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“Great Experience in Old San Juan”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
kansas city, ks
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great Experience in Old San Juan”
Reviewed 8 April 2009

We really enjoyed our time at El Convento. The hotel is beautiful and a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle just outside. The location is fantastic and we were able to see many things in old San Juan as well as the bacardi plant by walking or taking public transit. The hotel is beautiful and had complimentary wine and cheese reception each night. We also really enjoyed the restaurant, especially dessert. The rooms are simply appointed and not large, but definitely plenty of space for two. We also appreciated the mini-fridge. The air conditioning I had some issues with. It never got quite as cool as I wanted, but it wasn't a big deal. management was very nice so I am sure they would have at least looked into it if I had asked. I don't think it was broken though. Just not that cold. My only real complaint is that we were on the same floor as the restaurant and I felt our room had a little bit of a smell because of it. Not a terrible smell, but food-like. Otherwise, we had a great experience. I do think it was a little on the pricey side, but for that location and hotel I would pay it again.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ksgirl8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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South Carolina
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2009

I have been to PR for business a few times before, but this was my first stay at El Convento. It is situated in the Old San Juan district, and just a few blocks from one of the historic forts and a few blocks from the Harbor. It was about a 30 minute ride from the airport (mid-day), and if you are renting a car it looked like there was some parking available (valet, across a street). Many of the roads around the hotel are very narrow and one way.

The building is about 350 years old - and in pretty good shape! At check in, I was presented with an actual key for my room (don't remember the last time I had a real key!), and all hotel staff was incredibly helpful and friendly.

My room was on the second floor - no view to speak of, but a quaint little patio with a table and two chairs. The entry to the hotel room was off a courtyard - and like a previous posting stated - there was a double door to help block out any noise from the Courtyard.

The room was perfectly sized for one or two persons. The room had a fridge with two bottles of water, which is a nice touch. The room had complementary high speed (wired) and common areas such as the Library had wireless service. I found it to be quiet - didn't really hear anything from adjoining rooms, outside or from the Courtyard. The bathroom was a bit small - but for one or two persons would be more than adequate. I ate at two of the on site restaurants - and there were a number of very good restaurants within walking distance. Lots of shopping, too!

As a single female traveler, I was impressed with the security at the hotel. You had to use your key to access the Hotel guest areas (elevator, stairs and of course rooms), and I noticed plently of on site security. The price was a little high (avg. $200 per night) although my busiess colleagues were able to get better rates. That said, it was a better deal than many of the other hotels in the area - and better quality in my opinion.

Overall - very quaint and charming hotel! I would definitely return!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sc_family4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
175 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2009

We stayed at the El Convento one night before a cruise. We could not book on line because there was a two night minimum for that weekend. We called and explained we would be booking two rooms for one night, and had no problem.

This hotel is amazing, gorgeous, just so charming. All rooms face into an interior courtyard. There are flowers everywhere, and each floor has tables outside the rooms that overlook it. There is a rooftop plunge pool and "warm tub" as we called it, that is so well done, with cushioned chairs and breathtaking views, especially at night.

A previous poster mentioned it was not good for kids and teenagers. Well, not if you tried to stuff a family of four in one room, but we had two rooms, and they loved it.

We had connecting rooms. Ours had a queen, theirs two doubles. The beds were very comfy, nice linens, mini bar with complementary water bottles (well needed when you walk down to the El Morro fort on a very hot day!) Bathrooms were fine, loved the small vase of fresh flowers, nice touch. The rooms had complementary robes to use, as well. They also have a second door that both seals off the noise from the courtyard and helps keep the room nice and cool.

Location can't be beat, in the heart of old San Juan with many restaurants and stores all around.

We had breakfast the morning before the cruise in their charming courtyard. The food was very good, service excellent, and the experience unforgettable as the setting is so beautiful.

The only negative I have would be the price. We paid approx. $380 per room, with a tax of about $90 PER ROOM on top of that. This makes a stay for one night for our family nearly $1,000. Whew. We have stayed at many top hotels, and this is definitely one of the highest prices we have ever paid. We sometimes stay at Four Seasons and other luxury hotels, and they often offer the second room at a reduced price. The hotel did not seem to me to be full, so perhaps some discounting might be in order?

Also, if you are expecting American sized rooms, luxury baths, Four Seasons style, you will not find it here. This is a charminig, European style boutique hotel.

Also in one of our rooms the air conditioning was barely working, but not uncomfortable enough to call down and change rooms late at night when we discovered it. We just told them upon check out so they could fix it before the next guests.

Would I stay here again? Definitely, but I would only rate it five stars out of five if the price were a little less or they would offer a discount on the second room. Then it would be just about perfect!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank MelvinaSt.Louis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 March 2009

I stayed at El Convento in December of 2008. The hotel is in a great location in Old San Juan, the staff was very friendly, and the property was beautiful. The restaurants are great, especially the tapas bar on the second floor patio. There is a great honor bar on the roof to kick back with a glass of wine in the evening.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Traveltini2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2009

We have stayed here twice and have been quite pleased with each stay. We simply love the architecture and charm of this historic hotel and are very pleased with both the Italian restaurant they are partners with across the street as well as the Tapas restaurant overlooking the courtyard.
The rooms are small as one would expect and do not really accomodate more that 2 adults with 2 small kids, but you know that from the get go.
The terrace with the wine and cheese party daily is a very nice touch. Breakfast is acceptable and the setting makes it better.
We have found the staff both friendly and helpful.
We have reserved both times from the hotel web site and have not had any problems.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank PFT3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
69 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2009

It is not a hotel for a family with kids. The beds are full size. There is no bed of queen size means you need 4 beds for 2 adults and 2 kids (unless they are 2 years old). The hotel staff will gladly propose you to put extra beds but there is no room to put them in the room. If you are not staying 3rd floor or above, the communication between the floors are very complicated for the kids. Hotel is open to outside public for the first 2 floors, it means there are very big and heavy iron gates to get to the corridor which leads you to your room. Other solution is key operated elevator. Hotel is in the middle of San Juan very nicely located. It is hard to find restaurants since the city lives with the cruises ship schedule. Around hotel too many bars operate which makes it unsuitable for the family with teen's also. For the "Small Luxury Hotel" category neither reception, nor bathrooms not even the restaurants in the hotel are qualified. Very little to do in the city. Rent your car yourself, hotel price is double or triple of the airport and not sure that shows up. It is a good hotel if you are with the cruise ship and only 2 days at Old San Juan.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FamilyComments
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElConvento, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, 23 March 2009
We appreciate you taking the time to review Hotel El Convento though we are surprised that you felt this was a non-friendly hotel for children. We have always welcomed families with children, especially since there are numerous activities in the old city just for them. Directly across from the hotel is the Museo De Los Ninos - the children's museum - and with two forts in town to explore and other historical landmarks it a magical place for any child - or adult - to take a walk through history. We hope on your next visit you will have an opportunity to visit all the sites.
Best regards,
Efrain Rosa, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kirkland, washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2009

We stayed here on our way back from a cruise. We booked three nights and wished we had stayed the whole week. I would go back to San Juan just to stay at this place. The rooms are clean, beautifully furnished, and have all of the comforts of home (air conditioning, lots of hot water, great bedding, etc). The staff was warm and friendly. What I really loved about this place was the atmosphere. It is so "old San Juan". There is a lush courtyard in the middle of the hotel where you can eat or have one of their amazing mojitos, an adorable rooftop pool and lounge chairs, a sweet little nightly wine and cheese reception, and a cute little tapas restaurant. The only negative thing I can say about this hotel is not really a negative but just a fact: If you are expecting American-style sizes and luxury here, you wont find it. Go to one of the larger chains out side of Old San Juan. But if you are looking for a small boutique hotel with lots of charm, then this is the place for you. We took our three teenagers who absolutely loved it as well.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kirklander5
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 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Family 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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