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“San Juan Ritz”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
suburban chicago
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“San Juan Ritz”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

Nice hotel overall. It's clean and the staff are exceptionally attentive and friendly -- but, it's the Ritz and it's expensive. The pool area is moderate in size, the lounge chairs are somewhat dated -- the blue foam pads do not drain well and any rain makes them sopping wet; every day we had to discard them and just lie on the plain slingback portion of the loungers with our towels. Since there's only one pool, that means, families with kids and if you just want peace, solitude and quiet, it might be challenging. Conversely, there's no loud pounding island music, or drinking/bingo games to sit through. The beach is pretty typical of other destinations -- not terribly dirty but not clean either, plastic straws, cigarette butts . . . stuff just floating on the surface of the water.

The restaurants are pricey. Two entrees and 3 glasses of wine at the Italian restaurant was $140+ and that's without salads, appetizers, dessert or coffee; also, the bill suggests a waiter and a captain's tip(s), so, $140++. The food is good and the service is good, but it's a premium price. A full breakfast is an easy $40+ for 2 people. The poolside bar is disappointing; so dated (could really use at least some new paint and new pads on the chairs) and so expensive, just not worth it. ($19 for 2 fish tacos and $14 for a plastic cup pina colada). Take a 3 minute walk outside the hotel to Piu Bello or Las Caranias for reasonably priced breakfast (and lunch at Piu Bello) meals. There's also a coffee bar with muffins/pastries inside the hotel if you're inclined to stay at the hotel but want to avoid the premium breakfast prices.

The spa is nice, I used the health club a couple times. Nice equipment.

But, it's the location that's most disappointing. You're a stone's throw from the airport, everything else, forget it. The surrounding neighborhood of the Ritz is very dingy and but for the visible police presence for the tourists, may be not advisable in the late evenings. Taxis have standard fares; $21 one way (w/out tip) to Old San Juan, which is just less than 15 minutes. Old San Juan is really wonderful, however. Cab it there and you can tour the city on your own terms, it's completely navigable and fun. Don't miss the fort(s), cemetery, old churches and charm of the cobblestone streets, stores and eateries. Just get a map from the concierge of the area, it's not big at all -- you'll get the hang of Old San Juan quickly.

Restaurants to hit: Cafe Puerto Rico -- excellent local food.
Casa Lola : Excellent food; skirt steak was unbelievable, skip the chicken shish ka bobs, everything else was delicious.

Restaurants to miss: El JIbarrito -- read about this place on Trip Advisor and I wasn't impressed. Yes, it's very local and quaint -- that's where it ends. Had the chicken "filet" with rice [their description, not mine]. It was a pounded out white chicken breast that was grilled /overcooked and hence, very dry; the rice tasted like it was cooked in chicken broth with peas and mushrooms added. I'd skip this place.

Room Tip: Our room faced the front of the building, hence, the street -- there's no balcony and you cannot...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cs11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Just got back from a long weekend at the Ritz in San Juan. I've stayed in Ritz Carltons around the world. In fact, my friends tease me about my loyalty to the Ritz franchise.The onlypros are the closeness to the airport and the upscale restaurants(BLT and Il Mulino). FRom there ,it's all downhill. The rooms, beds, etc. are Ritz wannabees. The service is good...not exceptional and certainly NOT Ritz quality. The closest in location to this monstrocity is St.Thomas. For the premium your'e paying for a Ritz Carlton, you should save your money and go to a Marriott or Sheraton.

Room Tip: If you must stay in this hotel, make it in a club room
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cuddles115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level Contributor
124 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2012

The Ritz is in a good location in San Juan, the service is exceptional (although check-in was general chaos and a few people behind us were not too happy with their "system"), and the buffet at breakfast is really wonderful. But... the hotel was not what one comes to expect from Ritz Carlton. The grounds are beautiful, although I did not understand why the grounds keepers were pulling out hundreds of perfectly healthy plants from one of the gardens near the casino entrance. When I asked them, we all had a good laugh because the only reason they knew of for tearing out so many healthy, mature plants was aesthetic. Someone decided a different variety would be prettier. Ironic, given the proclaimed "commitment to environmental friendliness..." In any event, the room was not as clean as I would expect and it was really not the usual top-notch decor we are used to with the Ritz. It was more along the lines of a Sheraton in terms of the rooms themselves. The toilet seat left little to be desired, I had to re-clean it myself, it looked like they quickly wiped it down but it was still dirty and smelled of urine. Yuck! The mattress was dated in our room so there was a concave section to contend with all night long. Also, we requested a king bed with an ocean view during reservation. We had to go to the edge of the balcony, lean over the balcony, look to the right and only then could one see a sliver of water through trees. What we received was a pool view, not an ocean view.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank wanderingrnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed December 15, 2012

I enjoyed all the Amenity that this hotel had to offer . I reomend staying on the club level the service and atttentiveness by the stay is everything I hope it would be. I had a great time at the restaurants that wrere recomended. Ther View in this club room during my afternoon tea was so relaxing . I will definetly be returning

thank you again or a wonderful stay!!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Liza L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Our honeymoon was Exceptional because of the Ritz. From the moment we walked in the door we were showered with complimentary champagne, cocktails, and snacks. When we went up to our room, classical music was playing and our bed was decorated in roses. They provide 2 services daily, cleaning and turn-down. The hotel is in a great location nestled on the beach Isla Verde. The rooms are very large and clean. The pool is divine with convenience of the beach directly behind you. Thanks to Monique for making our week stay so enjoyable.
If you want top notch service then look no more! The Ritz will never disappoint.

Tip: Very LGBT friendly, treated us no different than any other couple celebrating their honeymoon.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mlatrice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

This is our second time at this property and we've had an amazing time! Here celebrating my husband's 50th birthday with 29 members of our family and closest friends. Everyone had an outstanding time and the hotel treated everyone to a wonderful time. The staff is extremely service oriented and ensured that all of our needs were met. The property is older, but beautiful and well appointed. The beach and pool are fabulous, especially for kids and we had three of them in tow (including a 9 month old). We appreciate all that was done to ensure that my husband's 50th was memorable for all - Two special mentions, Kenya and Marcus. Kenya was a jewel to work with and a sweet person to boot. Marcus went above and beyond, as usual, to make this a special trip for the kids and us. A sincere thanks to them both - We look forward to visiting this hotel again, and again, and again.......

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Quinta, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

My wife and I stayed in a club level room for one night on our way back home.
The service at this hotel is second to none from the check in - lounge staff, beach staff, and housekeeping staff. The food selection at breakfast was outstanding.
The beds were very comfortable and spotless.
If I had to make any constructive criticisms, I would say that the lunch presentations, hors d'eouvres and evening staff in the lounge were sub par and bore no relation in quality to breakfast. That being said the Fuji water and cookies were a pleasant surprise.
I would also say that the $91 per day resort fee (not including valet parking) seems extortionate.
All in all we would certainly return but next time we would not have sticker shock.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank true2life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Address: 6961 Ave of the Governors, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#2 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan 5*
Number of rooms: 416
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Also Known As:
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa And Casino
Ritz Carlton Carolina
Carolina Ritz Carlton
Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico
Ritz Carolina
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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