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“A must stay in Puerto Rico!” 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
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A must stay in Puerto Rico!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2006

If you stay near San Juan than you must stay at least one night here. My wife and I spent 4 nights at the Hyatt Dorado and 2 nights at the El Convento for our honeymoon and the El Convento was the highlight of our time there! It was full of charm and was a beautiful old hotel. Here are a few reasons:

- The staff was always helpful and friendly.
- We found it very clean (and my wife is a clean freak)
- Free bottled water in your room's refridgerator
- Beautiful courtyard in the middle
- Tapas bar in the hotel was excellent (white sangria is awesome)
- We loved the wine and cheese hour
- Great location (right in the middle of Old San Juan)

If you want to buy some leather goods then you need to haggle for them at the market. They are pretty cheap already but they'll go down. They've got nice stuff. My wife bought a purse that she loves.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
12 Thank hogs12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,612 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
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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2006

Just got back from a stay at El Convento and thought about booking a return trip before we had even left! We had originally planned to stay in the Condado area but had heard about all of the construction going on so decided to switch home base to Old San Juan. After going to the Condado for dinner one night we realized what a good move we'd made. El Convento was a private, quiet respite in the middle of a town filled with architectual and sensual delights. At the beginning or end of a long day, what a treat it was to have a cup of coffee or tea while overlooking the indoor courtyard, town or bay. If you want constant action, casinos, etc., this isn't the place for you. As mentioned in other posts, it's tastefully presented and is definitely above average, but don't expect it to be comparable to a Ritz, Four Seasons or luxury boutique hotel. For example, the bathrooms are marble but they're small and are showing some wear. Our room was in good shape but other rooms had stained upholstery. For these reasons, I don't think the hotel is worth the rack room prices of $500 and up- which is why some people have been dissapointed. At those rates you expect luxury. We got a better price through a AAA discount. What you do get is personalized service from the moment you walk in, the best location of any of the hotels in town, and true Puerto Rican ambiance. Many of its surrounding streets are closed to tourist traffic at night which makes for nice walks (residents and hotel guests can still drive through). The free trolley service is the best deal in town. Get a current route map from one of the tourist centers (the hotel might have an outdated one). Take the trolley to specific locations (cruise ship docks, which are right in town) or ride it all the way around to get a great view of the town. The "El Morro" route is the best and goes by both forts. The portal to OSJ is right by the hotel. It leads to a pedestrian path by the bay that goes along the perimiter of the city- all the way to El Morro fort. We didn't use any of the in-house dining facilities, so can't comment on them. La Bombonera is the place the locals go for breakfast and pastries (I know, I used to live in P.R.). A freshly baked mallorca and a cup of strong Puerto Rican coffee is simply sublime! But don't go to Barrachina's for pina coladas. They tout themselves as being the originators of the drink but they're definitely not the best- tasted like pineapple juice and must have used colored water for rum since I didn't get my usual "buzz." The best pina coladas are freshly mixed with cream of coconut, pineapple juice, rum and ice. If you see them using a mix, don't bother. If you have the time, things not to miss: the rainforest and architecturally beautiful Ponce. At Isla Verde Beach you can experince P.R. like a native. It's close to Old San Juan, has a bike/pedestrian trail along the beach, and is where you can get authentic Puerto Rican food in the shacks lining the road.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
18 Thank sej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2006

Our four night stay at the El Convento in late June was nearly perfect. Here is a breakdown:

Good Things
Two free bottles of water each day in the mini fridge
Free coffee in the morning along with a wine & cheese "happy hour" nightly
Perfect location
LG LCD TV's in every room
Hot tub with a view

Areas of Improvement
Rooms are smaller than I expected
Air conditioning had to run non-stop to keep the room somewhat cold
Tiny pool with a view
Hotel restaurants very pricey for what is served

We would highly recommend staying at the El Convento but just make sure to dine at any of the nearby restaurants instead.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
78 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2006

Just loved this place. It's really friendly and the layout inside brings such an air of space in a part of the city which could feel cramped. One thing to note, valet parking is $15 per night if you've got a rental car --- that caught us by surprise.

6 Thank jon o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2006

My friends and I dined at both their tapas bar AND the restaurant (El Bohemio). 2 out of 4 of us were overcharged on our credit card statements from $11-$25. The manager says this has happened several times before but since their receipts match up, you just have to take it up w/ your bank and did NOTHING else about it. While this is not much money, hitting several people a day for a little bit of money ADDS UP to SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS A DAY. And since they do NOTHING about it, you can see how this will continue to be a problem. AVOID THEM! They're cheats conducting BAD business.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
staniel cay
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2006

Now this is a Hotel that has character, charm, antiquity and excellent service. A converted 17th century convent, these accomodations were nothing short of fantastic. El Convento has it all: LOCATION, several excellent restaurants & bars on site and great service. The rooms were Spanish influenced & fine. If visiting San Juan for the first time, I highly recommend staying here.

8 Thank sloemocean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2006

Built around an open, interior courtyard, this lovely hotel brings the outdoor tropical ambience inside. Historic and very elegant public spaces. The rooms themselves are average, but everything else about this hotel is unforgettable!

The hotel hosts an enjoyable complimentary wine and cheese reception in the early evenings between 6-7 pm. Coffee and tea are available all the time. A computer is availabe in a small library near the reception room.

The staff are exceptionally nice and helpful. They really make you feel at home. There are three restaurants in and next door to the hotel. Breakfast is served in the courtyard--expensive, but worth the splurge at least once. As an alternative, there is a bakery about 3 blocks away that serves a good, inexpensive breakfast.

El Convento is perfectly situated for sightseeing in Old San Juan. You can walk to everything. I just returned from a 2 night stay with my two college age daughters and they loved it as much as I did. All of us would recommend this hotel with considerable enthusiasm.

Stayed June 2006
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic 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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