We stayed here for 4 nights (in 2 connecting rooms in Las Olas building) over Spring Break. We were a little disappointed in the decline of the hotel, as we had honeymooned here in 2002. To start withthe pros:
We used Hilton Honors Points plus cash and only paid points plus $100/night. For this price, it was a good value. Anything more than $250/night is not worth it. The resort is beautiful and breath-taking. Palomino Island (their private island) is wonderful with plenty to do....horseback ride, snorkel, soccer, basketball, lounge, eat, drink, jetski, shop. It was well-maintained and service was good. We were here everyday and jetskiied twice. The restaurant was ok. Drinks were very good, especially the Palomino Adventure...but for some reason, none of the bartenders in the hotel could make it. Rooms were spacious.
Cons: Las Olas is very hard to navigate with small children, forget with a stroller!! Takes forever to get anywhere...down funicular to ferry or La Marina. Up funicular, walk, elevator then more walking to get to main hotel, pools, restaurants. Took 45mins roundtrip to get Starbucks in the morning...and the line at Starbucks is always LONG and moves at a turtle's pace. The restaurants are very pricey and service is mediocre. Pools very cold. We had a huge storm, power went out....this meant that we were stranded in/out of our room (Las Olas) b/c there are not steps to Las Olas from main bldg, only funicular. Next morning (Easter), all of the restaurants were at capacity (b/c outdoor ones could not open), so meals were rushed and poor quality. There was not enough activities to occupy all of the meandering people. Spa is fabulous, especially Orlando. Did not use golf course or tennis.
This by no means is a Waldorf-Astoria quality hotel.... the El San Juan in Isla Verde is of higher quality than the El Conquistador and much less expensive. This is a Hilton-quality hotel and should be reflected in their room rates.
Read my specific restaurant reviews for this hotel.