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“High in both price and disappointment” 3 of 5 stars
Review of El San Juan Resort & Casino

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El San Juan Resort & Casino
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Isla Verde
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“High in both price and disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Last week my family took our third trip to San Juan which turned out to be the most disappointing. The other two years, we had stayed at the Courtyard about a ½ mile up the street. This year, my family of 6 adults (last year there were 7 of us) wanted to try something different and booked a week at the El San Juan Resort. What is that old saying, you don’t fix something that isn’t broken? Well we should have heeded the wisdom in that advice. This is supposed to be considered a resort? The rules about resort wear and the prices of the rooms may be in place but I would not consider this a resort worth going to. Granted, this resort is pretty with its different pools and the expansive lobby, however, there is much more to be disappointed in. Yes, the rooms are very nice and located within a reasonable distance from the pool and beach. However, the beach was a mess. The seaweed was horrible on the shore. While they may not be able to control the seaweed in the ocean, the shoreline was un-passable. One could not even take a short walk without having to walk through the slimy mess. My husband went into the water once during the entire week and had to immediately go to the shower to get the disgusting seaweed off of him. Bear in mind, upon walking to the other resort up the street we found no seaweed on the shoreline.

Second, the bar and hot tub areas were so crowded with children that it certainly did not pose a relaxing, inviting atmosphere for six adults. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but the last time I checked, kids do not belong sitting at a poolside bar and are not there rules about children being under age alone in hot tubs? We did not venture into that area.

Third, when my son asked the person on the beach for a chair, he had to wait almost a half hour, but while he was waiting, others (namely the parents of the children that were hanging out at the bar) had their chairs, tables and umbrellas set up as soon as they walked down to the beach area. Last time I checked, my husband and I paid the same rate for the three rooms we had as these people probably did. The staff at this hotel needs to have some lessons in people skills as well. Except for Jackie O and the breakfast staff and the chambermaids, who were all very nice, everyone else did not appear to like their jobs very much.

Fourth, upon trying to order a simple pot of coffee to be delivered for just one morning while we were there, you think we were asking for the moon. The front desk finally called it in for us; however, it never ever arrived. It would have been nice to enjoy a simple cup of coffee for one morning on our deck.

While the hotel cannot control the people that visit the casino, the security should be a little more aware of who is coming in. On two occasions, people tried to start an argument with my son and my daughter through no fault of theirs. And do not even think you are going to get a drink in the casino, only the high rollers were getting served.

These points touch upon most of the disappointments that we experienced while having a family vacation at the El San Juan (Resort-debatable) and I have to mention, the Courtyard experience was the reason we wanted to come back to San Juan, however, the El San Juan experience will now be the reason we will not be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
I appreciate the review of your recent stay at our hotel. I understand that you were disappointed and that we came short of delivering what you are accustomed to expect from us. I truly apologize if this was the case and I can assure you that I will definitely keep your review in mind to improve our in-property experience. I am so sorry that you and your family found our property to be overcrowded and that our service was slower than expected. Your feedback is very important to us and I thank you for bringing these issues to my attention so that I can personally speak to our staff regarding your comments. I assure you that I will take your comments into consideration to make sure we provide our guests with the exceptional level of service they deserve.

Again, I thank you very much for your review and sincerely hope that you will give us another opportunity and stay with us next time you’re in town.
Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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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
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

stayed here for a conference. The hotel itself is old, the elevators are a little run down and there's a funky smell in the lobby. Our room was bright and spacious, and pretty clean. Looked new compared to the dark lobby. The breakfast near the pool was expensive (as were all the restaurants in the hotel) with limited buffet choices. Koco (the inhouse restaurant) was expensive, but they served good cocktails, food was average at best. The only thing I liked about this place was the fact that it was right by the beach. However, their beach was very crowded. I'm not sure if they have recurrent problems about unregistered guests using their facilities, but I had a staff member coming up our group at the beach and rudely asking us if we were a paying guests. I wouldn't call this place a luxury hotel. All in all, I would not have stayed here if I had to pay full price for the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
I appreciate the review of your recent stay at our hotel. I understand that you were disappointed and that we came short of delivering what you are accustomed to expect from us. I truly apologize if this was the case and I can assure you that I will definitely keep your review in mind to improve our in-property experience. I am truly sorry that you found our hotel to be somewhat dated and that there was a bad smell coming from the lobby. Your feedback is very important to us and I thank you for bringing these issues to my attention. I assure you that I will take your comments into consideration to make sure we provide our guests with the exceptional level of service they deserve.

Again, I thank you very much for your review and sincerely hope that you will give us another opportunity and stay with us next time you’re in town.

Susan.Wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartland, Wisconsin, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I just returned from a stay at the El San Juan. I travelled with my two sons, 18 and 20, from January 18th to the 24th. We arrived on a Friday, and being a Hilton Honors Gold Member, asked if there were any upgrades available. We were told that the hotel was sold out the first weekend as there were some big conventions in town, so the upgrade was not possible. Although the hotel was full, the pool areas always had plenty of choice seats, and we never waited to get into restaurants.
I booked a King Vista room and a Queen Vista room. We were given adjoining rooms on the 7th floor, overlooking the pool. These were in the main (older) section of the hotel. The furnishings were a little worn, but I would not say they were dirty. Lots of white leather and Lucite. I was glad to be on the 7th floor, because I had read that the nightclub can get pretty loud, but we never heard a sound from our rooms. The problem came in the middle of the night, because our rooms were directly opposite the elevators and ice machine corridor. I was awakened several times the first night by groups of people exiting the elevator loudly. The next morning, I asked if we could be relocated, and Frances at the front desk told me that the hotel was full, but she could probably move me the next day.
True to her word, Frances had us moved on Sunday. We were upgraded to an amazing two bedroom suite. Again, the decor was a little tired. This section of the hotel could really stand to be redecorated. There is great potential in these rooms, they just need some modern touches. In both the suite, and the Vista rooms, the bathrooms were very small. Definitely one person at a time! There is a bar area adjacent to the bathroom which could have made a great dressing/makeup/hairstyling area, but instead of a nice light and mirror on the wall, there was only a generic print hanging on the wall.
The lobby and casino areas are first class. I didn't spend any time at the bars, but passed through on several occasions and was impressed by the classy atmosphere. As I said, there was never any trouble finding a lounge chair by any of the pools. Each pool area has very comfortable cushioned lounge chairs, either in the open or shaded by palm trees or canopies. The pool staff was attentive and friendly. The beach area had a lot of seaweed, and sort of a bad smell, so I didn't spend any time there.
I would also recommend a great local restaurant called Metropol. It's about a five minute walk from the El San Juan (right next door to the cock fight arena). It was a nice place to sample some local and Cuban fare.
I don't know if I'll return to Puerto Rico, but I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

The ESJ is a horrible excuse for a resort hotel. It's old, really old. Which wouldn't be a problem if if was kept clean. But it's not. The rooms are horrible. Old stained linoleum tile. Stained furniture. And the bathroom is so disgustingly dirty that i was nauseated standing in the shower. Dirty, moldy, mildewy. Paint peeling. Pipes showing. It's clear they jsut don't care. There is no way anyone who actually stayed here could write a review that included the words... "it was clean." And the service is just brutally slow. Hilton? Whatever! And it wasnt just our room. Several others we traveled with had the exact same experience. It's just awful. You're far better off missing your connection in Miami and going over to South Beach or Miami Beach.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
First of all, thank you for your candid feedback of your stay with us. I apologize that we did not meet your expectations and I am actively working with our housekeeping team to ensure our standards of cleanliness and comfort are consistently met. I was disappointed to read from your review that you found our bathrooms to be unkempt and some of the furniture stained. We strive on providing our guests with a clean and comfortable stay and we will do everything we need to do to ensure that these issues are corrected. I am always looking for reviews to provide insight into our guests experience and I will keep your review in mind. Thank you again for your feedback and I invite you back to stay with us the next time your travels bring you to the area.

Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati,OH
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The hotel staff...every last one person...was
always welcoming and had a smile on their face. Angelo at the
entrance of the hotel was superior. Upon check in, Aubrey assisted us
with a smile and welcomed us to the hotel. The staff at La Terraza
were exceptional! The breakfast buffet was delicious!
Jorge was our room attendant and the room was always immaculate and
refreshed daily. Being directly on a salt water beach has taken a toll on the hotel, but there was never a speck of sand in the room.

The pool areas are wonderful and well maintained. I find it
ridiculous that guests wake up at dawn to "reserve" a pool chair only
not to return 5-6 hours later. José at the pool area managed to
locate chairs and dry off everything. Simply resort quality and
exceptional service demonstrated by the entire staff at El San Juan
Resort and Casino.

The only complaint that I have is endemic of the Hilton Hotel chain... the bedding is simply too fluffy with uncomfortable pillows and worn mattresses. This is of no fault to El San Juan, but is a characteristic of the Hilton Hotel company.

I did use the spa and it is nice. There is a reasonably equipped gym with free weights, machines, and cardio equipment.

The restaurant choices are bountiful, yet overpriced and Koco is not good. See review for the restaurant.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, It was a pleasure to be of service! We appreciate sharing the names of many of our "Service Stars" and I will definetly share this with them.
When your travel should bring you back to San Juan, please contact me directly, as I would personally like to welcome you back!

All the best in 2013

Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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san diego
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Run down and poor service. We were having a small meeting with a total budget of around $15,000 and they just couldn't get our bill right. We will have to sort it out with the credit card companies when we get home.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We are sorry that you had a disappointing experience during your stay with us. We always aim to ensure every guest feels cared for, valued and respected. I truly regret if you had a disappointing experience with some aspects of our hotel and more specifically with the poor service you referred to in your review. In addition, I do apologize if there was any confusion or misunderstanding regarding your bill. I certainly make myself available for any questions you should have.

Again, I please accept my apologies if you went through any inconveniences during your stay and I hope that you will give us a second chance if you return to the area.

Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Had a wonderful time during our 2 day stay at the El San Juan hotel before a cruise on January 12, 2013. Check in was quick and easy and we appreciated Mario's assistance. He was kind to honor our request for a high floor with a pool/water view. The room was large, clean and modern. The hotel has 5 pools and 3 hot tubs, so there was plenty of space for everyone. Mara at the front desk was also extremely professional and helpful. Beautiful beach for walking. Had such a relaxing time we hated to leave. Great location with plenty of places to dine and shop inside and in the neighborhood of the hotel. Very close to the airport.

Room Tip: HIgher floors on pool side have beach view as well.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Resort & Casino, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thank you for your review! There are many hotels/resorts in the San Juan area, and we thank you for selecting the El San Juan for your getaway. Your review was very complimentary of our service and facility, and I thank you for that. i am glad the the location, and the resorts amenities were to your liking and you had a great stay!

Upon your next to San Juan, it would be a pleasure and to personally thank you for kind words..

I remain at your service

Susan.Wilkerson@hilton.com
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 El San Juan Resort & Casino

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 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Casino 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 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 Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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