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“Pretty decent for the money”
Review of Coral by the Sea

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Coral by the Sea
Ranked #13 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Reviewed February 9, 2010

After reading some of the reviews of this place on Trip Advisor, I was a little worried. But the stay was going to be free, paid for through my Delta Skymiles so I decided to chance it.

I can see how someone might be disappointed if their entire traveling experience consisted of major American hotel chains. If the Holiday Inn is your sole basis of comparison then you will be disappointed. No little bottle of shampoo, the TV didn't work properly, and you have to let the shower run for a few minutes before you get any hot water. This kind of thing is why the hotel is as inexpensive as it is.

However, the place was very clean. Having seen some reviews from people here about poor maid service at this hotel, I decided to do an experiment. On the first day, I left no tip. The result was a poorly-made bed and some crumbs I had deliberately left on the floor were not swept up, etc. Then on every day thereafter I left a $2 tip. It should come as no surprise that the service improved 100%. Please remember that these women have a fairly unpleasant job that many people would consider demeaning and they get paid next to nothing in what is practically a third world country. Put yourself in their shoes and just give them the tip they deserve. You will see a difference.

The staff were unfailingly polite and helpful to me in response to my treatment of them as equals. Yet I observed some of these same people giving the cold shoulder to tourists checking in at the desk who failed to use words like 'please' and 'thank you.' Bad manners led to receiving bad service.

I think that perhaps there is just a cultural difference here that guests need to get used to. At a major chain hotel run by an American corporation, all employees are expected to give excellent treatment even to crappy, rude, non-tipping guests. Here in Puerto Rico, at a locally-owned hotel, normal human nature seems to be permitted to dominate. As someone who tries to make a point of having good manners, I'm pretty ok with that.

My room was totally fine and I would have been happy paying up to around $70 a night for what I got. Clean linens, comfortable bed, clean bathroom, reliable wi-fi, no bugs and there was air conditioning. There is a public beach only a few blocks away and the neighborhood was completely safe and well-policed at all hours. The point of the trip was not to sit in a room for 4 nights and 5 days - it was to see San Juan. I only really came back to the room to sleep and check my email. I would definitely stay at the Coral by the Sea again.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Steamrabbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 - 226 of 346 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2010

I decided to take a trip to San Juan for a long weekend, and chose this hotel as part of my package. I have my eyes open and know what to expect.
My room was on the top floor - overlooking an abandoned building across the street. The other side of the hotel has the view of Calle Isla Verde and the Cockfighting ring. The room looked like I expected, not large, tiled floor, stucco walls and a walk-in shower. Spotlessly clean. The only thing I could ask for would be a beer fridge.
The air conditioner worked perfectly.
The staff, both day and night, were friendly, helpful, and first rate in all respects.
A short stroll of two blocks to the beach.
The gelato place downstairs (Piu Bello) has excellent peanut better ice cream, and an outdoor terrace to sit on.
The wifi was a bit iffy, but other than that I was happily satisfied with these accomodations.
Free parking was a huge bonus, as it is next to impossible to find street parking anywhere in San Juan.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank GWMtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2010

Last FEB 2009, Stayed HERE WITH ANOTHER COUPLE That we cruise with. GREAT Resturant, Great location, AND THEY EVEN GET YOU TO THE CRUISE SHIP.............What more does anyone want for $100. BUCKS. !
The employees were outstanding, big smiles and very helpful with our hundred questions as where should we go locally. They were just great.
Just booked a few minutes ago for our 2010 cruise !
see you then
Pat and Bob Smith

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank wildpony67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

Okay, I didn't have high expectations, but this hotel looks out onto a crumbling building, it has zero charm, and has small, cramped rooms. I'd expect to pay much less for staying in such a charmless, depressing setting. It's across from a strip of chains and a cockfighting facility. The staff was fine, however. The Gelato place downstairs has a pretty crappy breakfast.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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Thank catcapellaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2009

I was travelling with stand by-tickets and got stuck in San Juan on my way from JFK to Martinque via San Juan. I stayed two nights in CORAL By tht Sea 16-18th of November 2009.
The hotels exellent price and location (near to the airport) made me happy.
The best feature though was ever so friendly night portier. This WARM and LOVELY person made me feel welcome at 1 am when I arrived to the hotel. He was ever so helpful and gave me a good idea of PUERTORICAN HOSPITALITY.
I would like to go back to Puerto Rico one day and visit rainforest, music clubs and more.
My baggage was already in Martinique so I travelled extra lite (meaning: nothing). From the nearby drugstore I could purchase toothbrush etc next morning and 24h open restaurant few steps away served a delicious Mofongo de yuca con camarones(greyfish) at 2am.
Coral by the Sea was CLEAN and FRIENDLY. Best wishes from Jaana from Finland! :D

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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Thank kata7ina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

Coral By The Sea is definitely a budget hotel, but is a good choice for students or others looking for inexpensive accommodations in a prime location close to the beach and/or airport. The hotel is showing signs of age, and the rooms are rather small; bathroom has a shower stall, not a full bath. There is free parking, definitely a plus, but the parking lot is quite small (so parking may not be available to everyone who wants it). The rooms are sparsely furnished (but there isn't room for much), but the beds are comfortable and I found the room to be clean. The hotel has free wireless internet, and a restaurant (I cannot comment more on the restaurant, as I didn't dine there). The attentiveness of the staff is superior; the lady at check-in went out of her way to give exact directions to the airport, even going outside to show me how to get eastbound on Isla Verde Ave. from the parking lot. I had a wake-up call at 3:45 AM -- wake-up call was on time, and then the front desk called again at 4 AM just to make sure that we were up. So the hotel, in my view, gains points for customer service. I would recommend this hotel for the budget-minded, but those who expect greater amenities should look elsewhere. Also, don't expect a room with a view!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank NJWil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2009

I stayed at Coral by the Sea, because last minute I decided to go to Puerto Rico for my Birthday. This hotel is in Isle Verde, and not more than ten minutes from the airport. The hotel is a small hotel, and the rooms are okay with a queen size bed, unsure about the other rooms. A plus is that there is no carpet but tile. The other positives is that it is a block from the El San Juan Hotel and Casino (that's where you'll find BRAVA night club which is really good on Saturdays and 23 & up, that's if you're looking for house, hip hop, and reggaeton); this hotel is near the Ritz Carleton; the Marriott; there is a Walgreens next door and Drums lounge which has live bands; Platos restaurant downstairs is very inexpensive; and the beach is about a 3 minute walk. The negatives about this hotel is that they only give you two towels a day. I wanted an extra towel, but they wouldn't give it to me, and I had to ask for washcloths, and there is no view outside the window there is a billboard blocking it with a big light. My room had hot water every single day, but you have to let it run for about a minute or two before it gets really hot (however someone said they had no hot water). While in Puerto Rico, I didn't rent a car, so we took the bus during the daytime which wasn't too bad. It's only 75 cents and takes you into Old San Juan, and anywhere else you want to go. Overall this is a good hotel if you're on a budget and want a cheap vacation (especially if you don't plan on staying in the room all day).

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank rispectd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral by the Sea

Address: 2 Calle Rosa, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-7107, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Price Range: $93 - $161 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Coral by the Sea 1.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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
Coral By The Sea Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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