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Caribe Hilton San Juan
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Savings alert! 16% below average rates

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Reviews (7,224)
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Reviewed November 16, 2011

Hilton need to speed up the renovation of this hotel and do something about lunches.

Booked in for a conference we specified a 2-bed room, ocean view with balcony. Allocated a smelly room on the 16th floor of the tower which had a filthy carpet, tired furniture, and an inadequate shower. They proposed a room on the 17th floor which was only marginally less disgusting. Finally they provided a room on the 8th floor of the main building which was acceptable, though all rooms had double, not twin, beds and the bath tub (at last) showed signs of recently treated mould. Due to the eccentric lift I found myself on the 6th floor which is having a substantial makeover . . . . not, I suspect, before time.

An essential requirement of a conference hotel is good quick lunches at reasonable cost. This Hilton provided:
- a small pseudo-Italian restaurant with seating for around 80 people. Av. price $40 per person
- the Pina Colada bar which provided meals only at weekends and then took ages to deliver even the simplest of meals such as a (tired) cheese-plate
- the Lemongrass "Asian-Latino" restaurant. This was not open at lunch and in the evening was expensive and given to mistaken adventures into fusion food.
- a tiny but welcome Starbucks!

Pricing was real nickel & dime. A "special" room rate of $180 turned out to be $221 inc. fees and taxes, and continental breakfast was an additional $17.25 each. Fortunately the conference organisers had arranged full refund of the extortionate internet access from the rooms.

Staff were varied in quality, only really acceptable in the Palmeras breakfast restaurant which was inexplicably closed at lunchtime. Checkout was: "Here's your bill, we've got your credit card, have a nice day"

The site is magnificent and the outdoor facilities seemed good. But major refurbishment is needed, staff attitudes changed and as a conference hotel Hilton need to do a serious re-think.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled on business
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Thank robertopw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2011

This was my 3rd stay at the Caribe Hilton and probably the best, actually. Typically we like to stay in Condos in Puerto Rico but we did discover a real jewel with something we did different this time.
I highly would recommend the cooked to order buffet breakfast. Espresso bar, stunning views of Puerto Rican beach, they make a cooked to order breakfast and probably the best array of fruits and breakfast items that I have ever experienced. It was well worth the money to add it to the room, and believe that you can plan it w your itinerary even cheaper if in advance.

Orlando, their employee at Palmera Restaurant gave us exceptional service. He offered great service even by the Puerto Rican standards which are way superior to most places in the U.S. We had such a wonderful breakfast and the best tasting papayas and mangoes ever....!

Be aware that if you bring a car there is a daily parking fee. It is well worth getting off the plane and taking a cab for a couple of days from the airport just to avoid for a couple of first beach days. Tip:
We got off the plane and the taxi prices are fixed. Don't even bother negotiating those. But if you find tourists like yourself standing outside waiting for a taxi, just discreetly ask them if they are also going to the Caribe Hilton. That is exactly what we did and instead of paying $25., we split the fare of $30. (they charge a flat rate and then add for each suitcase and person). Tourism is basically the main stream of income in Puerto Rico. Just accept that and make it work for you.

Why not just stay at Caribe buy the great breakfast buffet, get a snack for lunch and then go to one of the restaurants there on site for dinner for your first few days? Restaurants are Morton's -wow wow- w shrimp alexander and check online for web specials as they do not mention them unless you do....-the other is an italian restaurant but I order Comida Criolla -basic churassco steak, habicuelas=beans and rice w avocado. yum.

One thing to consider: Avoid at all costs the Hertz desk-we booked a full sized car and the snippy Neuyorican lady behind the counter insisted we keep the reservation and take a compact. What?! for a full sized price?? Sorry, but why would we do that? For a rental car the best price in San Juan these days is at the Enterprise place. Take a shuttle or taxi back to the airport. You'll be glad you did. The other rental agency is only for like a one day rental. Enterprise offers better week rates, and a much better selection.

Bell Service was excellent, front desk efficient and the parrots on site are hilarious. Also there is a starbucks on site. You can go to the business center 24/7, or get internet in the lobby.

If you are taking a cruise, this is the best place to go. Really. You just have to know these little tricks to make it your best vacation ever!

Room Tip: Get a Villa or Reserve an ocean room view in the tower, not the garden.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Kat-thryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2011

Excellent hotel......great service and wonderful employees!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2011

With everyone saying how great the hotel is because of the people I guess I was there the night they were all off.

Check in
They were bombarded when I arrived to check in but it still took them an hour to check in the 5 guests in front of me. This is totally unacceptable. It was so bad I write the hotel to complain to which I did receive an apology letter.

Finding the room
After I finally received my room key I was off to my room. Well little did I know the mumbled directions I was given by the front desk employee were worthless. It was something like go straight, turn right and you'll see a sign turn there and you room is ahead. That would have been sufficient if this place was huge. I ended up going back to the desk to get a map and I was not alone I saw at least 8 other people that were also lost trying to find their rooms.

Room
The room itself was fine. Standard Caribbean decor.

Bathroom
No problems even with hot water in the morning.

Food
There are no close restaurant to walk to so you are stuck at the hotel without taking an expensive cab ride (they are all expensive no matter how close). The food was OK and the beer was cold but it was VERY EXPENSIVE! I ended up paying like $30-35 for 2 beers and fish tacos.

Price
The price was not bad at all but it not really close to Old San Juan so you are going to pay $25 round trip for a cab from the hotel and back. I would rather stay close to Old San Juan and pay more a night.

Overall I was very disappointed with this Hilton. I really got the impression no one really cared and everything was lip service to the tourists.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled on business
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Thank morganrep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2011

We stayed for a day at the Caribe Hilton on each side of our cruise. The check in was very easy. Dinner at Morton's was as good as any Morton's I've ever been to. The views from our room were spectacular. I can't imagine staying at another hotel when we return to San Juan.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Steven G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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