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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
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Reviewed December 9, 2013

Beautiful resort perched on hill overlooking the ocean. Driving in, the golf coarse layout made me wish I played golf. This a semi-remote resort, so a car is recommended, (around $60 taxi from the airport) if you do not want to be held captive. The self-service parking lot ($15 a day) is a distance from the lobby, but a van was always close at hand, to take you to your car. A magnificent lobby greets you in true Waldorf fashion; exotic flowers, plants, statues, artwork and birds dot the open air lobby. The staff is friendly and efficient. There are plenty of restaurant options. The Casino is now occupied by a game room and a loud band on the weekend. We ate at two restaurants: dinner at La Piccola Fontana, Italian was ok, but I wouldn't return. We enjoyed cocktails overlooking the water at Bella Vista. Las Brisas had a nice breakfast buffet, good, but not up to Hilton European standards: Free, only if you are diamond hh. HH Gold members get two drink coupons, and two bottles of water. Many pools to accomodate families, swimmers or lonungers. There is a well-equiped workout room on level one that looks out to the water: many cardio, weight machines and free weights are available. Our room in tower three, Floor 4, had a magnificent view of the ocean with a nice size balcony. A small refrigerator and coffee machine, as well as a walk-in closet were located in the bathroom. Bed was comfortable, but never tried the furniture, or TV with DVD. The hallway leading to the rooms is like an echo chamber and excited kids or late night revelers can be annoying. Bring your earplugs, if you are sensative to noise. Also, the funicular is constantly running down to the water park, shops and ferry to the Island. We didn't go to Palamino Is. this time, but enjoyed it and the ferry ride on our last visit. All-in-all a pleasant visit.

Room Tip: Tower three, full ocean view
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vincent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Stayed at the resort for our WeddingMoon (thankfully we decided to get married off the resort as the reviews are not good for their wedding services). When we arrived the front desk guy upgraded our garden room to a marina view room for no cost! Glad we chose to do this as the marina is much more quiet than the main hotel. Palomino Island, pools, the room size, cleanliness of the resort, and the staff we all great! However, it cost us $16/day to park, and there was a hidden fee of $25/day for internet charges and such. The food was way overpriced (even at the little convenience stores) so we ended up going to a grocery store to get food to snack on. We also discovered that just a 5-10 min walk down the road from the marina are a few great local restaurants for half the price of the resort meals and just as tasty. It wasn't until our last day there that we discovered there was a calendar of daily events at the resort posted on a 8'11" piece of paper outside a store. We were very disappointed that the resort didn't do better advertising and as a result we missed out on things we would have liked to do. We also got a couples massage at the spa there. Big mistake, $500 later we got a 75 min massage and crappy foot soak, the spa staff was rude but the massages were decent.
We decided to rent a car (do at the airport, not at the hotel as it is much cheaper) and scout about the island ourselves to save some money. We had much more fun doing this than the guided, overpriced tours that the resort offered.
The resort is very kid friendly so if you are thinking of taking your kids to puerto rico this may be the resort for you. If you don't mind overpaying for everything, this may be the resort for you. If you enjoy seeing some amazing views stay in the marina village. If you like to travel frugally or do not enjoy seeing children on your vacation this resort is NOT for you.
We will definitely be coming back to puerto rico, probably not to this resort.

Room Tip: Choose the Marina Village for quieter rooms
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Beth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

I stayed at El Conquistador for 7 days over Thanksgiving with my partner. It's a beautiful resort in a magnificent setting, the pools are great, the rooms are spacious, the island beach is unique and fun. However, the prices at all the onsite restaurants are 2 or 3 times "normal" prices, and without a car there are no alternatives, unless you're up for a 45 minute walk into town. We found ourselves eating breakfast at Starbucks and buying pre-made sandwiches at the mini-mart onsite for lunch to keep costs down. Pretty annoying. The rooms themselves were nice, but had minor inconveniences. For example, our balcony doors swung open to the ocean, but there was no way to lock them in the open position so the wind kept slamming them shut. I thought that's why sliding glass doors were invented. There was no pay-per-view movies and the DVD Redbox was out of order, so no movies at night besides what was airing on cable. This resort is very family friendly, lots of screaming children, and while I generally like kids it got to be annoying. Overall, I would think twice about visiting again.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Louie_Chicago_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

My wife and 2 boys, 3 and 6, made the trip to Puerto Rico and the EC was the first stop for 3 days. Our stay was a dream. The staff was wonderful, the hotel is amazing and our room was very nice with an ocean view.

Breakfast was substantial with both fresh hot and cold with great coffee and servers.
1st day was waterpark day and between the lazy river, the shallow pools and the slides, what a blast we had!
Day 2 we went to Palomino Island. What a wonderful ferry ride - the boys had a blast rocking on the bow! we snorkelled, we swam, we relaxed.
Day 3 back to the waterpark and they were kind enough to give us a half day morning price because we were checking out later.

Oh what a time we had. I found myself sitting back and saying to myself "you are the luckiest guy in the world" on more than a few occasions as I watch my kids play or sat with my wife. Thanks El Con, we will be back next year!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Patrick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matt L, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2013

Thank you for sharing the memorable experiences you had at El Conquistador. The views, the water park and Palomino Island all are amazing to experience. We are glad you will be back soon....thank you so much for taking the time to write the warm review. See you again in 2014!

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Reviewed December 6, 2013

This was our third trip and stay at the El Con in the past few years and we were not disappointed. Sure the place could use some updating (furnishings), some paint and renovations, some of the things you might see in other tropical destinations either throughout the Carribbean or Mexico, but the difference here is a focus on hiring, training that shows at each point in your stay here. With this being our first trip here in a couple of years, I was curious to see if they could keep up and maintain the level of service since this side of the island has been ailing ever since other areas like Rincon, Aguadilla, Ponce, and San Juan, not to mention Vieques and Culebra nearby have been pulling folks away from this beautiful part of the island after the US closed its base in nearby Ceiba.

We upgraded to a full ocean view room and weren't disappointed. They gave us great rooms right near the tram and ferry that had a full view of the ocean from our super-sized 2nd floor patio. The rooms are very well sound proofed so you don't hear too much noise from say the tram going up and down, or the screaming baby upstairs, or drunken hallway revelers. The Ballyhoo bar also keeps their evening atmosphere music at a level that doesn't make you seem like you're sleeping on top of a disco.

What needs help is upgrading the furniture...the beds are fantastic quality to sleep on, as are the linens and pillows, but the loung around the room chairs and dressers, etc. aren't what you'd expect to see at a Waldorf; they're a little out of date, and their wear and tear was starting to show more than what you'd expect in a solid 3-star.

They are still doing a great job there with the service and responsiveness. Whether it's a bellhop, bartender, kid's activity instructor, life guards, waiter, ferry mates, or maid, they definitely take pride in keeping it friendly and not fake, or sarcastic, and everyone is super responsive vs. blaise about having to deal with the same questions, problems, or requests made to them by a bazillion guests every year. Talking to them about life on the island, what restaurants they'd recommend, or activities to do or skip, employees seem to intimate that good supervisors and a a steady job make it a good place to work and that kind of good management is reflected in how they operate with guests. Keep up the good work guys and we'll be back in a couple of years again!

Room Tip: Be sure to upgrade to a better room either by your package or at the hotel, and gear it around the activities you most likely will be involved in. For us, we'll beach it every single day we're there and want to keep more localized in that area so we always choose the Marina to reduce long walks since the property is very spread out. Sure you might get a better view or bigger room at the casitas, but picking the right section is well worth it.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank dewong07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matt L, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of your most recent stay at El Conquistador. We truly appreciate the feedback and review these comments on a daily basis. Service is certainly a constant focus and we are glad to hear you received amazing Waldorf Service. We look forward to your return soon!

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