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“Buetiful time”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Beutiful and luxury. 5 star hotel. Resort has a Private beach - beutiful. Rooms were elegant. Stop on the marina level. Very private. Great family resort at main level. Marina level more private great for couples ...service , food , grounds, all top notch. Kind of pricey but well worth it.

  • Stayed: February 2011
    • Value
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Thank Dvdmdz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,577 - 5,583 of 7,753 reviews

Reviewed September 12, 2011

Pleasantly Surprised
I was at the hotel for the weekend working. Very stressful as we were all on the lookout for what was going to happen with Topical Storm Maria and our ongoing event.
I stay at this hotel several times a year and as a Hotel from the Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Family I know that they take care of their clients throughout any storm that threatens the Island.
I decided to indulge and treat myself to a late afternoon at the GOLDEN SPA. Grace took care of scheduling my appointment for a Tropical Stone Massage. She gave me all prior instructions and I am glad I followed them as it gave me the opportunity to enjoy other services included at the SPA. RELAXING!!! The most important one. Everyone was very attentive, they’d show up provide you with either information, asked if I needed anything and disappeared. The facilities are impeccable, lovely and the products they use are excellent. Richard was my massage therapist. He provided an explanation of what was going to happen and asked if there were any particular needs that I had, which I did and he took care of them right away. (I refuse to mention that I am a certified massage therapist no longer in practice).
Richards’s technique in working with the stones was marvelous I could have laid there for three days without complaining. After the massage he accompanied me to another lounging are, I would not have been able to get there by myself as I was still floating on cloud “9”. Hot Tea, Cold Tea, Candied Yams, Orchids and more relaxing time. The showers were fantastic with the multiple shower sprays, the Sauna perfect, ice cold towels, every detail was taken care of. There were flickering of lights at various times, but no interruption of power as their generators took over. Kudos to Golden SPA and their personnel.

The title is Pleasantly Surprised because so many write ups, claim to be spectacular just for you to later find out that they are bellow average, this one is true every bit of it!

Room Tip: Be a Hilton Diamons Member!!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled on business
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Thank EmJay_1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

I went to El Conquistador as a part of a girlfriend's getaway trip. Generally, we enjoyed the hotel's amazing oceanside bluff views, and private beach island. Our room was nice and included a balcony with a wonderful view as well as the biggest bathroom (with a walk-in closet!) I've ever had at any hotel.

HOWEVER, I felt a bit out of place with all of the couples and families at the resort. My friends and I are single women with no kids, in our late 20s/ early 30s. Needless to say, we were bored evenings at the resort. Unfortunately, it seems that all the great nightlife is in San Juan quite far from the resort.

Another disappointment was the hotel's food. We didn't even bother to try any of the hotel's several more expensive restaurants. Our stay included free breakfast buffet which was adequate to keep from being hungry but nothing to rave about....fruit, bagels, etc. We really, really wanted authentic food which was rare at the resort- tostones at the resort's marina restaurant was the only puertorican dish I found on any menu there. Luckily, one of the hotel workers was kind enough to give us directions for how to sneak past the resort gates and walk to restaurants. Drinks were pretty expensive everywhere at the resort but expected.

The hotel provides free ferry rides to it's own private Palomino Island. The island was wonderful, the restaurant had good burgers and rum drinks, and they offered fun activities like horseback riding and snorkeling. Please note: the island was great for sunbathing but beach is waaay to rocky for shallow swimming. The only downside was that the last ferry returned to the resort around 5pm; it would have been nicer to stay longer, especially since I found the resort quite boring at night.

All in all, great for families or couples or individuals looking for a relaxing time with amazing views. Singles looking for nightlife should stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank NeRock04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We got to the resort on Thursday before Labor Day. We thought we were staying at the Las Casitas, but the Honors desk messed up our reservation. No fault of the ladies working at the desk at Las Casitas - they were great. After about 3 hours (no joke), we went to a room at the Marina part of the resort. The room was nice, but the pool nearby has no services - just a towel stand - and you literally had to take a couple of elevators, a tram and walk quite a long way to get to the main hotel. This is not feasible when you are traveling with small children. We went back to the Las Casitas and finally got checked into a room there about 4 after initially arriving at the hotel around 11.

Service - The service at the Las Casitas is quite good. The have folks who come around to see if you need drinks/food at the Infinity Pool. (At the main pool at the hotel, there is no service, but there are a couple of bars/cafes nearby where you can get what you need.) In addition, the restaurant service was very good. The ladies who work at the reception in the Las Casitas were exceptional and helped us in many ways.

Rooms - our initial room in the Marina part of the hotel was nicely decorated and had an ocean view. Except for the location, it would have been suitable. The room at the Las Casitas was a studio with a small kitchen, ocean view and a hot tub on the back deck. The small kitchen was great to have for our 19 month old. The only gripe I had about the room, was the shower, which was broken. The shower head had a leak where the head attached to the wall and a lot of water leaked all over and onto the floor. Most importantly, the rooms were clean and nicely appointed.

Food - The food is pretty good, but boy did I feel gouged. In addition, do not come here thinking you or your kids will have a lot of healthy options. It was hard to locate a vegatable.
We ate breakfast at the restaurant at the Las Casitas. It is your standard breakfast buffet, which in my opinion is overpriced for what you get. Also, it was the same everyday that we were there. $19 for fruit (pineapple, watermelon, canteloup, orange, grapefuit, honeydew), bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes or french toast, pastries, oatmeal, dry cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs. No omlet station or waffle station.

We had two nice dinners (with our daughter) at the Italian place and at Strip House. Again, good food but high prices and the wine was extremely expensive.

Resort in general - The place needs a face lift. There are lots of places with peeling paint and men working all over, so maybe there will be an improvement coming. We enjoyed the beach, but you have walk a long way, take 2 elevators, a tram and a ferry to get there. Be prepared!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank lolo2772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2011

The reviews on El Conquistador are so split that it is hard to know what to think. We stayed for 2 nights several years ago and had a nice stay, although the time was so limited that we really did not have time to enjoy most of the amenities. This August I had a conference in San Juan and we decided to spend three nights at Conquistador prior to the conference. We were quite apprehensive given the reviews on this site, but decided to give it a try.
I'm so glad we did. Following advice on this site we booked one of the Las Brisas rooms (third floor) and had fabulous views of the ocean and Palomino Island, as well as the hillside below the room which. If you look carefully in the morning, the hillside is full of large iguanas sunning at the tops of the trees. We went to Palomino Island both full days of the trip and had a fabulous time. We did not expect much from the snorkeling given the reviews here and elsewhere, and there is little coral to be found. But we saw schools of various fish, two species of butterfly fish, trunkfish, puffers, a barracuda, and best of all on our last snorkeling bout just as we were about to leave the water we saw an eel! The snorkeling definitely exceeded our (limited) expectations. Oh, and the frozen mudslides were awesome.
Our room was clean and the furnishings were bright and modern, didn't care for the vinyl couch but it looked nice. Best part of the room was the balcony and that awesome view; hanging out on the balcony in the evenings listening to the coqui and feeling the gentle breezes was really magical. And watching the morning curtains of rain come through was really something.
Breakfast as Las Brisas was included in our package and while there was always what looked like a long line to get in, it moved very quickly and never took us more than 10-15 minutes to be seated. Breakfast was plentiful enough that we skipped lunch each day. We found service to be helpful and friendly, it didn't seem to us that the staff were unhappy in general.
Negatives - the air conditioning unit in the room created condensation on the floor; no big deal we wiped it up. Food is expensive, but that's to be expected. I agree that the food is very hit and miss. The first night we ate at the pizza and pasta restaurant - my pizza was delicious and my husband enjoyed his sandwich but was still hungry after. The next two nights we ate at the Bally hoo Grill next to the water - great view and ambiance but food, again, was highly variable. I had one of the best Cuban sandwiches I have ever had (and remember, I live in Florida) - OMG the roasted pork in that sandwich was phenomenal. On the other hand the previous night I ordered churrasco, something that the cook should be able to make in his sleep - ugh, very odd texture and not a lot of flavor. Although the food could have been better, that did not significantly impact our enjoyment.
We loved our time at El Conquistador. Maybe we just got lucky, but honestly, all we saw around us were a lot of happy people having a great time snorkeling, sunning, and enjoying life. I can't wait to go back next year.

Room Tip: Las Brisas wing third floor ocean view - great!
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Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank reptileenthusiast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2011

Before my husband and I went on this trip (we had already booked the resort) I got on Trip Advisor and read some reviews. The reviews were all over the place. Needless to say after reading some of the reviews I was very worried. But for every bad review there seemed to be at least two good ones. When we arrived at the resort we opted for self parking instead of valet parking (always looking to save a few bucks). Signs could have been clearer. The resort is on the top of a hill. The parking is about 1/3 of the way down the hill. There was an attendant there who sat in his car, and there was a make shift tent for shade. We had to wait for the van, which was very dirty on the inside and packed with people who where just there to use the water park. We threw our luggage in the back and anxiously awaited whatever came next. Had we known, or had the attendant told us, we could have just driven up to the resort, dropped off our luggage and I could have just waited for my husband to go park and return either on fit or in said dirty van. Once we were up to the resort, my fears allayed a little. It looked gorgeous from the outside. Open and airy. We went inside and waited awkwardly for a few moments for reception to address us. From there on out it was all smiles, pleasantries and helpfulness from the staff. We had been upgraded to a full ocean view room (Hilton Honors member, plus low season). We were directed to our room and walked through the incredbly spacious and well-enough appointed lobby areas complete with caged tropical birds. We walked past the rum bar, starbucks, casino, cafe and shops. OK. Good. I am liking this. I mean anything with Starbucks gets kudos in my mind. We reached a carpeted area which was worn and in need of a good vacuuming. Worried again. We took the elevator "down" to the fourth level. Remember, it is on a cliff. There was a walkway past the rooms that opened up to a gorgeous courtyard. It smelled wonderful, and later I would learn that it sounded wonderful too. Resident lizards and iguana were everywhere. We opened the door to our room. It clearly needed a little updating, but it was spacious and very very clean. The bathroom was huge. We walked out onto the balcony, and I was hooked. The view of the ocean and surrounding hills and cliffs was beyond spectacular. The breeze came right off the ocean. This place surprised me on every turn. It is a very large property with a lot to do or absolutely nothing to do. The pools were clean, warm like bathwater, bouyant. The jacuzzis were too hot to use, however. There was a swim up bar in the main pool, which was fun. However, we soon learned to stick to wine and beer - and this is probably my biggest complaint about the place. Everything is expensive, that is true, but it is resort - you are a captive audience and you kind of have to expect that - so I was OK with that, but, every bar where we ordered a rum or other liquor drink served very, very watered down versions. My husband and I were trying to figure it out because usually we saw them pour the drinks and they seemed to be generous enough with the liquor. We could only assume the bottles must be watered down. Now we are not lushes by any stretch, but if I am paying $12-$14 for a fru-fru drink, or $9 for a rum and coke, I want some rum in it. Otherwise, I will just order a $3.50 coke. I am not making any accusations, that was just our observation. Certainly, melting ice could be a factor. After day 2, we were happy to order Coronas at the bar and wine with dinner. nbd.

While there we did a tour of the El Yunque Rain Forest. That was amazing, especially since we were there only a couple of days after the re-opened it following the clean up after the hurricane. It really is a site to see and I will always remember the way it smells.

We went over to Palamino Island twice. It is really the perfect beach spot. Again, we were off season and we took the first boat over and we had the island almost to ourselves for a while. There had a lot to do there, plenty of chaise lounges and tiki umbrellas. The water was warm. The first time we saw some jellyfish so we stayed out of the water most of that day. The next day we didn't see any, so we spent a good deal of time in the water. My husband and I decided it probably wouldn't be much fun in the high season.

It was obvious some of the areas of theproperty needed some work and I wasn't sure how much of it was normal upkeep or issues from the recent hurricane, but they had people working on the property non-stop - painting, mowing, trimming, cleaning, serving. I was amazed by how many employees they have. And everyone was pleasant and helpful. That having been said, for the most part, is was an awesome, awesome property. I loved hearing the Coqui at night, but it might anoy the heck out of some people. For the first couple of days my husband and I had an ongoing "argument" about whether the sounds were natural or piped in. I thought they were too perfect and rhythmic to be natural and I kept telling him they were piped in in "Disney-esque fashion." I soon realized I was wrong. Also, our room was too close to the Funicular and we started hearing that go at about 6:00 a.m.

All in all, we would go back in a heartbeat. It was a marvelous place for some serious downtime.

M. Davidson

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank mdavidosn664
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2011

I have stayed in many resorts.but never like el conquistador ....i was so excited to get there after a long flight ..as soon as i got out of my car i was greeted by ruben he was great .he took me and my family to the front desk my kids were cranky..as i approach the front desk a very nice lady took care of me she welcome me to the resort with such a pleasent smile and said hi my name is marisol how may i assit you..i told her that i wanted to check in ..as she was checking me in marisol was giving alot of imformation about the resort as we finish with the check marisol told ruben that my room was ready..got to the room and could believe what me and my family saw the room was great and a view for eyes that i could not believe. .breakfast at las brisas was great we were greeted by stacey what a young lady always smiling just like marisol at the front desk...as we dine around we went to bella vista thats were lysandra took care of us always making jokes and laughing and on this note i want tosay that the resort will have a new gst comming every year from texas..thanks to all the employees for being cheerfull and making my stay so great........

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank miguel g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 1000 El Conquistador Avenue, Fajardo 00738-3711, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Fajardo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Price Range: $198 - $460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 918
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award-winning oceanfront resort perched atop a cliff, overlooking Caribbean Sea on one side & Atlantic Ocean on the other. Check out the dramatic views, the private island, relaxing spa golf course or the water park - it's all part of this Caribbean paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Fajardo
Waldorf Astoria Fajardo
El Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Puerto Rico/Fajardo

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