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“Vacation to Puerto Rico - BEST BEST !!!!!!”

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El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
NY
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Vacation to Puerto Rico - BEST BEST !!!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

The hotel was spotless, the front desk people were the most professional I have met in a very long time. They were always there with a smile and helpful information. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NJMICKEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (852)
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Philly
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

The only drawback is the price. If you are able to get a good rate, grab it. If you've never stayed at El San Juan Resort, you'll wish you had the instant you step into the hotel lobby. This is one of the most unique hotels I've ever seen. Huge ceilings with antique wood frames and marble floors, style and glamour throughout.

They often have life salsa in the lobby where people will dance. Also in the lobby, you'll find 3 completely separate and very stylish bars, each with a unique vibe that makes you want to stop and have a drink. A cozy little casino is off to the right, where you'll find a few blackjack tables, craps, and several slots. (They have $5 dollar minimum tables for guests who want to get more play out of their budget:) and free drinks are served while you play (by a gorgeous staff).

The outdoor patio, pool, and beachfront are also where it's at. Several places to hang out, including rows of shady lounge couches, and a small pool bar with bar stools in the water. This pool area will make you want to drink, especially if with friends! Of course, drinks are around $11 each.

By the beachfront, you can rent jetskis for $40 per hour, or get a massage in the sand.

If you want real carribean cuisine, walk to Platos, which is 2 minutes walking to your left sangli exit the hotel. If you want to stay at the resort, there are SEVERAL restaurants within the resort, including a BBQ joint on the roof, Palm in the lobby (with a GREAT happy hour), as well as a few others (a Mexican, highly-rated Italian, and carribean place).

There is also a small string of high end shops, souviner shops, and boutiques in the hotel. *They also have a small wine shop where they sell hand-rolled local cigars you may enjoy after a hard day at the pool :)

They actually have an Enterprise car rental agency in the hotel, which can be convenient if you want to explore PR but don't want to hassle with it at the airport (note there are no kiosks for rental car agencies in the San Juan airport - you have to call them from numbers posted in the airport). The enterprise in the hotel opens at 8am...

The basic rooms are set up in a spacious, lounge-like feel. White tile floors, low profile bed, trendy couch and sitting area. Clean rooms, comfortable bed.

Isle verde is a $8-$10 cab ride to San Juan. It is really a relaxing and fun location to stay, even if your intention is to explore San Juan. An this resort has it all.

I'm usually a little more practical with hotels, but I would easily spend the extra buck for a stay at El San Juan, because you really feel like a king in a playland at this resort and it's worth it, if even for 1 night.

I paid $200 for 1 night in mid December. That was an awesome rate fir what I got. I know they charge a lot more in te high season... But I hope they lower it because there is a lot of solid competition in the area I would say a good rate is anything under $300.

If this was useful, please click "useful" below. Thanks!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Emoskimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

My wife, our twenty-year old children and I just stayed @ El San Juan from Christmas to New Years. ROOMS: spacious, quiet, adjoining, clean & cool. WEATHER: 11 straight 85 and sunny days. BEACH: each day, Javier had 4 lounges and an umbrella waiting for us on the waterfront, deserted edge of their mile-long beach. LOBBY & CASINO: none prettier or more spacious in PR. Luis is the friendliest croupier at roulette. BREAKFAST: free for diamond members. Servers Carlos, Garcia & Dianna couldn't do enough for you. Mgr Carolina Blanco was courteous and friendly. LUNCH: promptly served to you on the beach. DINNER: La Piccola Fontana's grilled shrimp over fresh pasta was spectacular! Palm? So-so. Yamato was a delicious and fun as Bennihanna. FRONT DESK: Mgrs Susan Wilkerson and Yvonne Ramos will make your stay best ever! Desk agents Ambar, Carlos & Sarahi treat you like royalty for every request! We would have stayed a few more days but flights back to Newark were totally booked. CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!

Room Tip: Call Mgr. Susan Wilkerson or Yvonne Ramos directly - they're totally friendly, courteous, and pr...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Thrilled73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

My husband and I spent a wonderful week at this hotel 7 years ago. We went back during the Christmas Holiday and were very disappointed. The lobby is as beautiful as it was, although a bit of a party place at night. But the rest was very bad. The walls are like paper, we could hear what people were saying in the room next door. This means that we did not sleep well the whole week. The hotel is very tired in general, the worst are the rooms (see picture of the shower). I would not even expect this from a cheap hotel but when you pay $500 a night, that standard is not acceptable. The hotel grounds are also worn, including the beach chairs that are in a sad state. Again, this hotel is not worthy of the Waldorf name.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MichFrenette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
127 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

Wonderful pool and right next to the beach. Great restaurants inside and a Chili's right across the street.
Casino attached is very nice.

Room Tip: Try to get a balcony. Some on 2 can step out to the pool and some on 3 have a patio they can walk o...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank setcarp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blaine, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

Our booking was a pre-cruise visit to San Juan and we chose this hotel based on a package offered for several days. This location made it easy to get to and from our interests in Puerto Rico and the resort had a good recommendation from TripAdvisor reviewers. We were warned about the party atmosphere at the resort, but took the advice and requested rooms away from the noisy area. I even wrote to the General Manager of the resort to let her know that one of us was revisiting the resort and had not been back to Puerto Rico in almost 40 years and was very much looking forward to the visit. I had hoped for a response to my request to be located away from the non stop noise and raucous guests but received no response at all. The front desk was staid and business like but totally non-responsive to our requests. What ever any guest can do to be housed away from the front entrance would be well worth the effort. The traffic, especially the honking and whistling to hail cabs, is non-stop all night. The drunken guests yelling and carrying on at the entrance allows several floors of guests above it, no sleep at all, even with the windows closed.

Room Tip: Be sure to insist on a room away from the front entrance
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JayserM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hope, PA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a six-night stay at the El San Juan and, while we truly did have a wonderful vacation, this isn’t a hotel which we would choose again. Exactly a year ago we stayed at the Caribe Hilton and had a much better experience there. Our feelings not to return is partly due to simple personal preference: we prefer the tropical open-air and casual lobby/bar area of the Caribe as opposed to the ornate, overly air conditioned! lobby area of the El San Juan. We were also a bit put-off that there was a dress code in the lobby (but yet it seemed okay that young kids ran around playing tag and swinging on the beaded curtains of the swanky nightclub as visitors attempted to enjoy a quite evening cocktail). The pools and the grounds were very nice and comparable to the Caribe. Two things which we did like about the El San Juan over the Caribe is its location near many nice local restaurants and shops AND the very nice and wide beach area. As far as our room goes, we weren’t too pleased at the El San Juan. While the room appeared to be clean, it needed some serious updating. The beauty and elegance of their lobby in no way matches that of their guest rooms. But our biggest complaint was the noise level and the fact that we could often smell cigarette smoke (it’s supposedly a smoke-free hotel). We easily heard people coming and going from the rooms at all times of night and morning.
[Incidentally, we left our San Juan trip and went straight to the Millennium Hilton in New York City to celebrate New Year’s Eve last night. That one-night stay really put things into perspective for us. It was SO, SO much more comfortable, sleek and amazingly quiet! Of all nights, I’m sure people were coming in at all times of the night, but we didn’t hear one peep!]
Since my husband is a Hilton Diamond member he has stayed at many different Hiltons and he felt (and I agree) that the El San Juan just isn’t up to the usual Hilton standard of hotels. One cab driver in Puerto Rico put it perfectly: when it used to be a Waldorf, the rooms were very nice and worthy of the Waldorf name. Now, the hotel clearly puts its money into where they get their biggest profit: the bars, restaurants and casinos.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NewHoper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-5706, Puerto Rico (Formerly El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel)
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront hotel surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped grounds in fashionable Isla Verde district - 15 minutes from Old San Juan. El San Juan Hotel presents a perfect blend of tropical splendor, Old World elegance and vibrant culture. Redesigned guest rooms are bright and inviting - ideal for a retreat. Lounge at the beach or on the expansive pool featuring flowering gardens, and spacious sundeck, Olympic-sized pool, Fantasy swimming pool with swim-up bar, waterfall and whirlpools, private cabanas for rental or relax and rejuvenate at the spa. Enjoy a vibrant and varied nightlife, choosing from nine on-site award winning restaurants, plus lounges, bars and nightclubs. One life to live? Live it up at El San Juan! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El San Juan Resort And Casino
El San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
El San Juan Hotel Casino
The Waldorf Astoria Collection Carolina
El San Juan Hotel Puerto Rico
El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection By Hilton Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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