I just got back from our stay at La Concha for four nights, including New Years Eve. I have been to San Juan earlier this year and stayed at the El San Juan Resort so I will admit that I did find myself comparing the two. Most of my comments are about all the great things about La Concha but there are a few flaws.
Starting with the good:
The staff: AWESOME. Everyone is extremely accomodating from the bar staff, to the concierge, to the beach crew, to the front desk. Everyone was extremely nice and friendly. Felix at Valet is probably one of the most unforgettable staff members there. Always remembered us every day when grabbing a cab and he has an awesome hi-five! :)
The Rooms: Very nice. Nothing bad to say here!
The ambience/scene: La Concha is definitely very swanky. Very modern and stylish, you feel like you are in a very lavish place. Most people are dressed up and look very nice but you can still walk around in shorts and flip flops if you so choose. The lobby is usually filled with people at night but I definitely prefer the lobby bar at the El San Juan because it's much larger, has live music/dancing and can be a younger crowd.
Pool/Beach: This is one of the biggest and one of the few flaws I saw with the property. I was baffled when I saw the pool/pools. First off, I can't believe there isn't a pool bar. Waiters will get you drinks by the pool but not a swim up bar. Second, I was shocked that the main pool was SOOOO small! The pool can only accomodate maybe 100 chairs and they all had towels on them as 'taken' by 9am every morning but no one was actually there. Very annoying. Third, they have three pools and TWO of them get either NO sun or no sun for part of the day! Who would have thought of such a set up? Why have pools that get no sun? Boggled my mind. And the main pool was so small that we didn't have a chance to even sit there unless we got up at 7am. Even then, the pool is so 'blah' that we preferred the beach by far when we usually prefer the pool. I am just shocked that a resort of this size and reputation would have such a horrible set up. Very disappointing in this regard.
New Years Eve Party: one of the biggest parties in the area and it was awesome! We'd love to come back next year!
Location: AWESOME. Walkable to anything you could need and a short cab to Old San Juan.
The only other complaint that I have about our stay is that the beach wait staff was not staffed enough. Every day they had one, maybe two people waiting on probably 300 chairs on the beach. We had to get up almost every day and walk the 100 yards to the bar to ask for the waiter to come over to our beach chairs so we could order food. One day we were so sick of waiting that we went to the pool restaurant and ate there instead. The waiter we did have was AMAZING and so accomodating and we felt so bad for him because you knew how hard he was working but he needed HELP. They definitely do not have enough people working the beach area to accomodate a full resort. We spend that much money to stay there, we shouldn't have to go search to find the wait staff.
All in all, we were very happy with our stay. If we go back to San Juan, we'll probably go back to the El San Juan but we'd come back to La Concha for New Years Eve!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the La Concha Resort experience, the stunning renovation of one of San Juan's most elegantly chic properties. On a sun-drenched corner of Caribbean beachfront in San Juan's most prestigious Condado district, La Concha is an icon of modernist architecture replete with spacious exhilarating decor and detail. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Concha Hotel Renaissance
- Renaissance San Juan
- San Juan Renaissance