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“Just Not Clean Enough for so Many Stars!”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Just Not Clean Enough for so Many Stars!”
Reviewed January 14, 2005

Like the other reviews this is a tricky place to rate due to the fact that the setting of the hotel is so beautiful. Although pricey, we did not feel it was anymore so than other nega resorts. My husband and I were there for him to attend a conference so we had a reasonable room rate and it gave us a chance to visit the island. We hoped it might be a place we might like to return due to the proximity and easy flight from Tampa. We rented a car, visited San Juan and then, despite poor directions from Avis, eventually arrrived at the hotel. We were checked in promptly and told the room, although smaller than others, had a large balcony. We have traveled in Europe for 30 years and are used to looking at a room before checking in but were tired and wanted to get settled so we did just that. My initial concern was that the bath/shower was old and did not look very clean but then I decided it was just worn. We were assigned to Room 4109 in the building between La Casitas and the main building with a nice ocean and pool view. We ate, visited the casino and I returned to the room to shower and get to bed. First disappointment came when I unpacked & the small closet doors came off the runner but you could slide them although it was bothersome. Then, putting toiletries on the bath counter was a large clump of hair that the maid missed. Now I am getting concerned! But I wiped the counters and continued! Then, all ready for a relaxing shower, I discover the water control handle in the tub was totally broken so I could not shower! Now 11pm, I had to dress, call housekeeping and wait for repairmen. They arrived, oohed and awed and then left to get a piece to fix it. After the second trip I called the desk to advise them it looked grim and we wanted a room with running water in the shower to which the woman replied "We have no rooms as we are 90% full"! I responded that I expected to be moved into a room in the other 10% if the third attempt to fix the faucet failed! Indeed, at midnight they finally said it was not going to be fixed. It was apparent that my inital concern that the bath was not clean was correct. The maid might have wiped it down but it certainly was not scrubbed with water! Why this room was not taken out of inventory for rehab is beyond me. This separates the property, in our opinion, from deserving any more than 3 stars. No one should have to pay in the high hundreds or thousands to expect a clean, orderly, working room.
At 12:30 am we were finally moved into a much nicer room in the main hotel building and were satisfied with that room.
So, now, the prestigious Golden Door Spa, which I have enjoyed at the Venetian in Vegas. I had made appointments before leaving the US but it rained all one day so I decided to go spend the day, enjoying the facilities at a reasonable $25 fee and hoping for a massage apt. to open up. I went to the shower area and stall after stall was disgusting with hairs and stuff from the bottom of people's spa flip-flops. I settled on one that seemed the least dirty! I maneuvered the shower heads to spray the corners where there was a buildup of accumulated "grunge" and hair and felt I improved it a bit. I was there all day and a woman repeatedly mopped the area around the jacuzzi when her time could have been spent cleaning the stalls with a brush and cleanser. There was a lot of mildew, a problem I am familiar with having lived in Florida all my life. However, I also know that a simple spraying of Tilex or bleach on a regular basis eliminates that problemvery easily. It was apparent the stalls in the spa and our room had not been thoroughly cleaned in some time. I heard several people comment that the hot tub in the pool area was not clean either and they chose not to go in it. I did go in it but agree that more effort should be made to clean around the tile edges.
We enjoyed the restaurants and the foliage and felt the property had great potential. Regretfully, we would not choose to go back there. There are equally as beautiful properties in Florida with higher standards of cleanliness but n one that have the combo of the island beauty and culture, the casino, and the nearby rain forest. This places deserves to be first class.

9 Thank katieself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 12, 2005

We spent 5 days at the El Conquistador in mid December - 2004. Having read the reviews on this site, I was in 2 minds as to what to expect. What a pleasant surprise!! I have travelled to many international resorts and hotels around the world. Being in the travel industry myself, I have high expectations of quality and service -and the staff and facilities at the resort certainly met those expectations. Being Wyndham by request members allowed us a room upgrade at check in with welcome drinks and snacks in the room. We were upgraded to the Marina rooms - perfectly located for the water taxi to Palomino Island. The rooms were clean, and well equipped. I would recommend the Marina rooms if the beach/island is your main priority. Staying in the main hotel requires a "schlep" on the funicular to get to the water taxi - which I found a lot more appealing when used to go for dinner at night. Regarding dinner - the policy of most of the restaurants in the hotel is men have to wear slacks. Strange for a beach resort, and we were not advised about this until we tried to go to one of the restaurants. I found the costs comparable to many resorts I have visited - not expensive as some reviews have said.
Overall a very pleasant experience, great beach activities, good facilities, good food, friendly staff and excellent location. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 9, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the EC on our honeymoon in August. We had a great time and would go back in a second. One thing that we loved was the meal plan that we ordered before we went left with our travel agent. I don't remember the exact price was it was definitely worth every penny. We never saw it advertised either so I guess you have to just ask for it. It was fabulous. Each morning included the buffet breakfast. It also included dinner too. Included with the dinner was 1 appetizer per person, one dinner and one dessert. We saved so much money this way. We were able to use it in every restaurant. Some items were extra on the menu with the meal plan, this only effected us one time. We were so relieved when we saw the prices. I would highly recommend this. We can't wait to go back.

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 9, 2005

We just came back from a week at EC. My wife, our 11month old daughter and I had a great time ! Although it is not cheap, you get what you pay for, and EC is one of the best. The private island is great, but the many pools are a good place to hang out as well.
The golf course looked very inviting, but unfortunately, I did not play.

The place is very kid friendly; the Kids Klub is for 4 and older.

If you stay more than a few days, take a trip to the El Junque rainforest and/or old San Juan. (by organized tour or your own rental car)

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montclair, NJ
Level Contributor
208 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2005

Went to the hotel on business. Every single one of the thirteen attendees had complaints about their rooms: dirty sheets, dust-caked rattan chairs, moldy floors, bulb and socket fell out of sconce over bed when I tried to turn it on. The overpriced Italian restaurant had food about the equivalent of Applebee's. While the grounds are pretty and view spectacular, the overall care and feeding at this hotel are abysmal.

5 Thank Jaewriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 5, 2005

My husband, two year old son and I traveled to Puerto Rico in December 2004 for 5 days. Its a beautiful Resort,(specially at Christmas time) the staff was friendly and accomadating....we requested a crib (even though we didn't use it, way to small ....) it was brough to the room right away..the room was spacious and clean....the food was exelent plenty to choose from....the private beach was gourgeous...we practicarly had the whole beach to ourselves ....the funicular was awesome definately a different experience. I recomend that people with kids stay at the marina its more convinient..the pools where beautiful. Definately try the mexican restaurant it was out of this world...I read so many reviews before I went and was so worried that I wouldn't like it all I can say is that everybody has his/her own experience....don't let reviews interfere with your decision you need to experience it on your own...
loved Puerto Rico and the Wyndham and Conquistador we will definately be returning.

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2005

My wife, two children (ages 8 and 16) and I stayed at El Conquistador for three days in December 2004. Overall, we had a great time. Our room was in the Las Brisas wing. Although the furnishings were a little tired (maybe 3 star, but certainly not 4 or 5 star quality), the room was spacious, clean, quiet and had a magnificent view of the Caribbean. The Las Brisas wing also is convenient to the swimming pools, restuarants, casino and the trolley down the hill to the marina. I found the service at check-in and at the various restuarants to be slow, but otherwise friendly, professional and courteous. Palomino Island was a highlight. The ferries over to the island are frequent and the ride is relaxing. We rode horses to the hills overlooking the island, which was scenic and enjoyable. We also snorkeled from the Palomino island beach over to a smaller island about 1/4 mile offshore, which was fun. We also jet skiied. The restuarant on Palomino island has a friendly staff and pretty good food. Service was slow, however.
My wife and I did make the 10 minute hike to the back of the island where there are two clothing optional, small, secluded beaches with lounge chairs. One afternoon we were alone. The next afternoon there were two other couples.

I won $1,100 playing blackjack at the casino over 3 days. Never had a problem finding an open table. Most tables were $5 or $10 minimum.

The pool areas, grounds, spa and golf courses are all first rate. There are a couple of hot spas near the main pool that are relaxing to soak in, but you need to bring a towel after sunset.

I would recommend renting a car from the airport. It's inexpensive and parking is only $10 a day at the hotel. The drive from the airport can be as short as 45 minutes and as long as 80 minutes depending on traffic. We encountered alot of traffic around noon on a weekday when we arrived. The last two miles can be tricky as signs from the main highway to the hotel are poorly marked and it's easy to get lost as you get near the hotel, but just ask someone for directions.

The resort is isolated and a good hour or hour and 15 minutes from Old San Juan. I would return for a family vacation. It's also a nice spot for couples.

4 Thank pal56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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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