My husband and I just came back from a vacation in the Caribbean. The first four nights of our trip was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As hotels in Puerto Rico are pretty expensive and heavily taxed, we decided to stay at the Doubletree San Juan, which had good rates for the days we were staying. The fact that Doubletree is a Hilton property and that particular Doubletree had gotten great reviews on Trip Advisor helped seal the deal. We collect Hilton Honors points and I've not yet been disappointed by Trip Advisor's advisories.
The first thing to know about the Doubletree in San Juan is that it is not located in Old San Juan. It's in Condado, which is a newer part of town. Condado struck me as more of the business area in San Juan. It's also fairly close to the beach. To get to Old San Juan, you'll need to take the bus or a cab, unless you have a car at your disposal. If you plan to take the bus, be sure to have exact change (75 cents).
The fact that Doubletree is in Condado is not a bad thing if you want to go to the beach. There's a super handy 24 hour supermarket across the street from the Doubletree. We also enjoyed the awesome art museum which is within walking distance of the hotel.
We arrived at the Doubletree at about 10:00pm. We were warmly greeted by Rafael, the bellhop. If you stay at the Doubletree in San Juan, be sure to get to know Rafael. He's always smiling and tremendously helpful! Tip him generously, because he deserves it! Throughout our stay, Rafael did everything he could to see that we felt welcome.
Our standard room was pretty small by American standards. We had a queen sized bed, a desk with wireless Internet, a large flat screen TV with local cable, a microwave, and a fridge. Ice was available down the hall and we had a Wolfgang Puck coffee maker.
There wasn't a very nice view from our window. Besides blackout shades, the windows were covered with a lighter shade that let in sunlight but kept out the depressing view.
The bathroom was very small, but stylishly appointed with a rainfall shower, a Villeroy and Boch toilet and sink, and Neutrogena toiletries.
Other hotel amenities
The San Juan Doubletree has a gift shop, complete with Godiva chocolates, a business center with free access to the Internet, a fitness center with Precor equipment, and a very nice pool area with manmade waterfalls, a hot tub, and lots of lounge chairs.
Aside from the fantastic Doubletree cookies one gets upon checking in (and from Rafael if he catches you looking crestfallen), the San Juan Doubletree has several restaurants. We tried one of them, Michael's Bistro, for breakfast our first day. Breakfast was not included in our rate and, to be honest, I thought it was a bit overpriced. I think we paid about $12 each for lukewarm eggs and bacon. The coffee left much to be desired. I would recommend going elsewhere for breakfast unless it's included in your stay. There are plenty of options nearby, including the 24 hour supermarket across the street. Breakfast is served there.
The Condado area also has some pretty good restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. If you're keen to eat onsite, there's Silk, which specializes in Asian food, Under The Trees, a pasta and omelet themed restaurant, and Alquimia, a wine and tapas bar. We didn't try any of these restaurants, which I think were located in the business area directly adjacent to the Doubletree. I can also recommend Bebo's Cafe, a great no-frills restaurant just around the corner from the Doubletree. We ate lunch there and not only was the food good and plentiful, it was also cheap!
We were very impressed by the concierge, who was helpful when we decided to take a day trip to El Yunque. She helped us rent a car and gave us directions to the rainforest.
Our overall experience
We liked the Doubletree, though the bed was a bit harder than I would have liked it. While not being in Old San Juan kind of kept us out of the tourist action, we liked the Condado area because it was close to the beach and wasn't overrun with tourists waiting for cruise ships. The fact that it was somewhat less expensive than the resorts in San Juan made it even more attractive to us. And that supermarket across the street was very convenient!
I think we'd stay there again if we ever go back to Puerto Rico. It's clear that the San Juan Doubletree's manager is very concerned with customer service. He's got a great staff working for him.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan is located in the popular Condado area of Puerto Rico's capital city. This modern, full-service hotel offers a wonderful balance of relaxed comfort and warm hospitality conveyed by a signature warm DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie on arrival. Stay within walking distance of sandy Puerto Rico beaches, museums and casinos. Our location is ideal, just three miles from the historic district of Old San Juan and only five miles from San Juan's Luis Munoz Martin International Airport. Contemporary guest rooms and executive accommodations include in-room conveniences like a 32-inch flat-screen TV, MP3 clock radio, WiFi access, microwave, mini-fridge, and plush beds for a comfortable night's sleep. Enjoy a choice of dining options showcasing Asian, Caribbean and international cuisines. Relax in tropical surrounds in the private courtyard with a sparkling outdoor pool with whirlpool. Unwind with a spa treatment or work out in the 24-hour fitness center, featuring cardio equipment and free weights. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree By Hilton San Juan Hotel San Juan
- Doubletree San Juan
- San Juan Doubletree
- Best Western San Juan
- San Juan Best Western
- Hotel Pierre Puerto Rico