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“crowded, overpriced and underwhelming”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
west point, ny
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“crowded, overpriced and underwhelming”
Reviewed March 30, 2013

16 year anniversary and birthday long weekend, decided to splurge... very sad that we spent SO MUCH MONEY for this. did not get the "ritz" experience we've had at other places like orlando, vegas and overseas. (btw: everything was closed for "good/holy friday", even casinos... our trip to bio bay was cancelled for weather and same goes with scuba trip... boo).

beach and pool area: there was rain early in the day and i understand that cleaning up towels and garbage is a huge job. however, people hog up spots at the pool and it was impossible to find seats. we finally sat on wet chairs with NO padding or towels because the guys kept saying, in a minute. people lay towels down and leave all day. it's ridiculous. got drinks and quesadillas, so WATERED down and expensive. plus the sauce spilled out and the quesadillas were soggy. bummer. kids were running everywhere, splashing me from the fountain. people with money are lazy and left their garbage everywhere.

spa experience: we booked for a couple's massage. that part was fabulous. however, we had higher expectations of the facilities. they were run down and NOT up to par at all. the women's facility was filthy. the 3 workers stood outside the locker rooms talking and not cleaning up the areas. there were used towels everywhere. i had to open up the drawers to look for a hairdryer and the showers had opened/used products in there. so upset. on top of that, the dry sauna was not hot, it took about 40 minutes to start sweating until we finally found the guy and asked him what was wrong with it. then, we tried to use the hot tub in the morning and it was scalding hot. we couldn't use it. the man tried to cool it off. we decided instead to come back a few hours later after swimming. it was still incredibly hot, like dangerously hot. as we were leaving, they asked how everything was and i said that i thought someone would get hurt using it... they ran in to check it out and we left. really bummed. $420 for a 50 minute couples spa, just fyi (and another thing: they offered us the massage oil smells, we chose lemongrass, then she said, it's 20.00 extra. so that's 40 bucks more. should have said, for 20 more you can have... and i would have said, no thank you, not the other way around...) (20% gratuity is included automatically)

did have breakfast buffet: 30 per person. coffees at coffee bar were around 10.

airplanes are flying over all day long, it's next to the airport. the location is iffy. to be honest, a lot of puerto rico is scary. we saw SO MANY police everywhere we went that was touristy. not sure why. one block off from this hotel and others down by the strip there is a lot of poverty. homeless people, graffiti and run down buildings and beggars on most corners. just be prepared. they've been hit by the economy pretty hard.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank bobbob2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Let's just start by saying this ... it's just okay.. nothing superb to even mention other than the things that you expect to be nice when you travel.

I work for Marriott Hotels which actually own Ritz Carlton. I travelled in the month of Feb. around the 28th. The weather was perfect, especially coming from the cold. When my husband and I arrived we were embraced with a beautiful lobby ( which is small ) and our desk clerk just basically checked us in. I didn't notice anything about the arrival experience that made me say they have customer service down pack. They did offer wine/champagne at check-in, however I think this is due to the magnitude of guest they have checking in and the lobby area is so small without any seating. They do this as a gesture just in case there is a wait for you to get checked in.

My room was okay but not worth 399 pls. tax & resort fee a night. I honeslty felt like I had to leave out of my hotel to enjoy myself and especially not the area. It's urban for the most part I wouldn't say violent or ghetto or the hood. It feels like you are probably walking around your local neighborhood at home. You will see a Dennys, Walgreens, TGI Fridays and etc. There is a nice resturant near by named " Made in Puerto Rico ". They have excellent sangria. As far as the hotel resturants I felt like they were over priced and booshey. I felt like certain people would just come downstairs trying to be fancy with no where to go lol. I paid a tip everyday honestly to have a beach chair made for me. I had no problem with this because the tenants at the beach are great and friendly, however I would think after staying for 6 days after the second day my face would have been known and the handout for the tip would stop ... but no I tipped 5 bucks each day for me and my husband to have a beach chair.

I stopped at the Renissance La Concha just to check it out ... and my jaw dropped ... It looks great and it had my dream destination written all over it.. it did seem a little upbeat for me, however the service was impeccable and I wasn't even staying there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nellyrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Have stayed at the property several times over the last 6 years. Always for pleasure - a quick, convenient Carribbean escape - with family and friends. The property is solid. The recent refurbishment made it a little more modern and sexy, in line with the new brand image that RC is rolling out at properties worldwide. It's expensive, perhaps too expensive for what it offers, however all the amenities and services expected for a top tier hotel are there. The biggest attraction for us is the resort aspect combined with the city feel - and the easy access to other restaurants, bars, etc within walking distance or a short taxi cab away (Condado, Viejo San Juan, etc). Would return again.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the swimming pool are good. Those facing the airport runaway can be noisy. In recent ye...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank pa080910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

This hotel is nice....the rooms were clean. The food great! Stayed four nights. Just don't go walking far at night. Bad area of town...I would suggest staying further out if you are wanting more relaxation...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank redgirl4ya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed at the Ritz San Juan March 19th-21st (2013). We decided to stay for the first two days of our stay because we wanted to relax and just enjoy the resort, so of course we thought the Ritz would be a prefect retreat. We were then going to save some money and stay at the Sheraton Convention Center the rest of our visit as we didn't plan to spend an abundant time at the hotel.

We checked in and the front desk person was lovely and very welcoming, we immediately dropped off our luggage and then walked around looking for food. It took us a bit of time to find a restaurant to eat at so we ended up at Mares we were the only people there. The hostess was really friendly and very welcoming our waitress on the other hand was basically MIA. So glad the hostess basically waited on us, after our meal she then showed us where the pool bar and restaurant was because it is tucked all the way in the back of the property and couldn't find it!

We spent some time around the hotel and took a nap, then at about 9pm went and ate at Il Mulino, which was VERY disappointing. I forgot that I also ate at this restaurant in Las Vegas and the food is mediocre and all the pomp and circumstance is really a turn off especially since there is clearly no passion in the people that work there for what they do. Everyone seems to be going through the motions and honesty the staff seemed very condescending. I'm glad this style of fine dining is dated and rare (outside of Las Vegas).

Speaking of Las Vegas, there is a casino at the hotel and this is an odd San Juan thing but 90% of the machine are penny slots, you would think because of the level of clientele they would have maybe just a bit more variety.

Got up early to go to the pool because we noticed the day before it was REALLY crowded even at 4pm. So went to breakfast and got to the pool and it was really crowded, I was surprised at breakfast and at the pool how many families were there. I just didn't expend tons of children running around at this resort but there were. It was difficult to go in and enjoy the pool because of all the kids. Also the pool waitress was quite illusive for large spans of time even though she was only working our section of the pool.

We ended up fed up with the pool and decided to leave the property and head into Old San Juan. I tried to get information on how to do that from the concierge (since I had not been there before) but gave up after waiting (30 + mins) for her to finish up with the one couple she was speaking with when I arrived.

Old San Juan was cool and enjoyed walking around, but it was much closer to the Sheraton I was going to stay at the next day.

I also used the gym at the property was brand new and very nice, enjoyed using the space.

The second night we ate at BLT and it was okay 4 on the entrees (only one was a special) were sold out by our 8:45 pm arrival. Service was average and our food took a very long time after having to change our options. It was WAY over priced for the service and the quality, in general not bad but not bot able to compare to other restaurants at this price point.

We were glad to eat breakfast and move on our second day, so we ended with breakfast and tons of kids running around the restaurant, we were glad to close the chapter on the RItz Carlton San Juan.

There are much better hotels especially for the value, I will definitely not be back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank LaLaAtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

My husband and I have travelled to San Juan a few times. We have stayed at the Ritz, El Conquistador and Rio Mar. Each time we stay at The Ritz we ask why does this not feel like a resort? We finally decided that this hotel feels like a city resort with a beach. There are not miles of beach to walk on. The pool is crowded. The beach area is crowded - it feels like Jones Beach on Labor Day. There are tons of locals playing ball and having parties. It is a crowded area. It is not a resort. It is a decent Ritz that has a beach. If you want a resort feel, select another resort in Puerto Rico.

Room Tip: Our first room faced the blue roof and air conditioning vents. We requested a room change and got a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank lovetravel60763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a weeklong stay in San Juan where we spent 4 nights at the Ritz Carlton. This hotel is great, and the only downside is its location. Compared to Condado where we had spent the previous three nights, the area around this hotel had fewer restaurants in walking distance.

Our check-in experience was great, and we were given complimentary champagne. Our room was clean and bright overlooking the pool with a peek of the ocean. I only wish it had a balcony! The housekeeping service was good although turndown service was highly variable- one night at 5:00 and another night at 9:30.

We spent our days mostly at the pool. There were plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas, and staff was always helpful. The beach at the hotel is nice but rather small. There was a wedding taking place, so a large portion was allotted for their guests.

For breakfast, we enjoyed the restaurant onsite which had a decent buffet. I only wish it had more variety of fruit. We ate lunch at the pool and enjoyed the veggie burger, fish tacos, shrimp cocktail and crudites with hummus. Prices were consistent with resort fare. We had dinner at Il Mulino twice, and I would highly recommend this both for the service and the food.

I also used the gym daily. It is a nice space, several treadmills and ellipticals each with its own tv. There are large windows which are allow you to look at the pool or tennis courts while exercising.

Overall, we had a great and very restful stay. Would highly recommend!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler29556
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 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan 5*
Number of rooms: 416
Reservation Options:
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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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