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“Spectacular View, little service”

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Caribe Hilton San Juan
Ranked #19 of 48 Hotels in San Juan
GreenLeadersSilver level
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Spectacular View, little service”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Checked in for our 3 night resort stay and was given a room in the HHonors Tower. Room was tired and worn and in dire need of a makeover. Had reserved an ocean view room, opened the drapes and was looking at the parking garage. Went back to front desk and they immediately changed us to the main tower without an issue, these rooms have been updated and had the view as promised. The pool and beach area is beautiful, and ocean front. Staff was friendly and helpful but lounge area was always understaffed, bar food terrible. Would stay here again but be sure to ask for a main tower room. The beach, pool area, and ocean front location saves this very average property.

Room Tip: Ask for a main tower room that has been updated.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank misfitman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Calgary AB
Level Contributor
92 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Booked this hotel online. Arrived at 2 am, after 12hrs of travelling, prior to a cruise. Our luggage was lost, so we were tired and freaked out, with the possibility of facing a 2 week cruise with no luggage. The front desk clerk was very sympathetic, and supplied us with a couple of vanity bags with toiletries. I think we were the only ones walking around in long pants and hoodies. That aside, the grounds were well manicured, a wonderful pond with peacocks and exotic birds. There is a sandy beach, hamocks, pool and sitting areas on the grounds. An italian restuarant that offered a set price of I think $13 for a buffet style breakfast, which had the usual items. A few boutiques on the property. If you walked just off the grounds you can find a small liquor store, souvenirs, and around the corner a Subway shop. It appeared to be a long walk to get to a more populated area. As the temp was very hot, and we were in our winter travel wear, we didnt go far from A/C. We did take a taxi into Old San Juan for $12.. The conceige and luggage handling area was on top of tracking the lost luggage, and it arrived at 5pm. Thankfully our cruise did not leave that day, or we would have sailed without it. Just a tip, dont travel and sail on the same day.....This is a beautiful resort to spend a fews days...make sure to pack your bathing suit in your carryone...LOL

Room Tip: Off the beaten path..be prepared to take a taxi for about $12 to Old San Juan, and $20 to the airpor...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank cruizinroxyroller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monaco
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I'm normally a fan of Hiltons - I stay in lots, and am platinum with HHonors. This hotel is a disgrace to the Hilton chain.

At check-in, they sprung a surprise "resort fee" of 16% of the room rate on me, despite the hotels.com not mentioning a resort fee. I refused to pay it. They refused to drop it. I still refused to pay. After making me wait in the lobby for 2.5 hours (yes, 2.5 hours) while they called hotels.com, they finally agreed to waive it. Then at checkout, the final bill still included the resort fee. This time they agreed to drop it after only a couple of minutes.

As a platinum HHonors member, I get a free continental breakfast. However, they tried to sell me an "upgrade" to a full breakfast for $7. This just came across as crass and obnoxious.

The WiFi network had terrible signal in my room, and was basically unusable.

The air conditioning effectively only has two settings: off, and deep freeze. Setting the thermostat to 82F (the highest it went) still resulted in a cold room.

On the plus side, the room did have a nice view over the city, and the housekeeping staff were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alistair C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seminole, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Stayed 2 nights prior to a cruise.Historic hotel is nice, but is showing its age. Stayed in HHonors tower section room was modern only qualm was that there was no minibar in the room. Great restaurants (ate at Mortons). Live salsa music in the bar area nightly. Would stay again only for a short period.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank rrobstet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for your comments. We are glad to know that you enjoyed your time with us.

We hope you had a great cruise and hope to see you again soon.

At your service
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

I planned a surprise trip for my boyfriend and our 2 kids to Puerto Rico for his birthday. I wanted to stay somewhere nice with a good reputation. Where better to stay than the Hilton I thought, boy was I WRONG! Everything was wrong from the beginning, my first impression of the hotel was that it was very worn and outdated for a Hilton. I had called the day before our arrival and requested a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to be in our room upon arrival. Needless to say they were not there and I had to call the front desk twice to get them delivered, and then they had the audacity to charge me a 10% delivery fee!
Our room, which was supposed to be an ocean view was instead just a view of a dirty rooftop.
After the first night we asked to upgrade our room to a villa in the hopes of a bigger nicer room, wrong again. Our room was significantly smaller and very dirty. One evening I went to get ice and had to go to 3 different floors in search of an ice machine that actually worked. At one point we even saw a cockroach in the hallway. That's when we packed up and left. We moved to a BEAUTIFUL hotel called the Rio Mar on the other side of the island.
I wouldn't wish the Caribe Hilton on my worst enemy.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Tina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
We trully appreciate your review of your recent experience at our hotel. We regret that you had to leave us earlier than expected and feeling so dissapointed.

I'm very sorry you did not had a dood experience with us. On behalf of our entire team, I apologize for the less than satisfying stay, and we want you to know that we will make the necessary changes. It causes great concern to us when one of our guests leaves feeling this way. Your experience is not the indicative of our service levels and standards.

We are at your service and I personally invite you to give us another opportunity to serve you.

We are at your service
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012

This place is just generally lackluster. We were in the tower and had the most depressing view of trash on the roof. The staff was always too busy. Much of the property is lovely but it's way too crowded and this odd mixture of nicely renovated and old/tired. Not exactly the retro fun place we had envisioned. The elevator to our tower was not working properly which got very old. The pool area and beach are very pretty. We had a great time in Old San Juan and nice time at dinner in Condado. The staff did recommend El Livin for dinner near by (we walked) and we really loved it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ElisabethCS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for your feedback on your our hotel condition and your overall experience while you visited us recently. Please accept our apologies. I am sharing your comments with our Management as all comments and feedback are highly valued to us.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we hope you give us the opportunity of serve you in the near future.

We are at your service
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012

I stay at Hilton properties in Wash DC, Ankara & Istanbul Turkey, Chicago and elsewhere about 30-40 nights a year. In comparison, the Caribe Hilton is a mixed bag. The property, once you get past the chaotic curbside and lobby check-in area, is beautiful. Especially nice is the view of the pool area, lagoon, palm trees, etc. Picture postcard. Where this property falls short I place directly on management: check in around 3-4PM is a circus. Figure 5-10 minutes wait for every person in front of you. I thought it was just my luck arriving from a 2:30PM flight on a Friday, but I noted the same chaos at about the same time on Saturday afternoon. Even with 20 plus parties waiting to check in--there were only 3 desk personnel. Check in process seems to take an inordinate amount of PC interaction, finding paper files, dealing with lost reservations, etc. In short, by the time you get your key you are hot, flustered and ill disposed. What management really needs to do is place a "traffic cop" in the lobby area because it is chaos--someone to direct you to where you need to go, someone to direct arriving guests to proper lines. First impressions are key, and mine was not a good one.

Our room in the Villa I area was nice enough, with an ocean view, but a little tired. Our one problem--again I place on management--was getting our room made up on Saturday. At 3:30PM the room was not made up--and it took 3 repeated calls to Housekeeping, and searching for supervisors for the room to be made up at 4:30PM. Not what you want to deal with after a morning of walking in beautiful Old San Juan and wanting to come back to the room to relax and shower.

The lagoon beach area is nice enough, but management should have someone charged with picking up trash floating right along the shoreline a few times a day. Walking down to the beach and seeing floating plastic bags, candy wrappers, plastic cups, etc. sullies the experience. One hotel employee with a long handled pool skimmer could make a huge difference. Again--management is not paying attention to small details like this. There seem to be plenty of employees but they are not being used to the best advantage.

Room Tip: Balcony with ocean view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TUPF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson T, Manager at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
I appreciate your review of your recent experience at our hotel. I'm very sorry you had a disappointing experience with us and I have addressed these issues with our staff. Again, I apologize for the less than satisfying stay, and we want you to know that we will make the necessary changes. Exceptional guest service is the foundation of our brand promise and your feedback will help us improve. Thank you once again for your comments.

At your service
Nelson Torres, Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caribe Hilton San Juan

Property: Caribe Hilton San Juan
Address: 1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901-2401, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in San Juan
#5 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#10 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#11 Family Hotel in San Juan
#12 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#13 Business Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Caribe Hilton San Juan 4*
Number of rooms: 652
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic and iconic Caribe Hilton offers an ideal combination of leisure facilities and activities and is home to Caribar, the birthplace of the pina colada. The resort is situated on a private 17-acre lushly landscaped peninsula with a secluded beach and is located near the Old San Juan historic district and many of the destination's top attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hilton San Juan Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel Caribe
Hilton San Juan
San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel

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