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“Loved it!”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 August 2014

El Convento was everything that my girlfriend and I had hoped for, and more! The hotel staff couldn't do enough for us and the room was very comfortable and tastefully decorated. We stayed in a first floor room adjacent to the breakfast area and were initially concerned about noise but we needn't have worried. Inside the room was an 'inner' door that prevented us from being disturbed by noise. We did have an issue with the bed on our penultimate day but the hotel duly put us up in the honeymoon suite for the remainder of our stay. We were given free bottle of champagne and a breakfast vouchers for the inconvenience. There was a terrace on the roof where free wine and cheeses were served every day from 6pm for what was supposed to be one hour but invariably lasted until at least 8pm. The food was great and the location of the hotel was ideal for exploring Old San Juan. We are planning to return next month!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2014

We decided to stay one extra night in San Juan after we disembarked from a cruise we had been on. We were not disappointed in our choice of Hotel El Convento! We arrived, and as soon as we walked into the beautiful lobby, we were greeted by a sweet resident cat, Trixie. An attendant carried our things and showed us through the gorgeous property to our room. The room was smaller than typical cookie-cutter American hotel rooms, but we had plenty of space. Both the room and the bathroom were very beautifully done and had plenty of charm. The room's air conditioning worked very well, luckily, because it was 95 degrees with 86% humidity out! In the evening, we went up to the rooftop deck to the wine and cheese reception--definitely recommend this. It was a great place to sit and relax, sip on some wine, and look out over the Old Town. Because of the heat, we ordered in a little room service dinner later at night. The food came very quickly, the staff were so friendly, and the food was fantastic! I had a Cuban sandwich with fried plantains on the side, SO delicious! In the morning, we had breakfast in the courtyard restaurant. The server was very friendly, and the food was amazing! Overall, we had a fantastic stay here, and would very likely stay here again if our travels bring us back to Puerto Rico!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ABmeetsworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

It's a nice property with a good mix of old and new with a convenient location, close to shopping, restaurants and sight seeing in Old San Juan. Staff was friendly and helpful. The top floor consists of an open area to relax and have a drink with a small flight of stairs that takes you to the pool /jacuzzi. The pool is small, but the view is great and it's a nice place to chill or get a massage outside. The center of the hotel is open with a restaurant on the ground floor. Food was tasty and the service was very good. There is a more casual tapas grill/bar on the second floor, but is accessible from different street entrance. (but you can only get into the hotel with your card key) Once again, the food was great and so was the service. The rooms were nicely decorated with a local flare, but had all the modern conveniences. The bathrooms were on the modern side with good water pressure/temperature. We were taking part in our 3rd bicycle tour of the island (La Vuelta Puerto Rico) and if we go back for a 4th year we are definitely staying at the Convento again.

Room Tip: Free bottled water is available 24/7 just downstairs from the pool + complimentary wine and tapas in...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank GrantFam750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

We decided to stay in town. After a fun filled night in Old San Juan we called our home away from home.
We took a dip in the sparkling pool and ordered room service. We had two amazing dinners with cocktails. The room was very clean with turn down services. The small fridge had two bottles of water waiting for us.

Stayed: July 2014
1  Thank Deborah N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

My husband and I stayed at El Convento for 4 nights at the end of our honeymoon. We chose El Convento based on online reviews, and the personal experience of good friends who stayed there the year before. Our friends were upgraded to an amazing, multi-room suite for free when they told the hotel they were on their honeymoon. We had no such luck, and ended up with a fairly small, queen room--but no big deal, we understand the hotel can't do it for everyone!

The first problem was the shower head..there was only a small, trickle of water that didn't project outward, but instead dripped sideways out of the shower head. We called the front desk, and they immediately sent a maintenance person up who tightened some bolts on the shower head. There was maybe a bit of improvement, but not much--it was still hard to get a good shower!

Our second issue was a rental car that El Convento was supposed to arrange for us. The woman at the front desk said that she would reserve a rental car for us for the next morning so that we could drive to El Yunque (rainforest)--we agreed to have the rental car agency pick us up at 9AM. We really wanted to get a fairly early start to El Yunque, because supposedly the views from the summit are best before noon. We arrived at the desk just prior to 9AM, and the morning desk person had no record of a reservation ever having been made. She had to call around to different rental car agencies, most of which were already booked up, and finally found a rental car for $40 more than we had originally been quoted by the PM desk person. At this point it was already close to 10AM. It took another 30 minutes to be picked up, then there was the drive to the rental agency and some additional red tape there that took awhile. We spent half our day dealing with this "debacle" (of course, could have been worse, but we did waste a lot of time).

Our final issue was on departure day. There were typically cabs lined up along the side of the building, but for some reason not this day--right at checkout time, 12PM. After waiting for awhile in vain, the doorman/bellhop finally called a cab. We were next in line, and saw a cab approach the side of the building. We walked from the front of El Convento to the side to catch the taxi. Suddenly, someone who had been waiting in line BEHIND us aggressively rushed our cab and screamed at us that "there was a line if you were waiting at El Convento, and he had been waiting for 30 minutes, and get in the back of the line, buddy." We were SO confused. We had been standing right next to this guy for at least 30 minutes, and had already been outside waiting when he exited the hotel..he saw us on the side of the building, though, and obviously thought we were random people stealing the El Convento cab..this guy was obviously a jerk, but the worst part of this was that the doorman/bellhop was standing right there and refused to back us up (in that WE were the original people he had called the cab for)...he just shrugged his shoulders at us. We ended up having to share another cab with people heading for the cruise ships, not the airport..and were definitely later to the airport than we had planned. So..a couple issues with the staff at El Convento. Everyone was definitely friendly, but for such a high quality hotel, we didn't expect these hiccups. Maybe it's because we were there during the off season?

Positives: beautiful, romantic, great food at the restaurants. I highly recommend the Ginger Mojito at the Patio el Nispeo. Wine and cheese hour was great, and loved being able to get coffee/water/fruit at any time. We would stay there again, and would hopefully have better luck with the staff.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank MittenStateMills
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 reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Dear Guest -

I would like to thank you for staying at Hotel El Convento on such a special occasion and I'm glad you enjoyed most of the time here. Congratulations. I also appreciate that you took the time to share the experience with us. We will discuss these issues with our staff and definitely find ways to deal with them appropriately. I apologize and hope to have you back as our guest.

Sincerely,
Alfredo Arroyo
aarroyo@elconvento.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

I stayed in the Hotel El Convento for 3 days on a business trip to San Juan and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Perfectly located in the heart of Old San Juan, the hotel is a perfect mix of old and new -- think old-world charm with a/c and flat-screens. I particularly liked the details -- original shutters on floor to ceiling windows, hardwood backboards, terracotta floors, fresh cut flowers in the room, Bose stereos, HD televisions with all the channels, and the best manager's happy hours I've experienced. I could go on. Our one problem was actually the result of surprisingly good service. When we checked out the valet put automatically loaded our bags in the trunk and pulled it around -- a nice touch... if he had put the correct bags in our trunk. D-oh! We didn't realize the mistake until we unpacked them at the airport. The valet worked feverishly to correct the problem and I had my bags in time for boarding. Tip: breakfast in the hotel may seem expensive but it's great.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Keithcu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

A lovely place to stay. This hotel is very charming and full of Old World character. The location in old San Juan can't be beat. I wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else but old San Juan. The cobblestone streets, the small artisan shops (although in amongst the great brand names of the world - Coach and Sunglass Hut to name a few...). Our room had a wonderful view of the harbour. It was always nice to come back to the room and look out on the view. The patio restaurant was also nice to visit after a long day of walking and excursions. However, it wasn't perfect. I understood from research that a lot of restaurants in the Condado area were closed on Monday's, but when I asked at the front desk they insisted that the restaurant I wanted to go to was open. So we paid for a taxi to take us out to the Condado, but the restaurant was indeed closed. I feel that the staff should have known, or at least offered to call the restaurant. Also, I had requested room service breakfast one morning, because we were going on an excursion, but no breakfast arrived nor was my breakfast request card even picked up from my room doorknob. Then, the bioluminescent tour booked as recommended through the hotel was awful. It was not a pleasurable experience at all and would recommend to anyone to do their research on these tours very carefully. All I can say it was a 10 minute kayak around the bioluminescent bay and 60 minutes in a death-defying journey through a mangrove forest. It was awful. Do your research very carefully and do not depend on the recommendations of the hotel. (Although their hired guide and tour of Old San Juan was truly excellent!!!) And that was what was most disappointing. As a "Small Hotels of the World", I expected more from El Convento. I put a lot of trust in their recommendations and service, and was a little disappointed. Regardless, if I was to go back to San Juan, I wouldn't stay anywhere else. The hotel is so full of character, it is truly irresistible despite the flaws.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Mark K
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 reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Dear MJamesK -

Thank you so much for staying with us and for your valuable feedback. I am certainly disappointed that even though you enjoyed our facilities, some of our services provided to you, did not represent our usual quality. I apologize for not been able to provide you with a perfect stay. Your concerns will be handled immediately with our management team. If I can be of assistance in the future, please kindly contact me without hesitation.

Respectfully,

Alfredo Arroyo
aarroyo@elconvento.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: £192 - £520 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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