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“Great option IN san juan”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Great option IN san juan”
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

If You want to be IN a top service hotel and faciliteis, This is the place to go.
Spacious room, hotel is close to AirPort (perfect if You are Staying for only a couple of days) and also IN front of The Beach.
Pool is amazing and we were lucky to have some iguanas of different colors enjoying The pool and son while we were sundowning.
Large bathrooms (Suite 829)

Stayed January 2013
Helpful?
Thank MOBIBAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston, MA
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We just returned from a week long stay at the Ritz San Juan, our first time in PR. I'm not sure we are going to go back. If you frequently stay at Ritz properties or other nice hotels, this one falls below the expectations for the specific reasons I point out below. However, we still had an okay trip. We arrived on Jan 2nd, so it was quite crowded for the first few days. The room was ready a few hours before the standard check-in time so we were happy to go up and change into shorts. Our room was on the 5th floor and faced the pool area. As others have noted, the rooms are quite quiet and insulated from outside noise (could not hear one plane) but the walls between the rooms are a bit thin. I had done my research and we declined an upgraded room for additional $$ because I knew in advance that few rooms have balconies. I have never stayed at a Ritz yet without a balcony to hang our wet clothes, read, and relax on/do early morning yoga etc. Also, at the other Ritz properties, we have always been upgraded to a better room upon arrival with no additional fee. So no balcony was a sad point. Willie, the valet/doorman, was so helpful in not only meeting us with our bags, but going above and beyond to give us suggestions for restaurants etc. He suggested Pikayo, which we ended up loving. Also, I rated the property lower because the rooms were smaller than what we were used to from the Ritz, and the bathrooms smaller too. One of the nice aspects of the property is that the Walgreens is a two minute walk away.

Next morning we went to Mares for the breakfast buffet, which we always get at all the different Ritz properties we have stayed at. This was disappointing. Barely any fruit. Not enough selection of pastry. There was no french toast, no waffles. Even worse, for the 5 mornings we ate there, they never made any variation to the selection. We had a few good servers (Eduardo and Padilla) but many of the staff were too busy talking amongst themselves either in the corners or the back to attend to the customers. They really need to fix the Mares breakfast options.

The pool was crowded on Jan 2nd but thinned out as the week went on and people checked out. The main problem with the pool that we discovered on our second to last day was that there is a very large iguana living in the pool area and it pooped 2X inside the pool while people were swimming in it. This was obviously a turn off. In one instance, they had a child use the net to dive down to collect it. We didn't notice this until our second to last day, so I'm not sure all the guests were aware. It shouldn't be a zoo because it's supposed to be a hotel. Also, the pool is full of young kids screaming. We happen to enjoy little kids so this was not an issue for us sitting by the pool, but I can see if you are coming here for a quiet and romantic retreat and have no ability to use the pool or don't realize how many kids are here, then you are in for a surprise. I'd probably try the new Dorado Beach Ritz reserve if you want solitude and reflection. Fortunately, we were beach people and the beach was pretty nice. This was a plus of the property. I liked that you can walk about a mile in the other direction for exercise and watch the surfers. There are trees for people who like shade and bright sun for those who want to tan. As others note, the beach had some debris on it...cigarette butts and other stuff but that's only the fault of the lazy people who left it behind, not the Ritz. There was a very small amount of dried seaweed but we are used to it. The main disappointment of the beach was that we asked before we booked specifically if it was swimable. The staff hesitated but said yes. Well, just beware if you can't handle decent sized waves (which only two of us could) then you probably won't be doing much swimming. We and others were literally getting thrown around by the waves (not the Ritz' fault but still...). Also, keep this in mind for small children. It was also very windy on the beach. Like so windy you couldn't read a book. Just something to keep in mind. On the plus side, the water is clean and very warm. The beach was crowded but we were able to get set up as late as 10AM anywhere on the beach we wanted. The beach and pool staff do a great job of getting everyone set up and also coming by to see if you want a drink or food. Pablo is an unbelievable guy at the beach/pool and was particularly kind and interesting to talk to. We learned a lot about him and he is a gem.

The other concern I had was our shower drain was clogged with other people's hair when we first tried to use it, meaning the water backed up and the hair did too. Gross. They were able to fix the problem quickly and clean it up once we alerted them to it but you'd think that they would have made sure the water was going down before we took our room. We have never had something like this happen before in a Ritz. Our room also had no towels bars in the bathroom which made for changing after a shower in the bathroom a little more challenging. And yes, as others point out, the towels are not very soft. These are little details but they all add up to the overall experience.

My other criticisms were no live pianist or entertainment, save for a bad karayoke singer on Saturday. All of the other Ritz have live music in the evening so you can unwind, dance, relax. Why not here? Also, they need to have some special dining options on the weekends, like a dinner buffet a la Palm Beach Ritz. We ate almost all our dinners elsewhere, and one of the advantages of this Ritz is its only a $17-22 cab ride in each direction to some fantastic restaurants in Condado and Old San Juan.

On the brighter side, the concierge was very helpful in booking all of our reservations for restaurants ahead of our arrival. I would recommend this as many of the restaurants were completely full as the evening went on.

Overall, it was a satisfactory trip because of the weather and swimming. Upon reflection, we probably won't be back to this property.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank bostontraveler709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
47 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This was our first visit to Puerto Rico. We stayed our first couple nights of Christmas week at the Ritz so we would be closer to OSJ. It was very close to the airport, but airport noise was non-existent. Ritz was very nice and service was great. We had been upgraded from City View to Pool View. Rooms were nice and clean. We were in double bed rooms and my only complaint was that the beds are small (forgot how small doubles are) and our beds sagged a bit in the middle so we ended up rolling on to each other. Everything else was good. We only walked through the pool area to get to the beach, but it looked nice. The beach was great. A little wave action to make my kids happy. You could also watch the surfers that were just down the beach a bit. We ate at both the poolside restaurant and Il Mulino New York. It was excellent. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank travelbugged4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

Let me start off with what stood out as amazing service - a concierge named Eva went out of her way to help out in what could have been a disaster. Both of my kids bags were lost. It was Christmas Day and nothing was open. Eva took it upon herself to find come to the pool w bathing suits for my kids that she bought in the further Walgreens because the closer one didn't have much. I was telling the story to the amazing bartender by the pool, Robert. He says Eva is my wife! She told me last night. Robert then says to let him know if i need a ride to the mall to get them other stuff. Ritz carlton should have this couple run the entire hotel and everyone would leave happy no matter what happens. Besides Eva and Robert - the hotel is 5 min from the airport, 2 amazing restaurants BLT and Il Mulino, and a short walk to the El San Juan which is more fun at night. I would say the only complaint I have would be that the pool is not heated and really cold. Luckily the ocean was awesome and felt like 80 degrees. This trip could have been a disaster with no clothes for 2 kids. Eva and Robert saved the day. Thank You!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank HowardBryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

As expected, this Ritz property was very nice in every way. The club level lounge was terrific and the staff were very accommodating. We stayed at this Ritz for 2 nights prior to embarking on a 7 day cruise from San Juan. Our traveling companions were staying just a few minute walk away at the Courtyard by Marriott. We could easily walk on the beach or on the sidewalk to the Courtyard and found the beach access a real plus. Nearby are a couple of casual restaurants. One, Made In Puerto Rico, was a fun place for lunch. We will be back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank WaHoo84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

This was our second stay at the Ritz San Juan. We stayed here once in 2010, and again in December of 2012. While we loved our stay here enough to return for a second visit...I have to say that it just gets better and better. I didn't review the hotel the first time, but I cannot abstain this time.

We learned during our last stay that the Ritz San Juan had incredible service: anything we needed fixed...they were up to fix it in 5 min or less; beach chairs, side tables, and umbrellas set up for you on the Ritz's semi-private beach; food and cocktails delivered beachside, etc., all done with a smile. Every staff member is incredibly courteous and always happy to help. Now I have a full time job, and I'm definitely not always happy to help, but somehow, you just feel the warmth and happiness of the staff every time you are helped.

This time, upon arrival, we we were asked at check in, "have you stayed with us before?" We let her know that this was our second visit. Upon notification, we were immediately greeted with champagne and baggage assistance to our room. The person helping us with our bags was very friendly and gave us many recommendations (including some local favorites) as he assisted us. We entered our floor on the club level, and noticed a lot of renovations to the hall. We were pleasantly surprised, as the staff opened our door, that the rooms were completely redone. The rooms are gorgeous.

Later that night we called asking if we had access to a fridge during our 8 night stay. The front desk indicated, "oh you would like a fridge? We will send one right up." In my head I thought, are you kidding me?? And it didn't stop there. Room service was excellent! The spa and fitness center was also renovated, and it was great to run on the treadmill as you viewed the tropical trees and fauna. The rooms are of course immaculate, and the rooms were pretty much sound proof. I'm a light sleeper, and even though the airport is somewhat close by, I never heard one plane until we left the Ritz. While we did spend a lot of time walking around Old San Juan, kayaking, and checking out some delicious local restaurants, we spend a lot of time at the Ritz, on the beach, etc.

The facilities and the service alone will bring us back here to stay everytime we come to Puerto Rico. Nos encanto el Ritz! I know this is silly, but we got so spoiled we actually got a little depressed leaving. We are looking forward to returning, and I hope that you all give them a try, because you will seriously fall in love with this place, like we did. WEPA!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank C L L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

The Hotel is a manageable/walking size. The pool/gym/spa/hottub/beach/tennis courts are centrally located on the property and well kept. At night, the pool and hot tub sit empty...very romantic. Great for evryone though.The property is close to local restaurants/Dennys(?!) and public transportation. Easy in and out from the airport to the hotel. Close but not noisy. Ask for a high floor facing the Ocean...the mountain/airport view is pretty too. Just keep that in mind, when you check in. The Beach is great for walking and beachcombing. Great place for people watching too. The staff and service were excellent. Everyone speaks English and are genuine/sincere about you having a good experience. If I even looked like I had a question/need....they really love tourists here. Many local Puerto Ricans went out of their way to be of assistance. Half an hour from Old San Juan, close enough but out of the Tourist traffic/jams. Rent a car with confidence and use the valet parking. Easy and well worth it.

Room Tip: Ask for the view you wish for Mountains or Beach and ALWAYS ask for a high room....best views...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank PuraVida983
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:
#3 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Luxury 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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