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“A Destination” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary AB
Level Contributor
81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A Destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I have been to San Juan many times. We always dreamed of one day splurging and staying at the famous El Convento in Old San Juan. We knew the history of this converted convent, originally built 1646. Renovated many times as hotels, casino, and even a flophouse. Now it is ranked one of the worlds oldest smallest luxury hotels. So, with a cruise starting and ending in SJ, we decided to book one nite at the end of the cruise, and treat ourselves. We were beyond impressed. We had a large room on the second floor, with old spanish feel, but modern technologies, and new marble bathroom. French doors opened to the outside, but no balcony. From 6-7pm there is the "managers reception" where guests are provided with free wine & cheese etc in an upstairs lounge area. No manager appears, just guests of the hotel to enjoy the comp refreshments, free of charge. Nice touch El Convento. We did not dine in the hotel, but did enjoy a comp breakfast the next morning, which was included with our online booking. Internet available in the rooms, printers are available to use. All around are fabulous eating places, and so much history that you will find in Old San Juan.There is a small plunge pool, and jacuzzi. If you are staying for a few days you will have time to travel to sister hotels to enjoy the beach.(not sure if they offer free transportation or not) Much more, you can see on the El Convento website...Absolutely a wonderful boutique hotel, and we cant wait to return to the awesome hospitality, service, and grandeur....dont miss this destination

Room Tip: booked through expedia and was cheaper than hotel website Book well in advance as the hotel often ha...
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank cruizinroxyroller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,430 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Saint Clair, Michigan
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

This is a very historic hotel 350 years old. It was used as a monastery for Nuns and sits next to a very old chapel. It is located in the Old Town section of San Juan. Walking distance the EL Morro fort, shopping, resturants. The building has been tastfully redone, the rooms are nice. Staff was very helpful. They offer a wine and cheese tasting area every day around 6PM. We sat out on a large balcony drinking wine and eat different kinds of cheese - awesome.

Room Tip: Rooms are small in this historic building. I believe most of the room are very simular.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Beautifully renovated and well managed small hotel in the heart of Old San Juan across from the Cathedral and walking distance to everything. We spent a three day weekend here which was perfect. Complimentary coffee, tea and water all day and wines at 6pm were a nice touch. Only complaint was that the elevator was very slow and sometimes completely dysfunctional. We mentioned it to management and I'm sure they will attend to it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Philip A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had a very nice stay at the hotel. Some thoughts:

Pros
- clean, air conditioned rooms with all the basics covered nicely
- quaint grounds in the heart of historic district
- wine & cheese reception each night is a great touch
- free access to grounds of nice hotels in two others districts of town (beachfront hotels)

Cons
- small rooms
- "queen vista with bay view" has a marginal view, at best
- beaches are a $20 cab ride away, each way
- hotel restaurant is overpriced - $45 for small, basic breakfast

All in all, we enjoyed the hotel and would consider returning. But I expected a bit more for $250 a night.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank marteen239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester,NY
Level Contributor
59 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We couldn't be happier with our stay. The location to everything in Old San Juan was perfect. The view of the cathedral from the rooftop patio was lovely as was the patio itself. We enjoyed the wine and cheese reception every night. Was it coincidental that it was timed perfectly with gorgeous sunsets over the city? The free coffee and bottled water available all day was a nice perk. The pool is small but exactly what we needed after walking around all day in the heat.
The size of the room not huge but more than adequate for the two of us. The sound door seemed odd at first but it definitly kept the noise down as the birds in the courtyard are a bit loud. The staff was very helpful and friendly. The architecture of this building is exceptional. The only minor downsides were that our air conditioning was a little noisy and there is little counter space in the bathroom. That being said I can't imagine staying any where else in Ol San Juan. We look forward to coming back!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kellpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Festus, Missouri
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the El Convento on our honey moom this past summer. We absolutely loved the hotel and the location was perfect. It was clean, friendly and cozy. The free wine and cheese every evening was our favorite thing to do before we'd go out for the night. The rooftop pool is small but has a very nice view. The atmosphere at the hotel was very friendly and you get to meet a lot of new people. The location of El Convento was great because you could walk to everything. If we go back to Puerto Rico I would not stay anywhere else but here!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank kasey f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigua
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

The reviews of this hotel on this web-site, in addition to positive recommendations from Caribbean friends and family, made us all the more delighted when we managed to grab a room for the weekend by booking direct rather than through a reseller which all showed the hotel to be fully booked.

The location is superb right in the middle of Old San Jaun and the architecture of then building is beautiful. We drive early so after a few hours sightsing and a lovely tapas lunch in the adjoining restaurant we checked in to our room and had a quick siesta (to respect Spanish traditions!).

Perhaps our expectations were too high of the daily food and wine and food reception on the terrace so we were a little dissapoointed that it was self service wine and a few crackers and some cheese rather than waiter served canapés and engaging conversation with the staff. That said, the location and views made up for it.

Later in the evening we came back for a nightcap and were surprised the honesty bar was no longer (apparently this was curtailed a couple of months back). We did get served at the ground floor bar though it looked closed and the waitress went AWOL between orders.

In the morning we complained our shower which had only one setting (red hot) but returned to our room without it having been fixed (or an explanation as to why). Also getting back at 3 pm we were surprised our room hadn't been cleaned although it was after we had a quick dip in the lovely rooftop pool. After dinner thou the downstairs bar was closed altogether before 10:30.

So overall a beautiful historic hotel in an amazing location. But we both came away with an impression that things were on the slide given given the fantastic reviews on this site. Maybe the owners think their changes might improve their return on investment by cutting a few corners? Or maybe the commitment to excellence and service that made this hotel number one on tripadvisor might help it stay there?

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Punterinparadise
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 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Family 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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