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“Perhaps My Favorite Hotel Ever”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Perhaps My Favorite Hotel Ever”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

This was only what was intended to be a long layover on my way back from the Virgin Islands but found myself wanting more...

Perfect combination of service, quality of accomodations, and location. Such a cool place in a great location. I look forward to spending more time in a future visit.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank TnCGator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

My wife and I just spent two wonderful days in this beautiful historic hotel which is just across the street from the cathedral where Ponce de Leon is buried. The hotel has been wonderfully restored with a great courtyard filled with plants and a huge tree that dominates the space. Spanish tiles are used through out the hotel which keeps the hotel nice and cool. There is a nice little terrace that looks down at the small plaza below and the catherdral, you can enjoy the complimentary wine and cheese hour here from 6 to 7 in the evening or come here in the morning and have some great Puerto Rican coffee. Up stairs from that terrace is another one that has a small and refreshing plunge pool which you can soak in during the hot day and enjoy the views of the city and the bay.
Our room was very nice with a little patio off to the side, comfortable bed, a large plasma t.v. and a coffe maker plus a little fridge.
There are a couple of restaurants that are worth visiting in the hotel and one is a pizza place that is recommended and the other is a Spanish Tapas restaurant where we ate a couple of times and enjoyed some nice sangria there as well.

Room Tip: Room 216 has a little patio and it is one back of the hotel so there is no street sounds.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rancher_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio, United States
1 review
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We had an amazing experience at El Convento. It was full of little touches that we appreciated: cold bottled water in the reception area, coco piña candy at the front desk (we fell in love with it on the first day), staff going out of their way to help and please. And old San Juan area is just beautiful! After visiting other touristy areas of San Juan, I was so happy we picked El Convento. Most other places looked like they could be anywhere in the world, standard beach packages. Old San Juan has the soul of old Puerto Rico in it. We had dinners in historic buildings constructed in 16th century. Everything in walking distance, trolley stop 5 mins away from the hotel. Trolley is free and can take you all over Old San Juan. The pier area is a 10 minute walk from the hotel, and there's the ferry port, and the bus terminal to take you to the beach. Yes, that's one downside of El Convento - you can see ocean out of your room window, but because of the historic fort that used to protect the port, there's no actual beach in walking distance. We took a cab to it, $14 each way, and I took a bus once, only 50 cents per trip. There's a beautiful beach only a 10 minute bus ride away, the area is called El Escambron, and it's away from touristy areas, there were only a few locals there, and a beautiful lagoon.
Prior to the trip we were worried about early October weather in PR, but it was sunny the whole 10 days we were there, with the exception of a couple of heavy rains that lasted no more than 15 mins. And it was fun, getting soaked in the rain after a hot day on the beach!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Olga S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

My best girlfriend and I stayed at El Convento for 2 nights after returning from a 7 day cruise. After getting off the ship we approached no less than 10 cab drivers that all refused to take us to the hotel. After at least 30 to 45 of minutes of standing in the hot sun at the pier we were finally told by one cab driver that they would take us to the hotel but for $16. We arrived at the hotel and were initially greeted by Ivan the porter. He was by far the best and most personable employee at this hotel. Tip him well and often. He deserves every penny. He tagged our bags and immediately stored them in a locked location since we had arrived before the check in time. After our experience at the pier, being very sweaty and dealing with a cab driver that was obviously irritated to drive us to this hotel we were just ready for some air conditioning and a shower. The front desk clerk told us that our room was not ready yet but we could come back between 2:30 and 3PM and our room should be ready. We asked where the closest restaurant was that had air conditioning and we were directed to the Pizza Restaurant toward the back of the hotel. We were also given a "complimentary key" but had no idea was the heck we were supposed to use it for. We headed directly over and had some appetizers and a drinks to cool off. The staff here was super nice and we actually ate here one other time while we were there and had some great pizza. We headed back toward the front desk around 2:30 just to check back and see if our room was ready and we were told that our room was not ready but they had another one for us. Ivan grabbed our bags and off we went. Our room was on the first floor, left out of the lobby, past the elevator, down the ramp and again to the left where we had to use our key to unlock the door to enter into another hallway where only 3 rooms were located. This is was all perfectly fine. In fact we appreciated that we were kind of in a private area. Ivan got our bags in the room, we asked him some questions about some local points of interests and he left. Our room was beautiful. There were french shutter doors in front of frech glass doors that opened into the courtyard at the front of the hotel with a view of the Old San Juan Cathedral. We settled in, showered and went up to the complimentary wine and cheese manager reception. The wine and the cheese was great (never saw the manager though. haha!) We then went out to discover Old San Juan.

We returned to the hotel around 11:30 PM after walking around and having dinner. The beds are probably some of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in at a hotel of any caliber. We planned on sleeping in til around 9:30AM or 10AM the following morning. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Around 8:45AM the next morning staff members (I am assuiming housekeeping or maintanience based on the uniforms) constantly starting slamming doors. The doors to the other two rooms around us were slammed. The door leading out of the hallway was slammed. I am not saying it was slammed 2 or 3 times. It was slammed 20 times. I got out of bed and opened my door and watched them walk out and let doors slam behind them. Every time a door slammed the walls rattled. We got up, got ready for the day and set off again in Old San Juan. When we returned to the hotel that afternoon I stopped in at the front desk and let them know about the amount of noise that was heard that morning and asked if they would just make the AM staff aware of the amount of noise caused by all the door slamming in that part of the hotel. (We did not have a sound proof door apparently as others have mentioned in their reviews.) The lady at the front desk apoligized and said she would make sure to tell them to be conscience of the noise that they made. The next morning starting around 8:15AM someone speaking loudly and apparently to himself or on his phone was in the hallway. His conversation lasted for more than 10 minutes and woke us up. I annoying walked to the door and looked out of the peep hole since I was in my pjs and was suprised to see someone crouched down at our door painting. The door to the room next to us was propped open and another staff member walked in and out of it and stopped to chat with the painter randomly. The door slamming continued this morning as well. We were flying home this day so we went ahead and got up, dressed and went to the front desk to check out.

I gave our room keys to the front desk clerk and she asked how our stay was. I told her that the hotel was beautiful, our room was great and the beds were some of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. I will never stay at this hotel again. Her smile went to a frown and she asked why I would not stay again. I explained all of the noise to her and she apoligized and said she would pass along the info.

Ivan carried all of our luggage to a cab for us and wished us a safe trip home. He is the only employee that we met that seemed genuine. Everyone was kind but he was genuine. As I was getting into the cab my friend looked at me and said what's on your shift? I looked down and it was what appeared to be paint. Paint that was the exact same color as the walls in our hallway.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a soundproof door.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EROSA, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, October 26, 2012
Ms. Amanda C,

Thank you for your generous rating of our hotel. I am glad that Ivan was a great service ambassador. He truly enjoys assisting everyone he encounters and we are certainly blessed by having him working with us. In regards to the loud noises early in the morning, there is no excuse for anyone in our staff to disrupt our guests in any way, much less by being loud in the hallways. I find it intolerable and am already addressing the situation to stop it immediately. Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience.

I was also concerned to learn of your experience with various taxi drivers upon your arrival. I already forwarded your comments to the Puerto Rico Director of Tourism. I am sure that he will address this issue with the taxi commission.

Ms. Amanda C, I sincerely hope that this incident will not keep you from returning to El Convento. Please feel free to contact me if you need further assistance or when your travel plans bring you back to Puerto Rico as I would like to personally assist you.

Best regards,


Efrain Rosa
General Manager
Hotel El Convento
erosa@elconvento.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

This hotel is a must in Puerto Rico. It is conveniently located in the old Puerto Rico and has agreements with hotels to enjoy the beach when you are fed up with walking.
The rooms are very nice, spacious, clean and quiet. The inside garden is very relaxing.
The staff is very friendly and helpful to give your good addresses of restaurants and activities.
Finally the happy hour is just the cherry on the cake since you can enjoy a glass of wine and cheese just in front of one of the oldest cathedral in Americas.
Highly recommended hotel !

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elodiemontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whittier, CA
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Very beautiful hotel in a quiet part of Old San Juan. The room was spacious with a nice view of the harbor. Complimentary wine and cheese in the evening. The staff was very accommodating with my request for a very early check-in. My only concern was with the air condtioning. I did not make an issue of it as I was only staying one night. It was set at 70 degrees but never dropped lower than 74-75. I would definetly stay here again. Sleep quality would have been rated at 5 green circles of not for the A/C.

Room Tip: Be nice. I have seen others make bold demands. Try a softer touch.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jsandoval562
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EROSA, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Mr. JSandoval562,

I am glad that you enjoyed our complimentary wine reception every evening. It is one of our guests' favorite amenities. Thank you as well for the heads up with the AC in your room. We read guest reviews each day to learn what we are doing right, and more importantly, what we can do to improve our hotel and the services we provide. We are in the process of verifying every unit to ensure that it is no longer an issue. Thank you for sharing and please feel free to send me a note on your next visit to Puerto Rico to greet you personally upon arrival.

Best regards,

Efrain Rosa
General Manager
erosa@elconvento.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Everything about this hotel is wonderful. We had a great experience with the staff. The front desk upgraded us to an ocean view room and the bellhop (I wish I could remember his name) was very friendly and recommended several things to see during our trip. They offer bottled water complimentary (which is good because this island is HUMID) and have the wine/cheese reception every night. The breakfast is normal hotel prices and there's a nice tapas restaurant on the 2nd floor, but they also have a little pizza place on the premises which is more reasonably priced if you're looking to save a little bit of money. You are also within walking distance to most of what Old San Juan has to offer. San Juan Cathedral is right across the street, the main San Juan gate is about a block away and El Morro is a 5-mins walk up Calle de Cristo. From there you can jump on the free trolley that goes around town. They also have coin laudry, which turned out to be a miracle because the humidity caused us to go through clothes MUCH faster that we had anticipated. We washed all our clothes before we headed out to our 2nd hotel in Fajardo. The soundproofing door is great so you don't hear the coqui frogs or any noise from the restaurants. Would recommend this hotel to anyone looking to sightsee in Old San Juan. Sidenote - the rooftop pool is NOT large. But it's a beautiful spot up there. If you're staying longer, they can arrange for you to go on a day trip to a cooperating hotel in Condado for a more resort style pool/beach. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amanda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Convento

Property: Hotel El Convento
Address: 100 Cristo St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel El Convento 4.5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of historic Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento has set new standards of luxury, comfort and service while preserving the rich character of this former 16th century convent. This landmark treasure, a member of Historic Hotels of America and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has earned four diamonds from AAA each year since its opening. This is the exclusive hotel experience to indulge the most discriminating of travelers, and is a hotel like no other. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Convento San Juan

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