowed inside which I was fine with. No...it means no smoking on the grounds, period. There was an ashtray outside the lobby and that was it! I do not think that their policy is clearly described in their website.

Food: We had dinner at Koco on our night of arrival. It was amazing. The food was wonderful. I had blackened tuna and my husband had grouper and both were wonderful.
DO NOT eat the breakfast buffet. It is terribly overpriced and the food was awful. We also had lunch in the Trattoria and the bread on our sandwich was still frozen! It is also overpriced and not good. We have traveled all over the world and have not seen more expensive, poor quality food!

Drinks: Terribly overpriced. We had a beer in the lobby for $8.00 and all drinks at the pool are $11.00 which would be reasonable for a large drink but these are served in small plastic cups which I would estimate at 8 ouncer. A big waste of money.

Internet: They charge $14.95 per day for internet service. Do not pay it. You can walk to the end of the parking lot to Lupis and they have free wireless. They also have a very good lunch and reasonable drinks and beer. It was a fun place.

Where to eat cheaper: There is a restaurant right up the street beyond Lupis called Platos which is a local Puerto Rican restaurant which was excellent and very reasonable. There is also a diner, Don Jose that has a good breakfast (2 eggs, bacon or sausage, hashbrowns and toast) for $5.95. They also serve lunch and dinner. There is also another diner just a few steps further that served breakfast, lunch and dinner. They all also have free internet.

If you are so inclined, there is a Chili's across the street and a Denny's next to the Walgreens. Walgreen sells both beer and liquor as does the grocery store which is right behind Chili's. Be warned that they will not allow you to bring coolers to the poor area and they are not nice about it!

We had a really good time but I would not return to this hotel and do not feel that it is up to the standard of Hilton. We have stayed in many Hilton properties and I believe that this one is lacking.

Room Tip: Be careful that your room is not over one of the clubs if you are in the main building.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 3 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.
, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write this review on this web site. I certainly appreciate you sharing the 'pros and cons” of your visit, and Happy to hear your overall experience was positive!
Regarding some of the issues mentioned; there is a law in Puerto Rico that prohibits smoking in enclosed facilities and in public areas where there are 'gatherings' the resort is required to adhere to.
Our Food and Beverage pricing is competitive to the resorts on the island and we offer diverse dining options priced moderately and as you mention, there are plenty of alternatives outside of the property.
Again I thank you for your review, and I'd be most appreciative if you were to contact me, in the efforts to seek further detail regarding your pre-arrival contact, and explore where the communication breakdown occurred.
I remain at your service..

Susan.Wilkerson@hilton.com
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Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Loved the place Arrived on a wednesday left on a Sunday the staff looked busy but I went and and did my own thing I rented a car drove to El Yunque, explored the island and ended up at the Bio Bay my first night, it took me about 40 minutes to drive back. The next day slept till about 9 then drove the car I rented back to the rental place and enjoyed the amenities at the hotel. The next day I slept in cause I drank all day to finally enjoy a night at the night club, holy s$$& I forgot my slacks and dress shoes so I couldn't enjoy the club so I f$&&@@ went to a dive bar on the beach down the street, the next day I went to mall the concierge told me to go went to JC Penny bought some slacks a shirt and shoes and that night enjoyed the club Sunday I checked out and the frontdesk agent asked me if I enjoyed my stay and I said to Carlos yes thanks but I'm done I need a Vaca after this Vaca

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

Beautiful place. Multiple options for dinner. Dancing in the lobby. Great club and Casino. If you are traveling on a budget...go elsewhere. This is an upscale hotel and you will spend $$$.

Room Tip: The beachfront condos...AWESOME.
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Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel

Address: 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront hotel surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped grounds in fashionable Isla Verde district - 15 minutes from Old San Juan. El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel presents a perfect blend of tropical splendor, Old World elegance and vibrant culture. Redesigned guest rooms are bright and inviting- ideal for a retreat. Lounge at the beach or on the expansive Encanto Pool Complex featuring flowering gardens, and spacious sundeck, Olympic-sized pool, Fantasy swimming pool with swim-up bar, waterfall and whirlpools, private cabanas for rental or relax and rejuvenate at the Edourad de Paris Day Spa. Enjoy a vibrant and varied nightlife, choosing from nine on-site award wining restaurants, a world-class casino, plus 15 lounges, bars and nightclubs. One life to live? Live it up at El San Juan! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
El San Juan Resort And Casino
El San Juan Hotel Casino
The Waldorf Astoria Collection Carolina
El San Juan Hotel Puerto Rico
El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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