i read all the reviews and was TERRIFIED to stay here, but honestly it was JUST FINE. my boyfriend (now fiance) had bought us a trip at the end of may 2008 for three nights in puerto rico. we are college students on a college budget and this fit in very nicely. it was our first trip together out of the country.
the lady who checked up in was very gracious and very helpful. the elevator IS slow, but really you only need it when you have your luggage. the rest of the time it's just easier to take the stairs (and we were on the third or fourth floor). a shopping mart is within walking distance for groceries and toiletries. the taxi fare from the airport was only about ten dollars. the beach is within walking distance.
our room was teeny-tiny, but PERFECTLY CLEAN. i seriously let out a sigh of relief when i opened the door because i was scared to see cockroaches. no stains on the sheet, AC worked just fine (there is a switch on the wall to turn it on), the water-pressure in the shower was fine. everything was SMALL but clean.
the best parts are: right next door are the El San Juan Resort and Casino, Ritz, and another big name place. these are so nice to walk through!! check out the casinos and night clubs there for night life, and check out the stores in them for shopping during the day. very fancy, and we got to see them all without even staying there! :-) the beach connects all these resorts, but we didn't try to use their bar or pool because you need a hotel towel (and i'm a wimp lol)
also, right downstairs of the coral by the sea is an AMAZING gellato parlor!! the ice cream (gellato) is soooo good. try the mango :-) we didn't eat at the restaurant in the hotel (except for ice cream). there are PLENTY of fast-food places within walking distance, and also VERY nice restaurants within all the five star resorts.
DON'T RENT A CAR. DON'T NEED IT AND NO ROOM TO PARK. DRIVERS IN PUERTO RICO ARE OUT OF CONTROL. my boyfriend and i constantly noted how crazy the drivers seemed (swerve in and out of traffic, pulling out of driveways without looking, etc.)
in summary, if you are on a budget, feel free to stay here and enjoy the luxuries of the nearby resorts. if you are looking for a five-star resort and have the money for one, stay at the El San Juan Resort and Casino (my favorite :-))
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Coral by the Sea is situated only steps away from many of the area's most popular attractions. A variety of recreational activities, including various water sports, as well as the historic Old Town San Juan are nearby. The Coral not only provides guests with an ideal location, but also with a variety of modern amenities. Enjoy complimentary wireless internet access, a modern business center and the on-site restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Sea Hotel
- Hotel Coral By The Sea
- Coral By The Sea Hotel Puerto Rico/Isla Verde