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“Beautiful Hotel”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Queens, NY
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were there in December. The property is immaculate. The service is second to none. The rooms are very nice, comfortable and they are cleaned every morning and evening when there is turn down service. They leave you little chocolates on your night stand too!

The one complaint that I had was that there are too many palm trees by the pool. I am a sun lover and in my opinion there isn't enough sun areas by the pool. You have to keep changing chairs to stay in the sun. But-the beach is great. There is waiter/waitress service on the beach. They have plenty of chaises on the beach.

The fitness center and spa is great. I can't say that I have stayed in a hotel that had a better gym. They have a co-ed hot tub and sauna which you do not find in many places.

I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank VivianinNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (708)
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English first
Miami, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I stayed here in December of 2012 and had nothing bad to say about the property. I was greeted as soon as I pulled up, and everything was pretty much perfect the entire stay. The service was outstanding, the rooms were very well maintained and cleaned, the bar staff was great, pool was gorgeous, and fitness facility was outstanding. The hotel is close to the airport and on the beach, so very easy to get to.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jgmiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton from 12.30.12-1.4.13. The hotel is nice/clean and very close to the airport, but I never heard any planes etc... and we kept the door to the balcony open each night so we could hear the waves. The area around the hotel is seedy at best. The other hotels have some nice restaurants, but besides that is seems run down. 10 minute cab ride to Old San Juan which has great dining options - Dragonfly was our fav!

I travel a lot for work and pleasure and must be honest, I expect more from a Ritz Carlton. There were not a lot of servers at the pool so at times you would wait a good amount of time (when they did come, they were very friendly). We were there over a very busy weekend so I would have expected them to staff up. There were other small things... showers at beach entrance were always dirty, self-serve water was in a dinky cone cup, lunch at the pool was served with plastic silverware, chairs at the pool/beach are on top of each other... very crowded. For the first few days we were there, the a la carte breakfast place was closed each morning and the only option was the full buffet served in the meeting space which seemed dark and unfriendly. They did have complimentary coffee which was nice. I realize these are all small things, but I am use to being blown away at the Ritz/4 Seasons Hotels.

Our room was fabulous, we had a corner King/Oceanfront Room -- bed was to die for and the bathroom was grand. If you can get a balcony it is nice to have. I am platinum at Marriott and there was no Club Level or Welcome gift. Not a huge deal, but good to know.

We ate at BLT one night.... delicous and expensive, as expected. We had lunch at the pool twice and I was not impressed.

San Juan itself is not your typical island... its a nice beach in a city. I prefer the off the beaten path/more "island like" destinations. We went to the Rainforest one day (rented a car and did it on our own) which was a blast! We rented a car from Enterprise at the hotel - easy and reasonable.

All in all, it was a nice vacation... but I would not return to this hotel for the $$ they charge.

Room Tip: We had a balcony which was nice... did not seem to be many balcony rooms so ask for one in advance.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JMITCH77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montgomery Village, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We went there to celebrate our anniversary after not visiting the island for many years. Not bad. We had a great time. The food and service was great. The spa was under renovation, so we missed that. If you are looking for a good place to stay in San Juan, particularly Isla Verde, this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank gecosta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

You couldn't ask for a more beautiful pool! Gorgeous! However, the beach is not very desirable. It's certainly not the beach you 'd hope for when thinking of spending a week in San Juan. But, you make the best of it; we jumped on a tour to snorkel on the other side of the island and it was night and day! Breathtakingly beautiful! Back to the Ritz; the rooms are small and when paying over $400.00/day you'd think your request might be heard. The room was tiny and our view was the apartment building next door. Certainly would have appreciated a view of the pool since the chance to get a water view was ignored. The staff inside and pool/beachside were amazing and made our stay enjoyable, but for the money involved; not worth it to consider staying again.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Craignbarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
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.
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bostontraveler709
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 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 On the Beach 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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