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“I'd give this hotel 0 stars if I could”

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The Condado Plaza Hilton
Ranked #24 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Reviewed October 18, 2013

We have traveled the world and stayed in hotels over 7 continents. This is THE worst hotel I've ever encountered. Sure, we've had our share of problems here and there but never on the level of this hotel. First of all, before going to the hotel we, of course, looked at the website. Let me just say that the photographer deserves a million dollars for those pictures because they couldn't be further from the truth. Nothing about those pictures will you actually see there, except if you maybe travel back in time. To start off, the hotel overall is completely falling apart. Everywhere you look there is peeling paint, dents, broken furniture. There is a lot of stuff out of order....jacuzzi, elevator, pool slide etc. The key card system evidently constantly goes down and you have to be escorted to your room every time you want to get in and no keys can be made in that time. They apparently say it "never happens" but look at the reviews, folks....this happens all the time. Yesterday guests couldn't check in or get into their rooms for over 4 hours.

Our room was a junior suite. Upon stepping off the elevator, you were hit with a strong smell of mildew. Overwhelming. The actual room was extremely crammed and falling apart. Dirt EVERYWHERE. Like other posters say, the staff here does not know what the meaning of clean is. The floor was disgusting. The bathroom was a nightmare. Mold and pink slime all over it. Corners a wreck. The main bedroom had a panel of wallpaper behind the bed and I noticed the corner of the wallpaper was totally sticking out and peeled off. For kicks, I decided to pull it back and was horrified to find toxic black mold behind it. Then, I noticed that there was mold all over the ceiling as well as water stains. Overall, the furniture was just old. My thought was "where are the rooms that look like the website pictures????" When we requested to change rooms I actually said that to the front desk attendant. I was perplexed...was there some magical wing that had recently been remodeled and that's where the website rooms were?? She was perplexed too, as if I was asking the strangest question ever. She didn't understand what I meant about "the rooms like the website."

We requested to switch rooms and while the associate was mildly helpful, I had the feeling that she felt like we were being difficult. They offered us a smaller room and explained that all of their suites were in that wing. Since she was completely unapologetic about the dirt, condition of the room and mold, I can only assume that this is a problem that they were very aware of and she knew that all the rooms would be the same. Any normal human being would react in disgust and shock and try to make up for this kind of situation. We switched to a standard room with 2 beds. Despite the beds being in the same room, it was actually larger than the junior suite. Cleanliness was a lot better and it did not smell like mildew. The shower though still had a lot of mold. The associate did say they would take the room out of order and maintenance would be notified but we all know what that means.

We went down to the pool which was fine except that every lounge chair, table and umbrella is falling apart. They're all rusty, broken, wood peeling off, full of bird poop etc. You have to check out the towels and, like others said, they're very threatening by telling you you'll be charged for them if you don't return them by 6pm. Really? I don't want or need your old, scratchy towels. Anyway, the "children's" pool is a joke. It's the size of a bathtub. The main pool bar is all rotting underneath the structure and looks old and gross. All around the pool there are areas of standing water that looks slimy, black in the grout etc. I didn't even want to take off my shoes. The filters in the pool could be replaced...it's just one more thing that looks gross and old.

Staff was cleaning up palm trees ALL morning. Most hotels do not do this as it is disturbing to guests to have to listen to dragging metal ladder on cement as they prune the palm trees and chop down the coconuts (which they were just dropping down on the ground). Some repeat guests were there and told us that 2 years ago a coconut fell on his wives head and she was injured and since then they apparently chop them down. Which is fine and necessary but you do this kind of stuff at 5 or 6am, not 11am or noon. Anyway, this happened over two of the days at least and this went on well into the afternoon. Beach was fine. It is small but we liked that it was an inlet- safe for the kids, no waves, very calm water. It did take about 25 minutes for the waitress to come (after asking for her) to order food and then it seemed to take a very long time for the food as well. We ordered drinks which she brought 10 after bringing the food. We didn't appreciate this as we were very thirsty and even thirstier once we started eating.

Overall, the staff here seems depressed and I would be too if I had to work in a place like this. No one is overly helpful or helpful at all. The friendliest person we encountered was a bellman/greeter out front. The cafe servers were decent but failed to respond to our complaints about the food (dinner, see below) and instead asked 3 times if we wanted it boxed up.

Again, we've traveled the world over 7 continents and I have never seen prices like this. The convenience store was criminal....$14.99 for a small bottle of Children's Tylenol, $6.99 for a can of Tostitos Salsa, $5.99 for a very small bag of Tostitos Chips. We ate at the Cafe Caribe and like another poster said it should be called Cafe Car-rap. Terrible food, high prices. The breakfast prices were passable but quality was abysmal. I ordered the breakfast pastries which consisted of 4 danishes and a muffin ($8.50). They were microwaved to make them seem "fresh baked" but nobody is fooling me...these are the same quality as you would find at a free continental breakfast at a Holiday Inn or similar which isn't saying much. It took about 15 minutes to get this and there were only about 3 other tables there that already had their food so Im unsure why it took so long. We also ate dinner there. I ordered the garlic shrimp which was an astronomical $28.95 (we eat at high end restaurants in NYC all the time and that kind of pricing you find at excellent restaurants, not a "cafe"). Garlic my a$$. It was 4 cold cocktail shrimp arranged around a plate of rice. They literally poured a sauce over it to make them seem sauteed and a small bowl of beans on the side. Nice presentation but it tasted like cardboard, shrimp were cold and obviously never hit the sautee pan. The other dishes we ordered were not edible....not even the hot dog for my daughter. All the food was cold and it took a really long time (again, "cafe" so was expecting it to be a little faster service). Like another poser said, they also give you a menu which has one side marked "not available" for a bunch of food items. Also, there is NO room service here.

So, yes, every single negative review on here is 100% true. These are not subjective, this is obviously fact. After reading the glowing reviews, it's clear they are planting good reviews on here. And for the Guest Relations person that comments on here to every single post, spare me...I am not interested in your defense of your disgusting hotel. Nothing you say could make any of this right or explain away the condition of the hotel or ever, ever, ever make me come back (unless, of course this hotel is torn down and rebuilt which it should be). What I have said is all fact. Mold = fact. Dirty Shower = Fact. Rusty and broken pool furniture = fact. mildew smell = fact.

Finally, what others say about location is also true. it's at the mouth of the bridge so you hear a lot of urban traffic especially at the beach. It's surrounded by a few abandoned buildings and it's quite a walk to the touristy area.

If you go here, expect a LOW BUDGET hotel with a prestigious name. Conrad already stripped them of their status and now it's time for Hilton to do the same. This hotel doesn't deserve to have the Hilton name behind. Hilton Corporate- please do something about this hotel and investigate this management company!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank ddeparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ConradSanJuan, General Manager at The Condado Plaza Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2013

Dear ddparis-NY

As the Managing Director of the hotel, I have read your comments in detail and wanted to personally address your review.

We apologize for the the unfortunate conditions of your room This is not representative of the 570 rooms at our property or of the standards the Condado Plaza Hilton maintains. I'm glad to know that you were moved to another room. In 2008, our property completed a $75 million renovation with all guest rooms and meeting space completely rebuilt.

We continue to expand on these refurbishments. Our salt water pool was renovated this month with its main skimmer on the southern side of the pool built anew. It reopened on October 12th. The larger pool is undergoing another update at the end of this month. As for the umbrellas, these were all bought new a couple of months ago, and all the white side tables' tops were also replaced last week. Over 100 lounge chairs are also just being replaced as part of our standard maintenance program that will be completed by the end of the year. And, while I realize inconvenient, the treatment of the palm trees that started at 6:00AM those two days, was, as you rightly say, an utmost necessity.

I also apologize for the malfunction with our key card system. We realize this accidental event has been an inconvenience to our guests and are responding swiftly to resolve the issue and minimize the impact for our customers.

I take the service we offer our guests as a personal responsibility. Along with my Guest Relations Manager, we instill the importance of service and hospitality to almost 300 staff members in weekly sessions with our valued team. I see them far from depressed, on the contrary, our guest comments scores have increased almost twenty points since we started this program. Our commitment to our guests is one our entire team takes most seriously.

My last comment is to address your statement that we plant "good" reviews in TripAdvisor. This is absolutely not true. Michelle and I abide by very high standards of integrity and would never deceive our guests and customers.

Since you continue to stay with us, I will make every effort to meet you as soon as possible to discuss the above. I look forward to our conversation and hope we can make the remainder of your stay a positive experience.

Raul Bustamante
Managing Director
Raul.Bustamante@hilton.com

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2,639 - 2,645 of 4,921 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2013

My daughter and I decided to take a quick trip to Puerto Rico. The Condado Hilton was clean and very inviting. When we checked in we were given an upgrade. The staff were very gracious and polite. The overall trip was awesome. The Aqua services at the pool were top notch. David a bartender at the swim up bar pool was very accommodating. We were there late one evening and hungry the kitchen was closed, but David suggested that we order from the Caribe café. David ordered our food and went to get it from the restaurant! He was so wonderful along giving us a most important history. David, Thank you for making our last night one of the Best!
We will recommend the Condado to everyone! We also plan to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Drina57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Our group of about 50 stayed 5 nights from Wednesday. I like the fact of having a balcony but someone could easily climb over the rail from another room, so lock your door to it. My shower had a leaking seal that created water on the floor and it was reported 3 times and no one fixed it. Quite a few guest including myself had problems opening the door and that was not addressed - so hopefully you are not in a hurry and need to get in fast. The bed is just a nice futon so if you have trouble getting up don't do this hotel. I also had a roach in the room on the ironing board and a mouse that was in the return air vent. The last night of the stay I awaken with about 6 insect bites on one leg and 3 on the other, WHAT THE HECK! I was dinner over night. Staff nice but did nothing about my concerns at checkout nearly said they would report it for the next guest want have a problem, don't see that happening. Pay attention to bill, group rate hold on card was suppose to be $100, came up $200 and took forever to get off. I did enjoy all the other staff. Hotel needs some painting.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Carlos M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

I don't want to talk about the hotel, let's talk about AQUA. First of all the service at the pool area is amazing. The wings are the bomb diggity with that hot sauce and honey mustard sides. Make sure to try the Puerto Rican besos it's the perfect sunny day drink. Virnalis gave an above and beyond service (believe me I asked for water like 20 times!), she is awesome. Everyone was just awesome.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Kary_duckie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Stayed here first time this past month. First off the front desk person was really a charm to speak with (I think it was Veronica, I heard she sings very well) she really had a great sense of humour and also was willing to do whatever was neccessary to make my stay accomodating. I spoke with her daily and she was always pleasent and smiling.

Rooms were comfortable and they are going through some remodelling. The first room I had was a inner harbour view, but I requested the next day an ocean view, which again they were more than cooperative. It was great to see and listen to the waves and sounds of seaguls. the view is fantastic from the balconies on the ocean side.

Breakfast I was given a credit of $7.00 daily (I am a Diamond memebr with Hilton) and it was able to be used at any of their restaurants including the Dennys in the other building. Showers are all glassed and roomy. Tolietries supplied are of very nice quality and large sized, which they replaced daily whether used or not.

There are 3 pools here, a casino and sevral bars and restaurants. I never have time for the pools, casinos and rarely eat at the hotels.

Chilis and several restaurants are along the street to the east and well within walking distance. Great stay, and decent place.

Room Tip: Ocean Side in the main lobby building. Any floor above the 3rd.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank EMB08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Lets just say STAY AWAY. I go to Puerto Rico at least three times a yr and decided to give this hotel a try BIG mistake. From the rude front desk staff with their unprofessional sloppy appearance to the miserable bartenders by the pool and their housekeeping that puts blood stained sheets and the beds. So we arrived early and the room wasnt ready no big deal. We decided to hang out by the pool while we waited. Well the pool staff refused to give us towels so we sat on these old pool chairs with no towels for 4hrs. Want a drink by the pool GOOD LUCK no one comes up to you and ask if you want anything. So we went to the bar where Angel had an absolute attitude problem. Last time I checked bartenders were suppose to be social not roll their eyes every two minutes. We get out room finally just to find it dirty with stained sheets dusty cups and coffee and a moldy shower. We were promised a new room the next day by Omar the front desk manager and it never happened. So I guess lying to their customers is a routine for them. FYI there is no longer any room service. The food at the hotel is just as gross from the cafe to by the pool. Get ur food on the beach from the pincho lady and save ur money. By the end of this trip that was only 3 days I was so annoyed by their lack of customer service and disregard to their paying customers. I blame the people who do the hiring obviously they do not look for the right qualifications. Also the bell boys who rather stand and talk while they show their instagrams to each rather than put your luggage in the taxi was the icing on the cake. Why would they even have their phones on them while on duty? Lets not forget the rudest and condescending front desk clerk Kendra wouldn't want to leave her out. PLEASE if you want to have a great experience on a great Island with awesome customers service pay a little extra and stay at the Concha or Marriott. You wont be disappointed.

Room Tip: there is the main building and the building across the way. stay clear of the rooms if there not in...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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9  Thank Lisa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichelleBurn, Guest Relations Manager at The Condado Plaza Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2013

Dear Lisa C,

First of all, thank you for your review of your past stay at our hotel. I am so sorry that our staff was not more attentive towards you and that they did not provide you the customer service you deserve. I was both surprised and deeply disappointed by your recount of your experience with us. I assure you that it’s contrary to what our customers typically see from us. However, I can very much empathize with your situation and assure you that I have taken your comments and shared it with our management team.

Please know that your business is incredibly important to us and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you encountered.

Best regards,

Michelle Burn
Guest Relations Manager
The Condado Plaza Hilton
michelle.burn@hilton.com

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Reviewed October 16, 2013

Very nicely decorated hotel, but just lacks some of the basic Hilton qaulities. Wifi connection was awful and frustrating. No traditional Hilton breakfast buffet...ate at Dennys across the street instead. Your closet and fridge are in the bathroom! Didnt really like having my clothes and food in the same small space that I go to the restroom.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
2  Thank Micheal G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichelleBurn, Guest Relations Manager at The Condado Plaza Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Michael G,

Thank you so much for taking time to post a review of your recent stay with us. I was glad to read that you found our hotel to be nicely decorated. We do our very best to make sure our guests feel like they are home and appreciate your comments. However, I understand that you were unsatisfied with a few issues at our hotel. I especially would like to apologize if you were inconvenienced in any way regarding our internet connection at our hotel. I do empathize with your situation and assure you that we are always looking for ways to improve our guests’ satisfaction. We are currently looking at different options to increase the speed and availability of our Wi-Fi connection.

We strive to be competitive with other hotels and offer quality services and amenities in our guest rooms; however, I apologize if we came short of delivering what you expected from us. With this in mind, I assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration to improve our property.

Again, I truly regret any inconveniences you went through and hope that you give us another chance of staying with us if you are ever around our area.


Kind regards,

Michelle Burn
Guest Relations Manager
The Condado Plaza Hilton
michelle.burn@hilton.com

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Additional Information about The Condado Plaza Hilton

Address: 999 Ashford Avenue, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico (Formerly Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza)
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) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#8 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#12 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#15 Business Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: $184 - $412 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Condado Plaza Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 572
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Condado Plaza Hilton, the only hotel overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean and Condado Lagoon, is an enchanting alternative to typical San Juan hotel. Our unique location boasts cool ocean breezes, breathtaking sunsets, and a shimmering, protected beach. Whether you're traveling for work or play, this sparkling hotel offers it all, superb dining options including the award-winning Pikayo restaurant, elegant event venues, three glistening pools, water slide, waterports, 24-hour fitness center, tennis, poolside massage and bustling nightlife. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel San Juan
San Juan Conrad
Condado Plaza Hotel San Juan
Hotel Resort Wyndham

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