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“Wonderful Place, Enjoy yourself”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Long Island NY
114
Reviewed April 26, 2006

The wife and I stayed at the resort from 4/13 to 4/19th. After reading some reviews we were a little nervous. But, everyone has an opinion, so here is mine with a few tips. We took the Bus(they supplied us with transportion from the airport to the resort for a total cost of$132.00(includes return) Sit in the front so you check in first. The bus had drinks and a short movie. We arrived early, but I was told the later you arrive, traffic is a little crazy and adds time getting to the resort. If you have kids, or are looking to save some money the food and drinks may be a little high at the resort for you, so rent a car(Little over $200.00 for the week). Driving around is not bad. You can eat at some of the local places near the resort(sizzlers, Ponderosa, Mcdonalds) and shop for snacks and drinks at WalMart. You can also tour the attractions, Old San Juan, the rain forest, etc. You can also rent a car for the day at the resort, it cost us $109.00 for the day. The tours from the resort cost about 50 per person. We arrived at the resort, checked in and was escorted to our room with bags. On the way we were given a tour. We stayed in Las Brisas. I recommend this part of the resort, you are near the main building, main pool and close to the funiculars to go down to the marina. Our room was very nice. The room and bathroom were clean. Our room was cleaned everyday. Where to eat. We ate breakfast at the Las Brisas grill. It cost us about $15.00 a day. The food was great. We also ate at the Sea food place down in the marina, drinks, appitizers, meal cost with tip around $189.00. The food was great. Yes a little high, but I am on vacation. We also ate at the italian(othello's). It was fantastic, our bill was about $149.00. I was full after this place and I can eat. Where to Swim. If you have kids they will enjoy the main pool. water slide, games, and other kids. If you are alone no kids, go to the second level, or even better go to the pool located near the marina, these were very peaceful. The private island is very nice. We paid 30 for lunch that was delivered to us on the beach. I highly recommend that you get down to the marina around 8:30am so you are on the first boat to the island. They were running 2 boats, and it takes 20 minutes to get to the island. You can be waiting at least up to a hour for a ride to the island if both boats leave at the same time. If your room has a mini bar, drink the soda and beer in it. Soda was around $1.50 from the mini bar and $3.00 everywhere else on the resort. Not really to much to do after 6pm. They had a show a few nights, and the casino gets packed. Not much for the Kids to do at night, so you may want to bring some games for them. The staff does a great job, we had a wonderful time, the place is really nice. Be patient slow down and enjoy yourself.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,733 - 6,739 of 7,744 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2006

Pros: (1) Beautiful scenery and views, (2) helpful staff, (3) Palomino Island, (4) the funicular and ferry (unusual features), (5) kid friendly pools, (6) accessibility to El Yunque. (7) decent room prices through Hotwire.

Cons: (1) Absurd food and beverage prices, (2) $15/day parking (used as a penalty for going off resort), (3) a few noise-y neighbors, (4) room doors slam with dangerous force if balcony doors are open.

Tips: (1) Bring snack, breakfast, and beverages from local grocery stores, (2) play golf at 4 p.m. for reduced rates, (3) take Forest Service tour of El Yunque, not the hotel tour, (4) take local biolumescent tour, not hotel tour, (5) visit Palomino Island as frequently as possible.

Summary: It's not really Puerto Rico, it's a resort complex harbored from the real PR. If that's what you want, and don't mind paying high prices for hot dogs ($9), sodas ($3), beer ($6.50), and french toast ($15), not to mention dinner, then it's a fine place.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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12  Thank HarBea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
212
Reviewed April 21, 2006

The El Conquistador is a beautiful hotel, and I would highly recommend it to anyone staying in Puerto Rico. The grounds are expansive and the landscaping in beautiful. We didn't have any problems with check-in, or with the staff. The pool are is very nice and it has great views of the ocean. I tried the scuba diving and it was amazing. There is a nice casino, and a game room for the kids. The restaurants were expensive, but that can be expected. I have stayed in many hotels in the caribbean and all of the restaurants are overpriced. I ate at Stingrays-fish, otello's-italian, blossoms-chinese and japanese, and isabella's-international. All of these restaurants were very good. We waited a long time for our food, but that is expected during easter week. the one downside to this hotel was getting to the beach. The hotel is on a high cliff so you first must take a funicular to the marina at the bottom of the cliff. then you must take a ferry which runs about every 20 min. to Palomino island. Palomino island is beautiful but the trip is inconvenient. other than that, i had a wonderful time and i would return.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2006

The hotel was beautiful, but I did notice that the rooms near the pool needed to be redone. I had a wonderful time, the funicular was fun and the boat trip to the beach was great. Only thing i did not like was that when you eat lunch at the beach, there are chickens, roosters, birds and lizards all around your table. Food was great though. When you do leave, make sure you call the bellman to pick up your luggage early because it took them over an hour to get our stuff and we wanted to relax and have lunch before we caught our flight and I was so upset that we had to rush. I called the front desk 4 times and still no one could help me but say they should be there soon. then upon checkout the front desk was horrible, they "conveniently" forgot to discount our credit for booking and did not charge our room per day like we instructed them to. Also, be prepared to spend alot of money because lunch for 2 averaged about $70.00 and about $200-250 for dinner. Hotel is lacking in the management department, I think they need to be re-trained to get people in and out. Grounds were kept very clean and our room was very clean - place should offer all inclusive average hotel was $400 a night plus food = ridiculous amount of money being spent.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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5  Thank donna923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2006

How much are breathtaking ocean views and a slice of a pristine, private beach worth? My husband, 18 year-old daughter and I spent six days on a Spring Break at the resort April 8-14 and think the key words hotel management communicates are: "captive audience." We had a wonderful time but by the end of our stay our ears kept ringing from the constant cash register that went off each step we took on the grounds. For those who take a budgeting vacation with their physical vacation, this review may be irrelevant. However, if you want some details on value for money, please read on:
First, the garden view room we booked was, including taxes, $350 a night (two small double beds) at an AAA discount in Los Olas. Our room had a spectacular partial view of the Caribbean (we got lucky?), a walk in dressing closet (nice touch) and large outer BR area (sink, vanity). The room istself was dirty. The carpet had not been vacuumed in quite some time (debris, dirt) and the sitting chair had decaying something-food (?) debris on it. During our six day stay our room and Los Olas hallway and stair carpeting were never vacuumed nor did we see or hear a vacuum in any part of the hotel. The entertainment center in our room was broken and never got fixed (phone call put on hold- I gave up waiting).

We are glad we rented a car from Avis on site (nice touch) as we had a great time exploring El Yunque on our own (no guide needed) and old San Juan. Renting a car in San Juan for the entire trip would be recommended (save a bundle on food alone) but one needs to consider the hotel charge of $15 a day to park on their grounds. The room price does not include the $66 per person one way shuttle fee (not advertised) to get you to the resort. For three people- add $400- k-ching! When we arrived we were told our luggage would meet us at our room. Four hours later we phoned the concierge and asked for our luggage as we wanted to start our vacation (swimming). It arrived 20 minutes later. We began wondering: Is the view what we're paying for?
The hotel cuisine: Forget the hotel food. It's mediocre and way overpriced. We were not in a hurry and I'd like to be kind. The truth- the service was often negligent and indifferent. A better idea is to rent a car and get to the nearest wonderful local restuarant: Passions, Anchor Inn, Lolitas, The Brass Grill, the open air roadside diners and bakery at the Yunque junction are far better for taste and value then anything the hotel offers. If you want to experience Puerto Rican cuisine (we did), the resort doesn't offer it. It's not unfair to say the hotel prices are absurd. The cheapest breakfast I had was at David's Cookies- a walk up counter-$9: one bran muffin- $3, one Dannon yogurt-$3, and one 16 oz (no refills) coffee-$3. Compare this to Starbucks (David's coffee tastes like watered down Hills Bros.) at $1.70 and a similar muffin at $1.65. At the local bakery three of us ate six delicious local cuisine pasteries and three cappacinos for a total of $8. Stir fried plantains were $1.
We ate a wonderful dinner of steak fajitas at the Brass Grill for one third of the price of similar steak entrees on site. Dinner and dessert at Stingrae's was $167 for three people.

The best parts of the hotel were what came with the room price: the beatifully manicured, lush grounds, the spectacular ocean views, the boat ride out to the private beach, the private, quiet beach itself, the nice lounge chairs and beach towels. We also liked the ability to rent a catamaran and snorkel (fun!). However, the idea that this resort offers something different for weeks on end is overrated. It's more like going to Disneyland and deciding which ride you want to go on again.
A Next time at El Conquistador? no thank you. I'd rather spend a week on a spectacular Pacific coast beach looking out from my $150 a night spacious room!

8  Thank M H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2006

I read so many reviews prior to going on this trip that I wasn't sure what to expect. So, first, the resort is very nice with absolutely beautiful views. We stayed at the Marina section which was not by choice but ended up OK. Our rooms (we had adjoining for my husband and I and two children, 13 and 9) were fine. Although they could certainly use a facelift, overall clean. Problem was that in the marina, you are away from the main resort up top and have to take the trolley car up. Advantage - one step closer to the ferry for the beach (lines do get long). Disadvantage - boats start motoring up at around 6:30 a.m. so if you're a light sleeper and want to sleep in, this is not the location for you. Next, the pools. Not sure here what everyone loved about them. The pool by the marina was truly dirty. The main pool was very crowded and in need of uplift. I didn't see one pool that went deeper than 3 1/2 feet or so which didn't thrill my kids. The beach - very nice but very shallow with coral and seaweed everywhere. You have to be careful. And yes, it could be cleaner in the sandy areas. We did the horseback riding which was fun and we rented wave runners which the kids also enjoyed. The staff - very nice and pleasant. No complaints there. Restaurants - just OK. Very, Very expensive. I originally come from NY where I am somewhat used to seeing high prices. The resort's prices beat that. Drinks were ridiculous. So either bring your wallet and credit cards and suck it up, or decide to go on your diet during the vacation. We went to Old San Juan one day which was terrific! The forts were amazing (even my kids enjoyed it), views beautiful and then we walked around the town and had lunch in one of the many restaurants there. We rented a car for the day which seemed to be the most economical way to go. (We were told that a cab ride was $115 each way, and unfortunately, the concierge didn't have any tours going the day we wanted to go. Renting a Dodge durango cost $110 for the day.) The bus ride from the airport to the resort is over an hour. The bus is comfortable and provided softdrinks. So just sit back and relax. Would we go again? No. Did we have a great time? Yes. Don't worry if you've already planned your trip and are reading reviews like I did. You'll have a great time.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank Zibs1828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2006

Stayed at the El Con 4/7-4/13/06. Had a very nice experience. Rooms were in the La Marina Village and were very large and comfortable. Would recommend staying there if you want to be near the water. Also quieter and easier to catch the boat to Palomino Island. Food is expensive but similar to any luxury resort. The resort staff were very nice and helpful. Resort is very large and not easy for those who have difficulty getting around. Funicular is slightly inconvenient but an experience as the views on the ride as well as from most of the resort are spectacular. Golf course is beautiful and tennis courts were in good condition and fun to play on. Wife and daughter had a great experience at the Golden Door Spa. Lots of kids so it is nice for families. Palomino Island is lovely, water is clean and warm. Plenty of chaise lounges. Never had to fight for a good spot by the water or a chair. Boat ride to Island slightly inconvenient but fun. All in all a very nice vacation and would return especially after upcoming renovations.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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2  Thank mitch093
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: $194 - $495 (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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