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“Bliss!”
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
New Brunswick, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bliss!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

The El Convento is a beautiful hotel, with loads of charm, history and ambience. The architecture is spectacular and unique in this one-of-a kind hotel. (It was renovated in the 50s, but the original structure dates back to the 1500s!)

The rooms were clean, well-kept and comfortable. Happy hour (with free cheese, wine and crackers) from 6-7 every night was a nice addition and a great way to start the night before heading out for dinner. There is also a small, rooftop area with a tiny pool, hot-tub and sitting area with umbrellas and chairs. If you decide to stay here, I recommend taking your libations up one level from where happy hour is held and relax on the roof-top lounge, with its great views (you can catch the sun setting on the horizon) and slightly cooler temps.

As for the food, my wife and I generally stay away from hotels, opting instead to sample local restaurants as much as possible when staying outside the U.S., but the food was so good here that my wife and I ate breakfast here everyday (try the Malorca panini and especially Caribeann Eggs Benedict - they are amazing!) We also had a lovely dinner at the hotel once as well at the Tapas bar, which was romantic and rustic. The surroundings in the eating areas are lush and beautiful. Add a cool breeze, the gentle sounds of birds chirping around you, soft music playing in the background and you won't want to go anywhere else. The food is great in Puerto Rico, but the hotel courtyard had the loveliest setting of any restaurants we attended.

And to top it all off, every single member of the staff was extremely gracious, friendly and accomodating, so much so that we wanted to give each one of them a shout-out by name:

Carolina (restaurant manager)
Ashley, Annette and Jeysika (front desk)
Jaimie and Jorge (hotel valets)
Vanessa and Jose (restaurant servers)
David (guide for the city walking tour)

Bravo El Convento! Top marks all around.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rich M
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (534)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
122 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

Stayed at El Convento with my husband and daughter while scouting out rehearsal venues for our son's November wedding. Lovely hotel, friendly staff and comfortable rooms. We enjoyed seeing the main banquet area of the hotel where our son's wedding reception is to be held and getting a first hand look at the accommodations, since many of our wedding guests will be staying there. The building is unique and stunning when you walk in. Beautiful Spanish oil paintings (Velazquez?) flank the gate as you enter the side foyer. You feel instantly transported to another time. The entire hotel is graciously appointed and one can spend hours admiring the art and architecture. The pool area is small, but relaxing and the "happy hour" wine and cheese buffet in the late afternoon was a nice offering, despite the hoards of guests that descended upon the small buffet and loaded mountains of food on their plates. Oh well. Not the hotel's fault...(The coffee service in the morning is a much more pleasant time to enjoy the third floor hospitality area.)
Can't wait to come back for the wedding in November and once again enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of El Convento.

Room Tip: Room 504 overlooked the pool area, but was not the least bit noisy and proved very convenient when w...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LillyAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

Unless you're dead set on staying beachside or spa treatments, I'd highly recommend this hotel. The staff is incredibly friendly, and the property is spotless, gorgeous, & located a few minutes walk from any Old San Juan destination. My only complaint was that their room service menu is pretty light & closes early. Other than that, El Convento has everything. To some extent, corporate hotels all look & feel the same. El Convento is the perfect blend of old world feel & modern amenities. If you still want the beach, they have free day passes to their other properties, a short drive away. Otherwise, their rooftop pool & lounge area was plenty for some sun & a quick dip. I also found it very affordable, especially given its beauty, service and historic pedigree.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank DM0ss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

We recently had a wedding at Castillo San Cristobal in Old San Juan with our wedding reception to follow at El Convento. Last year we flew to San Juan from Pittsburgh and visited a variety of hotels in Puerto Rico to consider them for our wedding venue - but once we visited El Convento, our choice was easy. The hotel itself is gorgeous and full of history and the staff provides excellent service. It was just a cut above any of the other venues we visited. Its location is great in Old San Juan since you are able to walk out and enjoy all of the unique shops, bars and eateries that Old San Juan has to offer.

For our reception, we worked with Glorimar Ortiz and she was fabulous. Once we selected El Convento, we were able to coordinate almost everything with Glorimar via email which was very helpful for my spouse and I as we both work full time. Once the wedding date came closer, we had a phone conference with her and reviewed all of the final details. Between Glorimar and our wedding planner Karisha, my now husband and I felt completely at ease and were able to fully enjoy our wedding day knowing that all of the details would be handled. Glorimar also coordinated a wedding brunch the following day with my mother and it was lovely. El Convento handles their events with class and once we made basic selections, they took it from there and pulled of the events very well.

We also had a room block for our guests through El Convento that filled up quickly. All of our guests who stayed at El Convento loved the hotel and especially the complimentary wine and cheese from 6-7pm every night - something small but they just really enjoyed it and it served as a sort of daily meeting spot for everyone. Even some of our guests who are world travelers and very picky enjoyed their stay at El Convento.

El Convento is a pricier venue in Old San Juan so some of our guests were not able to stay there but it is close to many other smaller and nice hotels (Villa Herencia, Hotel Casa Blanca). We had some guests stay at those venues and that worked very well.

Overall we were so pleased with El Convento and its staff and would recommend it to anyone considering Old San Juan as a venue for their wedding or special occasion. It was beautiful, classy and the service was excellent.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 5th floor have beautiful views of the bay and city, rooms on the second floor have high...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lauren G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,564 reviews
143 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 955 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

You certainly can't beat the locations of El Convento - right in the heart of Old Town mere steps from the San Juan Cathedral, beautiful cobblestone streets and the beautiful San Juan Gate. It is a perfect spot to serve as your home base when exploring the city and an oasis to return to after a long day of walking.

Normally the hotel requires a two night minimum when staying on weekends but we were able to get a reservation for just one night. This might explain why we had one of the less desirable rooms on the main floor just off of the courtyard. However, it was private (behind a locked door that led to the hallway) and our room was comfortable and more than large enough for my wife and I and our 18 year old son. We had two bathrooms which was fabulous and the room was cool and quiet (even being on the main floor).

What we loved about the hotel were the extras. The wine and cheese served in the late afternoon to hotel guests was very good and the pool deck and other adjacent terraces were great places to wind down and cool off (don't count on swimming laps in the very tiny pool, however).

Our only real disappointment was with the restaurant. At breakfast we couldn't get a table as they were short staffed (we could have waited 45 minutes but that was out of the question) which meant we had to work hard to find a place for coffee and food early on a Sunday morning and our lunch in the patio restaurant was not great.

That being said it is a beautiful place to stay and definitely worth the expense (it is not cheap!).

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
long island
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

The hotel was great, from the bellhop who was super courteous to the restaurant most everything was great. The 24 hr outdoor pool on the 4th floor was relaxing. The jacuzzi had a bit too much chlorine for me though. The cheese and wine reception hr with free bottled water and coffee/tea was very pleasing. Most taxis are parked outside in front of the church. The only thing I didn't like was the "turndown"(as the front desk called it) of the room in the afternoon, after we had gone out, housekeeping came in the room and moved/added some things in the room, plants, pillows etc. We were not expecting this intrusion in the afternoon but rather in the morning. We had initially checked in and the room was perfectly set. Double doors between hallways blocked noise from exterior balcony downward facing bar/restaruant. High ceilings with fan. Overall, still a very nice hotel.

Room Tip: We were on the 2nd floor and had no issues with noise, however, we had a view of the alleyway.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dominick197241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alfredo A, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Dear Dominick -

Thank you for your positive feedback. Nightly turndown service to all our guests is one of the exclusive amenities of hotel El Convento. Our commitment is to provide everyone with a perfect stay. We are well aware that an immaculate room at all times is a key component to achieve that goal.

Always at your service,

Alfredo Arroyo
aarroyo@elconvento.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibel
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2014

I usually stay at more modestly priced lodgings, but El Convento was exceptional and worth the expense. The hotel is charming, the staff friendly and helpful, and the extras terrific. I had looked at other options, but for the price, the location and service seemed a deal. The room was very comfortable, the verandas and patios just great, and the location ideal. We enjoyed the wine and cheese reception in the veneing, and the complimentary water, coffee, and fruit all day long. HIghly recommended.

Room Tip: Stayed in double with two beds. No good view, but it didn't matter.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VermontMaria
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 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business 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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