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Reviewed April 12, 2008

To all of the people who wrote negative revies...This place is huge! If you don't like large hotels, don't stay here. People who write negative reviews on here about the size of the hotel obviously did not look at it online. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at El Con. Is it expensive? YES!!!But I don't know many hotels where the in -food dining is cheap. Word to the wise. Stop at Wal-Mart. Stock up on cereal, bottled water...and you will be fine. We stayed in La Marina. You need to take a tram there and a shuttle to the private island. If you are going to go on these things during "peak" times, there will be a wait. We went to the beach early. Plenty of chairs and shade. Definitely eat off site at Pasion De Fogon. This place was excellent. We would go back!!!

Stayed: April 2008
Thank ntj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

My husband and I have traveled the world..Las Casitas Village was one of the nicest vacation experiences we've had. The casita (townhouse) we stayed in was an older one with an ocean view. The furniture and decorations were dated and a bit worn but were due for mandatory renovation within weeks of our departure. The unit had a lovely balcony overlooking a breathtaking view of the ocean. The rooms were spacious and comfortably equipped with tvs and computer hook ups, It was lovely having our own kitchen where we could make our own meals when we wanted to. Every restaurant within the hotel complex including the coffee shop was overpriced with mediocre food at best..

We had a butler named Steve Ortiz who made our stay magical. He took care of all our excursions and transportation. We needed a USB cable for a camera. He brought us his wife's. He advised us of the best restauranta off campus. (DO NOT MISS EL PASION!!) He set up tennis lessons. He found a special riding stable for me..(I'm a rider) There simply was nothing he would not do for us. He checked in with us every morning and on his day off made sure his back up butler came to our door and introduced himself to us. We thought of him almost like a family member. Keep in mind, all these comments are related to Las Casitas Village. We were NOT impressed by the hotel itself.

The grounds of the hotel are beautiful..lush foliage, blooming flowered bushes, manicured and carefully kept. The golf course was magnificent. The grounds and the main buildings were very clean and well maintained.

We took the catamaran to Palomino Island a number of times. Even though we were there at the height of the season (Presidents' Week) we easily found a quiet somewhat secluded part of the island to enjoy. You shouldn't miss a visit there.

The Golden Door Spa had a daily series of wellness and fitness classes you could join for one fee of $45 which covered the length of your stay. That fee included the use of their showers, steamroom and whirlpool.

All the staff at both Las Casitas and El COnquistador (staff overlaps) are friendly and willing to help you with whatever you need.

The most practical thing I did, and I recommend this to everyone..was to send a large box of clothes, shoes, and sunscreen ahead so it was waiting for us when we arrived in our room. We sent our clothes back that way as well. Only had to take small carry on bags on the airplane. Takes 4 or 5 days to get a box to the hotel from Connecticut. Contact Elliot Chaparro in Receiving at El COnquistador. He will take care of everything for you. I talked with him several times..a wonderful and helpful person to know there.

For my husband and me..we are both active sorts, over 50, with lots of varied interests, this was a great place to stay for 2 weeks.
We plan to go back next winter!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank postingtrot3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

There were eight of us in our party, two families of four. We travel a couple of times of year together and always go to the caribbean. This was our first trip to PR and we were a bit concerned with all the mixed reviews. We did know that it was very expensive to get to the hotel via shuttle so we decided to rent cars. It was definitely the way to go. Thrifty had the best price for a car and it was a 40 minute easy drive to the hotel. I should start by saying that I booked our trip through AMEX Platinum Business travel and were given an automatic upgrade on arrival with comp breakfast for two, normally $25 per person. The hotel grounds were very beautiful and kept very clean. We were in a recently renovated room and the view was beautiful. The bathroom was quite large with a seperate walk in closet. The room itself was beautiful, clean and well maintained. We found the staff to be very helpful and accommodating. We too were there during the Chase and Bank Of America corporate events and my husband was unable to get a tee time because of it. They certainly do cater to the needs of their corporate events over the "regular" guests. We were fortunate to be there the week after Easter and the resort was pretty empty or so it seemed. Our kids really loved the water park and we spent two full days there. We were able to really relax as the park was small enough that we were able to keep an eye on the kids at all times. It was safe and extremely clean. The snack bar served decent food also. The spa was beautiful and the massage was fantastic.

Food Prices - I will say that there were restaurants that were slightly overpriced but we are from New Jersey/New York and we're used to paying top dollar for food anyway. You're on vacation; if you constantly worry about the price of food this resort is not the place for you. For the people whining about the prices should stay at a 2 star all inclusive resort and eat the same food everyday! There was a McD's and Church's Fried Chicken 5 minutes from the hotel for the complainers! The hibachi restaurant and Stingray restaurant were fantastic.

Casino - STAY AWAY! You'll never win in this casino!

Palomino Island - Very beautiful and definitely worth the trip. Short private boat ride from the resort. The sand is not powdery and soft but it was still a great time. Two decent bars/restaurants there for lunch.

All in all, it was a great trip and the resort was beautiful.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Erica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

I just returned from a 4 day stay at the El Conquistador with my 14 and 11 year old kids. Overall, we had a great time and we will be back for next years spring break. The kids had a great time exploring the private island - Palomino - especially during low tide. The ferry to this private island was a short 7 minute ride and very relaxing so it was not a problem for us. Once we were there, we stayed until the last ferry returned at 5:30. I do recommend bringing you own bottled water and snacks as things are very pricey - $6.00 for a virgin Caribbean Breeze and $8 if you want it with alcohol.

The only negative I will say is the food cost. This I hope will change over time as people like us write our reviews. One night we ate at Blossoms (Japanesse place) and it was $160 for 3 people and 1 glass of wine - way over board for mediocre food.

When we return next year, we will plan to have dinner off property more often until the hotel gets the hint.

We did have a great time and the room we had (lAs Brias wing) was clean, spacious and very comfortable.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank travelnutMarietta_Ga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2008

We stayed at the El Con in February of 2007 in a La Marina room before the renovation and the water park and during the convention center construction. We received a great offer to come back and visit after the renovations were completed so we found ourselves back in La Marina February 9-16th of 2008.

The rooms are bright and tasteful, if somewhat IKEA in style. All of the standard upgrades that you would expect; flat screen tv, better bedding, more spa products in the room.

The service remains consistently friendly. Not once in either one of our trips did we have poor service. I honestly don't get the horror stories that I read here about poor/lackluster service.

Giovanni Jones was outstanding, professional, and really went above and beyond to insure satisfaction. Everyone from the bellmen to the valets to housekeeping were very outgoing and approachable.

The food is another story. We are from New England and have an abundace of great restaurants so it is always a fun challenge to find the same quality. The Strip House and Blossoms, the Japanese restaurant were good. Stingrays, the seafood restaurant (remember where we're from) was a bust. Prices overall are high.

We rented a car so we were not at the mercy of the resort 24/7 and ate out on a few occassions.

They did a nice job on the water park with many different alternatives for swimming, staffed by a young enthusastic group.
The landscaping was not complete so it wasn't that appealing to look at, but it was functional, and fun!

Palomino Island, boatride and all, is a refreshing change from the 1/4 mile strip of beach you sometimes end up sharing with 10 other resorts.

The golf course was in good shape and getting a tee time was never a problem.

My only negative would be the prices of the food. Since we got such a great rate tto stay there this year, we really didn't mind paying on the high side for food.

Unfortunately we have not received another generous offer to return (that renovation cost some serious cash). We've gotten the standard offer that they are marketing to everyone ($75 resort credit for a 2-night stay, and so on). Would love to go back again next year, but with the prices of air (and everything else) they will have to come up with a similar offer to their returning clientele to insure loyalty to the resort.

The McKee's

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rickyusa33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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