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“El Convento Hotel in old San Juan was Incredible”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“El Convento Hotel in old San Juan was Incredible”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2008

I choose to spend 2 nights at this hotel to celebrate my sisters 50th wedding anniversary and pre cruise. I wanted something unique and memorable and that is exactly want I got.

We took a taxi from the airport which cost 23.00 for 4 people including all of our luggage. When we pulled up to El Convento Feliciano was there waiting for us as if he knew we were coming. He made us feel so special that we will never forget him. From the minute we arrived we were in awe of the hotel.

A few months prior to arriving I had requested rooms 216 and 218 because they have actual step out patios. I knew that there was no guarantee that I would get these rooms just because I requested them but much to my surprise I receved an email from the manager himself telling me he would try to accomadate my request and was looking forward to our arrival. This was totally unexpected and appreciated. I was so impressed that the manager would take time to send this email.
Melody checked us in, she was so sweet and helpful. Much to my surprise we did get rooms 216 and 218. We had arrived early about 1:30 pm and 1 room was ready and the other room was almost done so Feliciano took our luggage up to the room that was ready and told us about all the ammenities. We sat in the courtyard and had the best sangrias I have every had. What a peaceful feeling we had sitting in this beautiful courtyard, an unforgetable way to start our vacation.
The other room was ready within 45 minutes of our arrival. Check in was not until 3PM so we were very excited to get into our rooms early. Our rooms were just as I thought they would be very unique and I am sure with much history. I loved the fact that you could open the outer door for more light and there was an inner glass door to keep out any bugs from the outside. Our bed was comfortable and we had a beautiful patio that had 2 chairs and a table on it, very private. Complimentary bottles of water included daily and a nice flat screen TV. When you walked out of your room there were table and chairs to sit at that over looked the courtyard.

Really enjoyed the free wine,cheese and fruit reception nightly at 6pm and the 24 hr coffee and tea on the 4th floor terrace as well as the honor bar, what a great idea and it was well stocked.

The roof top terrace was a nice surprise, a great place to relax. My sister has not stopped talking about her 50th anniversary at thia amazing hotel and the hospiality we received. Great Location, 4 great restaurants and a very unique hotel. I am a travel agent and would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. My only regret is that I did not get to meet the manager, well next time because I will be back. By the way try the El Buren restaurant across the street also great food and drinks reasonably priced. Ask for Mohammed the bar tender. He is very special and makes great drinks

Thanks for the memories
Barbara Pharo Tampa Fl.

  • Liked — Court Yard, Food , Drinks, Hospitality, Free computer use w/internet
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank bpharo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2008

We just returned from Puerto Rico last week and because tripadvisor reviews were such a great help to me during planning, I thought I would do my part and write a review.

Now mind you, I am a person who realizes that I am on vacation and that the culture anywhere I go is going to be different than home. I don't take much seriously when I am on vacation. After all, the purpose is to relax and go with the flow. With that said, the hotel itself is gorgeous!!! The rooftop garden/pool is beautiful as is the entry foyer. The location is optimal as it is close to shopping, food and sights.

My biggest complaint (which is really not a huge deal) was that all the glasses in the room were dirty. We brought some plastic cups from the previous hotel so we used those. No biggie. The bathtub was not the cleanest thing I have ever used, but it was in the corners of the tub so I just stayed away from those sections.

Although I expected it (it is a converted convent after all) the room is really small and smells a bit musty. Again, no biggie. The bose stereo was nice and the flat screen tv was cool for watching tv before bed. HAHAHAHA! We had a haunted phone that would turn it's speaker phone on by itself and refused to hang up. Eventually we just unplugged it after it woke my boyfriend I in the middle of the night. The alley view from our room was nice and the staff, including the parking valets, were super friendly and knowledgeable. The 24 hour water, tea, coffee service was nice as was the wine/cheese reception every day at 6pm. All in all it is a nice hotel but was not my favorite of the trip.

  • Liked — The beauty of the hotel itself
  • Disliked — dirty glasses
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Citychick_0274
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2008

We stayed here for two nights at the end of our honeymoon and LOVED it! It is the perfect location from which to explore Old San Juan. The hotel itself is beautiful and well-kept, our room was very comfortable and we enjoyed the pool and jacuzzi on the roof. We liked having breakfast each day in the courtyard and the waitstaff was very attentive. The only drawback was they did not have any rooms with a king size bed, and since my husband is very tall we would have ilked to have that. Still, the bed was comfortable, just not quite big enough. Everything else was perfect.

  • Liked — Beautiful hotel, well-kept, clean, and good service
  • Disliked — They don't have any king size beds
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank wmchica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2008

Overall this place was great! Unbeatable location, great terraces, spacious rooms, friendly and very helpful staff, and who could help but rave about free wine and cheese?!?

My family and I took one of the tours listed in the guest services books (Rain forest and beach) in the rooms and had an amazing time. The hotel took the hassle out of finding and booking a good tour guide. I thought the tour was a bit pricey at first but following the tour I'd say it was worth every penny.

Only complaint I have was that my bed definitely had bed bugs. Every morning (and sometimes throughout the night) I'd wake up with new bite marks all over my legs. Now I don't recall being bitten by anything when I was out and about (in fact I can't recall encountering many bugs at all in Puerto Rico) but, by the time I returned home I i have quite a few bite marks all over both legs. Considering we never opened the patio door I think it is a safe bet to narrow it down to bed bugs.

Other than that a great stay.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Bugs
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cayci03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
94 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2008

I couldn't have been happier with our one night stay in June. We had spent the previous 5 days at the Wyndham Rio Mar but we wanted one night in San Juan in order to see the city more fully. We had not originally booked here only b/o the two night minimum on weekends and instead reserved the Marriott in Condado instead, even though honestly, we would have preferred this hotel. Unbeknownst to me, that Marriott was the old Dupont Plaza where the tragic fire of 1986 took place. We had been booked at that hotel for arrival the day of the fire in '86 (when I was but a teenager) and the only reason we were not there was our flight was delayed. To put it mildly, we feel it was a miracle we were not there at the exact time of the fire where 97people lost their lives. Anyway, I found this out only the morning we were supposed to check into the Marriott and I will give them credit, I explained my story and they cancelled our reservation without penalty. I was then scrambling for a hotel and Carlos at El Convento worked a small miracle for us. He found us a double room and waived the 2 night minimum since we were calling for a room for that day. I can't tell you how much his effort and hospitality meant to us.

The hotel itself simply could not be more atmospheric and the location was ideal. The nightly wine and cheese reception was a treat with a gorgeous assortment of cheeses and interesting wines, all served on the 4th floor terrace. The 24 hour coffee and tea service and the rooftop pool overlooking the cathedral were also big hits for us. Our room, though without a view, was enormous! All we had to do to get a view was walk 5 paces, so no complaints there. My only word of advice would be for travelers with children. The hotel staff themselves were nothing but gracious and welcoming but I would not say the same for all of the guests - I understand this to a certain point, it is more of an adult hotel but the fact is, they allow children so if other patrons want absolutely no children, they need to find an adult only hotel. We have 2 children ages 5 and 10, who are seasoned travelers and know when they are to be on best manners, and still we got some dirty looks. So while I wouldn't steer families away from the hotel, one night was just right for us.

The four of us also had dinner at El Picoteo and thought the food and the atmosphere could not have been beat. I would recommend this hotel for everyone who wants to have total immersion into the charms of Old San Juan, even those with children. I asked my kids to be respectful that the guests were mostly adults who didn't want to hear a lot of screaming kids, and made sure that they were on their best behavior but after that I just didn't let the other guests spoil what is an unforgettable hotel!

  • Liked — the charm and the location
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tink1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NJ, USA!!
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2008

We stayed at the El Convento for our 10 year anniversary. I loved it! I love the atmosphere, the character of the building and the staff were very friendly and helpful. If you can make yourself relax and not expect bad things to happen on your trip, then all will be well! Far too many people who give reviews seem too uptight and overly picky. You are on vacation, chill out! Anyway, back to the hotel, there is a lovely little dipping pool on the rooftop. We enjoyed the honor bar as well, help yourself to beer and wine. Every evening they serve wine and cheese...wonderful before heading out for dinner. We also loved to relax in the hot tub and watch cruise ships go by in the late evenings. Old San Juan is a charming historical town with loads of fabulous restaurants and attractions. We will be back and hopefully stay at the El Convento again and again.

I forgot that our first night they gave us a twin bedroom! It wasn't our first choice of course, but we didn't freak out. They put us in the double room the next night. Again, we didn't let it ruin our vacation. Roll with the punches people. Nothing is perfect.....

  • Stayed February 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank joangszy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2008

If you like small hotels, in central locations, with bags of character and history, an outdoor dining terrace and bar area overlooking the old town square then you will probably like El Convento. If you like big, modern with a casino then this isnt for you.

Maybe the hotel overplays the rooms with views and some reviewers have been disappointed - all I can say is that San Juan has mainly flat-roofed buildings with satellite dishes etc. From our room you could technically see the sea but the foreground is the quirky, characteristic roofs - charming in a San Juan way.

I loved El Convento for its pretty courtyard, old architecture, the wine and cheese hour on the terrace, a quiet late night drink over-looking the old town square and floodlit church, easy stroll to the water..

San Juan is interesting and the bars great fun ! and 2-3 nights about right if just doing the tourist stuff. (if you are a small quiet hotel-type person I would also recommend the Horned Dorset Hotel, Rincon vs the other large Puerto Rican hotels).

  • Liked — Terrace overlooking the square
  • Disliked — Staff sometimes elusive
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fbusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Convento

Property: Hotel El Convento
Address: 100 Cristo St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel El Convento 4.5*
Number of rooms: 58
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

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