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“Marriott Resort: it's not all business shmidness” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

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San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Ranked #7 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Marriott Resort: it's not all business shmidness”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

I usually don’t stay at worldwide hotel chains such as Marriott because I equate them with convention centers and business conferences, and I travel almost exclusively for pleasure. Furthermore, large chains usually have entire corporate divisions dedicated to ensuring that the experience is close to identical in each location, so what’s the point of reviewing a “seen one, seen ‘em all” hotel?

Well, after my…uh, rustic experience in Culebra I was never so happy to land in a corporate hotel. I was surprised by the resort format, which I never associated with Marriott before this trip.

Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived so Reception sent us off to the pool with two mini-bottles of rum and a can of Coke. The pool is huge but the deck is organically sectioned off into discrete, more private spaces. We passed right through it though, opting for the beach instead. Hotel employees set you up with complimentary lounge chairs and towels, and in no time at all a server approached us to see if we wanted cocktails or lunch. By the way, it is completely legal to drink alcoholic beverages on the beach in Puerto Rico. Any beach, anywhere, any time. Hey!

We paid extra for an oceanfront corner king and it was worth it. The room was ginormous, with two terraces, floor to ceiling windows, and a bathroom with hot and cold running water! (You’ll have to read my review of Tamarindo Estates in Culebra, PR to understand why the Marriott bathroom was a revelation.) The décor is traditional, but not dated. In terms of amenities the hotel has a casino, restaurant, bar, concierge, and tour concession. We booked a tour of the El Yunque rain forest through the hotel and were very satisfied.

The hotel is centrally-located relative to old San Juan, Ocean Park, and Isla Verde. You’ll need a taxi to travel to and from old San Juan, which costs $15 +tip.

The only negative I can think of is this: Condado beaches are somewhat narrow and all the hotel towers abut them tightly, casting long shadows on the very beaches they’re trying to promote. All day long people are dragging their chairs this way and that to stay in the sun. If you’re a shade person, this is good news for you.

We walked down to the residential Ocean Park neighborhood beaches in order to get a full day’s worth of sun. Only houses front the beach and they’re set back from the beach a little farther than the hotels are. On the down side, there are no concessions on the beach so you’ll need to think ahead and bring your own food and drink with you.

Bottom line: you won’t mistake Marriott for a boutique hotel (the building’s boxy exterior won’t win any architectural awards) but you really can’t go wrong here, and you will be comfortable. If large-scale boutique chic is more your thing though, the new hotel on the block is La Concha, a few blocks away. It’s definitely the hip choice for the well-heeled 35 and under crowd.

Room Tip: Oceanfront king corner room on any floor offers fantastic views.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank chachi69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

It's that time of the year to update our review of the Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris. Happily, nothing has changed since our previous review of Thanksgiving 2010..The staff - still very accommodating, the room - still spotlessly clean with plenty of towels, the pool - still well maintained, and the beach - clean & beautiful. It is difficult to find anything to complain about. Lobby renovations are just about complete. We were given a sneak preview and it is awesome. Already planning our 5th visit for Thanksgiving 2012. If you find anything untrue about our review, meet us at the Marriott San Juan Resort to discuss. We highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank loeby41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
82 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

Good location, beachfront and within walking distance to restaurants. Lobby was under renovations but the rooms need new carpeting and a new paint job. Got charged $25 for amenities fee -- did not quite know what that was about...ok, would prefer to stay on the top floor, where the views are spectacular...probably a good family place for vacation...saw alot of kids and beach goers..

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dsugar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haledon, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

I would like to start by saying that I have stayed at this property about seven times over the past 14 years. It has a great location, being at the half way point between the airport and Old San Juan, and is also close to some very fine restaurants in Condado. The hotel itself is right on the beach and has a lovely pool so you have the best of both worlds. The on site restaurants are terrific and the rooms are all well decorated and most importantly, sparkiling clean!

The #1 reason we keep coming back to this hotel however, is not the location or the ammenities. It is the workers, in particular 3 of the wait staff at La Vista restaurant located in the hotel. Their names are Diana Ferenandez, Anthony Oquendo (Sonny) and Angelo Torres. These 3 particular individuals have been working at La Vista since our first visit in 1997, and although we can't afford to come back every year, all 3 employees remember us each time we visit and welcome us as if we were family with hugs and smiles and updates on all the goings on not only in the hotel and surrounding areas, but also in their personal lives.

Because the hotel offers the buffet breakfast free with your stay every morning, we get to see Diana, Sonny and Angelo every day of our stay and they make sure that we are comfortable in every way. They go out of their way to seat us facing the ocean, (which my Mom loves), and to make sure we have anything we want made special by the chef. They also remember our individual preferences such as juice choice, who drinks decaf tea, who likes their coffee black, etc. They are EXCELLENT at their jobs and literally bend over backwards for you.

More importantly, they take the time to talk with you, ask how you are doing, how the vacation is going and what you have done and seen so far. They are a pure delight and I believe that each one should be promoted to some position of management as they are exemplarary employees and fantastic role models.At this hotel, it is definitely the people that make the difference.

On the downside, this time around we were disappointed with the lobby renovations not being completed on time as scheduled. At this particular hotel, the lobby is the lifeblood of the property. When the lobby was open in years past, every night was electrified with rotating live bands and dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Their beautiful bar was always packed and it was always great to just sit and relax and be entertained.

Unfortunately, this time, the lobby was not only not done by their advertised completion date, but also didn't seem like it was anywhere near completion as you never heard workmen during the day and maybe you would see one or two workers at night. There is a "quiet lobby" that could have been converted to a bar and "night club" while renovations are being done (for the past few months!) but this was not the case. It seems amazing to me that the hotel would accept losing the nightly income that was generated by the dancing and bar service, but maybe I am thinking too profit mindedly.

The only other complaint that I would voice about this property is that when something breaks in the pool area, like the hot tub, the accepted method of repair is to throw up some CAUTION TAPE and forget about it. This is what happened during our recent stay. After 4 days of being patient, we insisted on having our resort fee refunded, as my mother, who is in a wheel chair, really can only take advantage of the hot tub as opposed to the gym and the beach. We were initially refused the refund after being told that the resort fee included the use of other ammenities, But once I replied, "like the lobby and live nightly music?" we were refunded the resort fee and the hot tub was miraculously fixed within 20 minutes of that.

I must say that the nice woman at the front desk was the unfortunate "in between" person as her manager never came out to speak with us directly, but she was very sweet and apologetic and did a great job at trying to keep us happy.

I would also suggest that they paint their pool bar in more vibrant colors, especiallu "under the roof" where people tend to stare up and look while they are sitting at the bar. The bartenders shoudl also keep the fruit COVERED that they put into the tropical drinks as the uncovered fruit is not only unsanitary but also attracts a large amount of bees making it very dangerous for those of us who are allergic to bees and want to sit around the pool!

Overall, I would highly recommend this property once their lobby is completed. And because of Diana, Sonny and Angelo we will return again!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor so that you have a better view of the Ocean and also have a quieter...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ChristineMF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

My family and I have stayed at the San Juan Marriott in Condado for the past 14 years - almost since it opened! This last visit was Nov. 12th through Nov. 20th. I went with my daughter, her husband and 2 friends. We had a total of 3 rooms.We have, over the years, visited and eaten in practically every hotel in San Juan and non can even come close to this hotel. I will tell you why.....they CARE about you - right from the doorman that welcomes you to the General Manager that attends to a concern personally - and everyone else in between. I have been to many different hotels everywhere as I've traveled quite a bit - still the San Juan Marriott stands out! No matter how busy anyone is - they take the time to help you with absolutely anything you need. The most important fact is that it is CONSISTENTLY up to these standards - it hasn't changed their great service for the 14 years that I've gone there. I don't go every year, but I'm there often - often enough to observe everything. The ABSOLUTE STANDOUT for me is the La Vista restaurant where, like "Cheers"..."everybody knows your name". The people who work there are top-notch and have worked there for a very long time and are a credit, not only to the hotel, but to the Marriott Corporation. We have had the same waitress and waiters all these years and they are excellent in every way! Not only are they wonderful employees, but they have also become a total joy for me. They are friendly and helpful ALL the time - no matter how busy they are, they take time with every visitor and make them feel special - no matter how crowded or how busy, they are there for everyone to enjoy. I say enjoy because they are a total joy to be with. Three people are stand-outs and should be commended for their outstanding work. I actually was sad at the end of my 8 days to leave them - it was like leaving family, yes family! I looked forward to breakfast every single morning just to see them. I know about their families, their obvious dedication to Marriott, and they know me and address me as if i were part of their family. Their names are Diana Fernandez, Angelo Torrado and Anthony ("Sonny") Oquendo. They are a huge asset to Marriott and to this hotel - that's for sure. These 3 people have been there since the hotel opened and really show their committment to their customers and to Marriott. They make a 67 year-old Grandma and her family and friends feel welcome and best of all, feel happy - no matter what kind of day it is. They are stand-outs for sure; however, this is true of the entire hotel staff at this particular Marriott. Do not hesitate to stay here - it is beautiful, it is clean, it is a great location, and they have a staff that CARES.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor in the main tower - views are spectacular.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

We recently spent 7 days and 6 nights at the Marriot San Juan and Stellaris Casino. My husband had a conference so we decided to arrive early to have some time for ourselves. On arrival, our "city view" room was ready but we decided to upgrade to an "ocean view room. We were given a pager and went out to lunch at the beach bar. Hector, the bartender, was friendly and informative and made some tasty rum drinks, After a few hours we were getting tired and still hadn't been paged-turns out the pager did not work and it was 5 o'clock before we checked in. The room had a beautiful view and the king sized bed was very comfortable with plenty of pillows. Susana, our friendly chambermaid, kept the room clean, neat and tidy during our stay,

The weather was pleasant during our stay with a constant breeze. The beach was clean with attendants ready to provide chairs, umbrellas, food and drink. The prices were expensive-it is a resort. We enjoyed lunch a couple of days down to left of the hotel at Tijuana's Bar and Grill, sitting ouside on their patio. A tour from the hotel to the rainforest was a memorable way to spend one of our days and I would recommend it. Our guide was friendly and informative.

While my husband was at his conference I enjoyed the hotel pool and beach and made a trip into Old San Juan. Exploring one of the forts on a self guided tour was interesting, and shopping and lunching at an oudoor cafe, while soaking up the local flavor, was a nice way to spend a morning.

The Marriot is in a good location and we both enjoyed our trip to San Juan!

Room Tip: Upgrading to an oceanview room was a good decision, the view was beautiful and the room was quiet, e...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rain8660
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2011

The hotel was excellent overall, with the same consistency of service I’ve come to expect from Marriotts. I forgot to ask for an oceanfront room + high floor when I booked but thankfully upon arrival they were able to accommodate my requests. In fact the whole time we were there, every staff member was exceedingly accommodating. Nobody missed a beat—from the aforementioned check-in staff, room service, pool & beach staff and valet—even with our sometimes detailed requests.

The atmosphere of Condado is a little corporate with lots of hi-rises surrounding but this had its advantages: for instance there’s a Walgreens nearby which we made good use of for beach supplies and snacks and also a Starbucks. I don’t “do” coffee but my husband, who was wiped out the whole time from his shift the night before we arrived, burned a hole in his pocket there rather quickly :)

The location also meant that we weren’t far from lots of things to do. San Juan in general has lots of family-friendly activities- in particular I’d recommend El Morro, the pigeon park/Parque de las palomas (not for the faint of heart-- the birds are aggressive!) & walking around Old San Juan. These things are about 10-15 min drive from the hotel in our rental car- something I’d also recommend because you can explore other parts of the island if you have time. We didn’t really because we were looking for more of a restful vacation but there’s no shortage of things to do on the island. I had forgotten how interesting & varied Puerto Rico is since the previous time I had been there, and the island is pretty amazing if you have the chance to step outside of San Juan a bit.

Back to the Stellaris- one thing to note is the beach isn’t spectacular, it’s a little rough. But if you do decide to spend time at the beach, the staff is quite attentive. (One man in fact came by to fix my umbrella not one minute after I noticed how much it was leaning) Finally, the less than perfect beach is definately made up for by the pool. The pool was beautiful, big & relaxing, especially at nighttime. In fact this was my favorite part of the hotel & definately makes the Stellaris worth a visit. If I return to PR, I would stay here again for sure. On the whole, the setting was nice, the service was top-notch & the Stellaris left me with everything I wanted.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank ellaviaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Property: San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Address: 1309 Ashford Ave, San Juan 00907-1324, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in San Juan
#3 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#3 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#4 Business Hotel in San Juan
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#6 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 525
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only five miles from Luis Munoz International Airport, located in the prestigious Condado neighborhood of San Juan in a highly desirable beachfront location only minutes from numerous restaurants and bars.The property boasts 513 spacious guest rooms and 12 suites, most with spectacular Atlantic Ocean views; the 24 hour Stellaris Casino on site, two outdoor pools, two lighted tennis courts and Ocean Club Wellness Center that features a wide array of massages and treatments in addition to the health club.Food & Beverage offerings include La Vista Latin Grill, La Isla Beach Bar & Grill, La Isla Pool Bar, Wan Chai Noodle Bar, Coffee Merchant and the ultra chic Red Coral Lounge.Come and enjoy the comfortand atmosphere of everything this "Caribbean Cosmoplitan Beach Club" has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott San Juan Resort And Stellaris Casino
Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Hotel San Juan

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