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“Jan 2013, Hilton Honors Gold: good, not great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Caribe Hilton San Juan

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Caribe Hilton San Juan
Ranked #18 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Pennsylvania, USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Jan 2013, Hilton Honors Gold: good, not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

HILTON HONORS GOLD: There is a dedicated help desk for check-in etc for Hilton Honors members. The front desk and all staff of the establishment were really excellent. Very courteous, prompt, and helpful. All spoke good English.

BREAKFAST: There is a restaurant that has a breakfast buffet every morning. There are two options: unlimited "continental," which includes hot cereal, fruit, various pastries and toasts and breads with butter / jam / cream cheese, coffee varieties including cappuccino etc, hot tea, orange juice and punch (carbohydrates); and the "upgrade" which is the unlimited continental with one visit to the hot buffet section where a server offers whatever you want in whatever portions you like of scrambled eggs, one or two meats, potatoes, fried cheese, fried turnovers, plantain (meats and specialty side dishes)... the hot buffet offerings varied with the exception of daily scrambled eggs. The continental buffet was around $11 and the upgrade was an additional $7-8. Hilton Honors members who opt for breakfast rather than points in their online profile receive a voucher for each night. The voucher is redeemed for the unlimited continental and for an optional $8 payment the hot buffet upgrade is available. All the food was very good. Great coffee. Pleasant restaurant, well-staffed.

PUBLIC AREAS: The lounge was very nice, open and spacious. Various shops, restaurants, and a Starbucks in the hotel lounge. The pool area and grounds were OK. Well-used but clean. The beach is to the western side of the hotel at the end of a lagoon protected by a coral breaker. The grounds were broken up into small areas: hammocks, sunbathing pier, beach, jacuzzi & bar, etc. so each area was a little more intimate and could have been completely occupied if crowded. It seemed best suited to families or groups. We did not use any of the resort amenities on the grounds but every guest, including Hilton Honors, pays a resort fee! For someone looking for a more authentic and natural Puerto Rican beach experience, the grounds of the hotel is not recommended. There is, however, a small local public beach within a short walk to the west that was practically deserted in the morning; surfers were also using the area but the swimming section is roped off. This beach is right on the coast behind a large breaker and is natural and beautiful. It is adjacent to a large botanical park.

ROOM: Our room was in the tower. It was well-used but adequately clean. The bed was perfectly clean and well-dressed with copious down pillows, feather bed, and down comforter. The view was down the coastline to the east. So there was an ocean view, but not of the horizon. There was also a lot of brilliant light at night from all the highrises down the coast. The view included the small fort, which is not open and unfortunately not as scenic with the orange cones scattered around. The shower was very large with travertine tile and two showerheads. No problem with the internet, lamps, coffemaker, hairdryer, or housekeeping. There was a problem with the noise level in the area. Small planes taking off from a nearby airport flew right past the hotel beginning at 7AM. There was construction of a large structure in the hotel complex that began at 6AM and included jackhammers, reverse alarms from construction vehicles, and generators. The hotel buildings are configured around the open circular entrance road which creates the acoustic effect of an amphitheater so that all traffic and the construction noise was amplified inside the complex. This included early morning truck deliveries. We noticed that it is the custom to leave vehicles running in Puerto Rico when parked, so truck and car motors were audible all day and into the night. We were on the 17th floor and were awakened by 7:30AM every day due to the noise.

LOCATION: The location of the Hilton Caribe is not ideal. There are virtually no businesses in the area. There are a few very small shops and a Subway restaurant adjacent to the hotel but the hotel is separated from any dining options and scenic areas (except for the botanical garden and public beach) by a significant stretch of marginally walkable apartments and government buildings. We did walk one evening from Old San Juan and it was a hike: a narrow sidewalk along a busy highway with traffic and litter. There is a bus that runs from Condado across the bridge, near to the Hilton Caribe, and into the bus terminal in Old San Juan. The bus takes 75 cents of exact change for each ride. The buses seemed safe and were very clean. We had no trouble with the bus on the way into the old town in the morning but getting back was a challenge. We would wait for up to an hour in the terminal while the buses were parked (engine running) and the drivers had "conveniences" - shopping, eating, whatever. Stops had to be called for, and the stop on the easterly route home required crossing five lanes of traffic (3, then 2) with no traffic signals to get back to the hotel. We only took taxis to and from the airport and there were excellent taxi services in the hotel lobby at all times. There were also bike rentals. The hotel was too inconvenient to return during the day from an excursion, so we had to plan accordingly. Getting around the old town was easy with plenty of scenic walking and a free trolley with stops all over the city.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PumaBearCloud
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, January 21, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and comments. It was a pleasure to serve you.

We apologize for the noise and other inconveniences you had during your stay with us. It is through feedback as yours that we evaluate ourselves and identify the areas where we can improve. Again thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience not only in Caribe Hilton but in our beautiful Puerto Rico.

We look forward to your return

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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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel while my husband was on a business trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the grounds of the hotel. You could choose to relax by an assortment of pools, jacuzzi, hammocks, beach chairs, and bars. There was also a small beach area in which to soak up the sun and wade in the calmer waters. The view of the Atlantic ocean was beautiful and it was fun to watch the waves and the fish from the pier. There were several places to eat-food was good but pricey. Most of the people in serving roles were not too friendly, although we did have a few excellent ones. The room we stayed in was very nice, the beds were extremely comfortable, and the bathroom area was very good.(The hair dryer was one of the best I have used in a hotel room) The hotel was close to attractions-Old San Juan and both forts, and eating establishments. During the week, it was busy but hardly any children there so it was pretty quiet. One of my favorite places to visit was the tropical garden area where you could get up close and personal with peacocks, swans, turtles, koi fish and even a turkey! Many photo ops were found at this hotel and I enjoyed having a variety of things to do and see without leaving the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jamie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
265 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Stayed here prior to our cruise. It is a very nice hotel with beautiful grounds. The room was very nice with comfortable beds. The breakfast buffet was above average. However, the food and the beverages are really pricey. I would give it 5 stars, if it wasn't quite so expensive. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WileyPost
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, January 21, 2013
Hi there! thank you for staying with us and taking the time to share your experience! We are glad to hear that you had a great time and hope you return soon!

We are 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.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We stayed here for a pre cruise hotel. Good location. Had room on the top floor of the tower with beautiful views. Spent a fun evening at the lobby bar. And enjoyed a wonderful breakfast buffet. The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful. Definitely recommending this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank happygrammy4
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, January 18, 2013
Hello! thank you for your kind words. We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We hope you are already planning your return! We are 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.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We visited the Caribe Hilton on January 6, 2013. We opted to spend one additional day in Puerto Rico after our cruise on the Carnival Victory. This hotel was recommended to us by our TA and when I did a quick search for information it looked nice and we do have the Hilton Rewards card so I decided to book it. I have never stayed in Puerto Rico prior to this trip but would definitely visit again and stay at the Caribe Hilton again.

What I loved about the hotel is it's proximity to Old San Juan and the port. The grounds of the hotel are stunning and the Tropical Garden was a surprise. I enjoyed spending time in the garden and watching the turkey survey and protect all that was his. The parrots in the lobby were fun as well.

Our room was located in the main building and had a view of the lagoon. When I booked the hotel I had the option to upgrade at check-in if an upgrade was available. When we got to the hotel there was an upgrade available for $15 and we decided to take it. Our original room was on the 4th floor facing the Conrad building and our new room was on the 9th floor facing the lagoon. I believe either room would have been fine but was happy with the new room.

We had dinner at the Italian restaurant in the main building and it was quite good. I didn't book the room with the breakfast option so we did have to pay for the breakfast - continental buffet and there were plenty of options to choose from. It was relatively inexpensive for breakfast and I was happy to not have to pay for the full hot buffet.

The staff were wonderful during our short visit. The porters helped us store our luggage after checkout and until we were ready to leave for the airport. They helped us with a taxi to Old San Juan and explained to the taxi driver where we wanted to go.

Had a great time here and would love to visit again for a longer stay next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ToodlesCA
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, January 18, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your time. Hope you had a wonderful Cruise trip!

Many of our guests love to spend time watching our birds and the turkey! Is quite amazing.

We look forward to welcome you again.

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.
Fargo, North Dakota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

You would think it should be above average, but there were many little things that made not.
Guest check in, took forever due to the amount of people checking in. If there was any issue, only 1 manager could take care of it.
Housekeeping didnt speak english, which made it hard for them to understand that I didn't need service - even when the sign said Do Not Disturb! They knocked on my door and called me to see if I needed anything, but clearly I didnt when it said dnd.

The beach and outside facilities were awesome. The pool was remarkable. The pool restaurant was less than good.

The hallways were noisy and difficult to sleep past 7am.

Puerto Rico itself was fun and the town was unique - but the weather was great!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank fatLUNCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Libertyville, IL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

This Hilton was on a nice piece of property located close to Old Town. It was about a 20 min ride from the International Airport on Sunday. 5 minute ride from Isla Grande Airport. We stayed here after a trip to Vieques. The pools were nice with plenty of chairs, and the beach was clean and perfect for swimming with plenty of chairs also. The hotel beach was protected by a barrier so the waves were minimal. Towels were available pool side. This is a big resort with a lot of people. Much different experience than our visit to Vieques. The water was a little cool compared. Hammocks in the shade. Nice ocean front was rocky with the sound of waves crashing with beautiful deep blue / jade colored sea. Hotel had 3 restaurants and a Starbucks, plus connected to a Mortons Steakhouse. We liked the Pina Colada cafe for lunch and Starbucks for breakfast. The hotel granted us a late check out of 1:30pm which was great since our flight was at 4pm. Walk into Old Town for dinner less was about 30-40 minutes along the coast. Taxi to and from Old Town San Juan was less than 10 min and $14. Taxi to the airport was about $20.

The resort was clean and staff friendly enough. Bed was very comfy. Plan ahead room rate was very affordable in the tower. Only reason I did not give a 5 rating was the hotel room was showing it's age...some refreshing up is required (paint, stains, carpet).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jfili
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, January 16, 2013
Hi there! we are glad to hear that you had a good time and enjoyed our facilities!

We appreciate your feedback on the room condition. We hope you visit us again soon

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 00907-1052, 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:
#5 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#9 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 Caribe Hilton, the ultimate beachfront hotel in San Juan, is set on an exclusive peninsula made up of 17 acres of lush tropical gardens. This Puerto Rico Hilton is ideally situated between historic old San Juan and the exciting Condado area, offering a secluded beach, lavish accommodations and amenities tailored to families, couples and business travelers alike. This San Juan hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin Airport and the closest resort to Old San Juan area. ... 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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