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“Luxurious, historic”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Luxurious, historic”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

My wife and I spent 3 glorious days and nights in Old San Juan at the El Convento in mid-Feb. Can't say enough about how wonderful this hotel is. Situated on a beautiful small square adjacent to the cathedral, and a short walk down to the Puerta/Muralla on the harbor side. They have maintained the 500 year history of the building/architecture while upgrading the property tastefully and beautifully (lighting, air conditioning, furnishings, art, wall coverings, pool, hot tub, reception, etc.). The nightly wine & cheese reception is very nicely done, and we looked forward to it each night. The rooms are beautifully furnished, and staying there for a few days you really get a sense of the age and history of the place. El Convento has 3 restaurants (really two in the main buidling, plus the pizzeria just adjacent outside). We only tried one, El Picoteo, the tapas & paella bar on the mezzanine level. Every time we walked through it smelled wonderful and pungent of garlic. The food AND the mojitos were fantastic! And the ambience, like the rest of the hotel, is in my opinion most excellent. Just a wonderful, amazing, place. I would love to go back. Old San Juan has so much to offer for any history buff, or anyone just seeking a unique corner of the world with cobbletone streets, 300-500 year old buildings, plazas, fountains, cafes, interesting shops & restaurants.
El Convento is a splurge (rooms are $300-400), but without hestiation I can honestly say "worth it".

Room Tip: Only thing to be aware of is rooms facing the pool/terrace. There are only a couple on each floor, b...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alexander R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (538)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Fantastic place for our last night in Puerto Rico. We'd traveled a little around the island and stayed in a few different places, but this lives up to the best place to stay in Puerto Rico as TA reviews recommend. Restaurant had great tapas in El Picoteo (went twice it was that good), enchanting courtyard layout and was in an ideal location from our point of view (although SJ is tiny to be fair!). Great staff too keeping the hotel a top destination.

Loved the rooms, with high ceilings and great attention to detail including an old radio built into the bedside table (didn't work though!). Turn down service was a nice touch. We booked the hotel through Expedia and went for the Queen Deluxe as that has a small balcony (no standing room) and is slightly bigger, I'd say worth it for the extra when in this price range. Note for comparing prices, Expedia shows the price including the resort fee in taxes and fees cost, but some other sites didn't so could make for a big surprise...

The rooftop pool area with hot tub, and the tiniest pool I've ever seen was really nice and a secluded paradise to relax in. Refreshments (wide selection of quality tea, coffee, water and fruit) were available in the library all the time which was just below the pool area.

Evening wine and cheese platter was excellent, with a great selection of wines and regular top ups of both. Staff were great in every interaction, they are clearly key to the success here.

Simply cannot fault this place for anything except maybe the expensive price tag, but then you do get what you pay for!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank boredmonkeydan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland
Level Contributor
138 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We came to San Juan a few days early before our cruise was to start and booked at El Convento on a recomendation from a business associate. The first thing that happened at check in was an upgrade to a better room then we had booked. After a da,y we cancelled our reservations at a less expensive property and just relaxed here. The staff was charming and did everything they could to make our stay wonderful. Our room had a view of the harbor and we we had breakfast in the room with the verada doors open watching the ships pass by. The bed was very comfortable and the bath large and well appointed as was the entire room. Rooms are located around a center courtyard that serves as the resteraunt. There was a large wedding reception going on one night but with the extra sound proof door in the room we heard nothing.
The roof top pool, hot tub, sunning area was just the right size and we spent several afternoons just relaxing before dinner. Very well located in the old town and we walked to most major attractions in town. When we returned from our cruise and had 8 hours to kill before our flight, we were able to check our luggage with them while we did some more sight seeing.
Have to agree this is "\"Off the charts good"!

Room Tip: 4th floor has direct access to pool and sun deck. 410 has great view of harbor.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Vance B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I stay in many hotels, and I am impressed with the ability of the staff at Hotel El Convento to make the guests really feel welcome. They all go out of their way to truly accommodate the guests. A beautiful hotel. The plunge pool is an extra plus after a hot day of touring Old Town. The restaurant is excellent.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Beth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

Overall we enjoyed this lovely historic hotel with excellent customer service and Old San Juan charm. The wine and cheese reception @ 6pm is not to be missed and a great way to meet fellow travelers. Get there right at six as is very popular. This little pool on the rooftop is a lovely quiet retreat. Enjoyed the Mojitos and the tapas bar. The main restaurant not so much. Stayed in room510 and had quiet nights with the sound proof door. The only downside if you like freezing cold air at night you may be disappointed. The room has a hard time dropping below 75-73 degrees. The bed is a little hard but the room quaint and the views nice. The staff is very friendly. Get a letter and go to the Isle Verde sister hotel for free and enjoy beautiful beach and nice pool.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ahoskrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
American Canyon, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Just got back from our stay at El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan and I know why its on of the 25 best small hotels in the world. This hotel is all about old school service and charm. In the heart of Old San Juan, and just walking distance from all the good historic stops, great shopping and really good restaurants. The hotel food is really well done and the best Tapa's bar in San Juan is part of the hotel. Special sound proof doors have been added so the rooms are quiet. Small rooftop pool and hot tub, but if you want a beach to sit at you can go to sister hotels Marriot Courtyard or La Concha. Everything about this hotel is just "First Class" all the way!!. I am from Puerto RIco and this is my new hotel for each trip I make back home. We already making plans for out next stay at El Concento.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Armando S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jasper, Alabama
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Average at best. No air conditioner because it was controlled by a motion detector which switched off the air whenever we left room or were just asleep! Great ambiance, great location. Poor quality because we paid top dollar $500 per night after taxes!

Room Tip: Ask for any floor except top (5th) because a/c turns off when not in room. The air conditioner is at...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lynn3400
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, February 21, 2013
Dear Lynn3400,

Thank you for contacting me and given me the opportunity to make this situation right. After reading your review, we verified every room on the fith floor and found only one room that had problems with the thermostat as opposed the entire floor. Still I am bringing an expert on the AC systems who will verified every room in order to ensure that this is not an issue in any of our other rooms. Please feel free contact me at your convenience as I would like to have the opportunity to speak with you and perhaps offset any ill feelings towards our hotel. I can assure you that our entire staff works really hard to maintain a positive experience for our guests and we will make sure to keep improving each area of the hotel in order to exceed our guests expectations.

Once again I apologize for the inconveniences that you have shared with me and look forward to being able to find an amicable solution.

Always at your service,

Efrain Rosa
General Manager
Hotel el Convento
erosa@elconvento.com
787-505-3780
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic 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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