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Hotel El Convento
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Reviews (2,845)
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All reviewswine and cheesetapas restaurantold san juancourtyard restaurantwine receptionformer conventevery eveningplunge poolpuerto ricoopen courtyardcentral courtyardvista roomthird floorturn down serviceacross the streetour honeymoonbottled water
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A TripAdvisor Member
Philadelphia
110
Reviewed December 2, 2005

Be aware. The hotel advertises special rates on their site, but when you attempt to make reservations they increase pricing by close to $200 per night. Shame on them!!! Be sure to have confirmation in writing before giving them any credit card information.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Service
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2005

My wife and I stayed at the El Convento for two days prior to a cruise. We selected the hotel, as we like Old San Juan and were pretty much able to walk anywhere to shop or dine. We were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. We had booked the room through the cruiseline. Upon checking in after a long day, we were told the only room available had twin beds. We explained that we had requested a room with a queen sized bed. They stated they had no other rooms, but would try to get us another room the next day. I am not sure where the mixup took place. I did contact the cruiseline who stated a queen sized bed was requested. ???? We had to take the room. Upon retiring for the night, the toilet in the room overflowed all over. We had not even used the toilet as of yet. Water was everywhere. We called the front desk and they sent a maintenance person up. It took him awhile, but apparently he fixed whatever caused the problem. After he left, the toilet started running and making very strange noises, and would not stop. I called the front desk irate, as it was late, and we were very tired. Miraculously, another room became available after we were told earlier there was nothing available. The person at the front desk stated this room also had twin beds. We immediately took the room, as we were very tired. This room was OK but the hotel really needs to do some upgrading, especially in the rooms. Obviously plumbing is an issue as well. The following day the front desk called and stated a room with a queen sized bed became available, as someone had cancelled. We declined, as we did not feel like packing everything up again. On a positive note, the wine/cheese reception each night was outstanding. A nice assortment of cheeses and wine. Cafe Bohemio was excellent as well. One last note. The hotel is all open. We do prefer at times to be in air conditioning, as the heat bothers us at times. The only place we found air conditioned areas was in the rooms. All dining areas are in the open. Ceiling fans are present, however. We will stay at another hotel on our next visit to San Juan.

  • Stayed: November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank pman38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston
17
Reviewed November 15, 2005

My wife an I stayed at the El Convento for 3 nights during our honeymoon. This was the last leg of our trip after spending a week over at St. Johns and we were not disappointed.

The service was stellar... The woman at the front desk (can't recall her name but she had braces :)) had taken note that it was our honeymoon, congratulated us and then put us in what many considered the best room in the house on the 5th floor. Since this was the first time someone actually really acknowledged with some excitement on us being newlyweds and went out of their way to find a great room, make us reservations on the spot for dinner, etc... it really meant a lot to us and really set the tone for the rest of our stay - great service.

The room itself (I *think* 508) had been featured in many magazines with two windows/doors that had a view of the bay and also the pool area. The room was extremely tasteful and well thought out in terms of color scheme, decorations and furniture... along with being extremely clean.

On our first night we took advantage of a pre-dinner snack at the nightly free cheese and wine hour only to come back to our room afterwards to find our bed turned down with rose pedals put into the shape of a heart on our bed (very nice touch). Several moments later there was a knock on our door with a bottle of champange and truffles.

The inner courtyard was very nice, with breakfast in the morning and a tappas bar overlooking looking it - which ended up being our favorite place for drinks and snacks as the food was excellent.

The location of the hotel itself in Old San Juan is perfect with walking distance to the shops and several execellent restaurants. If you want to go a bit further there is always a taxi out front. One night we took a taxi over to the Sheraton at Isle Verde for dinner and the casino, 15 minute ride at about $18, a little expensive but still reasonable.

We would definitely stay again (in fact already setting up our next trip) and have absolutely nothing negative to say about the hotel or service of the resort... and I consider myself picky. Two thumbs up.

Stayed: November 2005
7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2005

The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the location cannot be beat! Everything you could possibly want or need are right here, practically on your door step. One word of advice, if you need directions - ask the bellmen instead of front desk.

I am still here with my husband at El Convento on our last night. We have been here for 4 days and all 4 days have had periodic downpours throughout. Our room also leaked. After informing the front desk of this problem, we were disappointed that the staff tried to pass it off as condensation from the air conditioning. The leaks are so bad that at one point it soaked the bed on one side! We have since pulled our bed from the wall to avoid sleeping on a water bed and placed towels on the floor (by the way, housekeeping keeps replacing our towels even though we hang them up daily to show that we would like to keep them).

Having said all that, we were moved from a standard room to a junior suite on our second night here even though we booked for a deluxe room (which is a really nice bonus). Unfortunately it is the suite that is leaking but wild horses wouldn't drag us out of here for the space!

The Tapas bar at the hotel is very good and has great ambience. We have not tried Cafe Bohemio.

You can visit the Barcardi Rum Distillery by catching a ferry from Pier 2 at the waterfront (5 minute walk from El Convento) to Catano ($0.50) and take a taxi to the Distillery ($3.00).

All in all a great experience with few disappointments.

Stayed: November 2005
8  Thank FlashPackingIt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2005

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico, staying 6 nights at the Hotel Elconvento...October 10-16th. After booking our room through Travelocity, we had a bit of a problem when we arrived in that the staff stated our room was a superior instead of the deluxe booked. Upon showing them proof, we were happily given room 501. During our first night, San Juan experiened more than average rainfall and our room had a couple leaks (one in the bathroom and one from the ceiling); Also we were unable to make telephone calls to the US mainland through the telephone system from the rooms. We informed the desk of our problems of leakage and were cheerfully transferred to room 510, which had a better view of San Juan Bay. This room was very satisfactory and nicely appointed with it's decor. Our CD player did not work, however. The room was clean and comfortable.

Dining at The Elconvento was a bit 'iffy' as the Bistro was closed for refurbishing. We enjoyed our breakfast each morning in the inner courtyard (when it was not raining)..however, breakfast was a bit high-priced ($39 for two of bacon and eggs, toast, juice and coffee). There were a few times the lift did not work as well. We are assuming that the heavy rains were responsible for the malfunction.

The pub, El Picateo was lovely and offers not only drinks but light snacks such as tappas and sandwiches. In the evening dinners are available as well. Rich Puerto Rican music wafts through the bar and restaurant sitting.

From 6-7PM is free wine/cheese offerings. The cheeses were nothing special, however, the many wines were lovely.

The corridors are lovely and the terraces are beautifully lit. Many different plants, flowers, and trees line the hallways and terraces, giving a romantic air to the hotel.

The swimming pool and hot tub are very small, but clean and there is ample area for sunning. There is a lovely view from the swimming area as well as the terraces.

There is free internet access in the library.

Hotel Elconvento is centrally situated nicely in Old San Juan and in convenient walking distance to all attractions. The city is very hilly, so wear comfortable footwear! Just a few blocks away from the hotel is a trolley (small bus) that will transport you throughout the city for free. There is no need to rent a car if Old San Juan is where you are going to stay for the entire trip. We hired a driver for one day to take us on a tour, visit the Bacardi Rum Distillery, and treated us to an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant for lunch. The cost of this was $120 for 5 hours. There were other tours the concierge desk (same people as the front desk) offers, but dont hesitate to ask to make up your own package. They are most accommodating.

All in all, we found the Hotel Elconvento staff very helpful and friendly. For a 350 year old building, it is well maintained and has more than enough staff to meet your needs. We were a bit disappointed by the housekeeping staff. They made up the bed each day, but towels were not replaced as needed.

I think in the future we would not stay an entire 6 days in Old San Juan, but visit the beaches in Ponce and other areas of interest.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank shannyh1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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