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Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 16, 2004

Anyone who as ever stayed at a Small Luxury Hotels of The World property will know exactly what to expect from this unique hotel in Old San Juan. If you want to be surrounded by the old world charm and ambience of Viejo San Juan, in a very nicely run and very comfortable hotel, this is the place to stay. If you like more of a posh resort type atmoshpere stay in the Ritz Carlton in Isla Verde. If you do stay here, try to get a room on the 5th floor, from number 510 - 515 as these all have beautiful private views of old San Juan and the ocean as well.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 8, 2004

Our stay at El Convento was excellent. We spent 5 nights here and have no complaints. The rooms are a bit small but it is all part of the charm. We cannot say enough good things about the service we received from the front desk. They had wonderful suggestions for dinner and arranged any tour we requested without a hitch. Would recommend this hotel to honeymooners especially.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2004

My family (with 3 children) spent a week exploring Vieques- wonderful snorkeling, wild ponies, the extraordinary bioluminescent bay, miles of deserted beaches, picturesque towns, surprisingly good restaurants. But we wanted to end our Puerto Rico adventure with some city life, so we chose El Convento in Old San Juan. We came in literally dripping sand and sea water and were treated royally. Our rooms were spacious and comfortable, great bathrooms with good water pressure in the showers. Lots of little amenities, chocolates on the turned-down beds. A superb breakfast buffet, excellent coffee always available, and a complimentary wine bar in the afternoon. The kids enjoyed the little pool on the roof, and we loved the view up there. The central courtyard is beautiful, with the lights twinkling at night in the huge neem tree, hundreds of fruit bats circling. We loved exploring old San Juan on foot, the architecture, parks and squares, El Morro, the jewelry shops on Calle San Francisco. Our favorite restaurant was Bili, a few blocks from El Convento, where the food is served tapas style. It was packed with diners, the meal itself was an adventure. We hope to return to El Convento someday.

4 Thank kkl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 5, 2004

This is the place to stay if you are looking for charm local color in the center of Old San Juan and lots of street noice on the weekends. It is not the place to stay if you are looking for luxurious and quiet surroundings.

After reading the reviews of this hotel on this website, which I usually trust, I was disappointed. My husband and I stayed at this hotel for 4 nights. The staff couldn't have been nicer --they were truly wonderful, turned themselves inside out. Our room, however left a lot to be desired. We stayed in the Casals suite, supposedly one of the nicest suites in the hotel and paid $635/night. While there were some beautiful antiques in the room, the room itself felt very old and tired, the tile on the floor must have been at least 25 years old and so dirty that the dirt was ground in. In areas around the doorways and walls, it was chipping, and looked more like a tenement. The staff at the front desk said the floor in this room was original to the hotel, which I find hard to believe, as that would make it upwards of 350 years old. There was no tile 350 years ago.

The bathroom was very small, with no room to store anything, but the shower was great. Marble in the bathroom very old, with very old, dirty caulking around the tub and in between the tiles in the bath.

The worst of it was Saturday night -- there was a wedding downstairs that went on to the wee hours of the morning, and it felt like the band was in our room. Impossible to sleep, then at about 5 a.m., some late-leaving drunken guests were screaming outside our window.

In all fairness, I asked to see the VAnderbuilt suite. They were very nice about showing it to me and in fact, it looked much cleaner and more comfortable. It had a separate shower, and the floor was a castillo tile, so you could not see ground in dirt. Felt much more cozy and comfortable.

Once of the nice things offered by the hotel is a complementary late afternoon cocktail hour -- they serve wine, cheese, crackers, coffee. They also have complementary high speed internet in the lounge. However, there is no room service at all.

Bottom line is that I would not stay here again, but only because I prefer more updated, comfortable surroundings. I was expecting something akin to the Ritz, and I was disappointed.

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 23, 2004

El Convento is simply great! We were there on the last night of our honeymoon and they updgraded is to the nicest suite in the hotel. The bathroom was ceiling to floor marble with large hottub with jets and standing shower. Walkin closet...rose pedals on the bed, flatscreen tv...beautifully decorated to put it lightly.
The staff was SO friendly and helpful. The wine and cheese in the evening was excellent and the complimentary breakfast was great.
Hotel is in a great area for exploring and eating. Tapas restaraunt in hotel was good as well.
This was our last stop after being in the caribbean for two weeks and staying at several different places, including cap juluca, and was our favorite bar none!
This was our favorite because of the decor, staff, and the wonderful history of the area. Thank you El Convento. We will always come back!

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
french antilles
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2004

We chose the hotel based largely on these tripadvisor guest reviews, and we were not disappointed. We stayed five nights from Nov 8th. The staff were very friendly and efficient, the hotel itself is simply beautiful, the courtyard and its magnificent tree stunning. The fifth floor room was just right, perhaps a little small but we expected that, and with a great view over the bay. No balcony, but this was compensated for by the wide and open balcony running right round the inner courtyard on each floor, and where we could sit in the evening and watch the bats in the tree or gaze over the rooftops of Old San Juan. Great stuff!

The hotel organised two tours for us (we did not fancy the driving!) one to El Yunque Rain Forest and the other to the Camuy Caves, and both were very good - small personalised groups and not a huge tour bus.

Saw all the hotels in the Condado, but living as we do in the Caribbean anyway, this was not our scene at all, and we are really glad we stayed at El Convento.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank tropicaldan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2004

I found the El Convento exceeded all my expectations. The location in Old San Juan is excellent. The hotel has a wonderful historic atmosphere without being shabby. (its most recent renovation is supposed to have cost $275,000 per room) Our room was large with a view of the small park plaza and the Cathedral. In fact, we had balcony seats for a special music/dance performance after Mass on the steps of the Cathedral outside our window. Wine /cheese , breakfast very tasty and there is free internet access in the "library/lounge". We enjoyed the rooftop pool and hot tub. There is a harbor view and we watched the cruise ships glide past at night. So many nooks and crannies with a large inner courtyard which cant be captured in pictures.

7 Thank s z
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
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 Business 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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