If you saw.read the review titled "Five star name, three star hotel"...it might not be too far off. I'll tone that down just a tad though and say "5 star name, 3.8 star hotel, 6 star restaurant prices")
Our family (myself, my wife and our 12 yr old daughter and 8 yr old son) just arrived home yesterday from 6 days at the El Conquistador. We had a wonderful time and overall I would recommend the hotel and I would stay there again. We had rented a car in San Juan (Enterprise) and drove the 50 minutes out to Fajardo. Highways are well marked; however, once you are off the main road use the GPS since there are few to no signs with road names.
Back to the hotel...my only complaint is that the resort food is WAY (again, WAY) expensive. We had 2 meals at Cafe Caribe (dinner the night we arrived, and breakfast the next morning) but never ate on property again. Dinner (for what was basically cafeteria food) for the 4 of us was $100. Breakfast was $65. I'm sorry, but thats robbery. From then on we jumped in the car and drove a couple of minutes to a local Panaderia and each had eggs, toast, bacon and coffee/juice for $3.50/each. Breakfast pastries at the same place were 75 cents. We had lunch at stands or took sandwiches back to the hotel. The best meals we had were in Luqillo at the Kiosks. Terruno (I think #20) was the best, although Congas was just as good. We had dinner the last night at Metropol (Cuban) in Fajardo. The food was awesome and reasonable. I had the Fiesta Cubana platter $14 which sampled 7 or so of the favorite dishes. We were actually recommended to go to Boricuba, but found it dark, lonely and the parking lot overgrown like it had been derelict for years. Weird that the Concierge had recommended it as 'one of my favorites'.
We had booked a garden room, but found that we had a beautiful view of El Yunque and also of the ocean out towards Luqillo over the golf course. Bonus. It was nice to have a patio/balcony with chairs which was a fav morning and late evening spot. There are so many different wings and levels to the hotel that its wise to look at the buildings and ask to be in a certain wing. We were in the Las Vistas wing which has direct access to the pools, spa and golf/tennis and is near the lobby. The trade-off is that we had a few minute walk to the funicular which takes you down to the marina for the boat to the island/beach. If you want to the close to the marina, ask for the Las Brisas or Las Olas, but of course then you will be walking to the pool or lobby. (although Las Olas has its own pool)
Overall our room was clean and comfortable, and large. Other reviews said 'paper thin walls', which was not our experience. Our walls were concrete, but I think that review was the Las Brisas wing. We had 2 queen size beds, a reading chair with ottoman, desk with chair, TV console with drawers, and night stand with iPod dock. There was also a counter with coffee maker and small refridgerator. The closet is large and in the bathroom, which has a separate commode area. We rented a movie from the DVD machine near the Business Center one night ($5.45 rental). For some reason the TV then wouldnt go back to the regular TV channels and was stuck on AV2, but a call to guest services produced a 'technician' in about 10 minutes and he had it working in 2 minutes.
The pool complex was wonderful. If you have kids the two pools in front of Las Vistas are the better ones. The upper pool (nearest the casino) gets more adult traffic as it has the swim-up bar and restaurant. A small inconvenience is that the only towel shack is at the upper pool, so one of us had to trek up and down the stairs for towels.
We visited the beach on Palomino Island on 2 diff days. It is beautiful and the water was clear and warm. You can play mini-golf, sandbag toss, soccer, volleyball and basketball for free. Snorkel equip, tubes, jet skis etc are for rent. (we didnt and I dont know how much they were. Well, I think snorkels were $9). Horseback riding is $69 per person!! I'm sorry, but does that come with a steak dinner? I dont care if it is on a private island... The island also has a couple of gift shops where you can buy trinkets, sunscreen ($12/can), hats ($22), t-shirts, masks/snorkel ($22), and other sundry. Of course expect 'resort' pricing. We bought a few things the day before we left and on check-out I saw that the charge had shown up twice, so double-check your bill before you sign it.
Self-park was easy. Drive in, push the button, get the ticket and park. Before you return to your car visit the parking counter and get your ticket 'validated' (aka. charged to your room). You have 20 minutes then to get to the car and put it in the machine on your way out of the parking lot.
Lets see....what else? Starbucks is a busy place in the mornings, per usual anywhere. The little market next door is a ripoff. The other store closer to the lobby is slightly more reasonable. Wifi...worked great in the room, lobby and Starbucks. Nowhere else. Note: ATT and T-Mobile/Sprint are in-network in PR. Verizon is roaming, so pay up or turn it off and leave it in the room safe.
Back to food for a sec...You can find a gillion places serving breakfast (desayunos) etc by going down to the entrance and make a left (Cabezas) and quick right (Avenida Conquistador). When you get to the 2 speed bumps turn left (still Ave Conquistador) and you'll see the Panaderia a couple of blocks down on your left. Otherwise, if you go past the Panaderia there is a Burger King another block down. BTW...for those daring enought to read this book I just wrote, order the PR Entertainment Book a week before you leave. For the $25 you will find restaurant coupons, rental car coupons etc. I used the Enterprise Double-Upgrade coupon and got a midsize, and we used about 3 other ones. The book paid for itself about 3 times over.
As above, ask for a room near what you will be doing most (pool, beach, casino etc.)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.