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“Not great”

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InterContinental San Juan
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I stayed at this property 3 nights for a business trip.

Positive:
The grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. I didn't use the pools but they looked clean and nicely landscaped. The beach was steps away from the pool and looked lovely. Breakfast buffet was included in my corporate rate and was nice good - the usual (eggs, bacon, cereals, toast, juices etc.) plus made-to-order omlettes and a couple of rotating hot dishes such as plantains, corn meal (like oatmeal). The only downside was that the fruit was left uncovered and there were little bugs flying around it.

The staff at the car valet and the business center were great and went out of their way to be helpful and friendly.

I ate at the Italian restaurant and outdoor bar - both were good and average hotel prices. The fig and goat cheese pizza at the bar was really good!

Not so positive:
Other than the valet and business center, overall service was spotty and generally disengaged. When we checked in, my colleague asked what options there were for outdoor dining. The employee waved in the general direction of the outside but didn't offer any specifics. The room service menu was missing from my room and had to be requested. The shampoo and conditioner in my bathroom was never replaced during my 3 days there, even though there were empty bottles lying on their side in the shower. I saw one of the housekeepers outside of the room next door and asked for a replacement but it did not appear. Also, I switched rooms when I first arrived (to an ocean rather than street view). I left my robe hanging in the first room and was unable to get it back for the next three days - I still don't have it! I called soon after I realized I forgot it (on Day One) and was told it would be delivered to my room. I was in the room for about 45 minutes but it never arrived. The next day, I asked the employee at the Lobby to have it delivered as I would be out of the hotel in meetings all day. She indicated that it would have to be delivered when I was there but I should check when I return. I did ask again later that day and they again said it would be delivered. I was in my room for about an hour again but it never arrived. I asked multiple different people working at the front desk to simply have it dropped off in my room while I was out. Each time I was met with bureaucratic responses that I had to be present to retrieve it. Seriously? It was an inexpensive robe not a diamond ring. It was frustrating that no one was empowered to make the judgment call (after my 3rd request) to just leave it in my room for me.

The room itself was nice but as other reviewers mentioned the bathroom is very small and needs updating. Each room has a balcony but they are small and there is no furniture out there.

Airplane noise from the airport close by wasn't too noticeable. The area of Isla Verde (on the street side) was fairly run-down with quite a few closed store fronts. I wouldn't feel comfortable walking around the area. The hotel parking lot is across the street and a bit of a walk to the hotel entrance but valet is available and I didn't have any trouble retrieving my car.

The ocean/pool view is far superior to the lagoon view (which is what they call the from of the hotel view, and looks down at a busy street and parking lot).

Overall not terrible but not great. I'd probably stay somewhere else next time.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
1  Thank cfran123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental San Juan, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2014

Dear cfran123,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments online and for choosing our hotel. Please accept our deepest apologies for the issues you had encountered especially with the issue on the robe. Kindly be assured that we treat this matter seriously as we always strive to deliver world-class service to our guests as this matter will be checked. While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be. We hope that you will give us another opportunity to pamper you and provide you with exceptional service.

Sincerely,

Karen G.
Case Manager
IHGCare

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,545 - 2,551 of 2,713 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2014

We booked a cruise vacation through Krisha at Bursch Travel which we flew to San Juan for. She lined us up to stay at the InterContinential Hotel and it was fabulous from the moment we stepped out of the taxi. Very friendly gentlemen there to take our bags, bring them to the room for us and guide us to a wonderful resturant.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Karen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

The hotel was recently updated to give a clean, contemporary feel. Digital panels throughout the lobby show pool area bringing outside inside. The room had new fabrics and linens. Everyone was very friendly and eager to help.

A few things to know in making your decision to stay here:
- Hotel is close to the airport so planes can be heard on take off. Recommend staying on the ocean side which has a great view, but also no noise.
- Bathrooms are very small with little counter space. Small refrigerator and coffee maker with coffee replenished daily.
- Wifi worked well except in restaurants.
- Pool area is small with chairs packed close to each other. Recommend going to the beach which is broad and clean. Great chairs and cushions. Make sure to get your wrist band. They take security serious for reentry.
- Pool side restaurant is very expensive with only average food.
- Small but well equipped fitness center overlooks the beach.
- Small but nice gardens well planted and tended.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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3  Thank fdhappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I arrived on New Years Eve--the lobby was packed. The bellman, Josue, greeted me, smiling, brought my luggage to my room and when I asked him where I could get some green tea for my room--he went downstairs and returned with 5 packets. The desk clerk, Brenda, was gracious--I had asked for a high floor and ocean view--got both-- beautiful! My stay was supposed to end on Friday, Jan. 3, the day of the blizzard in the NE and the earliest return flight I could get was 3 days later. When I went to the desk, Brenda, again, was on duty. "Your room is not available--we are full for the next few nights. I'll try to get you a spot at another Isla Verde hotel." She went to the office behind the desk. A few minutes later, she emerged with the reservations director, Judith Milano, who told me that she had made some arrangements, and it would be possible for me to stay at the hotel--in my room! I was floored. This is the kind of personal attention that I would expect at a smaller/boutique hotel. Bravo to the staff for making my (extended ) stay a positive one.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank bucketlist001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We just came back from Puerto Rico and we had a wonderful time. We stayed at InterContinental and we chose this hotel/resort after reading many reviews, we were generally pleased with our stay and will go back.
LOCATION: The hotel is in a perfect location, in the middle of Isla Verde and close to everything (there is a pharmacy nearby, various American fast-food restaurants and a supermarket across the street, a VERY good Puerto Rican family-style restaurant (Mi Casita) across the street as well, souvenir stores, bakery (Panaderia Espana) about 5 minutes by car, etc. and old San Jan and its attractions about 15 minutes by car). Indeed, the hotel is close to the airport (5 minutes by car hence short distance) but it did not bother us at all (sometimes there is a little noise noticeable at take-off in the early am, but during the day, it’s barely there IF you decide to spend the day at the pool/beach); all hotels in Isla Verde are close to the airport and after all, it is easy to get to and from. The hotel parking is right across the street, $20 per night self-parking.
ROOMS: The rooms were spacious, luminous and very clean. However, the bathroom was outdated and definitely needs to be remodeled and improved. Housekeeping did a very good job every day during our stay. We took a room with a Laguna view and couldn’t be happier; we had sun the entire day.
PROPERTY: The property is beautiful, with a recently remodeled pool, a warm Jacuzzi and a private beach right in front. There is a small pool bar and a beach snack bar. The staff on the ground is very accommodating, starting from usher to concierge, always with a smile. We loved Nestor at concierge; he was always helpful with various advices. The lady at the tour desk however was unfriendly, and could use an improvement in customer service.
SUGGESTION FOR THE MANAGEMENT: I would only suggest that the temperature inside is set to be pleasant. Sometimes it was icy cold in the main lobby.

Room Tip: Get a room on higher floors as the view is better, either side. The hotel restaurants include Italia...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ankinha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Intercontinental San Juan December 30/13 - Jan 6/14. The beach is beautiful, the pool is lovely, we rarely had issues getting four lounge chairs together and when we did, a staff member helped us. The fitness facility has a wonderful view of the beach. Security is present but not intrusive. There are no sales people pestering you on the public beach, which is great. The beach towels are generous in size and quantity and are sparkling white. We had an ocean view room on the 14th floor and the view was spectacular. The main part of the room was very nice but the bathroom is in need of updating and is dark. An additional sink in the vestibule would have been very handy.

However, the food at the hotel (with the exception of the pool/beach bar) was average at best and New Year's Eve dinner in the main restaurant was not good at all. One meal went virtually uneaten and the staff didn't acknowledge the untouched meal. The food was well below average and the service was half hearted. We felt very unwelcome and the surrounding tables seemed to feel the same. For $99/person plus gratuity (kids, too), we expected much better.

The breakfast buffet is predictable, repetitive, slow to replenish, average quality and you have to wait quite a while for an outdoor table. For $20+/person it isn't worth it. The morning wait staff were usually friendly, though.

The food at both the beach and pool bar is standard but tasty and arrives quickly. We enjoyed the margarita pizza often! Room service was ok but they got part of our order wrong and we were just too tired to correct it after a long day of hiking/kayaking.

Luckily, the hotel is within walking distance of some terrific restaurants (Zest, La Playita, Meat Market) so you have wonderful options nearby. A $20 cab ride into San Juan opens up a world of phenomenal restaurants.

The front desk staff members were good, the front door crew was fabulous and the towel hut staff were uniformly wonderful and friendly. The large container of fruited ice water was a welcome complimentary treat (the bar drinks were pricey so a refreshing and free drink was great). The tour desk was ok but seemed annoyed that we had booked a few of our tours before we arrived. If we hadn't booked the zip lining and bioluminescent tours ahead of time, we wouldn't have been able to do them because they were sold out so the somewhat snarky attitude was very misplaced.

We are Ambassador members and did receive complimentary bottled water every day, but we never got the promised fruit baskets. It isn't a big deal, but sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference. For example, we had four registered people in our double bed room and every day we were only given two sets of towels. We had to call the front desk every day and ask for two additional sets. Again, not a big deal, but it was inconvenient.

The gift shop was very good. The prices weren't overly inflated and it was well stocked with sun screen, bug spray, flip flops, cover ups, tshirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.

We were worried about the proximity to the airport, and we did hear planes sometimes, but it wasn't frequent and it didn't bother us at all. It was great to have a short ride to and from the airport so that our vacation started quickly after we deplaned. We don't like to get off a long plane ride and then have a long taxi ride to our hotel.

We will definitely return to San Juan and the InterContinental may be our hotel again but we will do more research before we commit.

Room Tip: Ocean view is worth the price!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Cavapa51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

My wife and I stayed there recently. We had originally booked Embassy Suites down the street, but changed hotels for a number of reasons. It has fabulous outdoor spaces and a beach to kill for, with multiple bars with food. And the people there were fabulous.

Room was nice and had a balcony looking over the back area to the beach and ocean. It was great to open it and let in fresh ocean air and listen to the waves.There were lots of restaurants in the facilities and even more within walking distance. Only down was that the only food available at breakfast was through a restaurant and it was pricey for what we wanted, but Mi Casita across the street was nicely priced and had decent food.

All in all, if you decide to stay in this area, the little extra it costs is well worth the price.

Room Tip: Get the room that looks out toward the ocean. It's why you went to Puerto Rico, wasn't it?
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pennyweight0206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental San Juan

Address: 5961 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-5720, Puerto Rico (Formerly San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access 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:
#1 Green Hotel in Isla Verde
#2 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range: $233 - $578 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — InterContinental San Juan 4*
Number of rooms: 398
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beachfront InterContinental San Juan is located on Isla Verde and is a great setting for both business and pleasure. With the best sparkling beach of the area, perfect weather, amazing restaurants, natural beauty, fun and adventure, sizzling nightlife and great shopping your stay will sure be a memorable one. San Juan International airport is just three miles away. Conducting business is a breeze and it's easy to balance with pleasure. During the day, your group can enjoy our flexible meeting spaces and executive breakout rooms. Our team of experts will orchestrate the finer points, while you sit back in pampered elegance. Old San Juan and the main financial and business districts are just 15 minutes away. Nature lovers will not want to miss El Yunque Rain Forest, The Rio Camuy Caves or the Bioluminescent Bay. Free children (under 16 years old) and free Wi-Fi are just a few of the perks. Do more than just visit an exotic place - immerse yourself in it. Stay at InterContinental San Juan and allow us to pamper you with our warm hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
Intercontinental San Juan Resort And Casino
InterContinental San Juan Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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