Went on a girls long weekend, the grounds are beautiful and I would highly recommend staying at the Casitas. While everything is connected, the El Conquistador hotel was huge and the pool area was massive - lots of chairs, lots of people, I felt like it was "spring break-ish". The casitas were more secluded and the pool area (not the one by the restaurant) was spectacular- we used it everyday and didn't even venture to the island that the resort has.
I have stayed in many hotels (I am a big business traveler), and if you say you are a 5 star, then I expect a certain level. While everyone was nice and accomodating, I can safely say the rooms are not 5 star qualilty (we moved because the first room we were placed in was at best, a room that you would get at a Quality Inn). The second room had a balcony and a view of nothing much but it was far superior than the first room. We were moved quickly and the butler (nice name for a bell boy) was very social. The service was not 5 star, they were nice but S-L-O-W, and considering they include a 20% tip in every transaction, why should they servers go faster? Everyday, we had to go and find a server to come to the pool area. At the pool, we would havedrinks and lunch and bill was always around $100 - we didn't drink anything fancy it is just that expensive. A diet coke can was 4.95, just for an example of the prices. We got room service and it was another $100. they charge you double the service charge to deliver to the casitas and the 20% tip.
The marina area is dumpy and the Los Olos area isn't much nicer, we only went to the marina to get picked up for the bioluminecent tour. The kayaking was nice but make sure you use BUG spray, I did and still have 12 bites on one arm. Good experience to go into the lagoon and you do get wet, so bring a towel for when you are finished. Don't bring cameras, etc. they will get wet.
Got pizza from one of the restaurants and it was FABULOUS. seriously, the best meal we had. Ate at Strip, and it was very good, the service was exceptional and the manager on duty was doing everything right, he came by our table and ensured everything was going well (not obtrusively..just wanted to take care of his guests). I would recommend this place for a nice dinner.
Had massages at the spa, and I thought they did a nice job. Efficient, on time and most of all, I felt as thought I had gotten a massage.
We rented a car at the airport and it worked out well for us. You don't have to pay for parking if you stay at the Casitas but will if you stay at the El Conquistador (like 15/day or something).
Overall, i would stay at this hotel again, but would remember it is not a 5 star but a 4 star in need of some fancier rooms (lost water one morning and the faucets were poorly attached to the sink), some more training of the staff (housekeeping was hit/miss and no turn down service - the cornerstone of 5 star service) and more maintenance of the common areas (someone broke glass in front our entrance, it was cleaned up somewhat but a bunch of glass remained and probably is still there).
- 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