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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2006

my husband and i just returned from this hotel after spending a full week; having read all of the reviews i had alot of apprehension prior to our leaving,we had documents from our travel agent promising an upgrade even though we paid for a deluxe ocean front room, the room they took us to was overlooking the childrens slide slight view of the ocean in the far ground and a queen size bed.i spoke to the front desk and we were switched to la brisas king bed big room big terrace overlooking the ocean and the sea, room was okay. buffet breakfast 1st morning decent variety of selections the cost was not posted anywhere the charge was 19pp, not bad so the next morning we went back after having the same buffet as the previous day the bill came and it was 25pp when the staff was questioned NOexplanation given.the grounds are beautiful well cared for, the private beach is very relaxing but a bother to get to.the meals in the hotel where we exclusively ate were pricey for what was offered. if you like salad or vegetables you will be out of luck here lots of carbs with every meal.the staff is very accomadating and very pleasant,the resort is a popular site for corporate events and we got the impression that the resort caters to the large groups rather then the vacation traveler.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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2  Thank TWINPEG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,778 - 6,784 of 7,748 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2006

I am struck by the contrasting posts on this site and having just returned from a very pleasurable 4 night stay at El Con I still don't see much down side. Yes it is expensive. It's that kind of resort. We (4 adults) read the reviews and avoided some mistakes that others made: We booked on line through Expedia and got a deep discount on the rooms, got lucky and were upgraded to the main hotel with a spectaclar view of the ocean. We also booked a car on line and it was waiting for us at San Juan Airport. Big savings on just the bus trip alone. We spent most of our arrival day touring Old SJ and had a nice dinner at a quaint restaurant. We also went "off campus" often not just to avoid the high prices at the resort but also to taste local cuisine. We had stopped at a supermarket and picked up a few things as we were not interested in "3 squares" every day.

This resort is more expansive than any I have ever stayed at, by an order of magnitude. I played a round of golf - a little pricey at $165 including cart - but coming from the cold northeast worth the price for a round of "winter golf". The course is carved out of the hills and with nearly every tee box elevated to nosebleed heights spectacular views are the norm.

Tip: Lower the bar of expectations when traveling in the Caribbean and don't sweat the small stuff. It makes no sense to let little things upset your vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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3  Thank microcapitalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Westerville Ohio
19
Reviewed February 14, 2006

My husband an i and my parents arrived there very excited, My husband was there for the Medical symposium conference.
We checked in to a nightmare of a room,my parents an I were given adjoining rooms, mine was a room for the handicapped, which only had a shower. We had no air conditioner for the first three days we were there on the second day i let housekeeping know that the room was very hot and humid making our clothes and our bedsheets very moist and musty, it was so humid on the second night i actually had an asthma attack, i went down to the front desk and it took them till the third day to fix the problem.The worst part was the shower , since it was a room for the handicapped it had an open shower which allowed the water to flood the bathroom everytime you tried to shower it got so bad that the water was actually seeping out in to the hallway, making it a very dangerous situation. Again i told housekeeping and the only thing i got was a bunch of rolled up towels along the floor to soak up water again they never reported the problem. On the third day i slipped and fell injurying my right knee when i hit the floor, also the water reached the closet in the bathroom and all our shoes were soaking wet the maid helped me put them out on the balcony to dryI was in tears. At that point i went to the front desk to complain only to be given the run around, it took 25 min of waiting before anyone would actually come out to speak with me, i would think that if someone got hurt at a major hotel someone would be out in 2 seconds to handle the problem, Well i lost it and demanded to speak with the Hotel manager, which by the way we never saw, they sent the room director who basically said they didn't have another room to give us at that time, and who never reported the fall i took in the bathroom no incident report was ever filed by Mr Angelo Perez. I was appalled at how insensitive this whole situation was treated. We arrived there on Feb 5th and were not offered a room change until Feb 10th which we turned down since they would not move my parents with us. He did offer us a complimentary dinner at what he said was their best restaurant,to which we were told we would have to pay for our own drinks, at the restaurant we were seated at a table in a corner near the kitchen, making us feel like bad children, it was a lackluster meal at best and we felt like we were being punished. My husband conveyed this entiment to the Room director on Feb 11th, he called us back and said that they wanted to move us to one of the casitas, in their haste they deactivated our room keys with all our things still in our rooms, i lost it and went back to the front desk and told them to let us back in our rooms and that with 2 days left in our stay we would not be moving there really was no point . On Feb 12th Mr perez ask my husband to meet with him,we were offered a 1000.00 refund for our trouble and 2 free nights, only to find out that out of the 1000.00 credit they were deducting the 2 free nights and the complimentary dinner they had given us on friday night, when i asked about that the response i got was well we have to pay the restaurant for the meal somehow, it was awful. They also over charged us for the transfer from the airport to the hotel which they had to review and take off and.
The fact that i fell in their hotel bathroom, or had an asthma attack directly related to the hot , humid room or that i had to wear wet shoes to the so-called complimentary dinner and the attitude we recieved from the staff, seem to have no effect on them at all. It was shameful and humiliating for us,My expierience at this hotel will never be forgotten, but the worst part is that in beingan Ocuupational therapist and my husband a physician we made it clear that if that bathroom was a hazard for us imagine how dangerous it would be for truly physically disabled person, to which the response was what would you like us to do?

If you plan to stay there, make sure you are told everything, the hidden housekeeping charge of 3.00 per day the charge for the bellman as well as a resort tariff, whatever that is. The rooms were dusty and dirty, plates removed from our room were left in front of our door all day with flies buzzing around it was disgusting i had to finally take the plates away myself and put them in the ice room, also the ice machines on our floor were broken, and the worst was having to push dirty wet towels around on the floor used to soak up the water on the bathroom floor after showers, they did send up someone to unclog the drain, but the water still flooded the floor, so we resorted to taking showers in my parents room, which had a tub. The food is very expensive and and not very good at all, which we elected to eat outside of the hotel.It was an awful hotel and made for a very bad vacation , so i caution anyone before choosing this place.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2006

Having just returned from visiting the El Conquistador with my husband and another couple (all close to 60 years old), I must say that all 4 of us were very impressed with the resort and had a terrific time. I read every previous review before leaving and was extremely apprehensive about what we may encounter. From pick-up at the airport until we were dropped back off there 8 days later, our experience was fantastic. Having traveled extensively and stayed at other great resorts over the years, I feel I have some basis for comparison. Service was prompt, friendly, and efficient; the grounds were well-maintained and very lovely; the rooms were clean and, while somewhat dated, offered lovely views in comfortable surroundings.

I was prepared to ask for an updated and quiet room based on other reviews I read here. At check-in, before I could make my request, we were told that we had been upgraded automatically and had a very nice room...which certainly was true. We stayed in room 4436 in the La Vista section and had a fantastic view of El Yunque and the golf course with the ocean in the background...and beautiful sunsets.

We rented a car from Avis ahead of time to be picked up at the resort. It was considerably cheaper to do this prior to arrival and we found it cost the same to rent for 5 days or 8 days so got a car for the entire 8 days. The driving was fairly easy and not a problem to get around as in some Caribbean countries. The food was good at the resort, with a nice mix of prices. We really enjoyed the private beach and found the food and drinks over on Palomino Island to be very reasonable and quite good. David's muffins (especially carrot raisin) were a hit with all of us as were the ice cream cones near the casino.

Highlights were kayaking on the bioluminescent bay (a must), ferry to Culebra Island (fantastic beach), horseback riding on Palomino Island, and hiking through El Yunque. Oh, also the Golden Door Spa...a somewhat rainy day was made very special by the Caribbean Escape package getaway!

It looked like there had been lots of recent painting and repairs to the exterior. Things looked fresh and clean and in good working order. Almost all of the staff were super friendly and helpful. We would love to go back again whenever we get a chance. I truly can't understand the negative reviews...we all had a relaxing and glorious time.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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6  Thank Karol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2006

I too became concerned about staying at this resort after reading the reviews. However, they allowed me to set my expectations accordingly, and to become surprised when the facility and the staff greatly exceeded them. The resort was perfectly fine, and, except for the cost of the food, a pretty good value. Beautiful grounds, pool area, and unbeatable views. The rooms where not "spic and span" but acceptably clean and again not as bad as other reviewers made it sound. We stayed in La Vistas and though the furniture and other room accessories were worn, tired and even broken, the carpet, bedlinens, and accent pillows were new. Staff was friendly, housekeeping did a good job. Restaurants were fine, we were there for the sun, spa and relaxation, not the food. The spa was great. so set your expectations and don't fret about your plans. Its fine.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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4  Thank SWGNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2006

After reading all of the reviews of the hotel, I was very excited to be able to see it first hand and give my own opinion. I've been in the hotel business for many years and done a lot of traveling to various places and various types of properties. Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip. The facility is beautiful (grounds, pools, island etc.) It is older, but pretty well kept up, not perfect, but certainly very nice.

The only real complaint for our two families that visited were the guest rooms. They were "tired". Not dirty, just older. Bedspreads and carpt were fine. But, when tile and furnishings get older, they are hard to keep looking "fresh". We had one room with ocean view in the Las Vistas building and one overlooking the marina in that section. Both just need some "perking up" and new furnishings. The bathrooms need new tile etc. When you pay these prices...you do want to have a very plush room to go along with it.

The nicer restaurants were expensive, but you have other options at all times. We enjoyed Blossoms (Asian), Isabelas (steakhouse) and Stingray (seafood). Anyone that says that there were no other options, didn't take the time to look for them. If you didn't want to spend the money on the finer dining restaurants in the evening, then you certainly could have enjoyed Bella Vista (over the pool), the cafe, or the marina restaurant. If you didn't want to have the breakfast buffet, there is a cafe or a couple of different places to get "quick things". We thought lunch on the island was fantastic! Probably the best fish and chips I ever had! Prices were a bit high...but not for resort standards. We didn't get a chance to enjoy the burger place at the main pool...but heard it was great! The childrens menus were very reasonable everywhere.

It was high season, but we never had trouble getting chairs, umbrellas, or towels. We found the workers very nice. Service is slow...again, pretty standard for that area. But, everyone was very pleasant. We were not charged for anything that we didn't order and felt completely safe everywhere we went.

The property is undergoing a lot of renovation over the next couple of years and will be very fun to visit again when it is complete. But, I wouldn't hesitate going back before then.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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8  Thank eatandshop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2006

This had to be the worst place we ever stay at. We arrive there very excited looking around the grounds, were very beautiful and got a nice welcome and then the nightmare began. We went to check in to our suppose to be villa looking over the gardens which was a parking lot, no restaurants open, nothing in villa not even a bottle of water and had to walk to main hotel which was a hike to get something. We check out the next day, and move to the Ritz Carlton in San Juan. We were charge for breakfast that was suppose to be including with room. Everything we were told about this hotel was a lie, even the help said since the new owners, no one knows what they are doing and didn't blame us for leaving. Be careful if you are considering this hotel its not what it seems like, the villas are time share apartments, that are dirty with nothing inside, and there was no room service as promised, no restaurnt, no pool towels, or food or drinks around pool, no restaurant, no internet connection I could go on and on anything you see in the advertisement on computer wasn't there.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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7  Thank Dale P
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

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: $226 - $456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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