The Ritz Carlton San Juan

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Panorama of the King Pool View Room at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
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4.0
#3 of 15 hotels in Isla Verde
Location
4.2
Cleanliness
4.4
Service
4.4
Value
3.6
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HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Ocean View
Property amenities
Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Beach
Casino and Gambling
Babysitting
Wifi
Hot tub
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Sauna
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Poolside bar
Tennis court
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids club
Car hire
Business Center with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Baggage storage
Concierge
Non-smoking hotel
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Room features
Air conditioning
Private beach
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Room service
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
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Detailed Reviews
bartleby2006 wrote a review Oct 2006
nyc1 contribution54 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Some background - My girlfriend and I booked a 3 night trip on Expedia after changing our original destination, so we were offered a special room rate that included a pool view and breakfast buffet for $313. This is the off-season. Off-season runs from September to November.

It's only natural to list the complaints.

At the end, I'll list the positives.

1. The initial check-in offered some confusion as the front staff did not recognize the free breakfast buffet. To correct this, it required a call to Expedia and then a return to the front staff.

2. There was some initial confusion checking in. Bell boys would just rush up to you and ask if you were checking in. There wasn't really any attentiveness; it just seemed more like aggression.

For example, I stepped out for a second to answer an important cell phone call and the same bellboy that took my baggage initially rushed up to me again without any awareness that I was on the phone and asked if I needed any help. And then while I was talking on the phone off to the side, I was aggressively approached by another bell boy and again asked if I needed any help. And then when I walked back inside, I was rushed at once again by a third worker and asked if I was checking in. It was all strange behavior. There was also some confusion about my luggage. I was told that it was in storage because we had arrived early but when I went to answer my cell outside I noticed that it was left outside on the side where it could easily have been stolen.

3. There was a large stain in the carpet outside our room door. It was there when we arrived. It was never cleaned up.

4. The mattress in the room had a bed that sagged very badly, especially on the right side. You could see the bed sagging severely. This bad mattress hurt our backs (we tried switching places).

5. The casino is a bit on the cheap side. We had to wait two hours so that we could get refunded on a $27 ticket from the auto-cash machine. Apparently, they just installed new auto-cash machines that will refund your money for tickets but they were having problems with the software. One machine wouldn't take my tickets because I had folded them. The machine in question did not give me $27 -- and just flashed over and over that it was out of order and that I would have to wait for the operator. We ended up waiting 2 hours for the manager to refund us (You can't just leave the auto-cash machine, you have to stay near it.) The manager said that they had many complaints about the machine not working but they only put up an out of order sign 2 days after the incident. No compensation was given to us for having to wait, except for a sweet sandwich. The manager said that the only person allowed to offer compensation was the CFO of the hotel; so good luck to anyone that has any issues in the casino. Don't just ask for the manager, ask for the CFO!

6. This is the off-season, but there does seem to be some cheating going on by the taxi drivers who service the Ritz. For example, we were given a ticket by the taxi dispatcher at the airport that said the trip from the airport to the hotel would cost $10.50. However, when we got to the hotel, the taxi driver tried to ask for $15.00. Even after we showed the driver the ticket, she attempted to argue that we still owed her $15.00. She tried to say that she did not speak or read English. We only had 1 piece of luggage with us. I know this sounds strange but I wouldn't have mentioned it unless there were two other instances of overcharging. We had asked the concierge how much it would cost to take a taxi from the hotel to the Bicardi Rum Factory and the concierge told us $20 to 25. However, when we took the taxi, the driver asked us for $35 when arrived at the factory. And when we took the taxi back, the only available drivers asked for $40. We didn't have much of a choice, so we paid the fare.

We reported all the above incidents to the Puerto Rico transportation department. I have a feeling that the overcharges were due to us staying at the Ritz so be careful. We've stayed in Puerto Rico before (4 times) but never at the Ritz and have never been overcharged on taxi rides before.

7. The Ritz-Carlton accidentally revealed the industry rate that the charge Expedia when they charged us $244 in our folio. You can check your account through the tv -- I would strongly advise anyone to do this staying at any hotel. We disputed the fees as soon as we found out, rather than waiting until we checked out. Remember, we had originally booked this vacation via Expedia, so Expedia charges us, not them. The front staff took the charge off but they also revealed what they charge Expedia ($244) and the difference that Expedia profits in the markup ($69). This didn't help us out in getting any type of discount (we were on the phone with Expedia for at least an hour) but it does reveal that there's a lot of cannabilizing of hotel rates going on -- not only for the customers who pay the full $500 rate directly throught he Ritz but even for the Expedia customers who think they are getting a good deal. One Expedia rep told us that 50% of the 500 rooms at the Ritz went through Expedia. The same rep also acknowledged that the Ritz in San Juan was under close watch by Expedia due to "billing irregularities."

8. The food is average and overpriced. But that wouldn't be so bad if they offered some healthier choices -- including low-fat, low-cholesterol, or diabetic-friendly foods. Diabetes in particular is a national epidemic; especially among Latinos. So it's strange that the Ritz isn't health-conscious in this regard.

Positives:

1. Rooms are nice. We got a nice room for a great rate (or a better rate than initially expected). Nice flat screen thin panel lcd televisions. A little discrepency in that there are more channels offered on the tvs in the gym than in the hotel rooms.

Housekeeping is great. Nice front staff, nice casino staff, nice food staff. Everyone tries really hard. There are a lot of good bell boys to make up for the other ones that are mindless.

2. Food is overpriced but not that overpriced. You can get a Caeser salad for $11; a burger with fries for $15. We're from NYC so those prices seem within line.

3. Casino is bright and clean and slot machines seem new.

4. A lot of really great shells can be found on the beach. One of the best beaches for shell collectors anywhere in the world.

5. The entire hotel is very romantic and beautiful at night. It really shines then... the pools, the beach, etc.

6. Gym staff is alert and attentive and friendly. You can get free complimentary bottles of water, menthol-infused towels, and headphones. Gym equipment was great. And like I said earlier, you can get more tv channels in the gym than you can in your hotel room.

7. Business center with Internet connected computers is free.
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Date of stay: October 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TRAVELINGLIFE wrote a review Oct 2006
WASHINGTON STATE49 contributions134 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Next review (see Carimar, Holland House, Grand Case)

Well, Ritz-Carlton ummm it has a beautiful lobby with a lot of good property amenities best of all it has a GYM AND SPA and thank goodness we didn't have to pay extra for the gym but at $400/night I guess a gym pass is expected. The beach was okay but everyone seems to enjoy the pool a great deal.

This hotel is fabulous at a discounted price it is worth exactly half the price I would only go back at $200/night and if they assured me that my do not disturbed sign would be respected.

I DISLIKED EL CONQUISTADOR and Ritz might be the best accommodations in San Juan and there lies the trap.

The atmosphere did scream vacation with (Coquí - little frog) singing to you at the front of the hotel (I believe it is a recording) but nice.

A few restaurants, concierge, high tea, and the spa helps to make your stay enjoyable. The room was spacious but best of all THE BATHROOM WAS LOVELY. I like certain basic amenities and usually won't stay at a hotel if they don't have them and the Ritz did:

1. Pull out wall mirror in bathroom
2. Big spacious marble counter tops for all my jewelry, perfumes, jels, lotions and potions (smile) makeup etc.....
3. Shelf space in the shower and a shower line to hang towels and undies to dry.
4. Spacious bathroom with beautiful tiles.
5. Toilet separate (with a phone)
7. BATHROOM SCALE
8. Toiletries (I bring my own but Ritz was one of the two I actually would recommend for use). (Hilton's Resource spa)

One BIG PEEV:
Cleaning crew kept coming into my room even though I had a do not disturb sign. I usually have my things laid out just right and I don't like folks messing with that but some how my sign would disappear and in they would come, luckily I was in the room every time and sent them packing (smile). Spoke with security 5 different times (head of security even came to my room) and they would assure me but house keeping would still come in. They tried to say there might be some kids playfully removing the sign but I never saw or heard any children.

They never offered any gift of apology for all the times it happened. I am glad I was there each time (at least that I was aware of) and none of my jewelry came up missing.
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Date of stay: July 2006
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesCheck in / front desk
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesBusiness service (e.g., internet access)
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
pagination wrote a review Oct 2006
nyc1 contribution26 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I recently stayed at the ritz in san juan. We selected the ritz in san juan because we wanted to relax at close beach location.

Overall i thought the rooms were nice however we could hear our neighbors every night.

the service was good but not the best i've experienced.

the grounds were a let down. the beach was just ok. i think i selected the wrong beach destination.

the food at the hotel was good but limited. like any hotel you will want to leave the grounds to get a great meal at a proper price.

o/a not a bad experience. would i stay here again for a vacation? probably not.

if you're in san juan for business then i would say this is ideal for you.
Read more
Date of stay: October 2006
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesCheck in / front desk
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesBusiness service (e.g., internet access)
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
newenglander99 wrote a review Apr 2006
Westford, Massachusetts11 contributions33 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Before going to the Ritz in San Juan I had read both the good and the bad reviews. I had mistakenly believed that the extremely bad reviews were simply written by high maintenance or difficult guests and that the reviews were most likely a reflection of the reviewer not the hotel. I am pretty laid back, no frills, and I tend to be very personable, and appreciative, so I thought I wouldn't have any major problems.
My college roomate and I were staying at the Ritz for 3 nights to celebrate our 30th birthdays. Over the course of our short stay, we thought the service at the club level lounge was great, had no problem with the pool attendants and thought the spa was fantastic.
But the service at the front tesk was so terrible that it ruined our entire stay.
1. Check - in - yikes! If the hotel is full - as it was during our entire stay -there is always a long line and the rooms are never ready on time. Not a big deal, but the problem is that they are rude to guests as they tell them their room is not available. Example - when they told me our room would be ready in an hour and I asked what time it was (as I didn't have a watch on), the person at the front desk sighed, showed me her wrist and said with a LOT of attititude - "I don't have a watch." There was a clock behind her and she was at a computer which I assume had the time on it.
Also, I had requested via e-mail and confirmed by phone a room with 2 double beds on the club level, and when we checked in it was obvious that they had given all those rooms away. Rather than apologizing for their inability to honor the reservation, they said they had a record of my request, but no record that that my request had ever been confirmed - ...huh? When I said that I had called a few days before to double check on my request for double beds, they insinuated that I was lying by stating that they had no record of the call ever having taken place. I can understand that things fall through the cracks when it's busy, but that's when you apologize and try to fix things, don't accuse the guest of lying! I got so personally offended and upset I asked to speak to a manager (which I never do!). The front desk manager did not apologize for the unprofessional manner of the front desk clerk - she simply said, "Well, we have no record that you ever called so I have no choice but to give both of you the benefit of the doubt...I'm sorry but we have no proof that the call ver took place." Wow, so much for 5-star customer service.
They ended up placing us on on a non-club floor but gave us access to the club lounge through an additional key - no big deal. However when we called to request the complimentary in-room coffee service given to club guests, they said that we did not have club privileges. I explained that we did have privileges even though we were staying on a different floor, and could he check in the computer to verify? The person said, "No you don't have privileges" and angrily hung up on me! Seriously, hung up! - who hangs up on people in a hotel? I mean c'mon, it's not that hard to call back - they are the front desk! I later learned that the system was down, and therefore the person I spoke with was unable to look us up on the computer and because I was calling from a non-club floor, he assumed I was not a club guest. But then why didn't he explain that the system was down, and they were unable to confirm my status? Note: when I called later and learned what had happened - no apology - they never apologize, sometimes explain why they are rude - but rarely an apology.
There were many other outrageous experiences/run ins with the front desk - but I think these give a pretty good picture. One final example was our wake up call the day we left. I called the night before and asked for a 8AM wake up call with coffee. They called (and delivered the coffee) at 6AM. Since I'm not a morning person I didn't realize that they called 2 hours early until I had my coffee, took a shower and then looked at the clock. So I decided to go back to sleep and called back down to make sure that they would still call us at 8. The person who answered said rudely "Yes, we already have it in our computer, an 8AM wake up call." I said back pretty sharply at this point, "Why do you think I'm awake right now with a cup of coffee? They already called at 6." Silence, then no apology, just "we'll call at 8 - click." (I wonder who missed their flight that morning because they didn't get a 6AM wake up call...)

Outrageous!

So, I would advise anyone to stay away from this hotel, but if you must go to this hotel my advice would be:
1. Don't go at a time when it's full. (I am hoping that they're a little nicer when it's less busy)
2. Keep a journal/log of any correspondence or telephone calls you make before your trip, who you spoke with, when, what they said. - you may need it later for "proof".
3. Be prepared for totally inconsistent service and outrageous behavior by the front desk staff.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2006
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Donna k wrote a review May 2013
Atlanta, Georgia9 contributions37 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I would be very cautious staying at this property. The first day I was there, I was going into town and I put my jewelry into the safe including my wedding band and engagement ring. Upon returning a couple of hours later ... My bags in the room were gone thru and both of my rings and one Chanel earring were taken out of a satchel of jewelry that were placed in the safe. Management called the police and security verified that two employees entered our room with their keys in that 2 hour time range. Although these rings are irreplaceable ... no accountability was taken by management or corporate. I received a form letter from their insurance company months later stating that since their was no destructive break in, it was not their responsibility. Apparently if their employees use a key to get in your room and take your personal items ... it is ok. I just returned back from my second stay in Puerto Rico and stayed at the St. Regis which made this property look like the red roof inn. I highly recommend staying at the St. Regis.
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Date of stay: October 2012Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ziaur Chaudhry wrote a review Jun 2015
Orlando, Florida28 contributions55 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This place needs to be inspected because the Service is NOT of The Ritz Carlton standards. It's more like a Super 8 standards.... Problems with the following:

- Pool has mold and fungus, at first it is not visible unless you look at the hole filters. TILE is falling off the sides of the inside of pool and Bottom of the pool is chipped needs resurfacing. Not safe for kids.

- Club Room is small and not properly cleaned. Food was not set up as a display but instead as a all you can eat low end restaurant. ALSO don't bother paying the additional $200.00 a night or more because it is also a employee cafeteria as we seen an employee come eat and have breakfast with the guest in their employee shirt.

- Customer Service was only okay, Staff could not explain why or HOW a overcharge of $2,900.00 was charged on my credit card three times for ONLY incidentals on a 4 night stay.... making it a total of about 10K authorized and held on my card for incidentals. LUCKILY I was able to have a back up credit cards for travel but this was ridiculous.

NEEDLESS to say I checked out after only ONE night stay and decided to stay at the Condado Vanderbilt. A million times better and what I should have received from the Ritz.

I do NOT recommend THIS RITZ-Carlton especially if you are already familiar with what it is suppose to be like because I guarantee you will be disappointed. I was very surprised that even after the complaint I made and request to speak with the GM the staff still ignored the facts of my complaints and even worse could not explain the big over charges. And yet I never heard from the GM or even her assistant.

Hope this helps
Read more
Date of stay: June 2015
1.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jackie V, General Manager at The Ritz Carlton San Juan
Responded Jun 10, 2015
Dear Zia C, Please accept my sincerest apologies that we did not provide you with a vacation you came to expect. I appreciate the very detailed comments and review about the pool, the club lounge and the overall customer service. I will address each of the areas you mentioned with the different management teams. Regarding the charge on your credit card, it seems that this was a hold, which is released after you check out. I am really sorry that you did not hear back from management and please forgive me for that. I have addressed this situation since. I am disappointed to read that your first night was not the vacation you planned for and that you had to move to another property. I hope that in the future you will give us another chance. Warm regards, Jackie Volkart General Manager
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Wally3433 wrote a review Sep 2016
Chicago, Illinois1,672 contribution50 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Lifetime Marriott Platinum member here, fresh off of stays at the St. Thomas and Aruba Ritz Carlton properties. This hotel is an extremely catastrophic failed representation of the Ritz brand. Basically, it’s false advertising. This is not a Ritz quality property in anyway, and I would not recommend anyone stay here at any price.

I read a lot of reviews on TA, and most “bad reviews”, if you read between the lines, are the result of someone getting offended at check in, or someone not getting an upgrade that they were not entitled to in the first place. Everything spirals out of control from that one bad incident.

Not the case here - we did not have any problem the staff – in fact they were wonderful. Nor were we disappointed with our room location. My disdain for the property does not come from that. It's simply not a Ritz Carlton – I am talking about the building – the physical property. This is a trashy, worn out, horribly designed and/or constructed property. It does not meet any reasonable expectation of the Ritz Carlton brand.

First off, let's start with the building itself - the structure of the hotel. I do not know the history here, but the Ritz either took over an existing property, or the Ritz owners simply created an unworkable building. The biggest design error are the balconies. The balconies that do exist are terribly small, if you are lucky to get one. Most rooms do not have one – I would say only 25% of the rooms have them. I think it's unacceptable to open a Ritz property, on a beach, consider it a resort and not have a balcony for every room. I mean, if you are an investor, funding the development of your hotel property – that’s a day one decision – every room has a balcony. Period.

Second up – the rooms. Think “side of the road hotel” in terms of size, layout and material choices. Tiny, scuffed up three drawer dresser that hits your knees when you walk into the room. But they put Ritz paper on the inside of the drawers to make them look a little better. To your right is a Bath/Shower combo, just like a Motel 6. Outdated light fixtures with broken on off switches. No plugs available to charge your laptop or phone. The door to our room was so old that the little security lock feature (which is built into the door) looks like it’s been missing/broken for decades. The TV did not have any HD channels – unconscionable for a Ritz. Absolutely nothing in our room that would make you think you were staying in a Ritz. Heck, I can recall rooms in every other Marriott brand that were nicer than our room. Shouldn’t this be the opposite for the Ritz? I mean the standard Marriott Resort garden view room in Aruba absolutely crushes these rooms in every single manner – down to the toilet paper. Fairfield Inns and 100% cleaner, with larger bathrooms.

Third – the pool. The pool is a complete disaster. It’s beyond refurbishment. It needs to be completely demolished and reconstructed. Every single surface, in and around the pool is just trash. They tried to PAINT the tile in the pool to remove the marks left by the water line. Yes – they tried to paint the tile blue. To top it off, the water color has a green tint. It's not unhealthy, but when you look at the pool, you don’t get that fresh inviting feel. It looks like a flipping swamp! Pool chairs are old, worn and torn. The whole whole pool area is an eyesore and an embarrassment to the Ritz brand.

Exterior: The exterior surfaces at the hotel entrance is all constructed from a travertine like stone. I am sure at one point this stuff looked good, but now, after years of decay and lack of care, it’s looks disgusting. All those little nooks in raw travertine are filled with mold, moss or whatever else has worked their way into them.

Casino: The felt on the table games in the casino have not been replaced – EVER. Stains all over every single one. This costs about $150 per table to replace (they have like 8 tables open). Again, stupid stuff like this all over the place.

Garage: The parking garage is flat out disgusting. I realize that this might be run by a separate company, but the doormat at the pay counter says Ritz, it’s attached to the hotel building and the charges showed up on my Ritz bill. So, at a minimum it’s under their control. It has NEVER been pressure washed. All the columns are stained black from years of standard human parking garage activity (spit, gum, spilled drinks, urine). There was even a broken golf cart that’s been sitting right at the entrance so long that it’s turned into a garbage can.

Lobby: I didn’t realize the lobby had been recently renovated until someone told me. It’s got a 50 foot ceiling, but other than that, it’s nothing special. Certainly the renovation did not take advantage of this one positive architectural feature of the hotel. When you walk into the hotel, it’s got a humid/damp smell to it. This is everywhere – the lobby, the rooms, the casino, the spa. Compare this to the Aruba Ritz, which smells like you are someplace special. Smell is a sense that’s hard to overlook when you know it’s not right. It’s also a very easy thing to control – just watch a febreeze commercial.

Beach: The beach is nice, but again it’s dirty. They do not have a daily cleanup regimen. We saw cigarette butts everywhere, bottle tops, empty cups, etc. We had them set up a cabana on the beach, which was great, but the cabana looked like it was 10 years old – torn on the edges, with little black moldy spots in the corners.

Dining: We dined at BLT, since we have enjoyed three meals at the Aruba location. We went mostly because of the short ribs, which are amazing. In Aruba – three huge rib portions. In San Juan – two smaller portions. Secondly, a BLT staple – the bread popover. It’s supposed to be served with their signature sea salt shaker, which is not only cool to look at and use, but it completes the taste experience. Answer as to why we did not get one – “people steal them so we only have 6 of them left”. That sucks that they get stolen, but that’s a onetime problem with a one minute solution. ORDER MORE SALT SHAKERS. Just ironic that even BLT is messing up their own BLTness at this property.

Paint: Somewhere in the bowels of this hotel, there is a team of workers with paint brushes. They are really good at painting over problems – which isn’t a bad idea to get you by for a year. But I am talking YEARS of paint buildup – all over the hotel. Door jambs and trim in public places that are just completely worn out and gauged – but painted. Same as the pool – beyond refurbishment. Trim pieces all over the hotel that are exploding from water damage - just painted over year after year.

Roof: You can see all the roofs as you walk around the hallways and from the Ritz Lounge. Again - disgusting. They are all holding water, green and brown buildup everywhere. In complete disrepair.

A couple of positive things: Room service burger was very tasty. The plants, trees and foliage on the hotel grounds are very nice and well kept. Club Lounge service was top notch and attentive. In fact, the interaction with all hotel, restaurant, casino and spa employees was generally positive. I feel sorry that they have to defend such a bad property all day.

Summary:
I would not recommend this hotel to any traveler. We would not stay here again at any price, under any brand name or any circumstance. No amount of “Ritz Service” can save this property, or justify your considered presence here. I have provided a very honest, bad review here for one purpose: to prevent others from thinking this is a Ritz quality property. Certainly, if you are thinking of this hotel vs. any other Marriott property – go elsewhere. Sight unseen, they have to be better than this for much less money.

We cut our three night stay by one night and transferred to another hotel for our last night of a three day weekend. I have never done this at any hotel, let alone my hundreds of stays at Marriott related hotels and resorts around the world. We actually packed our bags and chose to leave the property. No complaints at the front desk - useless given the issues I hd. I just made sure we wouldn’t be charged for the third night, which we were not. That should tell you enough about how we felt and certainly back up my harsh review.

This property is a failed vision. Because of the tiny room sizes and lack of balconies, It’s beyond gut rehab – the whole place needs to be torn down. It’s clear to me that the owners of this property have thick skin and don’t care about providing a world class resort experience. I have no idea how those investors could walk into any other Ritz property and think they were holding up their end of the brand. Also, shame on Marriott for not stepping in and doing something.
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Date of stay: June 2016
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jackie V, General Manager at The Ritz Carlton San Juan
Responded Sep 14, 2016
Dear „Wally3433“, I would like to thank you for your loyalty to our brand and for your very candid and valuable feedback. I am very sorry we disappointed you in your visit with us; however I am very happy to let you know that many of the issues you have mentioned are being addressed at this current moment. This spring we started our façade painting, the pool is being resurfaced right now and the garage will be painted by mid-October. We have continued projects to improve our property and when you return, you will see that many areas you mentioned have been addressed. I appreciate all your comments on the different items, which we use to improve our facility and product. I am very happy to that you noticed the wonderful service of our ladies and gentlemen throughout the property. I truly hope you give us another opportunity in the future. Warm regards, Jackie Volkart General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
gjturco57 wrote a review May 2015
Providence, Rhode Island86 contributions23 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Ok.. let me start off with the pros of this resort; there aren’t many, unfortunately! The Ritz-Carlton San Juan is located right out side of SJU international airport, which is a huge perk to just get off your plane and have about a 5-10 minute drive. Upon checking into the hotel, We were greeted by the friendliest hotel staff we have ever met (and they had mimosas for us, too!). They were absolutely great.

After a smooth check-in process, we got our room key and headed up with our luggage to check out the room and unpack. Our first room was located on the 7th floor with a view of the airport, rooftop and front of the hotel. The view, which is not the greatest, was still nice and not too boring. There is no noise from the airport really so you don't have to worry about noise pollution and can get that nice relaxing sleep in at night. The room had a king bed, flat screen TV and a shower tub combo. .

Here comes all the cons of this hotel and why I will never stay with them again! Every room has a mini fridge with snacks and drinks in it for purchase. I requested the items be removed from the fridge and drawers so their would be no mistake of taking something. So I contacted the front desk and was told for a $35 fee they would remove the items from the mini fridge and drawers. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Just to take out items I don’t want that is ridiculous. Not to mention that some items were missing and had to make hotel staff come in and replace and take inventory on the items so I didn’t get charged. The rooms / hotel carpet is out dated and worn out beyond belief. Our room had a nasty musty smell coming from it (which I believe was from the old carpeted floors). The smell was so bad that I contacted the front desk and told them about my dissatisfaction. The front desk person was awesome and apologized for the issue and switched our room to a junior suite and said she would have the bellhop come up and move our luggage. I was very grateful for the upgrade. After waiting for almost 40 minutes for the bellhop to come and take our bags I gave up and I brought our luggage to our new room (on a different floor). The bellhop never showed up.

The upgraded room was amazing it had a partial view of the ocean, rooftop and airport. The bathroom had a stand up shower, separate soaking tub and the toilet was in its own separate room with door. The main room had a large flat screen TV, a day bed couch, sitting chair and also had a desk, night stand and king bed.

Now here comes the issues we found with this room. The day bed couch had pillows on it and the pillows had some sort of stains all over them; I wont say what the stains looked like they could have been from but.. (UM..lets just say EW). This was just one minor issue, even though it was gross. The main issue is beyond anything that anyone should have to experience at a resort like this. My girlfriend went to take a shower and when she was finished she had put on one of the provided bathrobes. She came into the main area where I was and I noticed something on the sleeve of the robe. What you may ask, was it nothing? or was it POOP! Yes, it was POOP! The hotel staff did promptly remove the bathrobe and gave us another one, but the new one they brought had stains all over it too. We were mortified. After that, she just gave up with trying to use the bathrobes. The wallpaper in our bathroom was peeling off, our comforter was stained and our shower door looked like it was about to fall off. There was also about 8 times throughout the week that our room key wouldn’t work and we had to walk all the way down to the front desk to get a replacement key.

After regretfully spending a week at the Ritz, it was time to check out. We looked over our bill and saw that we were charged $20 for a bellman gratuity. I think that is absolutely absurd. If the bellman had helped us, I would have no problem generously tipping him. But we did not use the bellman at all for the time we were there, and when we asked for the bellman to come up they didn’t! I even asked the front desk about this upon checkout and she told me that it is a fee that she can’t remove. Why am I paying gratuity for a service that I requested yet they never came?

Also be aware that the resort charges an18% resort fee on the total amount of your stay. This resort fee is beyond absurd! It includes nothing and is away for the Ritz to get more money from its guest and provide nothing in return for the fee. The only thing u get for the 18% up charge is free bottled water, wifi that is horrible, towels for the pool and beach, and beach chair and umbrella. That is it! Pathetic!!!!!!

Although I enjoyed the friendliness of the staff, I will not choose stay at the Ritz Carlton, San Juan again. We were so disgusted by the second day staying at the Ritz that we walked down the street to the El San Juan and Courtyard hotels to see if we could stay there instead. Unfortunately, neither of them had availability. I have never stayed at a hotel before that I wanted to leave after the first night. For the amount of money I was paying, it is absolutely not worth my time or aggravation. I have stayed at much nicer hotels for a lot less money. I understand that the hotel is going through renovations, but there is no excuse for stained bathrobes, pillows, comforters etc. I feel nothing but disappointment with the Ritz Carlton name and not even the friendliness of the staff can persuade me to stay there again. I would definitely not recommend this hotel.

HELP FULL TIP: The resort charges 18% resort fee, $20 for bellman service at check in and check out and 2 dollars a day for maid service. They have a lot of hidden fees that they do not tell you about on their site or when you check in so be aware if you decide to stay here.
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Date of stay: May 2015
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: ocean view room
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jackie V, General Manager at The Ritz Carlton San Juan
Responded May 29, 2015
Dear “gjturco57”, After reading your very detailed review, I would like to apologies that we were not able to provide you with the vacation you came to expect. It is wonderful of you to mention that our hotel staff is the friendliest you met, which I will share with them. Your feedback is extremely valuable, the housekeeping issues regarding the stained robe, comforter and pillow is totally unacceptable, and I have already addressed. Regarding the resort fee, it is a common practice in Puerto Rico to charge a fee. Regarding the bellman gratuity, this is a charge that applies to group bookings; therefore, I am not sure if you were a guest with a group. We continuously improve our facility and your review was very helpful to us. I appreciate that you took the time to give all your comments and shared through Trip Advisor. I hope that one day in the future, you will give us another chance to show you that we listened and made the improvements. Warm regards, Jackie Volkart General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Keith R wrote a review Feb 2015
1 contribution18 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
If a crowded cruise ship experience is your cup of tea this place is for you! I booked a 4 night stay for Valentine's Day on Expedia assuming that 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, the Ritz affiliation and $1000 per night would assure me a luxurious experience. I was in for a rude awakening. I have never written a review before but figured I would warn people who use brand and price as their guide when booking. The mistake I made was booking the best house on a bad block. For the same money I could have had an entry level room at the Dorado (a real Ritz, not a Marriott) and not been subjected to overcrowding.

My 1k per night junior suite with Ocean View included a basic king bed with dingy bedding, a couch and a TV(standard definition). The windows were coated with a thick, brownish grime but if you looked hard enough you could see a sliver of gray ocean over the crowded pool below. Was much easier to see and hear all the construction going on to the property during the day hours then it was to see or hear the ocean. "Construction View" doesn't really generate clicks on Expedia I suppose.

The large occupancy of the property means the pool and beach are over-crowded. Apparently people must get up early to put towels on chairs near the pool or near the water, regardless if they actually plan to use them. By 9am everything is taken except for the nosebleed sections. The pool itself is not impressive, and the concrete hardscape surrounding it is perpetually wet and sticky with plenty of trash from the day before. The hot tub is usually crowded with loud kids and entire families or old people soaking their feet and smoking Winstons. There is no designated adult section as most "premium" resorts provide. I guess they thought 1 small hot tub would be enough for a hotel of this size.

The beach is unimpressive, with breathtaking views of adjacent mediocre hotels, low flying planes from the nearby airport, and plenty of old people and loud children. The surf is rough by Caribbean standards and the water churned and sandy. The beach chairs and tables are plastic and worn. Everything is crammed together in a ~100 x 50 yard plot, while the rest of the beach is wide open. The gates to the beach are locked after 8pm for safety, so don't plan any moonlight walks. Be warned: after tipping 20 dollars for the kind, hard working staff to set up my beach chairs 3 rows from the water, my wife and I went for an overpriced buffet breakfast only to return to find a couple had stolen our chairs by removing our books and hats to another location of then lying through their teeth. Classy clientele. If crowds aren't enough, pigeons nipping at your feet is a new beach experience for me!

Restaurants were what you would expect. Medium quality and overpriced. Seafood was not fresh. Steakhouse charged new York prices for average meat. Not quite 20 dollars for a Pina Cola but damn close.

I would avoid this place at all costs. For what will end up being 7k in lodging and food for 4 nights I have had Caribbean experiences 100x more decadent and relaxating. It baffles me that TripAdvisor didn't expose this place and as such will never rely on this site as well. Somewhat ironic given I just spent 30 minutes writing this review.

The staff and people of Puerto Rico were the one bright spot but not enough to compensate for run-down infrastructure and a price gouging experience. Buyer Beware!
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Date of stay: February 2015Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jackie V, General Manager at The Ritz Carlton San Juan
Responded Feb 16, 2015
Dear Keith R, I am really sorry that you did not enjoy your experience of this past Holiday Weekend. I appreciate your many suggestions and feedback, allowing us to improve the service and facilities. We take information very seriously and learn from it. Unfortunately you were disappointed with your experience. A few items we are already working on, one is that we are getting new TVs next month, the other is that we have a beach and pool chair reservation process in place, there is no need for any tipping, as each lounge chair is only hold for two hours when unoccupied, allowing other guests to enjoy our pool and beach. I am a happy to read that our employees were the bright spot of your vacation and I will share your nice comments with them. I hope that one day you will give us another chance, or as you say, you may wish to enjoy our Dorado Beach Resort, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in your next return to Puerto Rico. Warm regards, Jackie Volkart General Manager
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Footprints35693 wrote a review Jul 2005
Chicago, Illinois1 contribution18 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I almost cancelled my trip because of the crazy things people wrote about this hotel here. Honestly, we had no problems here from start to finish!.

READ THIS: Stay at the club level. Either upgrade when you get there or book it in advance. You have your own concierge, cocktailas & food all day in a really nice lounge. Its more expensive but it cant be beat. This iwll make your trip 1000 times more enjoyable!!

The pool & beach were beutiful. The plains did not buzz over the pool, the beach / water were not black and the water did not smell like gasoline! I dont know how people can write these things. Look at the pictures on the website-it really looks like that!

The room was awsome. Large enough for two, nice decor. Housekeeping was excellant, the pm turn-down service was a luxury!

The surrounding area is not seedy. It's Puerto Rico, there are good parts & bad parts! In Nassau for example, go two blocks off the strip and tell me that isnt seedy. In any Carribean island, you need to be careful-it's commen sense! We walked to some of the other hotels, then realized how nice our hotel was! Also, this so called "anti-American" thing is another lie. People were fine. I think the wonderful people of PR just know how to tell a rude tourist from a nice one.

Gambling-I won 600.00 over 5 days. The slots are loose! Plenty of nickel ones too! 5.00 craps during the day as well. Theres also several other small casinos within walking distance.

Back to the club level-it was a little more expensive every day, but having your own concierge to book any day trips or give you info on the island was a treat. Rather than stand at the lobby concierge desk, you could pour a glass of bubbly, have a snack while Charles or Gianna pampered you (with information!). I cannot tell you how nice these people were. Again, having this really nice quiet room to read a book, have a drink, it was like a private lounge. Just wodnerful.

The staff. "My Pleasure". Thats what you heard from everyone. The drinks when you were checking in, the cold towels at the pool, on & on it goes. The people here were truly wonderful.

The restaurants were magnificent. A little pricy, the steak place "PRIME" is as good as anywhere. Theres a great sushi bar too! If you need to go "on the cheap" this is probably not the best place, but you do get what you pay for.

To do?: You have to find your fun in PR. Theres the new huge mall (upscale shopping), Old San Juan, Rum tours, rain forest, etc. Nothing is really within walking distance, so before you go, plan your activities.

If you can afford to stay here, it's well worth it. The hotel was beutifull, the people wonderful! As I said, I cannot understand why people write the things they do on this page. Most if not all are simply not true. I think some people are just spoiled or maybe just mean spirited. This is a very nice hotel in a great location, it's the best of everything!
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Date of stay: June 2005
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
kerrywood asked a question Mar 2023
Shasta Lake, California11 contributions9 helpful votes
Is reopening date set?
Akron, Ohio130 contributions98 helpful votes
east or west beach
S7777P asked a question Jun 2022
Branford, Connecticut96 contributions42 helpful votes
Any update as to when this hotel will reopen?
Answer from Luis D
San Juan, Puerto Rico19 contributions3 helpful votes
The most recent expected date for the reopening of The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan is in late 2024. . However, there is no specific date provided within 2024. The information available suggests that the hotel is anticipated to reopen at some point in late 2024, but the exact date has not been confirmed.
Tyler L asked a question Oct 2020
4 contributions
Is the lobby open air or enclosed?
VacationLoverFoo asked a question Jun 2020
Los Angeles, California33 contributions4 helpful votes
Does this resort have a breakfast buffet?
#CaboAF wrote a tip Mar 2018
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico227 contributions68 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"higher floor is better"
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nsnikki wrote a tip Dec 2017
34 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Higher floors are quieter and further away from the ground floor fun"
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morris k wrote a tip Sep 2017
Brooklyn, New York95 contributions60 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"just ask for an upgrade! they are very accomodating"
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Janet_in_Nashville wrote a tip Sep 2017
Nashville, Tennessee51 contributions34 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"pool or beach view"
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Lori W wrote a tip Sep 2017
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Go for the Ocean View."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Isla Verde area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
ritz-carlton san juan hotel isla verde, ritz-carlton san juan hotel, spa and casino, ritz carlton carolina, carolina ritz carlton, ritz carlton puerto rico, ritz carolina
LOCATION
CaribbeanPuerto RicoCarolinaIsla Verde
NUMBER OF ROOMS
416
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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THE RITZ CARLTON SAN JUAN - Hotel Reviews (Puerto Rico/Isla Verde)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Ritz Carlton San Juan
Which popular attractions are close to The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Nearby attractions include Carolina Beach (0.2 miles), Pine Grove Beach (0.2 miles), and Chabad Jewish Center of Puerto Rico (0.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and a poolside bar during their stay.
Is parking available at The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Conveniently located restaurants include Hijole - Cocina Mexicana (Isla Verde), Piu Bello Gelato & Restaurant, and Metropol Restaurant Isla Verde.
Are there opportunities to exercise at The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness center, and a sauna during their stay.
Are any cleaning services offered at The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does The Ritz Carlton San Juan offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business center, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Are there any historical sites close to The Ritz Carlton San Juan?
Many travelers enjoy visiting La Placita de Santurce (3.8 miles), Fortín de San Jerónimo del Boquerón (4.9 miles), and Antiguo Acueducto Rio Piedras (4.7 miles).
Does The Ritz Carlton San Juan have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the harbor view available here.
Is The Ritz Carlton San Juan accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and facilities for disabled guests. For specific inquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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