Las Casitas is part of El Conquistador, yet still still somewhat separate. We just returned from a 4 night stay and thoroughly enjoyed the entire place. We may have gotten lucky to be there with great weather and no crowds, because that can affect anyone's experience.
Some benefits of Las Casitas is a personal concierge staff & office right there, so there was no waiting in line for checking-in/out, getting reservations for an excursion, requesting services, renting movies, etc. And LC has 2 private pools and 3 hot tubs! It's VIP treatment, which is always nice!
The management of the entire facility should be very proud of their staff. Every employee we interacted with was kind and helpful, from the staff at the assorted restaurants to the golf cart drivers, ferry operators, ice cream scoopers, housekeepers, et al. Kudos!!
We opted to spend the extra money so we could spread out. We selected a 1 bedroom villa with a kitchen for the 4 of us. It was sparkling clean and new. We were unsure if a 1 Bd/1 Ba would work for our family, but it was fine. There was a pocket door in the bathroom to divide the shower area from the toilet/sink area. Each half of the bathroom had an entry door, so it was like having a Master bathroom as well as a hallway powder room when the pocket door was closed. The kitchen was part of a great room that included a sofa bed, flat screen TV (2 total), granite counters & bar w/2 stools, a kitchen table for 4, and still plenty of space for an aero-bed too. Happily there was no carpeting anywhere, since tile can be kept clean so easily.
Having a clean place to spend a vacation is very important to us, and Las Casitas Village was spotless, and really the entire El Con resort was surprisingly clean considering all the people it accommodates. Great job to the housekeeping and grounds staff!
The landscaping all over was gorgeous! Too bad I am not a golfer, as the course looked beautiful. There are several tennis courts too.
For day time activities, besides the many lovely pools, we ended up enjoying (the private, hotel-owned) Palomino Island so much that we didn't go into the water park at all (which has an entry fee). Our kids are teenagers, so our gang was more interested in riding jet skis (hourly fees apply) and snorkeling in the warm, clear, shallow ocean (water shoes are a good idea for those with sensitive feet). We brought our own snorkels & masks (we knew it would be cheaper than renting them). The free boat trip over was a fun aspect of getting to the island (although the 16% resort fee tacked onto your room is how that is paid for). The 2 boats go back & forth all day long, and can carry a fair number of passengers.
So, from the main El Con hotel, one must ride a "funicular" to get to down to the marina area, where the water park & ferry are located. For us this was no big deal since we never had to wait more than 3-5 minutes to get a ride (there are 2 running side-by-side). Perhaps during peak times that backs up a bit? It was a necessary yet minor inconvenience, given that we elected a unit on top of a big hill, for the amazing view, etc.
From the Casitas, it's at most 10-minute walk to the El Con main hotel grounds where the restaurants, shops, funicular, etc, are located. Wearing heels, or feeling hot or tired? Simply request a free ride (via golf cart or shuttle van driven by the staff) from the concierge. Some guests even rented golf carts to get around.
In the evenings there were more than enough restaurants to choose from over at El Con, for every budget, along with the game rooms for kids, teens, and parents. Shoot some pool, play shuffleboard, or enjoy some boardwalk-style arcade games and hear a live reggae band. Some things were even free if you were purchasing beverages. We enjoyed getting ice cream at the indoor take-out widow of Cafe Caribe each night.
As far as the on-site restaurants go, we stayed casual. Our favorite became the Cafe Caribe, which had tasty food, good portions and relatively reasonable prices. The food at the Stingray cafe at the marina was less impressive, but what a cool spot for a bar! We didn't go to any of the upscale restaurants so I can't comment on them except to say each restaurant had a different ambience, and there is something for everyone on the sprawling property.
To summarize, we would definitely return to Las Casitas at El Conquistador again. Having a Casita with a kitchen was good for making our morning coffee, having our own easy breakfast, keeping our own fruit and beverages cold, and for private happy hours on our balcony. We saved some money by purchasing that stuff at a local store off-site (we had a rental car), which helped to offset the extra cost of a Casita over a regular hotel room.
By staying at Las Casitas, one can choose to be part of the action at the hotel whenever desired, or to escape from all that, free to enjoy some semi-private R&R in a much more quiet area. We are looking forward to a return visit!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Las Casitas Village is an enclave of private villas that enjoy sweeping ocean views, fully equipped kitchens, personal concierges and butler service. Among many pleasures, enjoy an expansive waterpark, scuba dive, ride horseback, golf or choose from a renowned menu of soothing treatments at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Las Casitas Village has long been known as the jewel of the Caribbean and has accumulated a list of prestigious awards and accolades including a 4-diamond rating by AAA. Welcome to Las Casitas Village, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Las Casitas Village, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Fajardo
- Waldorf Astoria Fajardo
- Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Puerto Rico/Fajardo