We stayed here for a week in April 2013 for our honeymoon. When we checked in and mentioned our honeymoon, they immediately gave us two complimentary flutes of champagne. We thought that was a nice touch, however, it was really difficult to carry the champagne and get our suitcases up to our room. It probably would've made more sense to send the champagne up to our room.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to others. Here are some minor areas where the hotel could improve:
We got a suite overlooking the ocean, right above the adult-only swimming pool area. It came with a private balcony and a hot tub. We used it almost every day. There were detailed instructions on how to fill it up, but no instructions on how to drain it. We had to call in an engineer which took two calls and over an hour. The balcony also had a patio table, two chairs and a lounge chair.
Housekeeping was really inconsistent. Some days we would get complimentary bottles of water; sometimes we didn't (BTW, you can ask for free bottles of water at the front lobby. When the housekeepers didn't leave any, we would go down and ask for 3-4 bottles at a time. Do not waste your money buying bottled water at the bar, gift shop, or at Walgreens). Sometimes, we would get 3 towels, sometimes 4. Sometimes, they would clean the hot tub; something they didn't. Overall, they did a solid job. It was unclear whether we got new sheets or they just re-made the bed all week.
During the week, our air conditioner broke. Neither of the two Engineers who came to our room spoke much English. It was really frustrating. A hotel that caters to tourists should hire employees who speak English and can communicate with guests. They never fixed the A/C. Since it was near the end of our trip, we just endured the hot room instead of calling in a third engineer.
The hotel lobby and pool area are beautifully decorated. There are two pools -- one for everyone and one for only adults. We didn't go to either one since we preferred to be in our private hot tub, but they both seemed very nice and were pretty crowded whenever we walked by. The adult swimming pool area isn't always available since it can be reserved. We watched a wedding ceremony and reception there. It was also shut down another evening for a private business event.
We were on the third floor and on the night of the wedding, our room was literally vibrating and shaking because of the bass from the DJ. If you're in the suites tower, definitely request a room on a higher floor, especially if you're planning to spend a Saturday night.
We ate at the hotel restaurants twice. Once for dinner and once for lunch - both times at Solera. Try to avoid going during the lunch rush. Service is painfully slow. There were a ton of servers that all seemed overwhelmed. Just watching them made me stressed out. When we went, the only table we could find was right next to the kitchen. We sat there and watched all this food come out and sit there waiting for someone to run them to the tables. My husband ordered sliders and we were commenting on an order of sliders that had been under the heat lamps since before we arrived. More than half an hour later, we saw a server finally pluck it off the line and bring it to us! We pointed out that he had substituted cheddar so that wasn't the correct order, but even if it was the correct cheese, we would've sent it back since it had obviously been made well before he ordered it. It makes me wonder how often they serve food that's just been sitting there for a long time.
Fortunately, La Concha is located within walking distance to many local restaurants. We recommend Pelayo and Pinky's for breakfast (avoid Orozco's); Di Parma for lunch; and Jam Rum and Casa Lola for dinner. If you're going to Old San Juan, the best fine dining restaurant is Marmalade. I'll review these restaurants on TripAdvisor separately.
Another place to avoid for breakfast is the hotel lobby coffee/pastry bar. We went there twice and both times, the employees seemed frazzled and overwhelmed. The line was moving so slowly even though there weren't that many people that we finally gave up and left. I honestly cannot comprehend what the issue is and why the employees seemed so confused. The pastries and coffee are overpriced anyway. You can get a much better and cheaper cup of cafe con leche just about anywhere.
The concierge service at La Concha is pretty good. There's almost always someone at the desk who can make dinner reservations for you or sign you up on tours. We did the El Yunque rainforest hike, which they booked for us. We also had them make a couple dinner reservations for us before we realized we could book it on OpenTable on our phones.
Again, this is a solid place, especially because of its location. If I came back, I'd probably try the Ritz Carlton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort, a stunning renovation of one of San Juan's most elegantly chic properties. On a sun-drenched corner of Caribbean beachfront in the most prestigious Condado district, our hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico 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