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“Great family destination” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   1000 Avenida Conquistador, Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico   |  
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$50 Resort Credit
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Fajardo
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great family destination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

When: Jan 27 - Feb 2, 2013

Room type: 2BR, Ocean View, Las Cascitas South Village

Who: Wife (36), Daughter (5), Son (3) and me (37).

About me: I have lived in NYC for 10 years, San Francisco for 1 year and presently reside in northern NJ.

My travel background: I have traveled around the world (Japan, Africa, China, Europe, etc) without kids. I have stayed in 4-star hotels, and have dined at some of the best restaurants around the world.

Previous family vacation during this time of year: Beaches - Turks and Caicos [see end of review for comparison]

Summary: We had a great trip. The kids had a great time, and we felt the vacation went by very quickly. I would go back in a heart beat. There was still so much more to explore (golf, tennis, horseback riding, jet skiing...)

Why we chose this vacation: 1) consistently warm weather in January, 2) a la carte meals and other services (we are no longer fans of the all-inclusive resort) 3) water park is connected to the hotel and reserved for hotel guests only, 4) direct flight from NYC, 5) roughly 4 hours or less travel time and 6) resort's distance from airport (about 1 hour).

Room: the 2BR in the south village was enormous by anyone's standards. There was a full kitchen with oven, 4-burner cook top, microwave, full size refrigerator/freezer and dishwasher. The only thing missing was a clothes washer/dryer which we had been accustomed to having at other condo style resorts. I read other reviews that guests should request the north village, because it is closer to everything. I think there is a lot of merit to this recommendation. The south village is further from the main hotel (with all the restaurants, big pools and access to the water park, etc), so we called a shuttle (van or golf cart at their discretion) which brought us to the hotel. We loved this option for the first 3 days as it was always prompt; however, days 4-6 we thought it was less prompt, and we began nudging closer to checking out the north village cascitas or renting our own golf cart ($95/day).

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Rental car
We rented a car. A parking space was included with the cascita. We liked having the car so we could go off resort for dinner. We intended to do some grocery shopping, although that didn't happen on this trip. A rental car is not necessary for this vacation, so compare with the cost of the hotel shuttle. Getting to the resort from the airport (SJU) was pretty easy - 50-70 minutes depending on time of day.

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Timing: This was a great time to vacation, because they were lots of conventions at the hotel, but those guests were not using the pool or other facilities, so it felt pretty quiet...in a good way. We were frequently one of only a handful of families at the pool, water park or dinner. We never waited in line for anything and never made a reservation for dinner.

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Staff and Service: We were thoroughly impressed with the staff. Everyone was really nice, and well trained in hospitality. Housekeeping was great too.

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Dining:
Breakfast: We intended to use the kitchen for breakfast, but at the last minute we got a deal where the kids' breakfast was included, so we ate at the buffet at Las Brisas each morning. Food was great and there was good variety.

Lunch: We ate all over and never had a bad meal. On occasion the food could have used a little more seasoning, but it was always cooked properly and the meat was good quality. Additionally, there was always a kid menu (chicken fingers, pizza, grilled cheese, etc) everywhere we dined.

Dinner (all with our kids): We ate 3 dinners off the resort (Passion por El Fagone twice and La Estacion once - I recommend both highly and they are about 5 mins from the resort). On the resort we ate at Cafe Bella Vista which was great for the kids, but our entrees could have been prepared little better. Cafe Caribe which was very casual and good. Lastly, we ate at Stingray which was their more formal dining experience and enjoyed it.

You can see some menus in the pictures I uploaded which includes the prices.

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Water Park: wonderful for our kids. There are 4 waters slides, a lazy river and a couple of pools. Admission is an extra fee which you can find on their website. You can purchase a full day or half day pass. We were fortunate that our kids' nap schedules permitted us to show-up at 4p most days which qualified us for a significantly reduced rate of $5/person. Not sure if this occurs other times of year.

The first water slide is for real little kids who typically can't swim. It is about 8' long and great for getting little kids comfortable with a water slide. It finishes into a zero entry pool which is where the youngest kids play.

The second, third and fourth slides all descend from a two story tower. The second is a winding slide that my 5-year old daughter loved and was fun for my wife and me too.

The third slide uses a 1-person or 2-person tube and winds down in a similar fashion as the one above, but might be a little faster.

The fourth slide is nearly vertical and was way too scary for my 5-year old. I saw kids 10-15 doing it with ease. I did it a couple of times and found it fun.

The water park has lifeguards, but I did not feel comfortable with their attention to what was going on. You are pretty much the only one keeping your kids safe there.
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Pleasant surprise
This was our first time to Puerto Rico. We were pleasantly surprised by how similar it looked to Hawaii with the beautiful hills, cliffs and lush landscapes.

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Minor disappointment
There is no beach on the resort grounds. You need to take the hotel's free boat shuttle to their private island (Palomino island). It is a lot of fun and there is much to write about all the good stuff on the island; however, it would have been nice to have a big sandbox or sand area as part of the water park or elsewhere for my son to dig with his toys.

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Comparison to Beaches T&C - I have reviewed Beaches T&C twice and like the resort. We stayed in the Italian Village in a pool walkout room.

Things we liked about Las Cascitas as compared to Beaches T&C:
Price: We spent about 50-60% of the amount we spent at Beaches and enjoyed our trip more at Cascitas

Food: Everyone complains about food at Beaches T&C. It is not that bad; however, we thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of not being at an all-inclusive because we found the food quality higher and enjoyed going off the resort.

Rooms: The Las Cascitas rooms are so much larger and you get a full kitchen and the layout is so much better. The finishes in the bathrooms are not nearly as nice as in the Italian village @ Beaches T&C, but we were more than willing to forgo them.

Wireless: My wife and I typically need to get some work done in the evenings and I was so impressed with the WIFI at Las Cascitas and remember cursing the WIFI at Beaches T&C.

Location: It was nice staying in the US. No passports. No concerns if anyone needed medical attention. No international roaming with the cell phones.

Last thing: At Beaches T&C we had to apply bug repellant before going out each evening. We did not notice any bug issues during our stay at Las Cascitas.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Thornhill, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

A lovely resort with it's own private Palomino Island. We stayed here for 5 days in Jan 2013 and were very pleased with the amenities. Infinity Pool, hot tubs, and family oriented water park are among a few of the things available. Restaurants, however, leave something to be desired. Car rental a must, as there are many tasty and cheaper options outside the resort. Thankfully, there is a Starbucks in house. Lots of stairs and sprawl, if mobility is an issue for you, you are better off staying in the Hotel Portion of the Waldorf. Some of the rooms have kitchenettes, try asking for a room on the second floor, most have balconies overlooking the Palomino Island. There is a small ferry that leaves hourly for the island. Easily accessible but requires some schedule planning as the last ferry leaves at 3pm.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozman, Maryland, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We booked Las Casitas through the hotel website planning to use it as our base of operations during a very active family vacation, and it was perfect for our needs.
Upon arrival, we were upgraded (?!) at no additional cost from a one-bedroom with a sleeper sofa to a two-bedroom in the South Village. Wow! The Casita was large, clean, and well-appointed, with a fantastic patio overlooking Fajardo Harbor, and well-equipped small kitchen. Housekeeping service during our stay was exceptional, and the staff resort-wide were very friendly and accomodating.
After breakfast at the Las Casitas Cafe our first morning, we went grocery shopping and prepared meals in our Casita the rest of the trip. The food was fine, but it was absurdly expensive. Our elementary-aged boys use a limited palate anyway...
We spent part of our first day exploring the swimming pool system on the resort, and found clean towels and fresh water in abundance. The staff was friendly, if a little indifferent, and the pools and spas were clean and not crowded. The day we spent on Palomino Island was great, but realize that the island IS the resort's beach. There is no beach at the main resort area, and it's a 20 minute ferry ride from the marina to the island. It's a fun day, though. There are hiking trails, mini golf, yard games, watercraft, raft, and snorkel rentals, bars, a restaurant and clean bathrooms. Oh, and the incredible Carribean beach... The best value we found on the resort was the waterpark. I think it was $20 per person for the whole day. The boys wore themselves out on the slides while we enjoyed half-price strawberry/banana daquiris and great service in the infinity pool and a day in the sun.
The resort is VERY big... Leave extra time to get from point A to point B, especially if you're staying in Las Casitas South. We found the location convenient, as there are a number of excellent day-trips within an hour's drive. We'd be happy to stay there again!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

First of all let me say that the resort had an absolutely breathtaking view from all directions. There were plenty of excursions and things to do at the resort. We loved Palomino Island and were told by other vacationers that Culebra Island is even more beautiful. To me the only negative was the casita my husband and I stayed in. The thermostat didn't work and the room was freezing. The only other option was to turn it off (which we did). The curtains to the patio doors were torn. A glass pain in the patio door was cracked. The ceiling fan was peeling paint. The patio wasn't swept before our stay and I didn't feel that the floors had been cleaned good in the room. These are all things that should have been taken care of before our stay and I wonder why they weren't.

Room Tip: Our brother stayed in a room at the main hotel and it was much nicer than our casita (at the same pr...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I think you need to know A LOT about La Casitas before you decide if it’s the right vacation for you. We specifically picked that resort because it said on the website and Trip Advisor that it had kitchenettes. We booked the standard room and when we got to the hotel there was no kitchenette in our room. When we complained, they explained that not all of the villas had fully equipped kitchens even though on EVERY room page of the hotel’s website it says that they do.
Since I booked the travel through American Express, I called them to complain. AE called LC to complain but the hotel manager said she had no kitchens in the entire La Casitas. The AE rep even said to her, “I’m looking at your website and you say you have kitchens in every room.” The woman just responded, “I’m not responsible for what it says on the website.”
When I complained to her directly (exhausted and tired and dying for a shower and a meal) she said, “Sorry, we have no kitchens. Besides there are not a lot of fully equipped kitchens in La Casitas—just smaller kitchenettes.” Later that night, she called to tell us that they found one for us, so we moved rooms. This room had an ocean view and was very nice, but in terms of the kitchenette, there was no microwave. Just a fridge, a blender and 2 burners (one was broken). She told me that someone saw that room and upgraded to a different room, but that story is also confusing—as she had earlier said they were fully booked when we first complained. Who knows?
Other reviews complained about the size of the resort. It is VERY big. Where we stayed in La Casitas North (we knew to ask for that because of other reviews) we could really walk very easily to the spa and main hotel. But, walking all the way to where the cable cars take you to the beach is a VERY far walk and one I wouldn’t want to do with kids. Also, taking a cable car down to a dock where I also have to get on a boat to go to the beach was a little much for me.
The spa was a whole other story. I booked a massage and a facial for two different days because I wanted to use the gym for both days. The first day was the massage—10 minutes in I had to stop it because it was so horrible. I’ve had massages all over the world and this woman had no technique. The spa manager was wonderful and rebooked the massage for two days later. So we got 3 full days of the spa—my facial was with Noelia and my massage was with Clidia and they were both AMAZING. The gym was also fantastic—no expense spared—and clean. We both enjoyed working out there.
There’s NOTHING to do at night. They have a game room that used to be their casino, but it’s really designed for families and kids. The resort does not do a good job of keeping trash cans emptied—we saw this at both the main hotel—El Conquistador—and La Casitas. The rooms were pretty clean but inconsistent—you could tell different people cleaned the rooms every day. Like one day, our kitchen garbage was emptied and the next day it was not.
The pool service at the Infinity pool was SO bad by the end we got up and got our own drinks. Two times the “butler” brought me drinks that were overflowing in the glasses, dripping on me, and when I asked for a napkin, he acted like I was a spoiled brat. The infinity pool bathroom was gross by the end of the day—I once had to ask for them to give me toilet paper. Not what you expect from a four star resort that was voted best in Puerto Rico.
The views are gorgeous but the service is spotty. If you’re going to stay there, just be aware of all the negative things people say and know that they are true. Personally, we booked the hotel on points, but if I had paid for it, I would be flaming mad.
Also, if you want a vacation with different things to do and see—this is not the place to stay. But if you’re looking to zone out and enjoy yourself then you might be pleased. We had a great time but we would never go back—the size of the resort combined with the inconsistent service as well as the price is just a no-no for us.

Room Tip: Definitely stay in the north villas if you can. I would pay for the ocean side views. The standard r...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Our family just returned home after enjoying our stay once again at Las Casitas. This was our 6th year and everytime we go, we are never disappointed. The entire staff at the Manor House is unparalleled; always extremely pleasant and helpful. Our fabulous butler, Carlos Mangual always manages to make our stay very special. I have to mention the housekeeping this year as we enjoyed special 'towel animals' on our beds nightly during the turn down service!! That staff was extremely courteous, as well. We thoroughly enjoy all the amenities of the property including breakfast at the Casitas Cafe each morning. The staff there couldn't be nicer! .We are booked again for next year and are already counting the days to our return to "Paradise".

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Whether you want to sit and relax or do some activities, there's no shortage of options at this resort. Enjoy beautiful grounds and outstanding accommodations. The infinity pool was definitely a favorite spot as well as the beach on Palomino island. For kids or adults who want a wet thrill, make sure to checkout the Coqui waterpark. They have a great mini-market and plenty of other shopping available, as well as a Starbucks in the lobby of the hotel. Plus, you can rent a movie form one of the DVD rental machines located throughout the resort.

Room Tip: Ocean view are definitely worth the extra cost.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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 Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Also Known As:
Las Casitas Village, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Las Casitas Village, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Fajardo
Waldorf Astoria Fajardo
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Puerto Rico/Fajardo
Address: 1000 Avenida Conquistador, 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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Fajardo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Las Casitas Village is an enclave of private villas that enjoy sweeping ocean views, fully equipped kitchens, personal concierges and butler service. Among many pleasures, enjoy an expansive waterpark, scuba dive, ride horseback, golf or choose from a renowned menu of soothing treatments at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Las Casitas Village has long been known as the jewel of the Caribbean and has accumulated a list of prestigious awards and accolades including: 4-diamond rating by AAA ; #1 Family Resort by Caribbean Travel & Lifestyle Magazine ; Condé Nast Worlds Best 2012 Top 30 Caribbean Resorts 2012; 2013 Condé Nast Gold List; Travel + Leisure 2012 World's Best Award. Welcome to Las Casitas Village, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. ... more   less 
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