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“Love the courtyard restaurant”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Providence, Rhode Island
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Love the courtyard restaurant”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

We have not stayed at El Convento. But we would like to express our warm appreciation for the open courtyard restaurant at this famed hotel. On our two visits to San Juan, while touring Old San Juan, we happily included lunch in the beautiful courtyard on our agenda. The modestly priced salads for lunch have been uniformly excellent, the service courtly, and the cool ambience a relaxing interlude away from the bustling streets of the city.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank WCTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Cincinnati
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

The property itself is on a very grand scale and its history is very interesting. We did not have a car or attempt to drive in the area which is very busy. If you have a car, just know it's going to be rough to get around. Yes, there are tourists from the ships around, but on our second day, they seemed to disappear. You can walk right across the street to the amazing cathedral, around the bend to the governor's mansion, and we walked to the fort as well.

That said, these rooms are very expensive and the property feels a little bit down at the heels. The front desk staff are well-meaning but not the most helpful or professional I've encountered. The room is rather dark and strange, bathroom small and needing some repair. The rooftop pool was too cold and the hot tub WAY too hot to get into (and I like a really hot hot tub!)

Overall, I expected to just be overwhelmed by luxury. In fact, it's a pretty average hotel that has a lot of cool history and a great location. Drinks at the main floor dining were fine and food pretty decent. Second floor bar maybe was a bit better though the service was painfully slow even while not busy. Get recommendations for other places to eat. There are some GREAT restaurants around. Others say the hotel was noisy but our room had a glass door to insulate from noise (in addition to the wooden door to the hallway) --plus the giant wooden shutters that cover the windows...I heard nothing and slept soundly and I often have trouble with sound in hotels.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank andirose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We arrived at about 11:30 am just before Christmas and stayed for 3 days. Our rooms would not be ready until 2:30, so we stored our bags in the luggage room and asked for a referral for a good place to eat. Ended up at the Cafe Puerto Rico where we all ordered variations on a Mafungo dish. One room was ready at 2 pm. The staff sent the key up for the other room 20 minutes later. The vista rooms were beautiful and delivered on a panoramic view of the the water. Cruise ships and small vessels sailed by and the Baccardi Distillery (which we also visited) could be seen in the distance. We were disappointed not to be able to dine at the Hotel restaurant that night as there was a private event being held. The concern about the noise level from this event was quelled as there is a sound proof glass 2nd door to the room, which does block out the noise. The beds and pillows were comfy. Shower pressure a bit light. Furnishings warm and elegant. Small throw rugs were appreciated as the ceramic floor was a bit cold under foot. The rooms surround an old world courtyard and huge fig tree that also contains the restaurant below. As this is a major historic site and visited by many not staying at the hotel, we appreciated the fact that your room key was needed to enter the elevators and stairwells. The elegant library was open 24 hours for coffee and tea. Fruit and small snacks was available from 5-7pm. It lead onto a patio that had coverage and an area for sunning as well. There also was a small plunge pool. In the basement a small and adequate gym.

The convenient location gave us ample access to all the Old San Juan sights and restaurants. This is a pretty hotel with a rich history and fulfilled all our needs. I would not hesitate coming back or refurring others. A true delight!

Room Tip: For the vista views, odd number rooms you can appreciate the views from the comfort of your bed.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank MGoose58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Broomfield, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Great location, great service and very relaxing environment. One of the nicest and most unique hotels we've ever stay at. Has several restaurants on site. Wine and cheese reception every evening. Wonderful atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank uihwki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

El Convento is a charming hotel with an old world elegance. We were very pleased with our quiet room--bed was comfortable, decor was inviting and restful, bathroom was clean. Outside of our room was a lounging area tucked away among potted plants and herbs, a nice place to read and siesta. The location of El Convento couldn't be better: we walked everywhere. Shops, restaurants, historical places, art (not to mention various musicians and the ice-cream cart bell ringer!) are just outside the door. We liked the rooftop plunge pool, the nightly wine and cheese, and the hospitality of the staff. When we drove by the beach-front high-rise hotels, I was very thankful for El Convento with its romance, local color, and authentic spirit. When I visit San Juan again, I will definitely stay at El Convento.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ldalke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ansonia, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

As others will read this hotel is highly rated due to its services and the people that run the hotel. There are many festivals around the El Convento and this means that the streets are blocked off and there is high presence of security. One problem my wife and I ran into was getting a taxi for an early morning flight. We had a 6:30 flight and the Saint Sebastian festival and its clean up was going to ruin our holiday. The commitment and non stop efforts by this person allowed us first to get a cab from the outside but also clear a number of police check points to catch our flight. The staff, the restaurants, the service, the attention to detail makes this a five star. Wait till you come in from a great day and have your bed turned down, light music, and the many extras they offer.

Room Tip: make use of the shuttle to get you around to old juan, they make many stops!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Steven F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

This is definitely the place to stay in Old San Juan. The hotel is old and charming - don't come here if you want a new resort facility. Our rooms were beautiful. We were given a free upgrade which was much appreciated. The staff could not have been more helpful or friendly. They learned our names at check in and consistently addressed us by name from that point on. The evening wine hour was great and nice respite from a busy day. The location could not be better for exploring Old San Juan.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank camva
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 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Family 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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