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“Views are beautiful, resort is not” 3 of 5 stars
Review of El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1000 El Conquistador Avenue, Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fajardo
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Views are beautiful, resort is not”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

The rooms need to be repainted, carpeted, etc. and the hotel needs updating. They definitely cater to families with children. Food, beverages, etc. are ridiculously expensive for being so mediocre. They also add a daily resort fee, some kind of tax and a bellhop fee, so expect to pay an additional $100+ when you check out. The staff was helpful and friendly for the most part. I would not recommend this resort -- 4 star prices for 2-3 star hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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4,261 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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BOSTON
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed a recent trip to this resort. Check in was efficient at the Hilton Honors desk. We were upgraded to an ocean view room. The room itself was of standard size and the view was truly spectacular. The amenities were fine and everything was very clean. Of the restaurants available we like the Ballyhoo the best. Omar and Veldamar (sorry for the guess at correct spelling) were always friendly and helpful and the food was very well prepared. Andy in Las Brisas was also great. We also found the private island beach, reached via ferry, was very nice with plenty of chairs available. The resort must be very kid friendly because there were lots of families there. In all, I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Most rooms have great views.
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  • Stayed April 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
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

This year was our 3rd visit to this property and we are blown away each time we go. Driving up is just gorgeous, and that is just the view of the golf course. The pool and sea view are to die for. We love Puerto Rico so much and the El Conquistador is the icing on the cake. Everyone is so friendly and accommodating! Any time we called housekeeping they were at our door almost before we hung up, cheerfully delivering whatever we requested. The crew on the boat delivering people to and from Palomino Island are fantastic, also. The boat was preparing to leave and my husband wished to fill his water bottle so Michael, one of the crew, took off at a run to fill it with ice water for him. Our kids said that they feel so at home whenever we come to the El Conquistador, which is the only place we've ever stayed in Puerto Rico and have absolutely no desire to stay anywhere else! There is so much for kids to do, a scavenger hunt across the entire property, the water park, nets set up in the pool for volleyball, and at Palomino there is ping pong, corn hole, huge chess pieces, basketball, volleyball, soccer, putt putt golf, as well as renting snorkel gear, jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, and a myriad of inner tubes and rafts. We saw two great acts in the theater, which happen to be complimentary, and the whole family enjoyed the change from casino to game area. The shuffleboard was a great learning experience, and the car race got whole families cheering the winners on. We all loved our stays here and recommend it to our friends. Late evening ice cream is a must and don't forget to pass by the 4 birds by the Starbucks and hear Snowflake say "Ola Ola" and do his dance.

Room Tip: We've stayed in rooms with golf course views and ocean views, not a bad view in the house! Love...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

The room was beautiful but the gondola made noise all night long. There was a lot to do for families but we went without our kids for Valentine's Day. I would come back but not for a romantic vacation. It would be wonderful as a family trip for many different age groups.

Room Tip: Don't get a room near the gondola.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed at El Conquistador from April 8 - April 13 with our two kids, ages 5 and 8. We have been countless times to Puerto Rico but this was our first stay here. We had never taken a chance due to the mixed reviews. I'm glad I decided to give it a try. Everyone had a great time and we will be back! I mean, what is there not to like? There's a gorgeous private island offshore that they schlep you to, there's a water park with great slides for the kids and ocean views, there's a beautiful pool area with great ocean views, the employees were friendly and helpful, the breakfast buffet at Brisas has delicious (do NOT miss the Puertorican pastries section!), there's a marina with again, great ocean views. Did I mention the ocean views? And, there was so much to do! The kids must have gone down the sides over 100 times, we went snorkeling in Palominos, we lounged on a huge couch in Palominos, we sipped frozen drinks, 8-year old tried paddleboarding (with help), we went around the property looking for the "ScoutAbout" bands, etc.

Our experience with the staff was always very positive. I booked a partial ocean view room, and - with the Gold Hhonors status, combined with a hotel that was well-below full occupancy (post-Easter/Spring break and pre-summer) - we were given a beautiful ocean view room in Las Brisas. And we were very close to the breakfast restaurant and the funicular. We didn't have any special requests, but simple questions were well addressed (i.e., employee led us to the restroom when asked where it was or fetched the ping-pong ball when I asked where I could check one out, etc.).

I think they did a disservice to name it a "Waldorf Astoria" resort. I think this brings up a certain level of expectations and the bottom line is that while this is a GREAT family resort, this is not a true luxury property. And it shouldn't be. It's too large to be a true luxury property. It's got too many meeting rooms to be a true luxury property. The decor is not what would be expected of a luxury property (I'm still trying to figure out why there was no decor/furniture except for a couple sad sofas in the large lobby, near the check-in area). It's maintenance also falls short of a luxury property (they. must. clean. the. windows, doors and carpets. of. the. Brisas. hallway!). And it's prices are well-below a luxury property. Let me repeat that, because many reviews here seem to indicate the prices were outrageous. Well, the 3 luxury properties in Puerto Rico that I also looked into seemed to want to charge us anywhere from twice to four times the price per night that we paid for El Conquistador. So, if I don't pay luxury prices ($500-1200/night), I don't expect a luxury property. We had purchased a package and our bill was 100% accurate at check-out, but it sounds like the hotel needs to do a better job at not assessing nickel-and-dime additional charges and fees. Just charge a higher rate and be done with it. The one area that I am glad is a separate fee is the water park. It's not large enough to accomodate all guests and the fee structure helps keep things sane there.

OK, since everyone is talking about the food, I will say this. I wish there was more variety. We rented a car at the airport and had dinner outside the resort on 3 nights. But the two nights that we stayed and ate at the resort, we found the food to be quite good. We ate at Stingray Cafe, which was pricey but delicious, and we also ate at Cafe Bella Vista (by the lobby/main pool) and it was quite good and not expensive. I also wish there was more waitress service. They had one waitress at the Coqui waterpark and none at the main pool. They also need to provide free water. This is the first resort of this caliber where there isn't someone handing out cool water to keep guests hydrated. So, yes, there are improvements to be done, but it is still a great resort, with great views, on a great location. As I said earlier, we WILL be back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

Given the name and rating, my family and I expected more than an average/substandard hotel. The rooms were nice, but outdated and the shower had pink bacteria growing in the grout. Unacceptable for a 4 star resort.

The food at the hotel was hands down was WAY over priced and I impressive. No sensitivity to food allergies (I have to eat gluten free and they were less than accommodating - I had to eat dull, tasteless expensive salads the entire six days we were there.

ALL but one alcoholic drink I ordered during our stay had little to NO alcohol. After day 3 of paying $12 for a small margarita or piña colada with no alcohol, I retuned to the bartender and asked if they had used alcohol or not. Spitefully, he said yes, and offered NO solution (ie, a new drink or refund). Shameful.

I can go on and on about how we sat for 15 minutes waiting for our drinks at the Tallyhoo Bar but the bartender was so busy hitting on his female coworker that he completely forgot our order. There were only 7 other people in the whole bar. Obsured.

Needless to say, the food stunk. The service stunk. IF you stay here, you are paying for one thing...the view. It is amazing. Breathtaking. But don't waste your hard earned money on ANY food at this resort.

Trust me, venture out of the resort a few miles and visit Costa Linda - unbelievable, fresh, homemade cuisine. The Puerto Rican Mofungo is to die for!!!

Also good is the El Estacion restaurant a few miles down from the hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
boston
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I recently returned from my second trip to the resort and was very disappointed.
Let's start with the good: The location and views are beautiful.
Now the bad, almost everything else. We stayed in the Las Brisas wing, which has amazing views of the Caribbean. At 6:00am we were awoken by our neighbor's children, confused b/c we thought we had left our kids behind, we looked at the door separating our rooms and found a 2 inch gap between the floor and the beginning of the door. That morning I approached the front desk informing them of the privacy situation and their response was "Yes, we have many rooms like that". Really? To their credit they did change our room that day, but I was shocked this was acceptable.
When we first checked in our key didn't work. I was told not to keep it near my cell phone b/c it would erase it. Thinking I had made the mistake, I asked housekeeping to help me out. After she failed we needed to turn to security. This happened three different times throughout my stay with caused over an hour of waiting at my room door for security to "fix" the door.
I was there with a conference and ate three dinners and breakfast everyday and the food was below average.
The last time I visited this resort they had a casino which has now been changed into a kids plays area with a bar. I think this changed the resort completely. There is very little excitement for adults. On Friday night we wanted to get a drink at the martini bar on the second floor, near the restaurants and it was closed at 10pm.
The resort is old and tired and in need of a face lift.
I do think it could be a good place for families, but having been to many other places in the Caribbean, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 1000 El Conquistador Avenue, Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Fajardo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fajardo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 918
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award-winning oceanfront resort perched atop cliff, overlooking Caribbean Sea on one side & Atlantic Ocean on the other. Check out the dramatic views, the private island or the brand new water park - it's all part of this Caribbean paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Fajardo
Waldorf Astoria Fajardo
El Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Puerto Rico/Fajardo

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