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“Overpriced with worn rooms and marginal bed” 2 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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Special Rate
$149 (USD)
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fajardo
Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Overpriced with worn rooms and marginal bed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

We were disapointed in the El Conquistador. The tile floors in the hallways were dirty. There was gum on the floor of the elavator to our room that was not removed the 3 days we were at the hotel. Tile in our room was worm. The bottem sheet on our bed was a flat and not a fitted sheet and would not stay on the bed. Mattress pad was a twin on a king bed and we were exposed to the less then confortable mattress. This was unsanitary at best and as a result we had three poor nights sleep. Our calls to houskeeping to have the situation corrected were ignored. There is no beach and the water was unswimable. A bumpy 10 minute boat ride to their Island if we wanted a beach. The hotel was overpriced and not worth the 1 hour bus ride to and from the hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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4,350 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (985)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

Many families, no "adults only" pool, private island is great except for all the coral so it's not very convenient for swimming, horrible Japanese restaurant, good steak house, good cafe on the island, noisy tram outside our window (but we got used to it), definitely get the oceanview rooms that are not directly overlooking the pool because they sometimes have corporate events and you'll listen to the staff breakdown the tables during the late hours.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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NY
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

We arrived in the afternoon and was immediately taken to our room- no waiting. The bathroom was huge and just redone. Then walked to the balcony....we were overlooking the sewerage treatment plant (Garden view) and what a smell.... Complained to the bell hop and after a phone call we were upgraded to a room on the marina. The bathroom had a distinct musty smell and there was no way I would walk barefoot in the room. The cost for food was outrageous!! Breakfast for 3 - $57. Concessions around the resort were very confusing....some didn't take the room charge, some took only cash, the next day the same concession might take mastercard. guess it depended on who was minding the store.
The only great thing about the El Conquistador was Palamino Island. That was fantastic...the ferry ride took only about 7 minutes and seemed to run everey 10 or 15 minutes. The water was crystal clear and no big waves...
The funicular broke down one day and another day only one was running...that was an inconvenience...having a room on the marina...you were either stuck there or waited for the funicular. They also offered a bus, which we took once. That was worse than waiting around for the funicular. We took a not so scenic to of Fajhado...got stuck behind cars and people and had to wait until they were ready to move...totally ignored the buses horn. The drive from the botton of the resort to the main entrance took about 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New York, NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2009

I booked the Celebrating 40 package and actually stayed during my 40th birthday. Had I not booked this package, many of the included items were not worth purchasing/including at a la carte prices.
First, I really tried to enjoy the resort in spite of some negative reviews. The views were amazing since the resort was perched on a hillside and I stayed at the Marina (bottom of the funicular & where you catch the ferry to Palomino Island). My room 1324, was well appointed and everything seemed fine, except I noticed a damp, musty smell on my bed that never went away and was a distraction when sleeping. The staff did do a good job cleaning the room however.
Second, my best friend and his family surprised me and showed up to help celebrate my birthday...that was one of the most special moments. They stayed in the Las Olas part of the resort which was near our room. However, this part of the resort needs a tremendous make-over. The carpet was noticeably worn down (how is this a luxury resort?) and there is no elevator here. Luggage and strollers cannot easily be negotiated up these narrow steps. My friend and his wife are both medical doctors and have traveled to many luxury resorts and I felt embarrassed they had to stay there. They were in Room 2344. The only saving grace was their area had it's own swimming pool and we were able to use it pretty much to ourselves, unlike the main pool area which is crowded.
The ferry was efficient and Palomino Island was a pleasure to be on...unlike another reviewer, I liked the lack of waves so my toddler daughter can play in the ocean.
The food was...uninspired. The only restaurant I felt was good, was Stingray, which had pretty high prices. I knew the food would expensive, but I had hoped there would be some decent taste to the dishes at the other restaurants. Last night we went to Ritchie's Cafe in Rio Grande (about a 20 minute drive) and the food was delicious, reasonably priced, and the view was spectacular. We had a party of 5 adults, 2 kids, 2 toddlers and a baby for this dinner and the bill came to be just under $300 (incl gratuities). This is the only time I did not feel ripped off from eating. I highly recommend this restaurant because the waiters did a fantastic job of taking care of us. At the end of the dinner, the waiter offered to have my little daughter's utensils and dish cleaned (we bring our own because it's plastic). Now that is service!
Previous reviewers may describe this resort as being in disrepair, but I think that is too harsh. Professionally, I know about capital improvements and building maintenance, so I can see when things have not been properly maintained. I personally witnessed staff cleaning, dusting and making repairs, however, these are things I noticed:
1. Elevators seemed always to be out of service. Most elevator banks on the resort was in pairs and there were many instances 1 of the pair of elevators would be out of service and remain that way for a day or two. With so many people, crowds and wait times are unacceptable for a luxury resort. Where I work, elevator technicians would respond the same day and would never be out of service more than a day.
I don't remember if I read a previous post about the resort fee, but my friend just checked out and was hit with a $47.50/day resort fee. I am positive I was not told this on check-in and it was not on my reservation confirmation. I check out tomorrow and will see if I am charged this also.
I enjoyed my trip because I celebrated a milestone in my life with people I love. But if a good friend asks if I would recommend this resort, I would sadly HAVE to say, "NO".

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2009

My husband, seven year old and I came to El Con the week prior to Easter. We got a pretty good rate, comparable to what some of the other nicer ones near San Juan ran. Since my husband usually plays golf a few times each vacation, we chose El Con. How can something so beautiful be so reasonably priced? Was it too good to be true?

Well, it's called "bait and switch." The property is gorgeous and we had a fantastic stay, but they make their money on the food costs. I have been to some of the most beautiful places in the world, but haven't encountered a feeling of being gouged like here. By the third day I needed to get myself an attitude adjustment because I was letting the cost of food ruin my trip.

I see someone saying that hotdogs were $10....they were actually $11.95, and my daughter's pasta with butter at the Italian place was $14! Luckily we are not big drinkers.

We stayed in the main part of the hotel near the piazza and had a great room. We reserved a garden view, yet our room looked out over the pool and the ocean after that. We might consider staying in the casitas next time because it's definitely worth renting a car for a day, get groceries at Walmart and make dinner at home some nights, as well as having the ability to make snacks during the day.

We had a 30 minute check in as well, but we were prepared for it because that seems to be typical. The enterprise folks were very friendly and gave me a great deal on a two day rental. (We went to El Yunke for a day...highly recommend, and I spent all day once in Old San Juan...worth the 45 minute drive).

Our favorite place for dinner was the bar in the marina area out on the water. Dinner for three was only $60, even if we did just get burgers, it was still more reasonable. We had a surprisingly good time at the Asian place and we did like the Italian place as well. Please do not go to Cafe Caribe...the service was just terrible, the food was horrible and the prices were outrageous for the yucky food (and no ambiance). All three of us were disappointed with our dinners that night. We did do the breakfast buffet each morning and it's decent but again, not cheap. Adults were $25 and kids $12.50.

My husband loved the golf but not really worth the $200 greens fees. I had a very enjoyable massage with a reasonable price.

The water park is very nice; not big, only 3-4 slides and a lazy river, but we enjoyed it there. We went four times; but only the first time did we pay for the whole day. After 2:00 we got in for only $13.95 adults, $8.95 kids (still expensive...this should be a "freebie" for staying). The invisible edge pool by the ocean was very nice and we had a blast on the slides.

We had no complaints about the funicular; never much of a wait, but I agree with previous posters that the "8 minute boat shuttle" to Palamino Island was more like a 45 minute adventure. You need to get there early enough to have a seat on the boat. We only did the beach one day because of that.

All in all, I would definitely go there again, but I would consider getting a casita and not have to rely on eating at the restaurants all the time. And unlike staying near San Juan, there's not place to really go off property for a decent dinner.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Cincinnati, OH
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

Stayed at El Con for five days. The hotel facility itself is great. There is an island that is available only to guests of El Con. There are ferries that run back and forth from about 9am to 5pm. I spent one day over on the island. There is one restaurant with so-so food. Lots of water activities or just lying on the beach.

Ate at Blossoms (Japanese) and the Italian place. Food was good at both places. No complaints.

The hotel rooms are nice and clean. My biggest complaint was with the lack of internet access in the rooms and how the hotel staff handled this issue. The resort is supposed to have high speed internet access in the rooms (for a fee of $14.95 for 24 hours). The first three days the internet did not work in the room so I had to go to the Business Center. The issue, though, was the lack of response from the staff. First, they tried to say that I was the only having a problem (implying that it was my computer). I was there with a conference of 200 people so was able to ask others if they had problems with access in the rooms. All of them said yes, regardless of where they were staying within the hotel. Then, at our request, we asked if we could try the access in other rooms. They finally agreed so my husband spent two hours running around rooms with my laptop, looking for access. Nothing. Then one staff person recommended that I come to the lobby to use the "free" access. First, I had already tried that and the signal was not working in the lobby either. Second, I work late at night so was not thrilled with the idea of setting up laptop, mouse, and working papers in the lobby at midnight. It was a big mess for those first few days, and an unnecessary aggravation. We were finally told by a staff person that the internet access has been an ongoing issue for awhile and that the hotel is in the process of changing internet providers/tech support. I just wish that the first time I went to the front desk to ask about this issue, I had been told "Yes, it is a known problem and we have someone coming to fix it."

The staff seemed to not care that internet access was not available, so for this reason, I would not recommend this hotel. There are many nice places to stay on the island, and I definitely plan on coming back again. I will just not stay here.

So if you want a nice hotel with a great pool and lots of beach but do not care at all about having dependable internet service, then this is a fine place to stay. If you must have internet service, then I would look for a review that indicates reliable service.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2009

Just returned from a week stay at the “World-Class Luxury Resort”, which by all means is not. Took over 30 minutes to check-in and from what people have said this is pretty standard. The rooms by all means are not what you see on the internet, chairs are covered with stains, chips in the floor tile. Sheets and bedding were worn and ragged. As you walked through the corridors they were covered with stains. No power washing here. The food by all means is way overpriced and terrible. The Casino has no craps tables and is very small. I kept wondering how families of 5 could afford this place. The place was crawling with kids. So if you’re looking for a quite romantic place…choose somewhere else. I did manage to sneak away to the Golden Door Spa, which happens to be the only clean place on the property. I have traveled to many third world countries which had better cleanliness than this place.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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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 a cliff, overlooking Caribbean Sea on one side & Atlantic Ocean on the other. Check out the dramatic views, the private island, relaxing spa golf course or the 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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