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“Fun Trip”

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Caribe Hilton San Juan
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
GreenLeadersSilver level
DFW
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fun Trip”
Reviewed 26 July 2011

This trip was allot of fun. The wife and I went with our 18yr old daughter and her boyfriend as a HS graduation trip and we got adjoining rooms which was a nice set up. Our first night we were in one South facing room and we switched to adjoining the next night on the North face of the building. The views were great from both sides as long as you are up at least four floors. The ocean views are from every room in the large hotel. There are a few other buildings you can stay in that would not provide a great view in some cases. I had high expectations from some "over dramatized" stories that I heard about this hotel, like how it boasted one of the biggest and best nightclubs in San Juan with a huge casino. Both of those things are not the case. The main lobby of hotel walks down into the only primary area that could be considered a 'club' but it was more of a small stage and dancing area with a bar that you pass on your way out to the outdoor pool and beach. It was nice but not nearly as Grand as I was expecting. We didn't find any dramatic night club scene in San Juan, and it wasn't short of asking locals and taxi drivers. Senior frogs in Old San Juan was the only big party scene we found on our Sat-Th trip and it was mostly Regaton music with 99% locals all in Spanish (not complaining, that's just what it was). The casino is a short cab ride across the bridge. I found that every cab ride in San Juan is going to cost about $12-15 dollars, no matter if it's 2 miles or 10 miles away. So if you want to go eat in the 'hotel strip' acorss the bridge you can tack $12 to your tab. The Casino has about 100 slots and six card tables so it's not Grand by any means, but it was in a nice modern hotel. I left $70 up but spent $30 celebrating with two shots of Patron on the way out...lol You can walk from the Hilton but I'd have a couple guys with you since you have to travel past a building under construction that’s dark and spooky and looks like someone ran out of money on the project... One nice thing about Puerto Rico is you deal in american curency and they have some familiar restaurants like Chili's, a place that hits the belly nicely after eating some interesting native dishes for more than a few days. To save money I walked to the liquor store and stocked up on my favorite spirits which is only about 100yards from the front door of the hotel, purchased a jug, mixed batches of my favorite cocktails filled with ice and brought that to the beach....otherwise you'll pay $15 per drink at the Hotel. I spent just under $100 in liquor and it lasted the entire trip for everyone.
The beach area was nice and diverse. Snorkel gear will set you back a rental fee so I would either buy a set at the local store for the same price as one hour and have no limitations or bring a set from home. The snorkeling right off the beach was cool. Tons of fish medium to small, sea urchins, saw a squid or two pass by....but it was nothing compared to the boat rental/snorkeling trip we did out of Fajuerdo. We rented a car for $60 for 24 hours from an independent car rental place located next to the liquor store. It was about an hour drive but a pretty cool one so the time went by fast. There are normal freeways the entire way with mountainous tropical surroundings. The pontoon style boats fit about four normal size people and we all got a chance to drive. We had about 700 lbs of people in our boat so it took a little effort to get them moving full speed within a chain of about five other boats. The sea was a bit choppy for these little boats at times but it made it an adventure and it was allot of fun and we were assured that these they were designed to be almost impossible to flip! One lady opted to travel in the bigger boat that lead us on the way back, everyone else went for it again! The snorkel spots you stop at are in the aqua waters with great visibility. The second stop brings you to the famous island shot in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie with the white sands and little patch of trees in the center. Very cool spot. You can relax with some snacks they brought or keep on snorkeling. I did both and ended up seeing a sting ray. So hanging at the hotel beach is cool and all, but this boat trip is what made the trip for us. We took another day to check out Old San Juan. It's about a five minute taxi ride from the Hilton. It's been kept up well and has some pretty cool historical features. This is where the big WW2 bunker attraction is that you can pay a small fee to walk through and catch some great views and learn a little about Puerto Rican history. The old paved roads and architecture is neat in this area. This is where the cruise ships dump everyone off so I would try to figure out when they port so you can either party with more people or avoid to limit the crowds. We avoided. There are a million trinket shops and places to eat. There is an old church you can walk through that’s pretty neat too. It's worth checking out.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank jj98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Schaumburg, IL
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2011

I don't think I'm a picky traveler. I know what I like and I know what to expect, especially at a Hilton.
I was disappointed with the hotel itself because first off EVERYTHING is over-priced. It was ridiculous. The entire 5 days we were in Puerto Rico it rained. 90% of our stay was inside the hotel/hotel grounds since we were in the middle of a tropical storm.
We would wake up at 6 a.m., go straight to the pool area and lay out until 9 a.m. (that's when it usually started to rain).
Our room was probably the worst! As a Hilton Honors Member I have experienced a lot of different types of rooms on our vacations. This was something else. We were on the 3rd floor of the old building. Our balcony view was of the air conditioning system for the entire hotel! Our balcony door was broken. It didn't lock. Actually, let me rephrase, there was no balcony. I'm not sure how to describe this slab of tiles. Only 1 person could be on the balcony at a time. It was adjacent to the roof of the restaurants we would always eat at. Here's the best part...there were workers on the roof every single day...all day! We would have to close the curtains in order to get dressed. And the lighting, it was pretty poor. It actually sucked.
Bathroom was creepy because it was very old and outdated and disgustingly dirty. Nothing against the housekeeping staff, just obvious that some corners were cut.
I actually have waited over a month to post this because I didn't want to post a bad review. But, in the end, this is what it comes down to: hotel room sucked, everything was over-priced and upon check-out we were notified that there is a 14% resort fee...for EVERY SINGLE DAY you are there. Not for the total trip, so basically we got ripped. I didn't like that aspect because I don't mind paying resort fees to be on a resort. There were never any activities planned, especially due to inclement weather. All we could do is roam the resort indoors, hit up the Starbucks and sit in the lobby for free wi-fi.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kdflirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 7 August 2011
Thank you for you review. The main building has a renovation schedule on September because we understand that is a little dated. We do have a complete program of indoor activities for rainy days that goes from Bingo to Yoga, we're sorry that the information didn't get to you or your family. Thank you for your feedback.
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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2011

Loved my recent stay at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. Very beautiful when you walk in- you see the pool area immediately. Everyone was really friendly and helpful. The rooms were really nice and we had a balcony. The hotel has restaurants and a starbucks. It was a good mix of couples, singles, families. We (2 girls) felt safe in the area.
The location seemed cleaner and less trashy than Isla Verde's commercial strip. The location is withing walking distance of Condado, and about 5-10 minutes by car to Old San Juan, but about a $20-$25 cab ride to Isla Verde or the airport.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank AdrienneSender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2011

This hotel surpassed all expectations. From the doorman to the front desk, there was absoluetly no complaints. You get almost an exclusive treatmeant as if you were the only one in the hotel. Everyone was very friendly and seemed very sincere as if they really take pride in their jobs and the hotel, specially Mrs. Glenda Rivera who went out of her way to make my stay as comfortable as possible. She is just amazing, not only she helps on any situation or needs, she makes sure that every need was
taken care of and followed up on. Love you Mrs. Rivera...!! (And she is beautiful...and hot......upsss..!!)

The room was amazing with a view of the ocean on one side and the San Geronimo Fortress on the other. The bed has a comfortable firm mattress and your head just melts into the pillows providing you with the best night's sleep ever! The location is superb!!! As you walk in the hotel you actually forget you are here to work and the view of the pool, the pool bars, the ocean, the hamocks, invites for a vacation instead of a business trip. Staying at this hotel is just an amazing-espectacular experience. It just have everything Puerto Rico has to offer. Sorry to be so long winded but I just want the staff to know how appreciative I am of their outstanding hospitality and service. Giving this hotel 5 stars would simply be an underating.....!!!!

Room Tip: They are all excellent...!!
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank joseha63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 7 August 2011
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us! This is why we work very hard everyday! We always have room for improvement but is good to hear that you have such a great time. Thank you again for the feedback!
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Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2011

I think that FAMURattler and my family were at the Caribe Hilton the same week because my family's experience was exactly the same - horrible from the minute we arrived!!! We also arrived on a Sunday. However, it was not busy at all. Despite this, no one greeted us or gave us any information about the hotel's amenities. At this point, we were disappointed but were looking forward to our beautiful room with an ocean view. To our great surprise, we were sent to a completely filthy and smelly room with a view of the roof and partial ocean view. Of course, we returned to the front desk and requested a clean room with a view of the ocean. This is what we had paid for after all. But, did we get this? No!!! They sent us to an even worse room. I have no idea how this was even possible. Again, we returned to the front desk and agreed to go to the original room they had given us because we had pre-paid for the hotel. We were trapped in this dump!!! And, to top it off, we had to wait about an hour to get into our room because the card key did not work. Did they even offer us water or something during the wait? Nope! We literally waited in front of that room until a staff member was sent to fix the door. How about that!?!

Regardless of our experience upon arrival, we tried to be positive. We thought that the service would get better. Did it? Nope!!! It just got worse. Everyone that we encountered was extremely rude and unprofessional. For example, we went to eat breakfast at Las Palmeras on Monday morning. When we arrived, the hostess was having a personal conversation with another employee. Instead of greeting us, she completely ignored us and continued her conversation. At some point, my sister politely interrupted and asked if we could be seated. The hostess gave us a dirty look, made a rude gesture, and told us to follow her. Once we got to our table, she immediately left without saying a word and continued her rudeness. This behavior repeated itself during the our entire stay of six days. Needless to say, we will never go to Caribe Hilton or any Hilton hotel ever again!!! And, Caribe Hilton is responsible for truly ruining our entire trip and left us with no desire to ever return to Puerto Rico!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Traveler10026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 7 August 2011
Thank you for sharing your experience. We really appreciate the feedback and I want to assure you that we take this information very seriously. The lack of customer service is unacceptable. Thank you again for your feedback.
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Boston, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2011

The open air and blue light lobby was beautiful, clean and very sleek and modern. 15-20 minutes for check-in process with free ice-cold water. I was upgraded to an ocean view room on the lagoon side, and had a nice view of the water, San Geronimo fort, Conrad Hotel, and bridge to Candado.

Upon entering the room, I immediately notice the cover for the sprinkler on the ceiling is missing. The carpet is old and dirty. The bathroom is decent, and in need of revamping and renovating. The sliding door needs to apply lubricate on the railing as it is rusted. The balcony railing is a bit loose. Do NOT lean on the railing. The balcony floor gets flooded easily with water after the rain because of the clogged drainage. The double beds are cleaned. Room has everything you need, just not very clean.

There is a subway right around the corner if you’re looking for some cheap food. A little convenience and liquor store has some things but not much. There is a car rental place there. Taxi costs $12 to Old San Juan or 75 cents by B-21 public transportation which is one or two blocks away (look for PARADA sign by the Luis Munoz Rivera Park).

The grounds were beautiful, and very large. There was a garden area with a Koi and black Tilapia pond, white and black swans and a peacock wandering around, a large pool area with swim up bar, and there was an old Fort next to the property (which is gated and guarded, but you can't enter). A great pool, hammocks for lounging, a jacuzzi, and a great beach. The beach area was hotel-only accessible with a swimming area that was very safe and calm but still had beautiful fish and snorkeling. Don’t forget to fish feeding deck for feeding fishes during the day/night time.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for an upgrade at the front desk.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank refugees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 4 August 2011
Thank you for taking from your time to share your experience. We are schedule to renovate the Main Building, the only building that's not renovated. The most important thing for us our customer's safety. We are very happy to hear that you had a good time during your stay. Thank you for your feedback.
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Brick, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviewed 19 July 2011

My family of four stayed at the Caribe Hilton last month. We had a tremendous view. The restaurants on site had great food and friendly staff. The infinity pool was beautiful and fun for my 8 and 9 year old daughters. The beach area was hotel-only accessible with a swimming area that was very safe and calm but still had beautiful fish and snorkeling. It was a quick cab ride to charming Old San Juan restaurants and shopping.
My daughter lost her beloved stuffed animal and the staff was very compassionate and understanding and did everything they could to find the lovey and make things right! A week later, the manager sent it home to us via Fed Ex with a letter and photos from the stuffed animal explaining that he was sorry he had to stay behind and vacation there himself! I cried.

I would tell anyone that this is the best place to stay in the San Juan vicinity. And we did visit many beautiful hotels in the area. The other hotels were beautiful, but their beaches were not as calm as the Caribe Hilton.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alice449
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 29 July 2011
Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to share you great experience with us. This is wonderful to hear and this is why we work hard everyday! Thank you again this is what we like to hear!
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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 Caribe Hilton San Juan

Property: Caribe Hilton San Juan
Address: 1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901-2401, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in San Juan
#5 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#10 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#11 Family Hotel in San Juan
#12 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#13 Business Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Caribe Hilton San Juan 4*
Number of rooms: 652
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic and iconic Caribe Hilton offers an ideal combination of leisure facilities and activities and is home to Caribar, the birthplace of the pina colada. The resort is situated on a private 17-acre lushly landscaped peninsula with a secluded beach and is located near the Old San Juan historic district and many of the destination's top attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hilton San Juan Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel San Juan
Hilton Hotel Caribe
Hilton San Juan
San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel

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