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“Loved the Island and the Spa!!”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 10, 2013

THe property was lovely. Service was impeccable -- especially Jesus at the Honors desk and everyone at the Golden Door. My room had a beautiful view and ocean breezes, and I loved the catamarran to th private island-- the idland was much nicer and larger than I expected and was a tropical paradise. Only negatives at all-- Meals a bit expensive, and parking is a pain -- expensive for a gravel lot a bit of a hike from the hotel (shuttle is free and available, but you can wait and it's easier and faster to just walk). For a hedonistic retreat and relaxing and pampering vacation, I recommend El COnquistador. And as always, Honors members are treated very well. THe wait staff at breakfast is all very attentive and pleasant!

Room Tip: I loved my oceanfront suite in Las Brisas.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank DCKatherine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,829 - 4,835 of 7,736 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2013

Sometimes you want to know how hotels options compare to each other. On a Puerto Rico family trip (2 adults, kids 10 and 6) we stayed at the El Conquistador in Fajardo, the W in Vieques, and the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. I am posting this review to all three.

The El Conquistador was the most family friendly of the 3 hotels. In addition to a small water park, you can take their boat over to a private island which snorkeling etc. They had a nice kids program and the golf course looked beautiful. The grounds were gorgeous but the rooms were nothing special and the service was good but not great. The price was the best of all 3 hotels.

The W has an immaculate setting and the rooms were very nice. This is really a ‘romance’ hotel not a family spot. The service and food were disappointing given the price and the expectations their advertising creates. You are warned against swimming/snorkeling at the W’s own beach. You have to go to the other side of the island. It’s frustrating to come to a beach hotel and still have to get in a car to go swimming in the ocean. So if you go to Vieques rent a car.

The Caribe is a beautiful spot for an urban hotel but doesn’t compare to the W and the El Conquistador in terms of the natural beauty of the setting. Still the service is good and being near old San Juan provides a lot more culture and options for restaurants and night life.

So if you want romance go to the W, if you want culture go to Caribe, if you want family fun the El Conquistador.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank ges5542
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed here prior to our cruise and was really impressed! We got a great deal through priceline express deals. There are a few negatives about the hotel but not many.

Cons: (because that's what everyone really wants to hear about)
The resort is quite large. There is self parking for $15 and it is quite a hike from the rooms. They do have a shuttle van that you can catch if it is there when you need it. Otherwise you can pay for valet. Once you get to the lobby... to get to our room (near the marina) you had to walk a ways to the elevator... then walk to the tram... then take the tram to our building... then walk a ways to our room. Each time you want to leave the resort you have to go through this process.

There are quite a few pools but each are freezing

Pros:
Rooms are large and clean. We had a room on the 4th floor near the marina and had valeted ceilings and a view of the ocean, marina, and water park (fee). Floors are all tile. Provided a portacrib for our little one. Beds were comfortable.

The large caged birds were a hit with my kids.

Staff was wonderful.

I would return here in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank HawaiiStateOfMind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I am writing for a family of 3. Husband (me), Wife, Daughter (3 yrs). We actually stayed on two occasions (wrapping around a cruise), so I have an experience on two different visits.

There is a lot to do at the resort. Palomino Island was the highlight of our stay. The boat ride out was very choppy, but that's to be expected. The water wasn't very calm.

The hotel has a water park which is nice. It has 3 water slides (One to use inter tube, one straight slide, and a curvy slide). There is a lazy river, and a general swimming area with a kid slide. The price for admission was $20 for adults, and there was a discount for children, but I can't recall how much of a discount it was. For what it was, I felt that it was highway robbery. We did find out that if you go after 4PM, it's only $5 per person. However the park closes at 5:30 so you don't get much time. It was fine for our 3 year old, though.

My biggest beef with the hotel is the food and its prices. I totally understand that when you visit a resort that is not "all inclusive" that you would be likely to pay more for food, but I would also expect that at a resort like this, the food would be prepared a little better than the burger joint around the corner from my house. Let me collaborate.

Hamburger - approximately $16. Comes with a side such as fries. The burger was so greasy that my bottom bun was soaked. I had the hamburger on 3 occasions and each and every time it was the same way. Came with 1 leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato, pickles, and one or two rings of onion. I don't know. I guess I just expected more for $16.

Ice Cream - $3.50 per scoop. Not bad. the scoops are actually pretty sizable. Two occasions, however, they were OUT OF VANILLA... two different times. How do you run out of Vanilla Ice Cream? Seriously. When we were perusing our options for a replacement, we wanted the mint chocolate chip one time, and the lady said, "You won't want that, it's runny" and continued to show us in the display that the ice cream was barely holding its form.

Jerk Chicken Wings - I think they were $12. They were VERY GOOD. I highly recommend.

Pizza from Cafe Calibre - The pizza was good but the cheese wasn't melted completely (two different occasions, same result). I recommend the pizza if you are feeding 2+ people.

Pizza from Cafe Bella Vista - LOVE the pizza. It's about a 12" pizza, thin and crispy crust. Kind of pricey ($15 for plain pepperoni), but it was good... happy to pay $15 for that all day long.

Shrimp Cocktail from the restaurant on the marina (not the stingray cafe). It was pretty good. I would recommend it.

Breakfast is $26 per person for an average buffet (liquid scrambled eggs, cooked frozen pancakes, fresh fruit (yay), cereal). I can't complain since I had free breakfast being a Diamond member, but if I wasn't, there's no way I'd pay $26 for it.

On to another subject. We took the Airport shuttle in, which is $37 per person each way. We did not take the shuttle back to the airport (remember - wrapping around a cruise), so we took the $100 taxi drive to the port. We were charged for both ways. We did not receive any statement in our room on the last day so I didn't catch it until after we got back from the cruise. The person at the desk did fix it for us without asking any questions, so I was pretty happy about that. There was another charge that needed to be refunded and was with no questions.

Overall, we LOVED the hotel. We were NOT impressed with the food/prices, though. When I return to Puerto Rico... I may reconsider staying at a different hotel because of this. The food quality just wasn't there, and everything was overpriced. We actually took a taxi off site ($20 each way) to Walgreens to get drinks and snacks... it was worth it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank ufzc3mj8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I stayed here many years ago, and it had stunning views and wonderful staff. At times the property was so large that you could get lost easy. The pools were beautiful, and I loved taking the boat off to the private island to lay on the beach. What a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank blondie277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

This is our third time there ,at this multi-level, beautiful Resort, overlooking the Marina . The Service was great. We hired a friendly Taxi Driver who took us to the Rainforrest and Downtown San Juan. We enjoyed taking the free Boat over to the Palamino Island to snorkle and sun-bathe. Strolling through the well landscaped Grounds, listening to the little Tree Frogs at night, was a treat.The Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners in the Hotel where first-class.We would definetly go back again!
Our trips where about 8 years ago! We always went end of March. The Weather was great and warm!

Room Tip: We always choose rooms overlooking the Marina on the top Floors
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Renate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We had an uneven visit at El Conquistador. My wife and I went with our two teenage sons (15, 17) and with our reservation they would not guarantee two queen/double beds when we checked in. After we complained the hotel clerk went to the back to talk with her supervisor and came back and said we could get an air mattress for the room. We then asked for a supervisor and she disappeared again (it was like the experience of buying a car...). The supervisor returned and said the hotel was pretty full but would look into. After having lunch she came by our table and gave us a room (Las Brisas) with two beds, so we were happy. When we went to the room, however, it wasn't clean! After complaining, they gave us a discount for the first night. All handled well and professional, just not a good start to the vacation. The room seemed outdated and need of a makeover. There was a small Zenith tv that didn't seem to fit the room and the remote didn't work (after reporting it they came pretty quickly to give us a new one). The carpet seemed old and dated. We also had a room that had an adjoining door to the room next door and there were a couple teenage girls that were loud periodically throughout the week. We complained to management after a few days but didn't see any change in their behavior.

The grounds are nice, the spa was clean and the staff professional. There are no deals to be found here...food, drink, excursions... but that is to be expected in a big resort like this. We liked Striphouse and Blossoms (teppanaki) and enjoyed going down the finicular to the Ballyhoo cafe at the marina (get there early and order the fresh guacamole). The restaurant off the lobby was mediocre. We did the BioBay kayaking at $45 and elected not to pay extra to have them drive us there. You just have to take the finicular down to the marina, go left through the white gate and walk 5 minutes to the nearby park/marina. Liked that they converted the casino into a game room. We spent an evening there playing pool, listening to music and having cocktails. Best meal we had was at a restaurant outside the resort at La'Estacion. It was a 5 minute cab drive (at $15 each way), One day we rented a car from Enterprise (which has an office at the resort) and drove into Old San Juan...pricey rental but worth getting off the grounds and experience the island.

Overall, I wish they would spend money to update the rooms and although we didn't stay at the Las Olas building, that area seemed way, way outdated.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank John F
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: $182 - $533 (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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