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“Hotel hasn't been updated in 20 years - or so it seemed!”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hotel hasn't been updated in 20 years - or so it seemed!”
Reviewed August 23, 2004

We stayed at the hotel in July and were quite disappointed. Our room overlooked the pool, where loud music was started at 9:00 am and went until about 11:00 pm. The room appeared as if it hadn't been rennovated in a LONG time! While the room was clean, it was so old, it was in poor shape. The resort offers a number of dining options, most of which I found to be overpriced and poor quality - to be expected in the Carribean, but that doesn't make it right. The resort is far away from anything else to do, so if you go, you're in it for the long haul. I'd recommend staying in San Juan if you're going to Puerto Rico at all. Also, keep in mind that to get to the beach at the resort you have to take a 20 minute ferry ride.

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1 review
Reviewed August 23, 2004

i really liked the resort and the island area. but the food stinks. i would recommend eating off the resort if possible. the 10 dollar parking fee is a rip also.

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Thank jjstone75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 23, 2004

Just returned from our trip from San Juan. Before I went to this resort I read reviews for at least 6 months and was very torn before I left. I decided to write this review because of the mixed reviews.

We arrived in San Juan on Thursday August 12, 2004. Our wedding was to be held on August 15, 2004. Upon arrival (around 7:30 pm) we were able to check in. There were no long lines at this time and the staff was GREAT!!! Our room was in the Marina Village. It was GREAT!!! not a 5 star but at least a 4 star room. The views were also great!

On Friday, the hotel had arragned for a driver to take us to the appropriate places for the different things we needed for our wedding. It took about 2 hours and then we met our wedding corridinator. She was great!! She made sure everything went off without a hitch!

After all this, we went over to Palimino Island. Beautiful!! The ride over was nice, it took about 15 min. Not too crowded. The food there was expensive. Hamburger $14.00 Chicken Strips $14.00 drinks were $8.00. Coke $3.00 per 6 oz cup. But the island was great.

We ate dinner at Blossoms. Great food but very expensive. Dinner for two for the cheapest on the menu no drinks, just coke and tea $88.00.

The next morning we at the breakfast buffet. Yes the birds were flying around, but your in the Carribean, it's all about the atmosphere. We loved it. The breakfast buffet every morning cost us $42.00. The food is good, but way over priced.

Our wedding was wonderful, the priest had the most romantic cerimony I have ever heard. The photographer was also great!! and not expensive.

After the wedding our wedding party ate at Isabellas. Lovely restuarant as far as atmosphere. Very formal and elegant. VERY EXPENSIVE!!! Dinner for two with no drinks again tea and coke $165.00. Since it was our wedding, that's ok for a special occasion. Food good, but not that good.

Over all, this was a beautiful resort with a friendly staff and great rooms (at least where we were).

Would I go back? Probably not, just because of the food expense. When we go to a resort we want to just chill out, not leave and relax. This place was that good, but the food was tooooo expensive for that. We'll stick with all inclusive. But for our wedding this place was perfect as far as location and views.

On Sunday, we headed off to the Carnival Destiny for our Honeymoon!! Great Time.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 20, 2004

Just got back from our vacation at El Conquistador, Fajardo (Aug. 15 to Aug. 19th). Overall, I would say it was a very good experience. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, the vistas are spectacular, the service was excellent, the room was better than we expected. The only negitives I encountered were; 1) everything at the hotel was excessively expensive 2) Very difficult to see any sights because of its remote location. I would highly recommend renting a car if you want to do any sight seeing and eat in restaurants outside of the hotel. Other than that, everything else was excellent. You definitely get the feeling that you are staying at a quality resort. I would return again, but next time I'm renting a car and bringing my own water (they charge $3 to $4 a bottle)

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 14, 2004

I stayed at the El Conquistador the first week of August 2004. I booked my room through Wyndham's web site after signing up for "Wyndham by Request."

The first thing to know is that El Conquistador is far away from San Juan airport. I called Wyndham the morning before my scheduled arrival to see if I could catch their shuttle and was told by an unhelpful operator that I needed to make a reservation 3 full days in advance. So I ended up paying $80 for a taxi.

After driving for an hour through some seemingly impoverished neighborhoods, we turned a corner and the resort stood out like an oasis. We drove through the beautiful golf course greens to the main building of the hotel, with its aesthetically pleasing Spanish-style architecture. Check-in was quick and efficient, and the walk to the room was pleasant, as the courtyard featured a lush rainforest of sorts, complete with singing coquis and unusual sculptures. A happy moment was in store when I walked in to my room to find a comfortable balcony with an ocean view only partially obstructed by palm trees in a beautifully landscaped area of the hotel overlooking the ocean. The room itself was quite spacious, tastefully decorated and comfortable, with a large bathroom and a few uncommon amenities such as a ceiling plan and DVD player. My main criticism of the room was that the bathroom was a bit musty--I am sure that the management could easily address this by devoting the proper resources.

As others have noted, the food prices at this resort are high, and in fact exorbitant at certain restaurants. I found the food to be of consistently good quality at the various restaurants, but the absence of native Puerto Rican cuisine was conspicuous. If you have a car, there are many restaurants in the area that serve native cuisine, including a cluster of them in the vicinity of the nearby Seven Seas Beach. I would warn potential patrons of the high prices at Isabela's restaurant, which features a somewhat ostentatious dining room but suffers from very slow service. I found the food at Blossom's, a Chinese/Japanese restaurant, to be very good and reasonably priced relative to Isabela's (the service was much better there as well). The breakfast buffet was also very good and a better choice than the a la carte Cafe Caribe.

The hotel owns a small island, Palomino Island, the most fun aspect of which is the ferry ride from El Conquistador to the island. The island itself offers a beach, horse riding venue and canteen, but the beach is not first rate because the water is shallow and water shoes are necessary due to the presence of underwater plants and many rocks. If you want a nice beach, try the famous Luquillo, which is a quick drive from the hotel, or better yet, go to the astoundingly beautiful Flamenco Beach in Culebra (which, though it sounds trite, truly offers powdery white sands and crystal clear waters--plus opportunities for snorkeling over coral to view tropical fish), which is accessible via ferry from Fajardo's pier, which is a short drive from the hotel.

The hotel also features a casino. Don't a expect Las Vegas-comparable facilility--the casino is suprisingly small (though the hotel definitely has ample space to expand it and should consider doing so) and is not well maintained--a number of the machines are out of order, on the blink or simply old.

The resort also offers a half dozen or so pools situated throughout the resort. There are a number of shops, including a couple that sell unique hand-painted articles that make good souvenirs.

El Conquistador is considered a premium property in Puerto Rico, and rightly so. My driver told me the hotel is frequented by the likes of Mariah Carey and that he has personally seen Donald Trump, George H.W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Whitney Houston and other past or present celebrities there--though it could be better as my comments above reveal. I would definitely stay there again, more likely for a long weekend than for a full week, if only because the resort is a long way from San Juan and other areas of Puerto Rico that one would be interested in visiting.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 10, 2004

The Good:
Beautiful locaton and grounds.
Room we had was lovely, with a great view of the lower grounds and ocean, and a large terrace.
The staff, with one or two exceptions, were pleasant and helpful.

The Okay:
The V-shaped main hotel building we stayed at was a bit older and the hallways showed their age, though the rooms were nice.
The front dest customer service, while polite, took their time with requests to make a room change due to noise from next door.
Palomino Island was a nice option, but they really should install some showers for rinsing off after a swim.

The Not-So-Okay:
Charging hotel guests $10.00 for self parking is a travesty.
The lack of reasonably priced dining options (not to mention no Puerto Rican cuisine at the hotel...are they kidding??), made us have to eat pricey Mexican food our first night there at the Cantina, but to it's credit, the portions were very generous.
Echoing noises in the hall can be heard from inside the rooms. Perhaps the hallways should be carpeted.

All in all, we enjoyed our 3 days here, but since I know my way around the island, we went to different places to eat and sightsee. For someone who doesn't, they are not enjoying the true essence of Puerto Rico. It's kind of homogenized.
But the hotel is truly a lovely place to see. Especially the views. I would recommend it for a short stay or if you rent a car to see the rest of the island.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 10, 2004

This hotel matches the typical Wyndham property. The resort is magnificient but the service is horrible. The only way this resort could have received AAA 4 diamond award is only if they brought it. First, the valet parking charges an incredible $15 per night. When you pull up to the property, it takes an average of 3 minutes before a bell boy even hands you a number. In addition, you can not call for your car from your hotel room. The only way to get your car from the hotel is by going down stairs in person and requesting your car. Typically, make sure you request your car at LEAST 20 minutes prior to your desired departure time.
The meals at the resort are INCREDIBLY overpriced. For example, to order a stack of three pancakes off of the menu will cost you $14. To order a burrito from the on-site mexican restaurant, it will cost you a minimum of $20. A hot dog in Caribe Restaurant cost $7.95 .
In addition, if you don't mind sharing your meal with the birds on the island then eat your meal out doors. Finally, don't expect for the Wyndham employees to speak to you or open the door for you. I feel that my visit to the Wyndham was NOT worth the money. If you are looking for a great value then do NOT consider this property.

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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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