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All reviews tacos butler service west tower biltmore suite tequila restaurant replenished daily beautiful hotel infinity pool puerto rico turn down service ocean view old san juan five star hotel one bedroom suite the ritz carlton pool staff main pool
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Reviewed May 17, 2018 via mobile

We came to the Condado Vanderbilt a few months after our original trip to Puerto Rico had to be rescheduled due to the hurricane and the aftermath. Every year I take my Mom on a trip, and last year we choose PR - we settled on the Ritz at Dorado, but unfortunately we were not able to complete that trip as that hotel is currently still undergoing restoration.

We decided on the Condado Vanderbilt as from what I could tell, this was the best hotel on the island that is currently open and operating.

I will summarize my review below: this is a good hotel, overall the staff are friendly and attentive, however the overall hotel and rooms are not true five star hotel quality.

We arrived after an uneventful flight, there is no Uber pickup at the airport, but the taxi to the hotel was a very reasonable $20. We were helped with our luggage briefly, as in the bellhop removed our luggage from the car and then handed it back to us - not the usual at a five star hotel but nonetheless, this was not an issue. Upon entering the hotel, I waited about 15 minutes to check in - we were offered a variety of drinks, but declined to indulge. The time we had to wait in the grand scheme of things is not a long time, but I have never waited this long while standing in line to check into a five star hotel. Here is what usually happens at true five star hotels: you arrive, someone informs you there is a short wait to check in, and then you are offered a seat in the waiting area and a beverage. There were about 5-8 bell hops working, 2 individuals at the concierge desk, and 3 individuals checking people in. I am not sure why a new check in procedure has not yet been implemented.

There is also a beautiful grand lobby, which would be ideal to ask guests to sit and wait, then someone could come get us when it’s time to check in.

We received our room, went upstairs and found there to be a terribly musty/mildew smell in the room. We turned around, went back downstairs and asked for another room. We were given a new room, but the smell was also present in this room. We decided to deal with it, as if this is present in two rooms on opposite sides of the floor on two different floors, we imagine it is ubiquitous to most of the rooms in the hotel. It was unpleasant upon entering the room, but our noses adjusted after a while.

There are two towers to the hotel, one tower has two pools at its base, a large family pool and an infinity pool, and the other tower has an adult only pool and a hot tub. We spent most of our time in the adults only pool, because it was not very crowded during our stay. The pool attendant was lovely, and we had the same attendant each day of our stay. The staff at the restaurant Tacos & Tequila who service the pool were also fantastic, very attentive and kind and provided great service.

The hotel has a large park on its side, and all the hotels in the area have devices that play a loud targeted beep - I am not sure their purpose, but I think the beep is played throughout the evening in an effort to keep homeless persons and drug users from spending the night in the vicinity of the hotel. I understand why the beeping is needed, and must admit it is an effective tool - but the beeping can be heard in the rooms, so maybe the beep is also used to keep guests at their wits end? Above that, they advertise their pools as being 24 hours - but why would anyone sit in the pool or hot tub when the beeping starts around 8pm? It would be nearly impossible without losing your mind.

The servicing of the rooms was great - except the timing. They serviced my room around 4pm each day, and then came back for turndown service around 6pm. What is the point? Just do turndown service at 4pm then. Again, most true five star hotels service your room while you are at breakfast, or at the very least before noon so you actually get to enjoy a clean well made up room.

Breakfast at the hotel was wonderful, as were the staff the restaurant which served it. There were plenty of options, everything was fresh and delicious, and I highly recommend enjoying your breakfast at the hotel and looking out over the ocean - it is breathtaking.

The day before our last, I went to ask for a late checkout - and was informed by Hector (I could be remembering this incorrectly, but that is what I think was on the name tag, but again could be wrong on the individuals name) that the hotel is fully booked and I should try again tomorrow on the date of our departure. I had my doubts, and did not believe the hotel was fully booked. Lo and behold, I went online and was able to book the exact same room type that I was in for the day of our checkout for one night, which means that there were rooms available and this employee blatantly lied to me face. The issue here is not that the late checkout request was not accommodated, the issue is the lying. He should have said, we may have something but please check back tomorrow and I would have been on my way - but to say that the hotel is fully booked and as such as I should call and ask tomorrow was a lie.

The gym is fantastic, I used it each day of our stay and there was never anyone else in there except me. There was even a small spin room, and you overlook the ocean from the treadmills it is a great place to spend a morning.

Overall, it is a nice hotel - but in reality it is a four star hotel that needs some work in a few areas.

Stayed: May 2018, traveled with family
3  Thank Oliver K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2018

The service is amazing, that's for sure. Nilda the bartender was our favorite. Everyone was veeerrrry courteous. The patios and outdoor areas are great. The pool is rather small though. The adult-area pool is also very small. Our room was pretty small but that's probably bc we picked one of the less expensive rooms. The food in the main restaurant was just okay and a bit overpriced, but their side restaurant Tacos and Tequila was awesome.

  • Stayed: May 2018, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Brian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2018 via mobile

I’ve been at the Condado Vanderbilt for 2 nights and have one night to go. The people are beyond description. Everyone is so eager to make you feel at home, comfortable and happy that you feel like coming back. The hotel is beautiful. The food is really good. But I can’t stress that as much as I’ve travelled I can’t think of a place where they genuinely want to make sure you’re pleased with everything. No matter what. Spa. Food. Drinks. I couldn’t decide what wine to have and they brought me three samples of 3 different wines I was considering until I found what I liked. If you think it’s not worth traveling here, think again. And stay at this hotel. You’ll question every 5 star experience you ever have going forward.

Stayed: May 2018, traveled on business
2  Thank cristina p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Efrain R, Manager at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2018

Dear Cristina P,

I am so glad that you were pleased with the service. I will share your comments with all of our staff as I know it will encourage them to keep striving to improve in every area. I hope you have an opportunity to return. Please feel free to let me know when your travel plans bring you back to Puerto Rico as I would like to meet you and assist you with your room accommodations.

Best regards,

Efrain Rosa
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2018

I stayed here for almost 4 weeks. I am now so spoiled! The staff, especially housekeeping and the valet parking guys are outstanding! they will go out of their way to help you and are super friendly. The rooms are beautiful. I had a regular room for about a week, which had the most beautiful bathroom EVER. Then I was upgraded to a suite and that was even better! My son came for a few days over Spring Break and enjoyed the pools (there are 5) and walking around El Condado. Lots of restaurants and places to see!

Room Tip: A corner suite toward the back part of the hotel overlooks the ocean.
  • Stayed: March 2018, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank nccondra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2018 via mobile

Had a wonderful stay at this San Juan grand hotel. The facilities and service were awesome, and had plenty of time to enjoy the extensive culinary offerings in San Juan. Powe/water/transportation we’re back to normal, so no related issues during our stay.

Stayed: May 2018, traveled as a couple
Thank RubenNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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