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“Awesome Hotel! Would Stay Again!”

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El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome Hotel! Would Stay Again!”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Flight was delayed heading into San Juan, so did not arrive at the hotel until ~2 am on a Saturday morning. Expected things to be dead in the lobby, however this place was jam packed!!

Lots of dancing/fun in the lobby both nights of my trip. There's also a dance club onsite that a lot of locals seems to go to. Very fun - worth a stop. They do have a dress code at night, so suggest packing some nice shoes/clothes.

Food/drinks onsite are pricey - there's a few restaurants down the road that are worth checking out. There's also a grocery store (Pueblos) a few blocks away where you can stock up on liquor.

Pool/beach are fun - seems to be lots of activity going on during the day.

Room was nice - not the newest hotel so it's expected that not everything will be perfect but it seems like they kept up well enough with maintenance. Stayed in room 825 and had a great view of the ocean.

Would definitely return and recommend to friends! This is the place to go if you want to party in San Juan.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank bethy27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, October 4, 2012
Thank you for your review, I see you took advantage of the many amenites the El San Juan has to offer and enjoyed the service the staff rendered!
Puerto Rico, as an island has so much to offer as a destination, and so accessible from almost any point of origin..we appreciate your recommendation!
Again, Thank you, again and we look forward to your return visit! Please make sure to contact me, as it would be a pleasure to welcome you back!

Susan.wilkerson@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (851)
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Hollywood, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

This hotel was incledibly beautiful. The lobby was full of night life in the evening, the bar food was even amazing! The only small complaint i have is that the showers were a bit dirty and since the rooms have tile, the floors in the room didnt look 100% clean. Other than that, the beds were comfortable, friendly staff, nice place!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mylene P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

El San Juan Hotel and Casino is such an amazingly beautiful hotel, with a mesmerizing lobby. Thank you Amber for making check- in a breeze and for setting me up with Hilton HHonors Club member ( free of charge).
My overall experience in Puerto Rico was wonderful. I've traveled to Puerto Rico several years ago and stood at The Caribe Hilton,but didn't enjoy myself as much as I did this time around. El San Juan has very friendly and accommodating staff that go that extra mile for their guest. Drinks and food are a little pricey, but not over the top.
For those who want to dine outside the hotel and have the best tasting Mofongo, go to Raices Restaurant in Old San Juan. Words couldn't describe how good the food is. Try to make a reservation, wait time for a table was about 25 minutes. I had breakfast every morning at Mi Casita, it's a five minute walk from El San Juan. Very cheap breakfast, coffee lover will love the coffee here.
My only suggestion to El San Juan Hotel would be to beef up the beach security. My boyfriend and I arrived at the beach around 8am. We wanted to soak up some more sun before we returned to NYC. There was a woman with her two toddler children, one of the hotel employees, and three other women ( not sure if they were tourist or locals) they seem to have been drugged up or extremely drunk. These women were totally out of control and inappropriate having sex with each other on the chairs. The woman with her kids left ( had that have been me with my son, there would have been a problem)My boyfriend and I turned our chairs and isolated ourselves. I felt like the Hotel employee didn't handle the situation fast enough. I saw he even joked with the girls and gave them 3 chairs by a tree and asked them to move away from the shore. The cops were not called and these girls continued to mess around with each other. After about 20 minutes a man on a three wheeler came by not sure who he was, but his arrival made the ladies leave.
Other then the beach porn, I have no complaints and look forward to my return trip to El San Juan.

Room Tip: Room 939 was had a nice view of the beach and pool.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank GsWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed at the El San Juan Resort from Sept. 24 - 29th. I read almost every review on tripadvisor and was a little nervous about staying there because many people had complained about poor customer service and dirty rooms. However, I found the opposite to be true. I reached out to Susan Wilkerson, who assured me that we would have a great time. She also provided a list of places to eat and things to do while in Puerto Rico. I truly appreciate her assistance.

Upon arrival, Josue was awesome. Check-in was a breeze and to our surprise we were upgraded to an Oceanfront Suite. The room was very clean. The bed was super comfortable and the view was amazing. The resort is beautiful. The pools were clean and there were plenty of lounge chairs. The live entertainment at this hotel is awesome. The staff was friendly and very helpful. I honestly have no complaints. We will definitely be returning in the near future and I will recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to visit Puerto Rico.

Room Tip: Oceanfront Suites are the best!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LesleyD32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Lawn, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Me and my wife stayed at this resort for are honeymoon we had an amazing time and I would recommend this resort to anyone, the hospitality they have in Puerto Rico is amazing and the resort with their generosity, just makes you want to go back. Their room service is amazing, their breakfast is delicious, I would like to say special thanks to Angelo for his great hospitality and Susan the Manager with her generosity and Bianca, Amber, Mara and everyone else that was nice and generous.

Thank you again,
Ala Moussa & Ahlam Saleh

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ala_Moussa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

My wife and I have traveled the Caribbean for the past 35 years and rate this property in our top 10 resorts. We prefer lounging around a pool versus the beach. The main pool is among the best - and always clean. There are 2 smaller ones also very nice. We stayed in the oceanfront building for the first time. The rooms are spacious but need to be refreshed a little. Although the breakfasts are very good, they need to find a way to get rid of the annoying birds in the outdoor area. I highly recommend the restaurants, particularly La Piccola. The restaurant Koco is also excellent. There's a new steak restaurant replacing the Palm but it's a name I'm not familiar with. Outside the property, and a 5 minute taxi ride away, is Marisqueria Atlantica. Fresh fish from the sea right to your table. I recommend the snapper. The lobby comes alive on weekends with entertainment and dancing. But just sitting at the beautiful Lobby Bar is a nice experience. Edwin and Keith are very friendly and darn good mixologists. Drinks are a little too expensive, though. The best part of our vacations to ESJ has been getting to know the staff. I have never met a nicer professional group of employees than at the ESJ. Unfortunately, over the years I've seen obnoxious guests disrespecting the reception staff. Seek out Frances, Albania or Mara when you check in. They'll provide you with the best customer service experience you could want. At the pool bar, Sammy and Antonio will do the same. We are already looking forward to next year's trip.

Room Tip: Request a room upgrade. If it's not the busy season you will likely get it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rbrooks16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Hello!!!

After reading tons of reviews and weighing the options, I chose El San Juan Resort & Casino as my weekend stay from September 20th-24th and let me tell you that I have NO regrets!
Simply because I think its important which I don't see in other posts, please note we are two women 25-30 years old who actually enjoy being young.

The location is perfect, right in the middle of the places you would like to visit, close to the airport (about eight minutes!), El Yunque and Old San Juan, my partner and I found it to be an ideal location. Please note that the other negative reviews on here are most likely from those folks who simply do NOT know how how to enjoy themselves and merely post to complain about any experience. If you want a good dinner (without having to dress up), walking distance is Don Jose. However, I absolutely recommend the restaurant "Platos" for the night you actually do go out. I have never seen such a large and amazing chuleta/breaded pork chop in all my life. I couldn't even finish, and if I could've packed in my luggage without a problem, it would've happened!

The grounds of this hotel were large and beautiful. You can take a nice quiet and lit long walk outside at night (highly recommended), and you have a variety of pools to choose from (so you will never be stuck in a packed pool), or you can walk straight on the beach from the property- which by the way actually LOOKS just as blue/clear as the photos on a non-rainy day as opposed to other photo-shopped photos from other hotels. We found the beach to be clean, the sand soft & lovely and its distance expansive, I am still unsure regarding what the negative posts were talking about. Perhaps they were too focused on complaining rather than enjoying the consistent 80-90 degree weather. Also noted, although weather websites indicate "cloudy" or "isolated storms", please note that this is an island, that being said there was still plenty of sun, still lovely weather and I still got a tan. The only rain fell once, and from what I was told it had occurred at night (I never even realized it as I was sleeping)- but I heard the native frogs of the island "Coqui's" lulling me to sleep all night :)

One of the particular things I found neat about this hotel is that the entire entry/first floor becomes an actual CLUB at night on the weekends. It was fun to walk through, watch and when we came back from our own excursion in Old San Juan and still see people still lively and the music blasting. Please note, if you do want to do the club you have to have nice attire (so pack).

The staff was helpful and welcoming from the moment we arrived (Frances is wonderful, for a good recommendation for dinner, ask her!). The hotel even upgraded us to an available Ocean View Room upon our arrival. In addition, I would love to thank Susan Wilkerson the Front Office Manager for even following up after our visit to make sure that we were satisfied with our stay from beginning to end!!! I could not elaborate more on how wrong all the other reviews are regarding the staff (((IGNORE THEM ALL))))...everyone we interacted with was helpful. We also were greeted to complimentary cheese, crackers and beverage on a table in the room in the afternoon! This was quite classy and spoke volumes of their desire to ensure our satisfaction.

The room was clean and spacious, with a wonderful view of the ocean. There was a minor slow drain in the shower, it was a little bothersome, however this wasn't major enough during our three night stay that we needed to bring it up. The bed was comfortable, caused us to fall asleep entirely way too early and want to lay in it overlooking the ocean well into the morning of our flight. I read about the complaints of the doors being open and things being stolen in other posts. Please note regarding the posts of theft: if you ever go to ANY hotel- would you ever simply leave your jewelry box and your wedding rings lying around when instead it could be in a personal safe which is ALSO conveniently located in the room? I would suggest simply putting valuables in the safe at any hotel, and ensuring that you push or pull doors closed behind you. Our door needed a little more weight to push and pull open, but we had no problems.

Here are some tips:

-Good food: Check out yelp.com, once your there; all food reviews are pretty accurate. Want authentic? Realistically consider that you are located in a primarily tourism area. There will be a Wendy's and Walgreens within walking distance. My dinner recommendations are above. However, for breakfast I recommend a little restaurant called "Mi Casita Restaurant" located about 6 minutes walking distance from the hotel. Order a classic ham and cheese sandwich with Puerto Rican bread :)

-Drinks: Resort drinks can be a tad expensive at any hotel. But the 2 we ordered from the hotel were nice and strong. We walked (about 10 minutes) to the supermarket named "Pueblo" and purchased a "cold bag" for $5 to store some additional ice and our own mixed drinks while out on the beach and pool. Please note, both Pueblo and Walgreens also sell rums, vodkas and such as well. If you go to Walgreens looking for a cooler, you may be out of luck as they didn't have any in stock when we looked- however, I believe the Ice bags from Pueblo are a much better way to go about it anyway.

-Going out: If you feel like venturing to Old San Juan for a night out, I recommend going and starting out earlier. We took a taxi but ran into some heavy traffic on the way there (and this wouldn't be our first time). So if you are looking to go out, I say make the trip towards the afternoon to avoid the traffic. If you are looking to go out to a club in Old San Juan and stay out late, there are plenty of taxi's driving around. We had no problems hailing one down (the trip back to the hotel was smooth with little to no traffic in the early morning hours). Also, get the price of the taxi ride BEFORE you get into it, as most don't have actual meters.

-If you have a question: ask. Going by internet recommendations isn't always a better bet (as most are biased or not experienced enough); ask the actual staff if they have recommendations- it saved me from taking what would have been a gridlocked multiple hours-wait taxi ride at a certain time to an area I needed to visit prior to me leaving.

-Renting a car: We decided to rent a car (highly recommended instead of a taxi) for a few hours to venture about. The hotel recommended "Vias Car Rental" inside of the Hotel Villa Del Sol and ordered a shuttle to take us there. Its about six minutes away. Not the best customer service, but, it was a $52 to rent the car for the day; decent car with USB charger, CD, Bluetooth, etc etc. ****note**** that this rental place did mention AFTER she charged me that there was a $5 additional charge if you used the nondriver's credit card to pay, but that she had already charged us for it. We weren't thrilled about the way she did that. So prior to being charged and signing, please ask if this is the case. Its $5...but it is your $5.

-At the hotel prior to going to the pools, you will be provided with free towels and wristbands (the wristbands serve for you to get waited on while you are on the beach and get free access to the lounge chairs). Be sure to return the towels back to the area you got them from prior to (6/8, I forget the time so please make sure) in order not to get charged for them.

-If you do not want to be near the noise of the club at the hotel, simply tell the Front Desk while you check-in or include this as a request during your booking so they can move you up to a higher floor. We were on the 9th, it was nice and quiet.

In all, I would say do not listen to any random raving negative reviews- if they actually did have any huge problems, the hotel has (from what we noticed) made steps to rectify them. We are glad that we chose this hotel, and when we return to visit Puerto Rico, have no qualms in absolutely staying here again. Thank you again Susan, we hope to see you all again soon!

Room Tip: Higher floor, Ocean View King is the better way to go.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PRToBeHonest
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 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Spa 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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