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.
- 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