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“Charming, Favorite Hotel to Date” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Charming, Favorite Hotel to Date”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2013

My husband and I were on a 7 day cruise, then stayed over in San Juan for four days following it. We booked two days in Old San Juan at El Convento, then two days at a Condado beach hotel. We regretted not booking here for the full four days! It is has such charm with its old Spanish architecture, beautiful tropical courtyard and surrounding wide porches, full length plantation shutter door windows, and on and on, It is very clean and the service is outstanding. It used to be a convent. The room and bathroom decor was beautiful and calming. There are robes and packaged slippers provided. The beds were extremely comfortable. We had a great view of San Juan Harbour and Old San Juan. One of our favorite parts was the rooftop pool and hot tub. We would go there at night and have it mostly to ourselves. It offers amazing views of the city and harbour, and helped us relax and rejuvenate after a great day of exploration. They also have a cool spot on the 3rd floor that has 24 hour complimentary coffee, tea, and iced bottled water with indoor seating and a covered patio with seating. It is here that they have complimentary wine and cheese in the evening, and both the cheese and wine were very good. Not your cheapest at the store variety like some others. One of the highlights is the turn down service. What a delight to walk into our room with soft classical music playing on the Bose stereo, beds turned down with chocolate on the pillows, drapes pulled and floor mats so your feet are not cold getting out of bed on the tile floor. Bonus, you don't have to ASK for it, every room gets it! We had breakfast in the patio restaurant and my husband thought the pancakes were some of the best he's had. My american breakfast was very good as well.

Outside the hotel is a square where many people sit and enjoy the weather. There was an elderly gentleman who sat there playing his guitar and serenading us with Puerto Rican music. We could even hear it when by the pool or 3rd floor common area. It was wonderful.

The hotel is a close walk to everything including the Wall Gate and Paseo de Princessa, a broad walkway along the outer harbour and wall. There are many other good restaurants nearby. Barrachina's is where they make the claim of originating the Pina Colada. Originating or not, it was the best Pina Colada we've ever had. Carli's is a little jazz restaurant founded and run by a former Beach Boys piano player. The food was great, and here we had the best Mojito we've ever had. The food is very good. We took a great walking tour on our first night called Flavors of San Juan. Great way to become familiar with the area, the food and the architecture.

We would highly recommend anyone going to San Juan to stay there. We hope to go back, and this time we will spend our whole time there.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SFlamm7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (524)
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English first
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
82 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

If you are looking for a resort and pina coladas, this may not be for you - but if you like to see a little culture with a lot of history, this place is amazing. It also has one of the best patio restaurants I've enjoyed in my life. The only negative is getting there from the airport is a pain (as is anywhere in San Juan Viejo) and it's a bit pricey.

I still won't stay anywhere else in San Juan.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tea01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

We went to Puerto Rico and stayed at El Convento. This place is right in middle of San Juan across a beautiful church. It used to be an old Spanish convent had has the typical architecture with has a nice little courtyard with a tree in the center. There are multiple restaurants in the hotel and around the area. Food can be pretty expensive in Puerto Rico in general and the food at El Convento is comparable in price to other restaurants in the old San Juan area. The hotel has a lot of old world charm just like the city and the rooms are slightly rustic in feel but still upscale. They had free water bottles (a big bonus in my mind) and a wine and cheese hour every evening. It was a very nice touch. They also had some wonderful Puerto Rican confections at the front desk which we grabbed every time we passed the desk. The staff is very helpful and the guests that come here are definitely better. We did experience few instances of minor dissatisfactions here. The ATM was out of order for most of our stay and we mentioned it to the front desk and it still wasn’t fixed. We had to find another ATM since you need a lot of cash in Puerto Rico. We also asked for a wakeup call after a very late night, for 8 am and we got one at 6 am. We couldn’t sleep after that and were groggy all day. Beds here are slightly uncomfortable too. And the main thing: we asked for a tour of the bio bay and the gentleman at the desk “called a guy” and quoted us $90 per person. We instead went with a very reputed company called Kayak Puerto Rico and they only charged us 68/pp. Please do not book tours from the hotel, they will have a premium added.
We also did a tour from Kayak Puerto Rico of the rain forest. If you ever do this tour, you should ask for Andrea. She was fantastic and very passionate about the forest.
All in all, I have to say we loved El Convento and would not characterize the experience as anything but wonderful. I would highly recommend this place to my friends.
Ps: please try the restaurant called Don Esteban near Fajardo if you go there. It is reasonable and has the best Puerto Rican food I have tried.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thetravelbug1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2013

We were thrilled with every aspect of our stay at El Convento in early Dec. 2013. Probably thanks to booking the previous January, we were blessed to stay in Room 512 with a glorious view of the sunset over the water. A spacious room, extremely comfortable bed, plenty of space for luggage and quiet welcomed us. The hotel's atmosphere is simple elegance, historic elements alongside modern convenience, tapestries and carved chairs, atrium with live trees and flowers, an herb garden on the fourth floor terrace, lovely pool area. We had lunch one day at the tapas bar -- delicious gazpacho. Constantly available coffee, tea and fruit on the third floor were greatly appreciated. The nightly wine and cheese offerings change daily. Get there early for a table outdoors. Breakfast on the first floor was our only disappointment… probably our fault for ordering yogurt and fruit; don't do that! On our final evening, a Sat., I was just saying we hadn't seen any flamenco when music began. In the tapas bar, a wonderful flamenco dancer moved among the diners! She was visible from the balcony -- fantastic!!
The neighborhood surrounding El Convento delivers the best of Old San Juan, entirely within walking distance. Delights await at every corner. And the area is cat lovers' heaven!
Sometimes don't you deserve the best? When you do, head for Hotel El Convento.

Room Tip: Prefer rooms on the side starting with 508. Very quiet and sunny.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alicehrh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2013

We just returned from our wedding in Puerto Rico and will definitely come back to San Juan and this awesome hotel. Beautiful place, great location in the charming Old San Juan area and outstanding staff and service. We hosted around 35 family and friends for a rehearsal dinner onsite and everyone loved staying here and couldn't say enough great things about the food at the event itself (we had a mofungo station and mojitos - both of which were the best we had our entire trip in PR). Many of our guests commented that they would be back in the future for vacations. The daily wine and cheese reception was popular with everyone as well!

One thing I would caution against is to be aware of your belongings - an entire bag of jewelry went missing from our room our second day there. Given the outstanding service at the hotel we really felt like it would turn up somewhere or get turned in to the front desk - but it never showed. I'm not making any assumptions about where it went, but learned my lesson about leaving items out in my hotel room! Other than that snag, I can't say enough positive things about the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AAlex78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

The Hotel El Convento possesses a memorable classic feel and radiates old world charm. We stayed for two nights and overall were very pleased with our stay. In fact, we arrived very late due to weather delays (after 2am) and reception worked with us to craft a food dish from their earlier evening wine and cheese reception as everything was closed due to the late hour. Be sure to take part in their nightly wine and cheese reception on the 3rd floor, where you'll likely meet other guests and/or enjoy a view of the square below. The hotel's location is great and for those who enjoy walking...most of old San Juan's main sites are accessible by foot from here.

Room Tip: We had room 321 and it was quiet, but did not have the 'city view' promised.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kaylaartt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
115 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

Ideally located in Old San Juan, this hotel offers all the amenities for the guest who wants to discover this city. An easy walk to sights, restaurants, and shopping, the hotel has one of the best staff I've ever seen.

The bellhops were very friendly and efficient. Because of the narrow cobblestone streets, we were left across the street with our luggage. We were immediately helped by George who tended to the luggage while we checked in.

From the reservation office, I was in touch with Talana from at home when booking our room. She was beyond helpful in suggesting restaurants and even helped us book a private walking tour with David Longley who works for the hotel andt provides one with an interesting morning of a general overall of Old San Juan. He was delightful company at a charge of $80 for 2-1/2 hrs.

The hotel has a small rooftop pool with lounge chairs where it is nice to relax after a day of walking. Although we only had 2 nights at the hotel and met local friends the first night,, we did participate in a cocktail hour of wine and cheese provided by the hotel which was very nice.

The hotel has free Wi-Fi and even has two computers that can be used by hotel guests free of charge.

There is a room on the third floor where cold water, coffee and fruit is available 24/7. We took advantage of this in the morning instead of having breakfast in the open courtyard.

The hotel is decorated beautifully with old world charm. Our room, 201, was spacious. However, our only complaint was that it was above the entrance to the hotel, and therefore we heard noises several times that was very annoying. At 5 pm. when we wanted to rest, we were serenaded by a guitar player who entertained just below us. We heard horns honking and trucks making noises when driving in reverse. After traveling from 4 a.m., I was very unhappy. When I went to the front desk to complain, they couldn't have been nicer offering to change our room if something was available. At that point with just one night to go, I thought it wasn't worth the effort to move.

Had we not been in a deluxe city view location which was so noisy, I would have given this the best rating possible. All in all I would go back to this hotel with a different room, as the location of the hotel, the efficient staff, and the lovely surroundings made it a fine stay.

Room Tip: Avoid room 201. Too noisy and next to ice machine.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NewJerseyWanderlust
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 Family 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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