I am a professional who is slightly past middle-age. My husband and I stayed for 2 days in June prior to a cruise.
We arrived later in the evening after a long flight. My husband had to stand outside in the dark by the curb with our luggage while the hotel located a porter to assist us. There was nowhere for our driver to park so he had to unload our luggage and wish us well. Once the porter was there, he was charming and eager to inform us of the different facilities and amenities available to us. The lady at the front desk was pleasant and helpful.
You could not ask for a better location. Shops, restaurants museums, and Walgreen's are within walking distance. A Catholic cathedral is across the street. Their beautiful sung- mass on Sunday morning could be heard on the street. The hotel faces a pretty grassy area which had very good street entertainers both nights.
The hotel is simply lovely. The rooms surround an open courtyard with charming tables and chairs on the large balconies that serve as the halls in front of the rooms. The room and bathroom were small but adequate, as I would expect in a boutique hotel. They were spotlessly clean. The room was furnished in Spanish antiques/reproductions. They supplied a cold empty (yea) refrigerator and safe. There was a glass airlock door inside the room which made it possible to keep it at a comfortable temperature in spite of being such a old building. (Thank you!) As advertised they have a plunge pool. Think of it a "cool" hot tub, which is excellent for the warm climate, instead of a swimming pool. The best amenity was the honor bar in a pleasant room attached to a room with internet-connected computers/printers and an outdoor space. It was nice to be able to access liquor, wines, beer, and soft drinks without going through room service or one of the restaurants. We were out of the hotel during the Manager's Reception, but they had a beautiful setting. We dined on tapas and enjoyed flamenco dancers in the tapas bar attached to the hotel on the first night. It was so nice after traveling all day to have good food and entertainment without having to go out. We ordered breakfast from room service. The charge was comparable to that of a 4 or 5 star hotel. The service was excellent. I was surprised at the quality of the food, though. It was not up to par with what I would expect of this hotel.
I was impressed by the security of the hotel. Being open to restaurants downstairs, it was nice that you needed your key to access the elevator to the rooms and pool.
I wish I could have given this hotel 5 stars because of its location, service, amenities, and appearance. However, I do have two warnings for future travelers. On the first morning we went down to wait for our limo driver. He was not the one from the previous evening so we did not know what he looked like. There were men inside the hotel's entrance who confused and harassed us about their identities and the competence of the company we had hired. I was shocked the hotel would allow this behavior in the entrance hall in full view of the desk. My other concern was I paid well over 900 dollars for 2 nights in a queen vista room. The vista consisted of a view of dirty unappealing rooftops, a partial view of the bay and the industrial area across the bay. I questioned whether the bed was a queen; it felt much more like a double. I would stay at this hotel again but only for a significantly lower rate, and I would definitely skip the "vista" view.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of historic Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento has set new standards of luxury, comfort and service while preserving the rich character of this former 16th century convent. This landmark treasure, a member of Historic Hotels of America and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has earned four diamonds from AAA each year since its opening. This is the exclusive hotel experience to indulge the most discriminating of travelers, and is a hotel like no other. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Convento San Juan