We stayed in a newly renovated room. It's not a true renovation but more of a cosmetic revamp. You can still see the rusty old ceilings in the bathroom. The walls are paper thin. VERY, VERY thin. People are just talking at normal volumes in their rooms and you can hear every little thing. It was difficult to sleep, but it was hard to complain since the people next door weren't even being loud. Just normal.
The porters are very friendly and responsible. The beach staff was on top of it, but the rest of the service was very poor with an attitude. Upon checking in, we were in the Hilton Honors line. There was one person checking everyone in and it was going very slow. When we got up to the counter, another employee came by and started asking the girl to stop working because she wanted to go chat. The woman helping us said "do you need anything?" No it was just to chat so the woman (luckily for us) finished with us and then just walked away even though 4 groups were behind us. Most of the staff seemed to work this way.
The food is overpriced which is to be expected because you are in a resort, but we ordered pancakes one day, $12 for microwave pancakes. We found a great place just outside the resort on the ocean for wonderful pancakes with fresh fruit and endless coffee or tea for $6. If I'm going to pay overpriced food, it should at least be decent tasting and not something I wouldn't even serve at home.
One night the power went out in Isla Verde. The hotels all have generators, but for some reason the EL San Juan hotel chose only to light the casino and the bar down in the lobby. The rooms and the rest of the resort stayed in complete darkness. I can't believe they would choose this over people being able to get to their rooms. This was in the evening too so no daylight through the windows. We walked over to the Intercontinental. They had everything going for their guests, the Ritz did too. So did the Chili's and Lupi's. But not the El San Juan hotel. They didn't even speak to the guests or put up notices as to when the power would be back on or try to use the generators for the rooms.
The beach is great. And as I said before the beach service was top notch. FYI you do have to pay extra for an umbrella, which is normal for the area, but just very different from most Caribbean resorts. It's $10 extra for an umbrella. The pools are large but not cleaned very well. There is a lot of foliage around (which is pretty) so it's impossible to have it perfectly pristine, but a lot of the problem seemed to be rocks, napkins, and more leaves than just a days worth. It's still clean enough to swim and feel fine, but just not as clean as you would expect.
Overall you just get a sense that the hotel is more interested in servicing their evening events like ladies night in the bar than really taking care of the hotel guests. It seems very much a night club first, casino second and oh yeah we are a resort in last place. We've also stayed at the Ritz and Intercontinental and I would suggest those locations before El San Juan.
- 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