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“Nice location”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Faribault, Minnesota
Level Contributor
83 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Nice location”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Lovely hotel,a bit over priced I feel but beautiful. If u want solitude old San Juan is not place to be,but if you like being in center of everything you are in right spot.... Old San Juan has great food and stores, rooms and beds are cozy

Room Tip: Where ever u stay check on parking in your hotel some are first come first serve
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JannaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

My wife and I spent about 36 hours in Old San Juan on our way back home from St. Croix. After reading so many favorable reviews on Trip Advisor, I booked a room at the Gran Hotel Convento. I was excited about our stay in this hotel, even though our visit would be short. Unfortunately, we encountered a few problems during our visit.

We arrived at around 2:00pm on a Sunday and were told that our room was ready. After checking in, we were advised that the elevator was out of service, and we could either take the stairs or the service elevator to the fourth floor. Our luggage would be delivered promptly. We opted to take the stairs. We quickly found that our room was not ready, and that it would take about 45 minutes. We decided to go downstairs and walk around Old San Juan. We first viewed the pool patio, which was near our room. The patio and pool are lovely, but remarkably small. Upon returning from the pool patio, we encountered the front desk clerk, who had been notified that our room was still being cleaned. He offered us complimentary sangria, and also offered us lunch. We ultimately accepted a voucher for complimentary breakfasts the next morning.

After walking around San Juan for a few hours, we returned to the hotel. Our room was ready, but our luggage had not been delivered. We returned to reception where we found our luggage next to the check in counter. We schlepped up the stairs with our suitcases. While my wife was took a shower, I settled in to catch up on the day’s NFL games, only to find that there was no signal. I called the front desk to find out if there was a problem with the cable service, and was told that maintenance would be sent to the room. The maintenance man arrived about 40 minutes later and corrected the problem.

Our room had a view of the water, which I had not expected. It was small, but beautifully decorated and richly furnished. The bed was very comfortable, and the bedding the most luxurious I have ever experienced. The bathroom was also small, but quite nice. The window treatments effectively blocked outside light. A soundproof door kept the room remarkably quiet. The hotel public areas were lovely, clean, and well maintained. Also, the complimentary breakfast the next morning was exceptional. Although I found it odd that we were asked to pay sales tax on the complimentary breakfasts.

Perhaps we simply had bad luck, but I was awfully disappointed with the service at Gran Hotel Convento. I understand the elevator being out of service, but a hotel of this pedigree should not send guests to a room that is not yet ready. That being said, I appreciate the effort to make up for the error by offering the sangria and breakfasts. Failing to deliver our luggage after the earlier gaff was totally inexcusable. The problem with the television is also understandable, but following the other problems, the front desk should have sent the maintenance man to our room immediately, not 40 minutes later.

Despite our unfavorable experience, I will probably give this hotel another chance if I return to Old San Juan. The property and accommodations are exceptional, and the location is very good. I also believe we ran up against some misfortune, and most guests of this hotel probably have a wonderful visit.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank GatorMills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osvaldo S, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Dear GatorMills,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience during your recent stay. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences encountered during your visit. We are working with all the departments involved in order to improve the wait times and respond to our guests requests in a timely manner. I regret that we were not able to provide you with the level of service we are customarily known for.

I am glad to know that you liked our plunge pool and pool terrace. Other guests also like the Beach Club access we offer with our sister hotels in Condado and Isla Verde. With the El Convento Beach Club, our guests can explore other parts of the island and enjoy the sandy beaches and resort-style pool facilities.

If your travel plans bring to you to Old San Juan in the future, please feel free to contact me as I would like to personally assist you.

Always at your service.

Osvaldo L. Soler
Guest Service Manager
osoler@elconvento.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We really enjoyed staying here. Loved our room--had a beautiful overlooking patio and sitting room. There was plenty of space. It's a older hotel (I mean, the convent has been there 350 years, after all), so you have to take that into account. Personally I loved the charm, the "Old World" feel of a different time, and a different Puerto Rico. I have not stayed in other locations in Puerto Rico, but I imagine this a a very different take on it all than the hotels of Condado. Spent time just sitting in the open air central garden (don't think that's the right term) just listening to the coquis and enjoying the fresh air. It was our home base for a week; we just used a car to drive around, and made it to several different areas of the island.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chatnoir0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

The hotel enjoys a great location in central Old San Juan, near restaurants and the old fort. We got great service and the people at the front desk were very helpful, if sometimes not very knowledgeable about Old San Juan. The restaurant was adequate for breakfast, but I wouldn't count on it for a great meal.

Room Tip: High floor rooms are more desirable
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank David_Carmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

The hotel is particularly well located in the heart of downtown in front of a charming plaza. It's very quiet too, despite its central location. The staff is nice.
It is not, however, a Small Lux Hotel. While it has a lot of historical charm, it does not have enough of the "lux" aspect to make this category. We had 2 double (yes, double, not queen even) beds in a room for 4 people. Apparently that is the extent of their offering for a family group. The bathroom is fine and functional but - that's it. The breakfast is incredibly expensive. The pool is really the size of a hot tub.
They do have a nice wine and cheese in the evening ( as you would expect for a hotel in this category) and enjoying that on the top veranda while listening to someone play classical music on the plaza below does have its charm.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank marrunner06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We had an excellent experience at this A-1 Classy hotel. The feel of the former monastery is ever present in the rooms, hallways and courtyards. The upper floor has an open library with coffee, bottle water, fruit and cheese/crackers during certain times that was a great opportunity to interact with other hotel guests and view the city from the open air balconies. You can't beat the location given it's in the middle of Old San Juan. It was a pleasure walking to restaurants and Cathedral while returning safely to our room. The room was spacious, clean and had a welcome feeling. We have spoken about our stay several times and it has been by far our best experience in hotel accommodations in Puerto Rico.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dubyew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We decided to book the hotel after reading impressive reviews on Tripadvisor but, with the understanding that everybody's experience will vary based on the circumstances.

I had called the hotel prior to arrival in order to avoid any surprises as we were traveling with our 2 year old. Talana was very helpful in addressing any of our concerns. Upon arrival the check in was a breeze and our room was ready. We enjoyed the unique historical feel of the hotel from the verandas to the terrace and the pool area!

Room: We were upgraded to a suite on the 3rd floor which worked quite well for us as it had a small pantry/kitchenette. Initially I was a bit disappointed in having a corner room without the door opening to the veranda with the inside view and table&chairs in from of the room but, i got over it quick as we could use any one of them on our floor. Wifi was complimentary in & out of the room.

Service: The service overall was very good.
The front desk staff as well as the bell men were very helpful. They also wear the concierge hat in the hotel! We were disappointed at the lack of tours available, the main offering was walking tour that could have been purchased via the hotel package.

We had a couple of issues which did not affect our experience much.
- Housekeeping failed to refresh our room the first day of our stay. It is supposed to get refreshed twice day with the turn down service in the evening.
- We had a leak in the bedroom due to the rain which concerned us a bit but, didn't turn out to be too bad. We were a bit disappointed that the issue wasn't addressed right away but, eventually it was.
- Room service turned out to be disappointing the one night we decided to utilize it as I couldn't get anybody on the phone when I needed to order some dinner. I had to go down to the restaurant to place the order. The food brought to us was unfortunately a let down!

I would like to say that hotel manager Efrain did address the issues we had and offered us another available room due to the leak.

Location: The hotel's location is ideal for exploring all the old san juan has to offer. It is conveniently located near ample stores/restaurants/transportation.

We enjoyed the daily wine & cheese manager's reception in the library/terrace area where you can also find complimentary water, tea and coffee throughout the day.

We also took advantage of the daily passes provided to the La Conca beach resort (a short taxi ride away) to get our beach day fix!

Overall, it was a very pleasant stay and we would highly recommend this hotel for the unique old san juan experience it provides.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SRBe
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 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic 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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