Last week my family took our third trip to San Juan which turned out to be the most disappointing. The other two years, we had stayed at the Courtyard about a ½ mile up the street. This year, my family of 6 adults (last year there were 7 of us) wanted to try something different and booked a week at the El San Juan Resort. What is that old saying, you don’t fix something that isn’t broken? Well we should have heeded the wisdom in that advice. This is supposed to be considered a resort? The rules about resort wear and the prices of the rooms may be in place but I would not consider this a resort worth going to. Granted, this resort is pretty with its different pools and the expansive lobby, however, there is much more to be disappointed in. Yes, the rooms are very nice and located within a reasonable distance from the pool and beach. However, the beach was a mess. The seaweed was horrible on the shore. While they may not be able to control the seaweed in the ocean, the shoreline was un-passable. One could not even take a short walk without having to walk through the slimy mess. My husband went into the water once during the entire week and had to immediately go to the shower to get the disgusting seaweed off of him. Bear in mind, upon walking to the other resort up the street we found no seaweed on the shoreline.
Second, the bar and hot tub areas were so crowded with children that it certainly did not pose a relaxing, inviting atmosphere for six adults. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but the last time I checked, kids do not belong sitting at a poolside bar and are not there rules about children being under age alone in hot tubs? We did not venture into that area.
Third, when my son asked the person on the beach for a chair, he had to wait almost a half hour, but while he was waiting, others (namely the parents of the children that were hanging out at the bar) had their chairs, tables and umbrellas set up as soon as they walked down to the beach area. Last time I checked, my husband and I paid the same rate for the three rooms we had as these people probably did. The staff at this hotel needs to have some lessons in people skills as well. Except for Jackie O and the breakfast staff and the chambermaids, who were all very nice, everyone else did not appear to like their jobs very much.
Fourth, upon trying to order a simple pot of coffee to be delivered for just one morning while we were there, you think we were asking for the moon. The front desk finally called it in for us; however, it never ever arrived. It would have been nice to enjoy a simple cup of coffee for one morning on our deck.
While the hotel cannot control the people that visit the casino, the security should be a little more aware of who is coming in. On two occasions, people tried to start an argument with my son and my daughter through no fault of theirs. And do not even think you are going to get a drink in the casino, only the high rollers were getting served.
These points touch upon most of the disappointments that we experienced while having a family vacation at the El San Juan (Resort-debatable) and I have to mention, the Courtyard experience was the reason we wanted to come back to San Juan, however, the El San Juan experience will now be the reason we will not be back.
- 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