My wife and I just returned from San Juan, Puerto Rico last night 07-13-2012 .We stayed at the Caribe Hilton. I am retired from the hospitality industry in New York City. I've been in hotel management for over 30 years. I have also had the opportunity to travel all over the world.
But I just don't recall ever pulling up to a hotel and not being greeted and helped by someone
like a bellman, or doorman, with my luggage. On Monday 07-09-2012 my wife and I pulled up in a taxi to the Caribe Hilton Hotel entrance. I noticed a flock of bellman standing around a podium
laughing and joking. Not one came over and offered my wife and me assistance with our luggage.
Not one of them turned and said welcome to the Caribe Hilton. My wife and I took several cabs into Old San Juan, and to Ashford Avenue, and only once did a bellman bother to help us get a cab.
The only time I noticed these cigar store Indians react was when a group arrived and from my experience as a hotel manager, it was obvious that their chief interest was in helping a large group, because the tips are substantial, when added together. I also want to mention that
the shower in the room leaked under the glass door, so although it seemed that the door closed well, the water got in between the bottom of the door and the floor, so the floor was continuously wet, and we had to mop it up constantly with towels. I also noticed mold on the shower ceiling. One afternoon, we returned to find the maid down the hall, but no towels in the bathroom. She explained that they were backed up, but did hand me a few towels and washcloths. However, if I would not have been lucky enough to catch her, we would have had a project ahead of us, trying to contact housekeeping to get towels. Also, there was a space on the floor against the balcony, which was dirty, and had several cigarette butts. The front desk is very sweet, but honestly I do not believe they are required to do any thinking whatsoever. I called and asked where the hotel mailbox was, and I was transferred to the concierge ( It was located about 20 feet from the front desk.) I called and asked where the closest pharmacy was, and again, I was transferred to the concierge. (The mini-mart (not a pharmacy), was about 40 feet from the entrance of the hotel.)After the front desk refused to use any brain cells whatsoever, the concierge sent me to the mini-mart, where I could not fill a prescription, but where I could get a bottle of Don Q, that I don't need.
There were some wonderful things about this place, which is why I gave it 3 stars. The private beach is incomparable and some of the staff were really courteous and professional. One concierge was great (I did not get his name), and one GSA at the front dest, Katherine, was very nice. One of the beach attendants, Mario, was also very courteous, and helpful.
On the last day my wife and I walked by the bell captain's desk, and , there were several bellmen
standing there, again, laughing and joking. We walked by these clowns carrying a rolling suitcase and two shoulder bags and not one of these guys even acknowledged us.
We had to get our own taxi. What happened? I stayed at the Caribe Hilton back in the 80s, and all your staff were courteous and helpful. We were greeted when we pulled up to your entrance.
Whose bright idea was it to take away the lifeguards? There is a deeper section of the beach.
In general this could be an outstanding property like it used to be.
Blackstone Group needs to re-train the staff and the rooms need to properly inspected and the problems need to to be addressed.
Run the shower before unpacking your stuff, to make sure that it doesn't leak, in case you want...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC