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“Can't Wait to Return to Hotel El Convento”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Charleston
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Can't Wait to Return to Hotel El Convento”
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We stayed at this beautiful boutique hotel for 2 nights pre-cruise and it was a wonderful experience. It's location in Old San Juan can't be beat. We felt very safe walking to and from the hotel and the staff was very attentive. Kudos to Carolina for making sure we were well taken care of in the Patio del Nispero. She had great suggestions for places to visit and was obviously very proud of her country and city .At our request, server Vanesa suggested a wonderful restaurant for dinner (Carli's) and was very warm and friendly to our group of 8. Tony, the bartender, made sure our libations were plentiful and delicious - great sangria and mojitos! This beautiful hotel was made all the more special by the attentive, friendly staff who work there. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank scmomofboys
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 (547)
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Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We stayed at El Convento during the latter half of our 8-day visit to the greater San Juan area. Our 1st 4 days in Isla Verde were beach-focused and we were anticipating an enjoyable experience in Viejo San Juan.

The El Convento is a boutique-style, centrally located hotel with impressive historical significance surviving much iteration during its 365 year history, left to ruin in the early 20th century, and revived into a very impressive setting in the 1990s. The front office is rather small with the staff doubling as reception and concierge. They are very accommodating, though, in our experience, in response to an initial error.

A couple of examples: we were promised a room on a high floor, though were reserved a ground floor room. The receptionist was apologetic, initially informing us that a high floor room was not available and then, after we requested a room cancellation/refund, was able to find a high floor room for us. On another occasion, we scheduled a catamaran/snorkel tour and were told the shuttle would pick us up at the hotel. When we arrived a few minutes before the 7 am departure time, we were told the shuttle was waiting for us at Plaza Colon . . . a few blocks away. We rushed to Plaza Colon and waited and waited . . . no shuttle. The hotel once again went to great strides to call the driver who was already driving toward Fajardo with a full load of passengers, though returned to Plaza Colon for us. We certainly apologized to the other tourists whose departure was delayed!

All hotel rooms face the delightful interior courtyard. The rooms are sized adequately, though as other reviewers have mentioned, the hotel relies a bit too much on historic ambiance as an excuse for disrepair. Small items such as a broken door knob and a towel holder barely hanging from the wall lend less to ambiance and more to maintenance. I cannot imagine how difficult and expensive it must be to keep a 350 year old hotel in good repair. However, there are implied responsibilities at $400/night. Breakfast in the interior courtyard was very expensive for very small portions . . . again relying on the wonderful setting. Speaking of the courtyard; what some may find unnerving we found unique. Every evening hundreds of fruit bats visit the trees in the courtyard, consuming their fill to satiation. They fly wildly for a few hours and then rest. It is a sight to see and absolutely safe for observers. It was our anniversary, so I added the rose petal service and we returned our first night to find an abundance of rose petals in the shape of a heart on our bed . . . very nice and well worth the cost. The small pool was cool to cold, and the hot tub was certainly not hot. The evening reception is o.k. at best, crowding the guests around a very small buffet of cheese, crackers, fruit, and wine often running short on cheese and crackers. A final item: beware of the "resort and government" taxes at all area hotels. We were able to find a discounted price of $315/night at the El Convento only to discover another $34/night in government tax and $63/night in Hotel Tariff (resort tax) . . . bringing our nightly total to over $400/night.

Would we stay at the El Convento again? Fortunately, we discovered privately-owned condominiums in Old San Juan that are equally as charming, considerably less expensive, and that don't charge a 20% resort fee.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Respitesearch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alfredo A, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
Dear Guest.

I sincerely appreciate the feedback in regards to your recent stay at Hotel El Convento.
I am pleased, you enjoyed your stay and that you found our staff to be helpful and accommodating. I will thoroughly look into every single observation made and make the necessary tunings. Please give me the opportunity in the future to personally assist you with your planning and accommodations. You have my total commitment; your next stay will be Perfect!

Regards,
Alfredo Arroyo
General Manager
aarroyo@elconvento.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

Had a wonderful brunch... setting was lovely - outside under the trees, cool breeze, great food. But the best part was our server Vanesa! Fun, funny and a great representative of the hotel and her wonderful city!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank tcpc90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014

Second time staying here. We did a weekend with the whole family the attention to detail its incredible. One of the best managed hotels that i have seen. Its expensive but you pay for what you get. Its right in the middle of old san juan within walking distance of many ammenities. All 3 restaurants are delicious.

Room Tip: 4th floor makes it incredibly easy to go to the pool.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alfredoalv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for two nights before setting sail at the pier. It is by far the most unique hotel we have ever stayed at. Our room was right off the court yard which at first scared us do to noise. That was not an issue here. Special soundproof doors block it all out. The room had a separate sun porch with a fountain and a place to sit and relax. By far the best ammenity! This is not the hotel if your looking for a resort beach vaca. This is a classy hotel enriched with culture. If you want to explore Old San Juan stay here! The best food we found close tothe hotel was upstairs at the hotel restaurant & next door at the pizza & beer joint. If our travels ever lead us back to old san juan PR we will stay here.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank adeliac06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Our stay at El Convento was nothing short of perfect. The staff is professional and extremely guest friendly. The room was lovely (small by American standards but we are spoiled), location was absolutely perfect, everything was as it should always be. We enjoyed the wine and cheese reception every evening with an excellent selection of very nice vintages. There is even entertainment but it is not what you would expect. Hint; watch the tree when the sun is setting. The tapas bar was lovely with Wilfred happily serving as bartender and offering excellent night life suggestions outside of the hotel. I cannot imagine ever choosing a different hotel when I visit San Juan again which I certainly intend on doing often. Thank You El Convento for a lovely experience.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FloridaJ11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

One of the very best parts of our recent vacation. This hotel is a gem. Right in the middle of old San Juan, walking distance to shopping and many options for dining. We had Tapas on the patio and it was a magical experience. You truly do feel like you are in your own little world. Staff is gracious and the rooms have an old world (but very updated) charm. It was all I could do to keep my husband from going home with the pillows as the beds and bedding were amazing. I can't say enough about this hotel and would stay here again in a heartbeat.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Janet T
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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