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“Wonderful cozy hotel in old San Juan”
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
Loveland, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful cozy hotel in old San Juan”
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

This hotel was perfect. A nice, quiet and intimate hotel. The common spaces are lovely but don't expect anything from the pool. The staff is terrific. Be sure to ask for Julio or Matthew at the first floor bar and don't miss trying a mojito or sangria. We especially liked having so many restaurants within a few blocks. Highly recommended!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Susan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,644 reviews from our community

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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 (533)
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English first
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
114 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Not at all what we expected from its online review and photos. Sure Hotel El Convento is an old city attraction, but that is exactly what it was old and not very well kept. Maintenance, or lack thereof, left something to be desired. The rooms were tiny and I mean tiny, definitely the epitome of quaint. No King beds are available at all. Food, service and accommodations left you yearning for the comforts and cleanliness of the Ritz Carlton. Cats everywhere! We were told that the guest floor was supposed to have fresh fruit and snacks all day. Coffee, tea and bottled water were offered but as far as the fruit, it was sparse and not very fresh. And snacks, well we couldn't find any nor was there anyone to ask. The views, if you had one, were not as advertised. Roof tops, laundry lines and unkept streets and alleys. The spa and plunge pool very unplunged, small and unappealing. Very narrow cobblestone streets and sidewalks, too many jewelry stores and very few genuine boutique shops of quality merchandise, mostly a tourist trap. Sure it was nice to see an OLD convent and an old church but would never return. The welcoming staff were genuinely friendly but lacked in knowledge with misdirected information. Now on the flip side we had some incredible meals at some of PRs finest restaurants outside the old city, because we did some research on our own. Pikayo a 10, Yantar an 8 , Budathai a 9, Marmalade a 10, all near Candado beach area, were each in their own right exceptional. Pikayo and Marmalade a definite must. So would we visit PR again, no, but with our dear friends, we made the vaca happen and enjoyed some very special gastronomical delicacies (great chefs). Taxis are available out of old city, but difficult to get back to hotel during the evening hours because traffic is always horrendous (very very long rides). It is still a nice custom in PR to dress up classy and go out for the evening, so we did. Just my take on it, you may well enjoy.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the Old City unless you like it OLD, you like to walk on uneven ground and you are...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank mim k
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, January 17, 2014
Dear MIM K,

I regret that somehow you felt mislead. We always pay close attention to our guests needs and positive recommendations and make changes based on what will enhance our guests experience. I believe that our website portrays a good representation of what Hotel El Convento and Old San Juan offer and we welcome suggestions from guests such as yourself as to how we can continue to improve our hotel’s facilities and services.
All that being said, we realize that Old San Juan is not everyone’s choice for their holiday and I sincerely hope that when you return you may find a area were you feel more comfortable. Please feel free to contact me if your travel plans bring you back to Puerto Rico and I will be happy to assist you.

Efrain Rosa
General Manager
erosa@elconvento.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed here the night before our cruise (some family got here a few days earlier) and I fell in love instantly. I loved listening to the Coquí sounds at night. The staff was very friendly, my only issue was that it's a very busy hotel with few staff. It's located in the heart of Old San Juan and I couldn't be happier with my choice to stay there.

Room Tip: The roomiest rooms are the double rooms. Were had a room in the rear on the 3rd floor and slept lik...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sonia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clinton Township, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 11, 2014

This hotel was so beautiful and the staff was so kind. Everything was very clean. Food was wonderful as well. Great location in Old San Juan with awesome views of the city streets. Would stay here again for sure!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank karen c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faribault, Minnesota
Level Contributor
83 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JannaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chatnoir0
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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