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“I won't even stay there for free” 1 of 5 stars
Review of ESJ Towers

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ESJ Towers
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   6165 Isla Verde Ave, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #11 of 14 Hotels in Isla Verde
Ocean City, New Jersey
1 review
“I won't even stay there for free”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2010

family member owns timeshare, they gave us a week for free. this hotel is old.smelly.dirty,and nasty. I would rather stay at the inter continental. The only good thing here is a pina colada and bingo poolside.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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701 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 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 (151)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2010

Went in early September 2010 as a timeshare swap through Interval International. (The hotel & casino and the time share units are separate, adjoining buildings. The timeshare unit was about the size of a large hotel room and was listed as an efficiency. It was clean and well-maintained, although somewhat spartan. The kitchen is tiny (no counterspace and a small-footprint stove&oven), so while cooking for yourself is possible, it's also challenging. There's a large foodstore about 3 blocks away (Pueblo Foodstore, not SuperMax).

This is not a luxury accommodation, and doesn't even really compare to other high-end timeshares that I've seen (like many of the Marriott properties).

On the other hand, the facility is right on the beach. It was clean, comfortable and functional. Staff was generally very helpful, and there's lots of security at the facility. The fitness center sucks, but you can rent beach chairs there cheaper than you can rent them on the beach itself (and you only need to carry them 50 yards to the beach).

The hotel is on the Isla Verde hotel strip, two doors away from the luxury Intercontinental Resort & Casino, (which is also home of the $14 hamburger). It's extremely close to the airport (taxi was a fixed rate $10, so don't let them charge you more). It's only 10-15 minutes from Old San Juan and other areas of interest, and a good staging point for excursions around the island.

For example, we took a ferry to the outlying island of Vieques. We drove our rental car from the hotel to the ferry in Fajardo in about 50 min., and that was during morning rush hour,

I would not hesitate to stay again at El San Juan Towers (known as ESJ), however, if you've come to expect a high-end timeshare, this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2010

We live on the Island of Puerto Rico, 30 minutes from the ESJ Towers. Our air conditioner broke and we needed to find a place to stay at 2:30am, we called the ESJ Towers and the clerk told us, "We have plenty of rooms available, we also have plenty of ocean view rooms available". We got there, I am handicapped and they had NOT ONE HANDICAPPED PARKING AVAILABLE!!! I was told I could park the car in the "No Parking" spot and walk in the rain to the hotel and they would make sure it wasn't towed away (is it even legal to have no handicapped parking?). I made my way to the front desk, asked the clerk for an ocean view room, he said he had one on the third floor, he advised me of the no smoking policy and I had to sign a paper that the entire hotel is no smoking (not a problem as I don't smoke), I paid and proceeded to go to my room. I opened the door to the smell of cat urine, gagging, I made my way to the balcony and noticed we were not in an ocean view room, the only "view" we had was of the dumpsters from the back of a different building, the smell was atrocious! I called the front desk and told them it wasn't an ocean view room, he told me they have no ocean view rooms, they are saved for guests that they want to sell a timeshare to, since we had been here before and did not buy the crimeshare, then we were not allowed to stay in the better rooms. I advised him that my Aunt wanted me to take pictures of the hotel and the view so that when she visits me she will have an idea of what type of place it is, and if I take pictures of this room and the "view" then she will never stay at this hotel. I told him that it reeks of cat urine and there are cigarette BURNS in the comforter, if this is a non smoking hotel why are there cigarette burns where I have to sleep? I asked him to please put us in the room I paid for and he told me, "When you called I had rooms for 40 people, but then I sold them all before you got here", I told him, "When I checked in, you said you were putting me in an ocean view room, and it wasn't a problem, this is not ocean view and it smells really bad", he told me, "I sold all 40 rooms before you got here", I told him, "It took me 30 MINUTES to get here, you mean to tell me you sold 40 people rooms in 30 MINUTES? And why did you tell me that you are putting me on the third floor ocean view?" His reply, "I thought you meant that view", I asked him "are you honestly telling me you thought "dumpster view" means "ocean view"?? I then asked to speak to the manager, Tobias I think his name was, got on the phone, I explained the situation and that I was lied to and he told me, "I got here at 11pm and there were ONLY TWO ROOMS available, your room and one other, we sold the other room", I told him "Someone is lying, because we called at 2:30am and was told there are plenty of rooms, we drove out here, it's 3am and now you are telling me that when you got here there was just two rooms available, but your desk clerk tells me there are 40 rooms available...who is lying to me, and WHY? I was planning on taking pictures of the hotel for my Aunt, she has been wanting to come here and wants pictures of various hotels in the area, he tells me, "We have a room set up for pictures, it is a room we don't book, but we have it set up to look good for timeshare people, but we never book it, if you want to take pictures I will let you in that room but only for pictures" I explained to him that my Aunt does NOT want a staged room, she wants to see the actual place, and if I take pictures of this room and tell her it reeks of cat urine she and her friends will NEVER STAY HERE! The manager continued to lie, and I asked him why are there cigarette burns all over my comforter, does he really expect me to sleep in a room for $189 with the stench of cat urine and burnt up old blankets? The MANAGER then put the CLERK on the phone, so I told the clerk I want my money back we are leaving and never coming back. He told me come down, we don't care. I went to the front desk and the manager saw me and quickly ran out of the window and hide in the back room, never once apologized or anything.
This hotel is not worth your time or your money! If you want a REALLY nice hotel, look up the El San Juan Hotel and Casino, yes, they are affiliated with the ESJ Towers, but it is built newer and they take the time to make it smell and look great. The price online is very expensive, but if you call the hotel directly and make a reservation you can get it for the same price as the ESJ Towers or cheaper!!!
The ESJ Towers used to be a great place to go, but since they decided to sell to timeshares, they went downhill, it really is a dump, the rooms smell like a dump, the view they give you is really bad, unless you never stayed there, then you will get one of their ocean view rooms and they will try to sell you the timeshare.
By the way, I marked "value" in rating this hotel as a two instead of a one, because when we did stay there years ago, we got the ocean view and it was one of the cheaper hotels in the area, and the beach is GREAT. So if it is your first time staying and you get the ocean view it's a good value, but if you don't buy the timeshare, I would suggest you don't go back because the way they treat you is really bad, and now in today's economy the better hotels are the same price, I would highly recommend the El San Juan Hotel and Casino! NOT THE ESJ TOWERS!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2010

We also used ESJ as a timeshare exchange. This place needs major renovations. AC unit is in the room, very noisy. Place was dirty esp. the bathroom. i had to buy cleaning agents to clean myself after making a complaint. I was so disguisted at the place. Hallways are very hot no air, would never stay there again. Sorry.
FYI ,Beware of bed bugs

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, AL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2010

We did not realize how fortunate we were to stay in such an excellent resort until we got to the airport and heard others' horror stories!
The ESJ Towers was a wonderful resort. Even during the Category 4 Hurricane Earl, their main concern was for our safety and enjoyment. We were never without power. The generator kept everything running as normal.Restaurant, bar and store remained open throughout the storm. Each room had a balcony and each balcony had steel shutters that we easy to close when needed. Many who stayed at newer and fancier did not have this kind of experience. For example: sitting in the lobby for 3 day eating only popcorn.
We were so impressed with the security and friendliness of the entire staff. Anything we needed was not a problem.
Can't wait to go back to this beautiful resort and beach!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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Washington, DC
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2010

This hotel is not as advertised. It is terrible! I had to have exterminaters come to the room twice to exterminate. There were roaches crawling on the outside of my room close to the door one day. Two days later there was a roach on the inside on the door. I did not have any food in my room that would have attracted them. There is no decent restaurant in the hotel and the store, it seems as if the items were just thrown on the shelves and one only wonders how long they have been
sitting on said shelf. The sheets on the beds were so thin one could actually see across the room through them. For $149.00 a night one expect something better. Spend your hard earn money somewhere else. ESJ Towers is the worst.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Jersey City, New Jersey
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2010

I returned last night after a week at ESJ and my head is still reeling. My family has a time share at ESJ for almost 30 years and each stay is a disappointment. I had to pay next year's maintenance to use an extra week this year. I requested a handicap room for my elderly mother and was told repeatedly that there were one bedroom handicap units. No, all handicap units are studios. Then I was told that handicap bathroom equipment would be made available for the one bedroom unit. An excellent maintenance staff member bought a shower head because low and behold, they didn't have that either. We packed less clothing due to the airline's fees for luggage and we know there was a washer/dryer in the unit. Well the washer flooded the room twice, creating a musty stench and a safety hazzard. Tufts of human hair were floating around the room even though our room was suppsoedly cleaned thoroughly twice (no cleaning provided by ESJ time share). I will probably stay there again because we own the time share and the ESJ's proximity to family and the location is great. But I honestly would never stay there again. It's ridiculous.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 ESJ Towers

Address: 6165 Isla Verde Ave, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
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 Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ESJ Towers 3.5*
Number of rooms: 451
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ESJ Towers beachfront resort is located on the beautiful Isla Verde Beach just five minutes from the San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and 15 minutes to Old San Juan where shopping, dining, casinos and must-see attractions are just minutes away. Enjoy access to our fitness center, hot tub and swimming pool, business center, game room and laundry facilities. Guests will love family activities like bingo, billiards and water aerobics as well as a video game room and ping pong room. The ESJ Towers provides a variety of food and beverage options. Casual dining is found at our colorfully whimsical Happy Apple Restaurant. For snacks and refreshing beverages, try our poolside kiosk and snack bar. Guests seeking late-night entertainment should head to Mano a Mano for exotic cocktails and great conversation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esj Towers Hotel Isla Verde
Esj Hotel Carolina
Esj Tower San Juan
El San Juan Towers
Esj Towers San Juan
San Juan Towers Hotel
San Juan Hotel Esj Towers
ESJ Towers Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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