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“Sister hotel of El Convento Old San Juan”

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Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Texas
Level Contributor
150 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Sister hotel of El Convento Old San Juan”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Since we were staying at El Convento in Old San Juan, we had the opportunity to use the facilities at the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde. We were given a coupon to enjoy the privileges at the Marriott which included the beachfront, chairs, umbrellas, locker room, showers and casino. We took a taxi van there (15 minute ride, $21.from El Convento in Old San Juan). We had lounge chairs and an umbrella on the beach and ordered drinks delivered to our beach chairs. After a few hours of sunbathing and shelling on the beach which wasn't overly crowded, we showered and retired to the casino. After an hour or so there, we sat in the lobby and enjoyed the music and people dancing. Returned to the El Convento, tired but happy.
It was a very enjoyable time. Although we didn't stay at the Marriott, it was a good way to experience both Old San Juan and Isla Verde Resort area. Good deal.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank bostonqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
102 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I stayed here for 5 nights-1st night with Hotwire rate, 3 nights on Marriott points, 5th night with Hotwire. I never paid full price so that greatly influences my review. I don't know if it is worth >$300 per night, but that isn't outrageous in PR. Many of the $150/night hotels don't have a pool.

Pros:
+BEAUTIFUL pool area. Pool bar with $4 frozen rum drinks from 3-5 daily. Kids pool, 2 hot tubs (one warm, one hot), open 24 hours
+Wifi-spotty and slow in the evenings
+Laundromat-we didn't use it
+Isla Verde public beach steps from the pool. Food/beverage service from Papaya restaurant, hammocks, chair/umbrella service from hotel staff. Massages on the beach-$45 for 30 minutes, $85 for 50 minutes
+Mini fridges in rooms-go to Walgreens for beer, wine, liquor! Front desk has a wine opener!
+OFF bug spray provided at the towel station by the pool and at the front desk-the sand fleas like the shade and damp environments.
+2 bottles of water in your fridge every day.
+Free lemon water by the pool from 11am-5pm
+$12 cab ride from airport +$1/bag...we had backpacks only and didn't get the bag charge.
+EVERY staff member was super nice!!

Cons:

-More of a resort than a hotel so no vending machines, free coffee, or drinking fountains
-Not an issue for me, but it is right by the airport so you do hear planes. Duh??
-The room was clean enough, but the bathroom grout was dirty and there was some dirt in the corners.....However, I don't expect any mid range hotel to be spotless.
-16 or 18% resort fee.
-Parking $15/day. You don't need a car.

Tips:

No outside food/beverages allowed at the pool area, but be discrete and no one will bother you.
BYOB to the beach! Walgreens is a 7 minute walk away .

We had a pool view room (east side) for the first 4 nights which was awesome, the last night we had a room on the west side with a view of an EYESORE apartment building and a sliver view of the ocean. Fine to look at for our last night....but that room was also not renovated.

Restaurants:

Papaya-poolside bar and grill. $12 lunches-definitely splittable, decent taste. $8 drinks not worth it, but $4 from 3-5.

Salsa-inside mid range dining. $12-20. Good salad bar.

Sirena-expensive outdoor dining. $30. Didn't eat here.

Picante-inside bar. Live music Fri, Sat, Sun.

Bananas-indoor ice cream/coffee/pizza. $18 for large pizza and 2 sodas. Decent pizza.

Casino-small, 6 tables.

I would stay here again if I could get it for <$250/night. No major complaints!

Room Tip: We had a pool view room (east side) for the first 4 nights which was awesome, the last night we had...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravelFrugalButOften
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Floral Park, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We spent eight nights here for our honeymoon and it was terrific! The hotel is in a great location. It's near to the airport but the airplane noise did not bother us. We were able to walk to other restaurants and shops to try something different and we liked this convenience.

The hotel has plenty of things to do. The beach is right outside and staff members are helpful to move chairs and umbrellas wherever you want. Beach towels are always available so there is no concern of bringing your bath towels downstairs. The beach is wonderful - very clean and not crowded.
The pool is a huge draw. It is available for use 24 hours and includes a jacuzzi and a whirlpool. The temperature was perfect and the swim up bar was one of the best parts of the trip. Drinks were reasonably priced and the bartender Terry is awesome! He makes fantastic drinks and is a really interesting person to chat with.

Our room was great - fifth floor including a small balcony which had a table and two chairs. Housekeeping kept everything very cleaned and restocked the mini-fridge with complimentary bottles of water each day. Ample toiletries were provided as well.

There are so many food choices here! Bananas in the lobby is a great spot for a quick coffee or treat. Picante has terrific live music, amazing drinks, and a good sample of appetizers. The beach restaurant Papaya has typical beachside snacks (not the best but acceptable for pool side) but the drinks come from the swim up bar and so they're amazing! Salsa offered a wide variety of things and we greatly enjoyed the weekend Puerto Rican style buffet. Their breakfast buffet was enjoyable as well. Our favorite place hands-down was Sirena. Their tapas menu was delicious and helped us enjoy a light dinner one night. We ate a sit-down dinner there two nights and were thoroughly impressed by the choices. The paella is a must! We spent New Year's Eve at Sirena as well for a special five course meal and each course was delicious. The servers (Christina and Christian) were so attentive.

We did not make use of the casino as that is not something that interests us.

We did notice the signs warning about beach bugs at night so we used bug spray and had no problems. It was nice just to lay in a hammock by the beach under the stars.

The hotel was helpful in booking excursions and hailing cabs. Everyone seemed willing to help when we had questions. We would absolutely stay here again.

Room Tip: I chose the standard room and still had a partial view of the beach. I don't see the need to pa...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KL17_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

I stayed at the Courtyard for a girls birthday weekend get away from Jan 31 to feb 2nd 2014.
Very convenient next to airport. Within 10 minutes of leaving the airport we were at the hotel. Hotel is nice. Nothing spectacular. Grounds are nice. Pool is great. Beach is just a few steps away from lobby. Staff was super friendly and accommodating. Staff helped us map out our day in Old San Juan. Assisting us with picking out restaurants and night clubs. Taxi cab service is no wait at all. Though, taxi cab service was a bite expensive. $10.00 limit where ever you go.

The Rooms I regret to inform that I was very disappointed. They were out dated and dirty. Very dusty lamps, carpet was stained. Bathroom was nasty. There was dirt embedded in the cracks of floor tiles. Tub was stained. We paid to upgrade our room to a deluxe double bed ocean front room but the view was overlooking a roof, Overall not what I expected. Save your money and do not upgrade as all rooms are the same.

Also keep in mind that the hotel is right next to airport runway, very loud, if you don't mind.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a better view of the beach and you don't have to upgrade.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NYCLady813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Thank you for choosing to stay with us during your visit to Puerto Rico. I hope you and your girlfriends enjoyed the vibrant nightlife and flavor rich gastronomy at the island has to offer. I will personally share your observations about the room with our Directors of Engineering and Housekeeping, in order to immediately tend to these situations. I truly appreciate the review and the feedback provided in it. If I can be of additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at 787-648-8834 or Hneumann@sjcourtyard.com.
Thank you,
Henry Neumann
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Just returned from a most relaxing five day stay at this Courtyard and we are already talking about going back. The hotel is the last among other hotels and condo buildings along this extraordinary public beach.

Couple of thoughts on this hotel...

-The beach is one of the prettiest we have been to. We took daily walks up and down the gorgeous stretch of the mostly empty public beach.

-The hotel's beach chairs and umbrellas are "free", but there is a daily resort fee that is tacked on to your room charge whether you use them or not. The young guys who plant your chair and umbrella in the sand could not have been nicer. Say "hello" to Harry and remember to tip them a buck or two. Towels are available near the pool.

-The hotel is located a few hundred yards from the San Juan airport's runway. (See photo from Room 908 in the middle of the hotel) At first the roaring plane engines were a bit jarring, but they didn't ruin our experience. Planes rumbled down the runway every 10 to fifteen minutes, but don't let it scare you. I've read other reviews stating the planes were less noisy in rooms toward the front of the hotel. I think no matter where your room is you will hear the massive jets taking off. Our cab ride to and from the airport is literally a five to seven minute trip. ($14-$15) It is very convenient.

-The service was impeccable. Almost everyone on the staff greeted us with smiles and "Hellos". Jennifer at Sirena's restaurant located adjacent to the beach remembered our drink order from the day before and always flashed a smile. Luis at the bar made a heck of a Zombie drink. Roberto and Joyca were wonderfully helpful concierges. Julio, the server, was one of the nicest people we've met in our travels. During our meal he went out of his way to bring us maps and show us some other points of interest and eateries we should try. Bravo, folks!

-The hotel is about a 15 minute walk to the Ritz, El San Juan and Walgreens. (Store hours 8am-10pm) Never felt unsafe walking along this stretch at night, but the public sidewalks are narrow and dark and not in the best condition.

-The bed was comfortable. Room was a good size. Bathroom could use an update. The property is a bit dated and showing some signs of age, but it is clean and delivered what we were looking for. Is it as fancy as the El San Juan or Ritz? No, but we didn't mind one bit.

-Happy Hour at the hotel pool from 3-5pm. Rum drinks are a 1/2 off. Didn't find this out till our last day.

-Remember to buy sunscreen before you go. A can of spray sunscreen is $20 poolside, but it was convenient. We went to Walgreens and stocked up on two cans for $11. Also, if you want an adult beverage or two and save some hard earned dollars, pick up some cold beer at the Walgreens for a fraction of what they charge at the hotel.

-We enjoyed the salsa bands and dancing during Saturday and Sunday nights at Picante's in the Hotel lobby. During the weekend nights many locals descend on the dance floor and take their salsa dancing seriously.

-There is a casino off the lobby of the hotel. We walked through, but didn't gamble. It seemed relatively busy on most nights.

-On Saturday nights there is a Puerto Rican buffet for $23 inside the hotel restaurant. Well worth every penny.

Again, we really enjoyed our stay here. We would return in a heartbeat.

Hope this review helps. We have attached some photos.

Cheers!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelLoversRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewisville, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
139 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for a quick getaway to San Juan and don't want to spend a lot of time driving, this could be your place. Located literally on the beach just off the backside of the airport, you can be sipping rum runners within 30 minutes of landing. The hotel is a bit dated and worn, but the service is very good.

Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Dear Mike J,
I am glad that you enjoyed the beach and the service provided by our staff. We will be begin a room renovation project this April. This project will revamp and refresh our entire inventory as all our rooms will be outfitted with the brand new Courtyard by Marriott room package. If you plan to visit us again or if you have any questions about the room renovation project, please feel free to contact me directly at 787-648-8834 or Hneumann@sjcourtyard.com. Thank you for your visit and feedback. We hope to see you again in the near future.
From Warm and Sunny Puerto Rico,
Henry Neumann
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
147 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I picked this hotel because it's on the very same beach as, and next door to, the Ritz-Carlton, and I'm happy I did. One night i walked down to the Ritz and had some wine and snacks at their bar located on the beach, and then returned to the Courtyard to eat dinner at Sirena, also located on the beach - though the design and layout of Sirena was actually surprisingly superior to the Ritz' beach place.

The service at Sirena is spotty (one night was awful, the next night/different server -I think her name was Kristina- was amazing). The food is so-so (for lunch the grilled chicken and beans/rice with fried plantains was spectacular and simple, and for dinner the scallops were great, but the other stuff kind of tastes like it came from a Sysco delivery truck of bulk frozen food.) The bar area by Sirena was also fantastic service. Sally and (I forgot the guy's name) were attentive and lovely.

The beach is clean-ish (it could use a nightly raking to get rid of small debris and garbage, but overall was tidy each day), and although the waves kick up seaweed and the light-brown sand (the beach isn't white sand), the water is warm and fairly clear. We took a day-trip to Flamenco Beach on the isle of Culebra, and it was what I think of when I think of Caribbean beaches (like Grand Cayman, Antigua, Barbados, etc). Perfect white sand beach, calm waters that were totally clear and placid. If you're going to the Puerto Rico for the beaches, my advice is to stay the night on Flamenco in one of the B&Bs or inns. Had I known before hand how spectacular it was going to be, I would've.

Taxis are out front of the Courtyard 24/7 and it was no trouble to get a ride most anyplace.

The rooms were fine - standard Courtyard. The balconies facing the East have an AC exhaust which blows hot air at your legs when the next door hotel room AC kicks on. Had I known this, I'd have requested a room facing West. My friends had a room facing West and their balcony didn't have the AC exhaust vent and was a pleasure to sit upon.

There is airport noise on BOTH SIDES of the hotel when planes take off, but it didn't bother me. That same noise is heard at the Ritz.

FOOD TIPS: Aguaviva was a great restaurant in Old San Juan for ceviche. Next door was the Dragonfly with incredible sushi. Oceano was fair and had good service.

Only drawback: the hidden $33 "Resort Fee" that I didn't know I'd be paying until I got back home to LA. I will try and get that removed, but if I cannot, you might want to consider that before you check out.

Room Tip: The balconies facing the East have an AC exhaust which blows hot air at your legs when the next door...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Writer/Director
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort

Property: Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
Address: 7012 Boca de Cangrejos Avenue, 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a powdery expanse of Isla Verde beach in San Juan, the newly renovated Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is the perfect location for business or pleasure. The first hotel in San Juan to offer FREE Internet & wireless services it makes business a breeze! For families, babysitting & play services, game room & the beautiful pool & beach make any holiday perfect. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Hotel Isla Verde
Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort
Courtyard Carolina
Marriott Carolina
Carolina Courtyard
Carolina Marriott
Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort Puerto Rico

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