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“Excellent hotel”
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 48 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel”
Reviewed 19 February 2010

Arrived at El Convento on Feb. 16 for 3 nights after a long drive from Rincon. The hotel is excellent. The front desk staff were great, the room was fabulous with every little thing done right: goose down (not feather) pillows, Turkish towels and bathrobes, turn down service, Aveda shower/shampoo/soap, chocolates on pillows in evening, etc. The wine and cheese reception is fantastic - four different reds, four different whites, plus a very good selection of cheeses (bries, manchego, soft goat, bleu, port salut, etc.). The common areas are meticulously cared for. We used both the sister beaches (La Concha and Courtyard); I would skip the Courtyard - a $20 cab ride gets you to a musty Marriott with a pretty good beach right behind the airport. La Concha is much better - the facility itself is stylish and well cared for with a leisurely but chic atmosphere and although the beach is smaller, we liked it better. The only thing we really could complain about (and it did matter to us) is that El Convento's food is a disappointment. The Tapas place is expensive and the food is sad: sliced olives from a jar, 'chorizo' sausages that were cold and crappy. The Nispero patio for breakfast was also disappointing. Our eggs were room temperature at best (both orders), and we each got about 5 little potato home fries. The service is very good and it's clear that they're trying hard, but the quality in the food department needs help at El Convento. I don't write this to complain too much - our stay at El Convento was absolutely fantastic and we really, really loved it. I would recommend this hotel very highly and I would stay there again. It really was fantastic in virtually every respect. I just wouldn't recommend the food there. Instead, try St. Germain at 156 Calle del Sol - just a 5 min walk from El Convento. That place was fantastic - local, fresh food with a lot of variety and close attention to detail, and surprisingly affordable. St. Germain was the best restaurant we found.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank edauphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed 11 February 2010

My husband and I traveled to San Juan to celebrate my birthday. We went with another couple and spent 3 nights at El Convento. It was perfect for our mini vacation as we enjoyed the Spanish style rooms and open courtyard. It is not the height of luxury, but if you are looking for a small, unique hotel in the center of Old San Juan, then this is your place. It is convenient to shopping, restaurants, and sightseeing but slightly away from the crowds coming off the cruise ships.

The staff was helpful and attentive as they made our dinner reservations every evening and made our stay very comfortable. We enjoyed the wine and cheese reception each night and the small pool area was pleasant and comfortable.

If you are looking for a large pool area with a poolside bar - this is not the place for you. However, we took advantage of a day trip to the sister property, La Concha, which provided us with the resort feel for several hours. Staff at El Convento provided us with a letter to transfer any costs incurred at La Concha to our bill at El Convento. That was a nice plus. However, we all agreed we preferred El Convento over La Concha because of the smaller more intimate setting.

The rooms at El Convento were comfortable; we enjoyed the bathrobes and slippers, yet the bathrooms were small. My husband was pleased with the second sound proof door, which was very effective in keeping the din from the courtyard out of our room. I am not a huge fan of strong air conditioning, so my only complaint was it was too cold in the room.

I look forward to returning some time in the near future.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank birdyDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2010

Had a great stay at El Convento. Would definitely stay here again.
Pleasant staff, beautiful, historic atmosphere. The hotel courtyard is beautiful. This is not your cookie-cutter hotel. It has lots and lots of atmosphere. I got the feeling I wanted to live at the hotel, I liked it so much. Will definitely be back. It's also very romantic if you want to go somewhere for a special occasion. Although, just go, don't have to wait for a special occasion.

The wine and cheese event is a nice touch. It's fun, free and you get to meet other guests. At the end of my stay, I even left my cell phone in the pocket of the white lounge robe in the room and when I called from the airport on the way home, the staff went and retrieved it and sent it to me by UPS. Got the phone back in a few days, no problem.

There was a spanish singer outside at night on the bench outside of the hotel who gave quite a good performance. I asked and he is not affiliated with the hotel but it provided a lot of atmosphere. All in all, I absolutely loved my stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sunset29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 9 February 2010

My friend had her wedding reception here : ), and the accomodations were FABULOUS. The reception food was DELICIOUS. The staff is fluent in English, and it's right in the middle of Old San Juan, so definitely take a walking tour (but don't go down the steps into La Perla by youself. ; D ) I can't give 5 stars because I asked the front desk for something a few times, and it never happened, including my wake up call the morning I was leaving. Other than that, it's great.

Stayed July 2008, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank star4eva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2010

I have stayed at Hotel El Convento 4 times and it has been simply amazing almost every time. I have been to dozens of hotels in almost 60 countries, and this is among the best! The location is impossible to beat as it is in the main courtyard of Old San Juan. The staff is very very friendly! They did everything within their abilities to get us in the exact room we wanted every stay. The wine and cheese at sunset is a wonderful wonderful perk of staying at this hotel. The only negative experience was the last night we stayed on our last trip. There was a very large and rowdy wedding party that made relaxing or sleep not easy. However, the manager called me himself a couple of weeks later and apologized sincerely and compensated my friend and I very generously. Since the hotel could not have known how disrespectful the part was to be, it was very nice of the manager to make sure our next stay will be great, as it normally is. And there will definitely be a next stay very soon!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank AriyehOlam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moline, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2010

Our stay was on Jan 31, 2010 for one night post cruise. I was thrilled to find this hotel.
The location is perfect in Old San Juan though not in walking distance to the port if you have a lot of luggage - just a short taxi ride away.
I knew immediately that we would love this hotel as we were greeted by Ivan (with a sincere smile!) to help us with our luggage and to the front desk. The front desk staff is first rate. Though our room was not ready (we arrived early) they immediately stored our luggage as well as took our cell number to call us when our room was prepared so that we could go out and about the town.
(Room 322) The room was 2 full size (?) beds but so comfortable with premium bedding and the best pillows ever! Flat screen HD television with satelite/movies etc. Bath amenities by AVEDA. Though small bathroom the tub/shower is nice and decor was perfect. Nice desk area with stationary and even post cards. Complementary bottled water and a refrigerator in the room
Bath robes to use/slippers. We did not have any view..except an alley way where a coca cola truck was parked for deliveries in the morning. It did not matter to us as we were exhausted and it was a beautiful view out the front door! :)
We were so tired and did not use it but a housekeeper knocked and asked if we would like turndown service, chocolates or ice in the evening. Very nice!
The hotel itself is gorgeous with greenery everywhere. I'm not sure if the tree frogs are "real" or not but the chirping sounds in the trees was awesome.
Beautiful restaurant areas and an Honor System room/bar/snacks on the 3rd level attached to a scenic outdoor patio area perfect to sip tea or coffee in the morning or have an afternoon cocktail. So many flowers and greenery..someone does an amazing job of keeping this hotel looking immaculate!
There is a small pool area on the level above ..I wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy all the amenities. Also, at sister hotel La Concha (friends stayed there pre cruise - directly on beach with also gorgeous amenities!) There is a small but nice fitness area with proper equiptment downstairs.

There were only two things that distracted from the beauty of this hotel.
(Reminder.. these were just things that I would want to know about ahead of time or when considering a hotel..we booked this hotel through a discount booking agent but if I had to pay regular rates this would have definitely have been more of a factor...)
There was a wedding/reception which went late into the night on the Sunday we stayed. It was VERY loud in the courtyard area. I appreciate the fact though that I think someone from the hotel might have quieted it down because it was completely quiet from about 1am to 5am.
Front desk gave us a coupon for a free sangria but when we asked in the restaurant it is when you buy an entree. No worries we would just buy the cocktail with an app and then go out for a walk around town before leaving.
2. The waitress was not very pleasant and took a long time with drinks and food. We didn't see her again until time for the bill and then that took a long time too. Luckily, there was a terrific manager (female) who came right over and assisted us. I am just mentioning it because it was so "off" for such a nice hotel.

I would most definitely recommend this hotel to anyone..I'm sure the noise level isn't like that all the time and the location, service, rooms and beauty more than make up for it.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravelingRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2010

Historic sights at your doorstep. Not isolated from local culture, like most luxury hotels. Located right in the middle of a 500-year-old walled city, opposite the cathedral. Rooms open onto colonnaded outdoor hallways flanking a large interior courtyard that houses several restaurants and bars. Wonderfully atmospheric. Not for those who want wall-to-wall carpeting (floors are Spanish tiles) or over-the-top luxury bathrooms (marble bathrooms are small and basic). Lounge on third floor has complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea and honor bar. Free daily wine/cheese reception 6-7 pm. Small rooftop plunge pool and hot tub. No beach (hotel provides shuttle service to a sister beach-front property). One-of-a-kind hotel beautifully restored and maintained. Public spaces outshine guestrooms. Member Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Historic Hotels of America.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TerrySisk
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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