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“Overall a wonderful stay” 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 Rate
$179 (USD)
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Isla Verde
Roslyn, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Overall a wonderful stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

I had always wanted to stay at the ESJ. I finally did for 5 nights in August, 2012. The hotel lobby is hopping at night. The staff was both pleasant and accommodating The pool and beach areas were immaculate. Unlike some other resorts the staff did not actively solicit tips.

Our hotel rooms were dated (garden lanais). That said, the rooms were very large and had spacious balconies as well. Given the hotel's stature as one of the finest in Puerto Rico, it would behoove the management to overhaul the older rooms completely as opposed to cosmetic changes such as re-lining the bathtubs.

Only real complaint was the $15.00/day per device WIFI fee. Other Hilton properties on the island do not charge a WIFI fee at all making the exorbitant fee even more ridiculous.

Room Tip: ask for a room that has been renovated unless you want a balcony. It did not appear that the main...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,828 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 (576)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

We stayed here for one night before boarding our cruise on the Carnival Victory. We had a garden room. The only inconvenient part was that the garden rooms were clearn across the pool area and it wasn't exactly easy rolling our bags all the way over there. Other than that, the hotel was very pretty, lots of bars with great chandaliers, quite a few restaurants and some shops all on the property and Starbucks. The beach was really nice, you could walk quite a ways. The pool(s) were really pretty. We spent the morning in the hammocks reading and then swam and had the pool to ourselves. Our room was pretty and clean. Very good experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
VIENNA VA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Stayed at ESJ for one night prior to a flight back to the states and it is a very nice older hotel. The staff at front-desk, pool areas, and lobby bar were very courteous and friendly. Stayed on the ninth floor and the room looked like it has been renovated and very chic. It was very clean and great view of the ocean and planes taking off and landing at SJU. The family took advantage of the pools and the private cabana for the day and it was wonderful. The beach was very calm for swimming. The price of drinks at the bars is expensive but ESJ is truly a landmark in San Juan and you are paying for the premium. Cannot speak for the restaurants as we did not eat there. ESJ is showing its age and I wish that Hilton decides to invest in its renovation to what it was. We would not hestitate to stay at ESJ again and would recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bel Air, Maryland
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

When you have to stay at hotels as often as you stay at home, there are few places that can really surprise you. But occasionally you walk into a hotel and have to sit down and catch your breath. It is usually a place like the Drake or Palmer House in Chicago, the Shangra-La in Bangkok, or the Willard in DC. The El San Juan Resort is that kind of hotel.

This style of hotel comes from an age when hotels were designed to be palaces and not pre-cast boredom. When you walk in, you should just sit for a few minutes and try to take it all in. There is a lobby with beautiful dark Dominican mahogany and a spectacular crystal chandelier. There is the type of workmanship throughout that just doesn't exist anymore. You can picture a time when the likes of Nat King Cole, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr. frequented this lobby and entertained guests here.

The good:

The room cost is very reasonable for the level of quality this hotel/resort offers. The hotel staff are professional and friendly. Virtually every employee will greet you and many will ask about your stay. They go out of their way to be helpful. The rooms are large, comfortable and clean. The beds are very comfortable. Everything in the room works. The pool and beach areas are beautiful and well maintained. Beach chairs are free with umbrellas costing only $10.00 for the day. There are several restaurants offering a wide variety of food from Japanese to Italian to Bar BQ to Caribbean cuisine. There is also every major chain restaurant up and down the street outside. There is a gallery of shops attached to the main lobby with some interesting things to see and buy. There is a large casino (by San Juan standards) connecting to the lobby. There is great entertainment in different areas of the hotel several nights of the week.

The so/so:

There are way too many bars. I never did get a final count, but some of this space could be put to more interesting use. Drinks are expensive at the pool bars ($8.00/local beer, $11.00/small mixed drinks) and lobby bars. No in-room coffee maker. No airport shuttle bus even though the airport is only 4 miles/5 minutes away. Cabs are expensive ($13.00 to airport, $21.00 to old San Juan). Some cheap plastic furniture and fixtures in guest rooms. No electric outlets that I could find in the bathroom. There were outlets outside the bathroom, but no mirror near the outlets. The room could have some minimal upgrades that would make a big difference for the guests.

Conclusion:

This hotel has all the really difficult parts mastered. Incredible and elegant surroundings from the lobby to the beach area. All great people, from check-in, pool staff, waiters, housekeeping, etc. Obviously a superior management team is at work here.

This hotel has so much going for it that with a few minor improvements it could be one of the best hotels in the Caribbean. Even if you don't stay here you should come in and admire the incredible surroundings. This hotel is very special and with the management team and personnel they have, it will probably get even better. A top pick.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Miami, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

I reserved this hotel for my parents anniversary trip last week because I visited the hotel a couple of years ago and I was very pleased. After I did it, I was concern about some of the negative reviews. I contacted the hotel manager and she assure me that I made a good decision and that my parents were going to be well taken care of. My parents had a great time and were extremely happy with the hotel and specially the service from not only management but from all the staff. They were courteous and helpful at all times. The property is very well maintain and will definitely go back.
Thank you Susan for taking excellent care of them.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Columbia, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than getting to your vacation destination, and having terrible customer service. However, from start to finish, El San Juan Resort and Casino comes through all the way.

This was my boyfriend's and mine second time staying here in one year, and again, this hotel exceeded our expectations. Everyone from the bellhop to the restaurant staff are so friendly and kind. They go out of their way to do an amazing job. I would like to especially mention Aubry and Mara at the front desk and Harry, at the bell-hop station, who all give amazing customer service.

I'll break down the hotel by different sections:
1) Pool
So beautiful. The layout and architecture are really beautiful and relaxing. There are three pools that are all gorgeous and there are cabana beds right by one of the pools. The pool bar is also excellent. The drinks are delicious and packed with some nice punch! It's a great place to relax.

2) Beach
The beach is incredible. The water is crystal clear, and the waves are nice and soft. The beach service is excellent and they bring the lounge chairs to you. They also have wait staff that bring food drinks to you.

3) Rooms
Beautiful lay out. The beds are really comfortable and soft. The rooms are very clean and are well-kept by the housecleaning staff.

4) Lobby
From talking to the locals, it turns out that the hotel lobby is the best place to party in San Juan! There are three different bars to choose from and they all have beautiful lay outs. It's a great place to just hang-out and relax.

My boyfriend and I can't wait to go back, we are already talking about our third visit!
Thank you, El San Juan Resort and Casino for another wonderful stay:)

Room Tip: Ask for a room that ends in an odd number, it faces the pool and beach!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Bronx, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

The hotel room was comfortable and spacious. The hotel was near restaurants so that was a bonus. All the personnel was friendly and very accommodating. The pools where great and so was the beach. I would definitely go there again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#7 Business 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 Resort And Casino
El San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
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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