My family of five ( kids 21, 18 and15) just returned from a terrific week at the La Concha. My family is used to staying mostly 5 star hotels. Although our stay started on a negative note the La Concha more then met our needs and we had a great time. I highly recommend it!! First the negative: I had booked two rooms in the new ocean tower (one suite with full ocean view, full balcony and one room on the same floor for my 3 kids with a partial ocean view. I had email confirmations for both rooms and a confirmed price of $349/room and had called the hotel 2x just to insure we were all set as i am a bit particular when it comes to booking a room. When I checked in the clerk told me that they were putting my kids in the older tower and my wife and I in the new tower in a suite with a partial ocean view. Further i was informed that the price for the suite was an additional $75/night. Long story short we received the rooms we wanted on our second night with a compromised price that was fair as clearly the person who made the original reservation had screwed up. This was the only negative.
Other then the initial interaction described above, the customer service was excellent from the maid service and concierge (Stephanie is great!) to the waitress/waiters to the guys on the beach who pleasantly bring you loungers, towels and umbrellas. Felix, the official greeter is as wonderful as other respondents have reported. Other items:
1. beach - very nice beach with great waves but small children definitely need to be supervised.
2. pools - several pools; the best is the little used adult (15 and older) pool located away from the main areas. It is an infinity pools that faces the beach and is wonderful.
3. dining -- we ate a few breakfasts and several lunches at the hotel. The food was excellent but pricey as you might expect at a hotel. My wife discovered Ben and Jerry's right next door and next to the beach which served excellent breakfasts and lunch for less than 1/2 the price.
4. Lobby bar - very hyp, great energy and vibes
5. customer service - excellent and always with a smile
6. We ate at several restaurants most within a 10 minute walk or taxi ride. We are used to dining at fine establishments and these places did not disappoint. They include; Casa Lola, Jam Rum and Bar, Santaella and Jose Enriques. Ropa de Viera was just average.
7. Activities. We booked the Bio Bay Kayak trip with Pure Adventure. They did a fine job but i don't understand why people rave about it. Admittedly, my family is very active and we have done alot of hiking all over the world as well as camping, skiing, whitewater rafting, etc. Kayaking in the pitch dark through a narrow mangrove was a fun family activity but swishing the water with your hand to see the luminescent bacteria was just not that big a deal. But we had a great day. We drove one hour to Seven Seas Beach (one of the nicest on the island and adjoining a nature preserve) in Fajardo at 2pm, hung out on the beach, at 5pm stumbled on a spectacular restaurant (Calizo) with a terrific waitress (Chauley) 2 minutes from Seven Seas and then drove the ten minutes to the bay for the kayak trip. All in all, a great day.
8. Other activities; Don't miss hiking in the rainforest. it is a 45 minute drive from la concha and get their early (before 9;30) to beat the tour groups. The trails are well marked and a tour is not needed. The popular la mina trail is easy and fun as you hike along a river to the falls where you can take a dip if you are there before the crowds arirve. The Juan Diego Falls trail is very short but fun. After a 5 minute walk you arrive at a water crowded with tourists. But if you climb the muddy trail (short but steep) requiring using the root system for handholds to the left of the falls you will be rewarded by another water fall 3x the size of the first one with practically nobody there. We had a blast in the pools under the falls and had it to ourselves except for one couple and their son. Lastly, my son and I returned 2 days later to hike the El Yunque trail to the peak. The ranger will tell you it is a 4 hour round trip hike. it only took us 1hour and 15 minutes to the peak and we were rewarded with beautiful views. However, the trail is very, very slippery especially on the way down. Just before the peak there is a short 20 foot side trail to the right tht brings you out on a rock. You get a 360 degree view when the clouds break and a 3000/ drop on 3 sides. That was very cool!
Great hotel and great trip!
- 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