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“We could not have been happier with our stay here!”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2007

I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. I went with my husband and our very active toddler in December, and we had a wonderful stay here. The hotel is incredibly charming and elegant, and located in the heart of Old San Juan. We had rented a car, but ended up leaving it in their parking lot for our entire stay because we could walk everywhere. It is also across the street from the Children's museum, which was a nice place to go to give our little one a break. Our room was large, super clean, with very high ceilings. And the staff was terrific. The one criticism I had was that the on-site restaurants were very expensive, but I guess you'd expect that at such a nice hotel. There are a lot of cheaper places to eat nearby. One tip- call the hotel directly for their rates. We had searched online for deals for this hotel and were convinced it was out of our price range, but my husband called the hotel directly, said we would be in town to visit family, and was quoted a rate more than $100 less per day than the cheapest price we had seen on the internet. We will go back to this place every time we visit Puerto Rico.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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6  Thank sfmartinez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 12, 2007

You can’t ask for a better location in Old San Juan than the El Convento. The hotel has a wonderful history and a charming courtyard.
The evening wine and cheese function is first rate, with a surprisingly good selection of wines and cheeses.

The rooms, however, leave much to be desired. We were moved from our first room when a drainpipe in the floor above broke and water cascaded down. Our second room lacked the extra door for soundproofing that has been installed in some rooms overlooking the courtyard, and the noise from the restaurant was quite noticeable late into the evening. Perhaps some of the rooms have been renovated,
but the two we tried definitely showed their age. For the money that El Convento asks (plus the $75 per night in taxes!), I expected something better.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HCroatto, Asistant General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2007

Dear Guest,

Thank you for you positive feedback. I wanted to let you know that our General Manager and I are inspecting each and every one of our guest rooms to maintain high standard of luxury and optimal quality. We have received a few Trip Advisors reviews in the past weeks that concerned and alerted us to take immediate action to correct these challenges our guests experienced during their stay. We have contacted personally each and every one of these guests through email. We were able to contact the majority of them and we only have a few that still we are following up constantly since we do not want anyone to be left behind. As our guests you are the reason of our existence and we always strive for nothing less that perfection. Hotel El Convento is committed to 100% guest satisfaction and your concerns are our concerns. We are here for you.
Please contact me personally at hcroatto@elconvento.com and give me the opportunity to make it right. I hope to talk to you soon.

Hermes Croatto
Assistant General Manager
Hotel El Convento


Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2007

I would like to preface this comment by stating that I travel extensively for business and for leisure. When I book my travel, I always aim for safety, cleanliness, and accessibility. If I am lucky, good service will come along with the other criteria. At El Convento, I found everything except good service. Instead, I found OUTSTANDING SERVICE.

There are very few places for which I will actually take the time to sit down and write a review, in fact, this is the second attempt since the first review did not upload. But because I feel so strongly about my wonderful experiences at El Convento, I am determined to get my review posted.

I have always been treated like royalty at this hotel but never more so than the time when I required extensive assistance due to travelling while recovering from surgery to repair a broken ankle. I could not have travelled had I not been coming to El Convento to stay.

I was helped in every imaginable manner by ALL of the hotel staff. A shower chair was placed in my room, a chair with wheels was immediately sent to my room so I could manage better in the room (I did not want a wheelchair) extra pillows to elevate the leg at night were always brought in, extra blankets, ice for my ice bag, as well as extra water and coffee. Oh, and they scanned the room to anticipate possible problems for me and then determined that they would remove all the area rugs and move the furniture to insure my safety.

During the nightly wine reception, the managers would place an extra chair for my leg, sit me down and would proceed to bring me my favorite wine, a plate with a generous serving from their extensive selection of cheese and crackers, and a bundle of grapes to top the plate.

As I progressed from being in a boot with two crutches to being able to walk unassisted (a period of over four months) they celebrated with me and applauded me as I would show off my steps. They all went above and beyond the call of duty.

Truly, if you are looking for a place with top notch service, nestled in the most beautiful of cities, there is no better place to go to than the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan.

  • Stayed: April 2007
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2  Thank Dr_owheatl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2007

We stayed here two nights before a cruise. Wonderful location right in the heart of Old San Juan. Staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. BUT, the room we had as well as the room our friends had leaves a lot to be desired. Ceiling fan was filthy. Entry way room ceiling was black with dirt and mold. Maid did not show up until 4pm our second day complaining that she had too many checkouts and 18 rooms to clean already. New flat screen TV remote would not turn TV on or off but other functions did work. If staying in Old San Juan is your desire then this is probably your best bet but you'll pay big bucks for a room that's at best mediocre.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gibbscr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2007

I was really torn about what kind of review to give this hotel. It is in the heart of Old San Juan and for location it cannot be beat. It is a close walk to everything that you would ever want to see in the city. The building is very historic and charming but extremely dark. The rooms have some nice amenities such as a bose wave cd/radio, flat screened television set, fridge, safe, large closet with storage and bath and body works toiletries in the bathroom. The room itself is ok. It is old. The tile floors are sort of gross(red brick). The bed is comfortable, the pillows are terrible.

When we arrived at the hotel our room was not ready since we were early. They held our luggage and the staff that took care of your baggage was very friendly and helpful. You get luggage tags to turn in when you check in and they will bring your bags up to your room for you. We tried to check later in the day and we had to sit in the lobby and keep asking when. They had said ten more minutes but it was much longer than that. We were just tired of walking around and sat down. If I had known that there was another area that we could have sat in(which we found later) it would have been helpful

The front desk sent someone up with our luggage and he was very friendly and helpful. What the front desk did not tell us was that you needed to use your key for the elevator. We just stood there waiting until someone(I think she worked for the hotel) came along and told us what to do. She also told us about the gates in the hotel. These are located along all of the stairways in the hotel. It is kind of strange that all of the hallways are locked up but yet the front door is never closed.

The hotel is not really that large. It looks big from the outside but inside most of it is a courtyard where they have a restaurant. There is also a tapas bar and another restaurant.

The hotel is very dark in a lot of places. There are gates everywhere that you need to either use a key or press a bar to get through. It kind of feels like you are locked up in weird sort of way. The doors to the room are old and look like they could be just kicked in if someone really wanted to get in. The air conditioning vent is also very filthy. I cannot really describe this hotel accurately because it is such a different animal. It is not that I hated it but its seems like it is something that you see in a museum not stay in.

The pool(I use the term very loosely) is so small. I have seen hot tubs bigger than it was. The pool area is extremely small as well and not very inviting. When I went upstairs there were some people there and I have seen funerals with more life than that.

Don't get me wrong. The hotel itself is beautiful in a historic sort of way. I'm just not sure that it is a hotel that is worth the money that they charge for it. It is expensive. With taxes I paid $475 for one night. It is too much. There is an honor bar also available.
I'm not sure what time the bar is open in the courtyard but we came in early and the courtyard was dark and the bar was closed. The tapas bar was open but the prices were really high and nothing really looked appealing to us. We just wanted a meal and decided to eat across the street from the hotel at another tapas bar that served dinners as well.

This hotel is wonderful to visit. To look at it is above average, to stay in though I cannot say that it is more than just average. If someone did decide to stay there though I would never recommend this hotel for someone who was choosing it as a vacation destination. There is just not enough to do in the hotel itself. The staff was good but at a luxury hotel I expect better. I am not trying to be picky but when you rise to a level with the price then the service and especially the amenities should follow.
For the right price then I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BlushPell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2007

We stayed in the El Convento in March during a weekday. We had a wonderful experience. Both my husband and I have traveled extensively and I would say this is definitely one of the best small hotels we've been too. We booked two rooms(one for us and one for my parents) at a special "mid week" price at $230 per night(a steal for Old San Juan). They reserve you a room but don't assign you a specific room until you arrive. As soon as we stepped onto the hotel property someone met us and took our luggage. When we checked in, they had my parent's room ready but ours wasn't. As an apology, they gave my parents a suite next to the pool and assured us that our room would be ready within the hour. True to their word our room was ready in less than an hour and they gave us a top floor suite with our own private deck overlooking Old San Juan as a thank you for our patience.
The hotel offers a wine tasting from 6-7pm every night with great wine choices and a fabulous selection of gourmet cheeses and crackers. The location is excellent--within walking distance of all the historic sights. The rooms are tastefully decorated with relatively new furniture keeping with the convent's history and spanish theme. As for complaints about being interrupted in the early evening by housekeeping--it was for the hotel's early evening turn down service. They do it during the wine tasting hours as a little extra. My husband and I would stay here again and again. The staff was helpful and the rooms clean and the location the best in Old San Juan.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank zjtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2007

Can't believe the rates at El Convento!!

We stayed one night pre-cruise at nearly $500 per night. Definitely overpriced for the product being offered. 3PM check-in turned into 3:45PM due to the very pleasant staff being over worked due to understaffing. We were offered a rather unpleasant room, which we rejected and ultimately were offered a bay view room after another 30 minute wait at the front desk.

All metal surfaces in our room and in the public areas are showing signs of rust. All plastered surfaces are either cracked or mottled. Any repairs that have been made, such as painting, plastering, etc. have been performed substandard.

Rooms are small and dark. Bathrooms are smaller yet and in need of renovation.

Tenament views on the first 3 floors just add to the disappointment.

The "Taxes and Hotel Tariff" of over $90 per night are ridiculous.

The hotel does have its' charm, very atmospheric including all of the restaurants. Of course all venues are high priced. $25 for breakfast, $35 for tapas lunch.

Wine and cheese on the deck is nice touch.

At $250 per night (tax and tariff included) it's a very acceptable experience.

Think Doubletree not the Ritz Carlton.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank NYCFrank
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

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 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: $203 - $598 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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