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“Had a great time at this beautiful resort”

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Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 21, 2009

My finace and I went to las casitas because her aunt happens to own property there. A couple things that we did made this one of the nicest vacation memories I can think of. First off, rent a car in san juan its MANDATORY! This allows you to leave the resort which is crucial because resort food is triple priced. You can easily make trips to Wal_Mart the Liquor store or local fast food or...even BK or Churches chicken LOL. I will say that the casitas side is a bit nicer and more secluded than the el conquistador (the hotel) side. On the casitas side the infinity pools are spectacular and on the late nights we were the only ones there. We went across to palamino island one of the days and it was nice we opted to do a kayak and we went about 100 yards off the coast and found a small island that was no more than 1/2 acre. The best thing we did was renting a car and also bring a fodor's travelers book. From the book we learned about a couple of cultural options that they would never tell you about on the resort. LIke the town of Loiza that is known for its African ancestry we went there and took pics in the town square. We also drove to the rain forest which was no more than 15 minutes away, luquillo beach, we went to san jaun one night as well.
One of the reasons I would really recommend driving is because it allows you to see so much more it greatly expands your food options and it allows you to be in charge of your destiny a bit more (again liquor store walmart gorcery store and fast food are less than 10 min drive). We talked to people who lived there about their favorite places to eat which is the SECOND best thing we ever did. Never got a bad recommendation. The best place was called Estrella del Norte. I had some conch with garlic and my lad had the grilled lobster which was $25 compared to the $50+ at the resort! The lady at the souviner shop recommended it and wrote down the spelling we did the rest its located about 2 miles from the resort and it was soooo good and about a 1/3 of the price of the resort food. When we went to go get directions from concierge it turns out that restaurant is one of his favorites and is owned by his mother in law. We also ate a a GREAT place called La Parilla near luquillo beach; the hot sauce was so good we had to buy a bottle and wished we would have gotten two!
All in all I would recommend this place to familes and couples who are willing to travel to get to the best of what PR has to offer. I forgot to mention that the resort also has a very nice waterpark which Im sure would be a hit for the travlers with kids. Also the Golden Door Spa give you pampering like non other I had a citrus sea salt scrub and the entire experience was....excuse my frence but organsmic is the only word I can think of..

The only caveat is that the experience at the hotel and in the casitas is probably quite differnt if at all possible request to be in las casitas village and not in el conquistador..

Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
5  Thank rawfaced
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 1, 2009

Las Casitas, even the name sounds heavenly. If you enjoy breathtaking views from your private balcony, plenty of room for your family to spread out and relax, a spotless unit, and endless meal choices this is the place for you. The resort has everything. We enjoyed the daily catamaran ride to Palomino Island. If you love a quiet beach, but without the seaweed and no bathrooms, this is the place. The only way to reach this island is by boat. You will find some locals here on the weekend, but they stick to their boats. I read some reviews that said the water was extremely rocky. It is in some spots. My recommendation is to take a right on the beach when you exit the dock. It is not worth walking to far away from the beach that you see. The water is the deepest and coral free right there. If you chair is not lining up to hit the sun correctly, just turn it. No need to bring towels on this trip, they have them at all the pools and at the beach. Enjoy.

Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
Thank hdltraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2009

We really enjoyed Las Casitas and would visit again. Next time, we'll probably bring our two children. However, I could see how someone that is used to a 4-Star hotel might be a bit disappointed.

I booked our trip through Travelocity and received a pretty good deal. The fall promo was for a 3rd night free. We stayed a total of 4 nights. Originally, I booked two roundtrip transfers, but after doing a little research, I found that we were able to rent a car for the duration of our trip for $85, about half of the cost of the transfers.

I emailed the concierge a few questions that I had and she almost immediately emailed me documents requesting certain information -- length of stay, room request, special events being celebrated, grocery requests, restaurant & excursion information & reservation forms, etc. I filled out the personal information & restaurant reservation request and opted not to order any groceries because we had the car. Initially, I thought the grocery prices were a little high and along with the service charge ($25 for first order, $5 for subsequent orders). We did ultimately find out that groceries in general were higher than what we were used to.

The drive was about 45-minutes from the airport. Even using a map it was a little confusing as many of the roads aren't marked. But after a day of driving around, it was easy to figure out where we were going. Also, drivers in Puerto Rico always assume they have the right of way, so be careful. If you've never been to a Carribean island before, the drive might be a little bit of a shocker, but I found it to be much more developed than many of the other islands that we've visited.

The guard at the main gate told us where to find the guard for Las Casitas, who told us the 2nd right, which was a parking lot. From there nothing was labeled. To check in you have to walk up the steps to the Manor House, where you find the concierge desk. At check-in we found that we were upgraded to a breakfast plan (saving us about $200). I'm assuming this was because we were celebrating our 15-year anniversary. A butler escorted us to our casita, showing us the resort grounds along the way. He suggested that we drive to El Yunque ourselves and call the touring companies directly if doing an excursion as the resort excursion prices were really high. The resort grounds are gorgeous as well as the views, and also very huge. Our casita was the closest one to the Conquistador Hotel so the walks weren't as long as someone staying at the southern most point of the casistas.

Our one-bedroom casita (rm 5010) was amazing and the view breathtaking. The LR, BR & kitchen all had modern decor, but the bathroom had not been updated. It was perfectly adequate and large, however, there was some paint chipping in the bath area. The bed did squeak a little and not as comfortable as you would hope for in an upscale hotel. But everything else was great, especially the large balcony overlooking Palomino Island.

Our first evening we ate at Sting Ray because this restaurant had the best reviews at the resort. It took us about 15-minutes to get there between walking through the Conquistador resort, taking a elevator down to the marketplace level walking down the marketplace corridor, and riding in a finicular down to sea level, which is where the restaurant was located. We sat outdoors with a great oceanview. The experience started out very promising. Service was great, the shrimp appetizer & pumpkin soup were amazing. But it went downhill from there. The entrees (sesame-coated pan-seared ahi tuna & grilled mahi mahi) were tasteless and not at all what you would expect from an upscale restaurant. We had to wait 15-minutes for our bill after we requested it. Our meal with tax & tip totaled $165, which only included two mixed drinks. I don't mind paying good money for good food, but I didn't feel at all like the meal was worth it. It was our last dinner/lunch at the resort. When we returned to our room, we did find a bottle of chilled champagne, crackers & a fruit & cheese platter for our anniversary.

As breakfast was part of our plan, we did eat breakfast at the outdoor cafe near our casita. Breakfast was just ok. I had french toast with bacon & my husband had bacon, eggs & toast. With two coffees & an OJ, our bill would have totaled $55. Thankfully, it was included in our plan. After breakfast, we ventured off resort grounds in search of a grocery store. We found a Walmart where we stocked up on snacks & food for our daily lunches. I had packed a collapsible cooler & ice pack for those days that we decided to explore the island. $100 bought us enough food/drinks for lunches/snacks for four days plus 750 ml bottles of both Absolut & Jack Daniels. We also bought bottled water as we weren't sure if the water was safe to drink (we did use it to brush our teeth and had no issues). When we returned to the resort, we packed our cooler & beach bag & took the ferry to Palomino Island. At the marina, they had signs saying no outside food/beverages allowed on Palomino Island, but we weren't about to take the 15-minute hike back to the casita if we didn't have to. And as it turned out, no one even questioned our small cooler. At the island, we found two beach chairs close to the water and relaxed their for four hours. We did attempt to snorkel, but didn't really see anything and we opted not to hike as it was very hot & humid. The beach itself has soft white sand, but if you walked 5 ft into the water, you were met with broken coral, so water shoes are definitely recommended.

That night we ate at La Estacion. If you turn right from the resort main entrance, you'll find it just on your left hand side. It doesn't look like much at first, but it was a great experience. The food was EXCELLENT!!! I had a local dish, Mofongo, and my husand had a whole grilled grouper and we had banana empanadas with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The seafood was fresh & tasty, the service great and the atmosphere was refreshing. And the best part was our bill was $60 with tax, tip & drinks and the meal was much better than what we had the night before.

The next day I went to the spa. The prices were a little high, but they did offer a 80-minute deep tissue massage for only $30 more than a 50-minute one, including tax & tip. The spa was beautiful & my massage was incredible. They let you use the hot tub, which had a waterfall, & the steam room on the day of your spa visit.

That afternoon, we ventured into Old San Juan. We visited the forts & walked the shops. The shops included upscale outlet stores whose prices were comparable to what you would find at any other outlet stores and touristy/souvenir type stores. I didn't find any "great" deals on anything. I can't remember the name of the restaurant that we ate at, but you had to walk through a souvenir store to get to it. It was close to Dooney & Bourke's. They served local food, which again was excellent and moderately priced.

The next day we drove out to El Yunque. It wasn't very crowded, but it wasn't a very busy touristy time in Puerto Rico. We took the Big Tree Trail. It took about 20-minutes. It's an easy hike if you're in decent shape, but I can see that if you're not in shape, it would be a difficult hike. The elevation of the hike varied about 160 feet, but you started out going down, then up several times before you arrived at Mina Falls.

That evening, we booked a bioluminiscent kayak tour with Kayaking Puerto Rico directly. Through the resort it would have been $85/each, but by booking it directly with them, it was only $45/each. They were great and it was a fantastic experience.

We tried to go back to El Estacion for dinner, but when we arrived, they notified us that they were out of their two specials and we didn't find anything else on their limited menu so we left and went to Calizo down the street. Ocean View & Pasion por El Fagon were recommended by our kayaking guides, but they were both closed on Mondays. Calizo food was still very good, but their food was a little pricier & the service wasn't that great.

On our last day, we ate breakfast at the main breakfast restaurant at the Conquistador, which had a full American breakfast buffet. Had we known about this restaurant earlier, we would have eaten there everyday. The buffet included everything that you would expect at a breakfast buffet, plus the service was far better than the little cafe by our room. We relaxed by the main pool, which was very clean.

All-in-all, we had a great anniversary trip. The resort food was very pricey, as were the drinks ($12 for a 6-oz daquiri). We did get a daily call from our butler asking if we needed anything and our housekeeper did a great job of cleaning our room. Our sheets were changed daily and we were never without clean linens. My husband & I are pretty low maintenance, but to someone accustomed to 4-star resorts I could see how they could get frustrated. The resort seemed to lack in the details, i.e. more luxurious bed & linens, no waitstaff at the pool/beach, but our biggest negative was that just inside the gate that led to our casita, dirty dishes sat on a half wall for four days. They were only removed after I called the concierge.

We did not have any experience with being overcharged anything or anything being taken from our rooms as other reviewers have mentioned. In fact, one day the $5 bill my husband left for housekeeping still remained on the nightstand when we returned from a day in San Juan.

There were so many things we didn't do, I would love to come back. And for those that are more budget-conscious and less adventurous when it comes to food, there are all kinds of familiar restaurants (McDonald's, BK, KFC, Sizzler, Ponderosa,etc.). My biggest recommmendation is to rent a car. It definitely pays for itself.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank moboyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2009

I visited Las Casitas the week before labor day. I booked a guest room for 249.00 a night with the 4th night free. I was quite surprised to find the guest room so large and comfortable and best of all it had a spectatular view of the ocean. we had our own balcony. I believe the only difference with the one bedroom is that it has a kitchen with refrigerator and microwave. We stayed for a week and ate out everyday so we didnt feel the need for a kitchen. The villas are very quiet and peaceful...and i found out later that we picked the perfect time of season to visit. I never saw anyone in the pools, we had to pool to ourselves at all times of the night. The villa room was very clean and was cleaned and restocked everyday to perfection. The Butler???who??only met him once when he helped us with bags to our room. But honestly...we didnt need him. We are not used to being waited on hand and foot..if we need something we get it. when we arrived in PR it was very confusing to find a taxi or a shuttle..and for the prices they wanted Im glad we didnt. We ended up finding a shuttle to enterprise, rented a car for 20.00 a day and off we went. Its about a 25 mile drive and enterprise gave us great directions to get there.. we went straight to the el conquistor gate and the man told us where to go in las casistas to check in. there was no confusion and quite easy check in at the manor house. we never had to wait for transportation to get to el conquistor, because we loved to walk there. we must of went there about 2 times a day. we went to the casino, to the gift shops, to blossoms restaurant, stingrays and several of the bars. Yes all the restaurants are quite expensive so spread out your visits to local spots. We saved money by doing tours on our own like to El Yunque and Old San Juan. Palamino Island was beautiful. Ferry did not take forever, came every 30 min and maybe took 15 to get to the island.. PLEASE BRING WATER SHOES. the beach floor is all rocks,,you cant avoid them. it will make your experience better if you wear them. I heard this and didnt listen so of course couple of steps in the water and I was hurting. So i was lucky to find some on the island at the local gift shop but for 20.00 a pair. went jetsking for 70.00 for 1/2 hr, but because no one was out there and it was such a slow season,,,the guy let me stay out for a while longer. Also went snokeling for 15.00 rented the whole gear and saw some great coral reefs and fish. LOCAL Restaurants to visit..El Pasion...right down the road from the hotel, Metropol..at the intersection, and the locals in El Yunque. Also met several couples and lots of families with kids that were staying at El Conquistor...everyone had happy faces...they loved the water park and all the pools..and they all said they had great rooms..So if you dont care too much about privacy you can save some money and stay over there..Overall the resort is so beautiful you cant go wrong. We are already looking forward to another trip next year. One last thing...because its off season in July...make sure you at least stay a full weekend because none of the local spots seem to be open M-W, the party starts no earlier than Thursdays. And i didnt have to pay for parking...not sure why somepeople say that. maybe at el conquistor.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank calletizol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2009

We had a wonderful five night stay at Las Casitas. Loved our room and the small kitchen and breathtaking view from our balcony. We had no problem getting a lift over to the main hotel (did this a lot to catch up with family members staying at El Con). Everyone was extremely friendly, helpful, and professional. Cleaning staff did an excellent job as well. We had problems with wireless internet, but checked email at Manor House, which was sufficient for our needs. We are so glad we chose to stay at Las Casitas rather than the main hotel complex-- much quieter and LOVED the infinity pool.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank northerner1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2009

Stayed at Las Casitas for 5 nights for a wedding. The property is nicely maintained, and the ocean-view casitas are lovely. The only complaint I have is that the air conditioner is set up to blow directly onto the bed, so when you sleep, you either freeze if you leave the AC on or roast by turning it off. Shouldn't they be able to add a vent to point in a different direction?

That small issue aside, I must say that the staff was first-rate -- among the nicest and most helpful I've encountered in my travels. There was a slight glitch in our promotional package -- not worth going into details, but suffice it to say that the manager fixed our issues quickly and with a smile. Much appreciated.

Also, it's worth noting that the resort complex is HUGE. So big, in fact, that it took us almost 45 minutes to get to the beach. First, we walked to the funicular/tram thing (10 min. walk); then took tram down to dock (15 mins, including wait), then took boat to hotel's private island (20 mins., including wait and boat ride). That was kind of a pain.

Overall, however, we had a nice stay. Kudos to the staff who made a good trip even better.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank ahl88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

me, my husband and two kids just got back from las casitas. we stayed 11 days and to be honest with you we needed another 11 days. the villa was beautiful, the butler service was the best, the food, atmosphere you name was outstanding, please do not listen to any negative reviews because they have no clue, you feel like your are in PARADISE.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank mikieboy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Las Casitas Village, 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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Price Range: $238 - $711 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 110
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

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