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“You have to overlook a lot”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
virginia
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“You have to overlook a lot”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We arrived and did the self park, then hiked all the way to the hotel. The woman that checked us in was nice and she even upgraded us to a room in the Marina. She then showed us on a map and sent us to the bellman to get escorted to our rooms. The bellman pointed down the hall and sent us on our way. Since we only had personal bags he had nothing to carry and he figured his tip would have been small, so he didn't bother. You cannot navigate this place on your own.. its just too big. After several wrong turns, a funicular ride and wandering in the Marina we found our room. There are no signs to the funicular, no signs to the elevators, no signs to much of anything.
The room was recently updated, but stains or worn spots on the sofa and white leather headboard were just that little bit of gross you wish you didn't' have to see. I noticed two dead bugs on the desk on the second day and I hoped housekeeping would wipe down the desk, but no, the bugs just stayed. The view was amazing, but you eventually have to notice the amount of disrepair. We were impressed with the sliding door's ability to block sound from the Marina and bar! But the noise from the back of the room by the hall and elevators is not attenuated one bit. And the staff starts early and loud.. yelling up and down the hall at one another, and talking loudly as they work. The staff was always polite and quite helpful. The concierge was one of the best we have seen.
The funicular was never a long wait, but the boat ride to the island for the beach was a bit of a wait. We also realized why we were upgraded, and it was smart on the part of the resort. The main levels are dedicated to children and families. It is full of games, arcades, ice cream and sugar shops, and made for kids. The Marina on the other hand, is a little less kid focused and we did not have kids with us, so it turned to the peaceful stay we hoped for.
We had one dinner at the hotel and it was good, but very expensive. You can go just down the road and get a great meal in town. We rented the car at the airport and kept it for four days, and that total was still cheaper than the resort bus to/from the airport. Parking was far, very poorly lit at night, expensive, and a crummy gravel lot. We did not feel safe at night going to and from the car at all. We think there was a shuttle to the lot, but no one said anything and there were of course no signs. For the price of parking they can afford some signs to tell you where the hotel path is, and maybe some lights.
If your expecting a Waldorf Estoria, you will be grossly disappointed. And if your paying Waldorf Astoria prices, you were scammed. The lower price is right for what you get. The one thing we did not understand was the amount of unused spaces in the resort, you could find unused areas everywhere, and it was just like a ghost town in places. There was even a spot on the beach island not far from the beach and at the base of one of the walking trails where mounds of broken beach chairs and trash were piled up. It was just so odd how such a beautiful place had such a state of disrepair and abandonment.

Room Tip: Stay high in the resort if you have kids, stay in the Marina if you do not.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank vacationx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to right such a detailed review. We appreciate your candid feedback as it allows us to identify areas of opportunity to enhance the resort and our services. Your feedback has been shared with our management team to appropriate action. We are happy to see that you did enjoy your overall stay in La Marina Village.
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New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

From the first view I had of this magnificent resort, stepping off the motor coach from the airport, I was in love. The courtyard, with it beautifully placed palm trees and lovely architecture and its hint of something even more wonderful to come, just over the edge, where the sky was so blue, utterly tantalized me. And true enough, when we walked to the edge of the courtyard, everything fell away and before us was this gorgeous vista of turquoise blue water with an island in the distance. This is a beautiful place. The service is first-class, our rooms - overlooking the Caribbean and that afore-mentioned island - were the loveliest I'd been in. The restaurants were delightful, everyone was so kind, the boat to Palomino Island, where their private beach is, was so much fun to be on, and that beach with it's grass huts and trails up the surrounding hills, and gorgeous water and soft sand: perfection! Was it expensive here? Absolutely! Will I go back anytime soon? Unfortunately I may need a serious raise first. But was it worth it? YES! This place is a fantasy and my kids and I will cherish memories of this resort always.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank BlueHways11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Public Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us. We are delighted to see that you and your family had such an incredible time at the resort and that you were able to enjoy our various amenities. Thank you for acknowledging the warm hospitality our team provided your family during your stay. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.
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Germantown, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I have been to Puerto Rico many times and when I go home and say where I went, someone always says "it's so beautiful there" and I always think "I've been to more beautiful places than Puerto Rico!" However, NOT THIS TIME! I was pleasantly surprised by El Conquistador. Everywhere you went was beauty - from the lobby to everywhere I walked. The views were absolutely breathtaking! Take your pick of whatever restaurant style you'd like to eat at - they have it. We brought our 2 teenage boys and they found things to do and were also very happy. They have a bar called Twenty One that is more than just a bar - it's really great for every age- w/air hockey, nascar model car racing, shuffleboard, ping pong, foosball and more. There's a dance floor & a DJ! The ferry over to Palamino was a pleasant ride and Palamino Island was very pleasant with beautiful views all around (and plenty activities to do there). The only thing I can could add on the negative is I think the rooms weren't quite up to par with the luxury atmosphere of the rest of the resort, but they were clean, very decently sized and adequate (they could stand to be renovated- at least the carpets & bathroom flooring anyway). I can also add that the maid service was amazing. She noticed little things about our living habits, so when we walked in after a long day, we were pleasantly surprised to see her little added touches based on what she had noticed. Also, the shower didn't drain at all, so I called the front desk, they sent a maintenance guy up within 10 minutes and he fixed it no problem AND they placed a follow-up phone call to check and make sure he had come. I would definitely go there again.

Room Tip: We chose to be on the upper level with a room facing the lighthouse (which was a little less expensi...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lori-T-01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Public Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review. We appreciate your feedback and the resort has ongoing enhancement projects in the works such as new corridor carpeting and painting in public areas.

We are pleased to see we exceeded your expectations during your stay with us. We are happy to see you not only enjoyed our various onsite amenities such as the Ultra Lounge and Palomino Island but you were able to experience the warm hospitality for our team members. We look forward to welcoming your family back with us during your next vacation to Puerto Rico.
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

The hotel view are amazing. The room are in good condition. Food at the hotel is over price and not worthy. The have a boat that take you to a small island call palomino which is beautiful. If u stay at la marina u will have an amazing ocean view. They have to many employees doing nothing will others are talking to each other.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank LinetteMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for sharing your review with us. We appreciate your candid feedback as it allows us to identify areas of opportunity and helps us improve our guests' experiences. We are happy to see that you enjoyed our guestrooms as well as your time at Palomino Island and the amazing views.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Voorhees, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

As many have written, the Waldorf-Astoria name is a misnomer for this resort, which is a bit dated and in need of some infrastructure upgrades. However, if you are looking for a Hilton-level resort with spectacular views, lush landscaping and an endless array of activities for your entire family, El Conquistador does not disappoint.

We stayed four nights over MLK weekend with a group of 14 ranging from three to 70 years old to celebrate my Dad's birthday. We booked partial ocean view rooms for $279 a night with a $50 per night credit. A few days prior to our stay, I called the hotel directly and, since the hotel was only hallf booked, Ana in the front office was more than happy to upgrade us to full oceanview rooms in the Las Brisas Wing. (Thanks Ana!) The room was a nice size with a huge bathroom and walk in closet. It was tastefully decorated albeit dated, but clean and very comfortable. And the view from our porch was beautiful. I highly recommend the La Brisas wing, which is centrally located to the pools, restaurants and funicular (elevator) down to the marina, waterpark and boat to the private island.

We enjoyed the pools and their cliffside views of the ocean. Palomino, the the private island (just 12 minutes by boat), offered as pretty a beach as we have visited in the Caribbean. And the activities there were never-ending. Volleyball, basketball, soccer, horseshoes, ping pong, life size-chess, bag-o, mini-golf and nature walks to the island's summit were all free. Non-motorized watersports were available for a nominal fee, as were motorized watersports for reasonable prices. Not once did the six kids traveling with our party complain that they were "bored." After a day of activity at the beach, you are able to hit their private waterpark (3 slides, a lazy river and two pools) from 4pm to closing at 5:30pm for just $5 a person. They also have a cool self-guided scavenger hunt for kids throughout the resort that allows them to collect rubber bracelets.

As for the food, we found it all to be quite good, ranging from breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks to fine dining at La Piccola (they gave us a private room to celebrate my Dad's birthday) to family dinner theater at Blossoms (they gave us a private habachi table for my son's 11th birthday). Many have written that the food is expensive, but we found it comparable to what we typically spend at island resorts.

As for the service, it was also typical of the Caribbean, friendly, but always slow and sometimes inattentive.

All in all we had an unforgettable family vacation for a very affordable price.

Room Tip: All the rooms have their positives. Choose La Brisas for the central location and ocean views.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bzucknj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review. We appreciate your candid observations as it helps us improve our guests' experiences including our ongoing enhancements of our public areas.
Thank you for choosing our resort to celebrate two family birthdays. We are delighted to see that the entire family was able to enjoy the many onsite amenities we offer such as Palomino Island, Coqui Water Park and Scout About. Thank you for acknowledging the warm hospitality Ana at the Front Desk provided you.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome your entire family back in the near future.
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Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I absolutely loved the resort! PR is my home country so I know what to expect outside of the hotel but this is the second hotel I've stayed at in 5 years. The views were beyond spectacular and the hotel itself was well taken care of. The staff was accommodating although we had a bed sheet issue that was disappointing but handled well. The room was well kept, the neighbors weren't to be heard from and the dining was very good but overpriced as most hotels are. The ferry to the private beach was all I expected and the bar/game/dance area was well spread and available. The giant Macaw's in the lobby were extra especial...one of them (the white one) actually says Hola! Although the signage says it knows more words its the only we heard over and over! The concierge was welcoming and the check in and check out was flawless along with the valet parking! I am going back in May with my wife to celebrate our birthdays and can't wait!

Room Tip: If you want your own private pool area take a higher floor; if you want waterfront access and avoidi...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chiquino1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Public Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for sharing your review with us. We are pleased to see you and your family had such a wonderful time at the resort. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the helpfulness of our team members during your stay. We are excited to see you and your wife are already planning your return visit for your birthdays!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, WI
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I spent four nights at Las Casitas with five girlfriends. We loved the 3 bedroom space with the ocean view as the rooms were spacious. We felt the buildings were a little worn with cracking wood but it didn't dampen our experience. Our only other disappointment was our search for food one night at 10:30pm and all that was available was pizza. Overall the resort is gorgeous with the long beautiful drive through the golf course and the infinity pools overlooking the ocean. We spent a day on the beach at their private island and enjoyed the sand and surf. The resort is a great place to relax and close to the attractions - bio bay and El Yunque rainforest.

Room Tip: Ocean view is worth it - made the stay much more enjoyable with seeing the ocean every morning and m...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Familytravelmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for sharing your review. We appreciate your feedback and would like you to know that we are regularly working on enhancements throughout the resort to further enhance our guests' experience from guestrooms to food and beverage offerings. We are delighted to see you and your friends had such a wonderful time during your stay at Las Casitas Village and enjoyed Palomino Island as well as some of the location attractions such as the rainforest.
We hope to welcome you back as our guest again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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