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“Large, family-friendly, money-sucking machine” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Caribe Hilton San Juan

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Caribe Hilton San Juan
Ranked #19 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boston, MA, USA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Large, family-friendly, money-sucking machine”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2010

Summary: This is a large, well-run, self-contained, corporate-efficient machine.

Pros:
- Well designed, well-staffed, efficient.
- Has it's own beach. NOTE: If you want to lay on the beach, go down and get your towels from the towel stand EARLY - 7:30 or 8am - and put them on the lounge chairs you want. Only _then_ go get breakfast, etc. You must stake your ground early, or you won't have a chair. Note the beach is self-contained. You can't walk several miles up and down a long beach; the pictures show a lagoon - and that's what you get.
- Several large pools. However, think large with lots of people in them - including kids. If you're squeamish about water, think carefully.
- "Good enough" food, though nothing really remarkable, IMHO. We only ate breakfasts, and a lunch or two here.
- Family-friendly. They have ways to keep kids of all ages happy and busy. It's very safe. I'd not hesitate a moment to bring children from infants through early-teens, and would let my 8-14 year olds run free. Well-staffed, responsible staff does a good job.
- Free WiFi in the lobby area.
- Fun to learn that the Pina Colada was invented by the bartender here in 1954.

Cons:
- There isn't anything cheap. A very standard-ish buffet breakfast is $30/person. Drinks are $15 and up.
- LOTS of guests. This hotel can hold a lot of people, and it's evident. Never do you feel like you're in a hotel with any kind of exclusive feel; it's a machine. There's _just_ enough room for all of them when sunbathing, but you won't get your choice of locale (unless you stake it very early), and you'll be chair-to-chair with those next to you.
- Long taxi lines in the evenings. Plan on waiting 15 minutes to get one. And you're likely to share a van-taxi with 3-6 other people. No fare-sharing - all of you will pay full fare. It's $12 to either the Condado area or to Old Town San Juan. Both are walkable - but plan on a 30-45 minute walk.
- Did I say it already? LOTS of guests.
- Internet in the room is $15/day.
- You pretty much must take a taxi either to the Condado or to old San Juan if you don't want to eat on-site. There's nothing nearby. So you tend to go there, and stay there.
- Very standard, cheesy resort-style atriums, and cheesy steel drum music throughout (and live).

We were fine with our stay? Yes. This hotel does what it does, just fine.

But all in all, though my wife and I will probably be back to San Juan, we won't be back to this Hilton; not because isn't a hotel that does _it's_ job badly; but because it's just not our type of hotel. We'd rather have the more boutique hotel with a very neon-lit finish, contemporary lounge music, and a very chi-chi / chic, jet-setter feel, or a villa or condo-hotel room.

I'm going to put "No" on recommend a hotel to friend, because my friends would look for the same kind of boutique hotel I would. But I wouldn't necessarily say NO for all other people. If you're looking for a place to take a family, and like getting somewhere and staying put, this is your place.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JB_Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nitzamarie-Escalera, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 12 February 2010
Thank you, for your review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. We are in fact located on a peninsula and that give us the seclution that make us special!! We are more than aware that some of our prices are a little bit high and that is why we just open Piña Colada, a restaurant more budget friendly for our guests!! I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Indiana
Level Contributor
70 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2010

Upon first arriving at the Caribe we were in awe of the view's of the ocean from the lobby. The lobby is wonderful as it is open air. Our room was very nice considering we purchased it from priceline. We had wonderful views, the room was modern and nicely furnished. We enjoyed the balcony also. The amenities were wondeful the grounds were wonderful with all the lounge chairs and beach equipment. Our favorite thing to do was feed the fish..they provide bread for you. Large fish come up..also we LOVED the lay in the hammocks (the hubby had to drag me off). Close walking distance to restaurants, Subway across the street and also breakfast diner hooked up to Subway was good also. We had a wonderful time and this hotel was great. Concierge service was very helpful..Would stay here again in a heartbeat!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mikaagape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2010

Beautiful grounds, exceptional service, convenient, and great location! Shop for good price on villa towers short walk from the main hotel towers with private pool, jaccuzzi(sp), & very close to LemonGrass (i think), a yummy & nice latin/asian fusion restaurant on the property. (Morton's is also available, as well as 2-3 other options)...

Stayed December 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank rcinsacca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2010

Every hotel/resort is not without its faults with the exception of those in the "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous". We've been regulars at this property since 2003 and what makes this resort truly great, to me, is that they've managed to retain the great 1950s & 1960s Caribbean atmosphere with the modern amenities of the new century. Yes, there are still rooms that smell musty, have old carpets, old bathrooms and they are being refurbished. The hotel is working on those. One stay, during one of those refurbishments, we were in the new tower with the hammer drills working 9 to 5 - VERY, VERY frustrating. But, the overall atmosphere is excellent, rooms are spacious and clean, the pool is great, the protected lagoon is fantastic and the beach sitting areas have something for everyone. When you first check-in the lobby, which is the entire ground floor with a totally open plan all the way to the pool and the beach beyond is impressive and the sea breezes feel good - even in the summer.

There is a great work out pavilion with a floor to ceiling glass wall facing the sea. The garden area is worth visiting (I like to rooms facing it): a secluded spot with very nice walks in the lush landscaping, the sea walk and pier, especially at night, lets you look at large fish coming in to feed. There's no casino but, take a 15 minute walk (or short cab ride) to the condado, enjoy the casinos there plus take in some of the flavors of San Juan and then cab it back. Old San Juan is a 5 to 10 minute cab ride in the other direction. The restaurants and bar is expensive so think about eating out now and then. It is not up to par with the Ritz-Carlton but I prefer its location, beach and atmosphere.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sultan213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mnp19148
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2010

We absolutely loved this hotel! We arrived in the early afternoon before checkin and we told that our room was not yet ready. However we were promptly escorted to the changing facilities so that we could freshen up and change to go to the pool. The pool was so nice and the service so friendly, we ended up staying all afternoon and didn't check in to our room until 4 hours later!! :-)

Our room was in the Hilton Honors tower. The room itself was very nice; however, the views from the tower do leave something to be desired. It is located behind the original building so you pretty much look down at the roof of the hotel. BUT the room was clean and comfortable and our rate included the buffet breakfast , which was also very good.

The location of the hotel does have its pros and cons, the pro is that it is very secluded and quiet (it's far enough away from the airport that you don't hear the planes taking off and landing, which can be a problem in many SJU hotels). The con is that its far enough away from everything that it will cost you $10 - $20 in cab fare when you want to leave the hotel.

All in all, we had an extremely relaxing vacation at the Caribe Hilton. I hope to stay there again very soon.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mnp19148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2010

Great location, fantastic, friendly staff, outstanding facilities. Very family friendly.

Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Lizzeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, Hhonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
106 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2010

We stayed at the Caribe Hilton, pre-cruise. It is a beautiful hotel as you walk up. Lobby is tropical, bird cage is neat, view is breathtaking.

Our room was very large, it had a kitchenette too. The downside was the room smelled very humid. I am not sure if it was just us or not, but we had a tough time controlling the air conditioner. It was either too hot or too cold....

We went to the hotel bar to have a drink but the blended drinks were over $12, beer $8. No thanks.

We didn't have time to check out the rest of the resort, but it did look beautiful!

There is also a Morton's Steakhouse on site.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2IslandDreamers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nitzamarie, HHonors Coordinator at Caribe Hilton San Juan, responded to this review, 10 January 2010
Thank you, for your wonderful review about our hotel, we really appreciate that you took some of your valuable time to share your experience with us. I’m glad that you had a pleasant stay with us. This is a great motivation for our staff to continue delivering great service. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
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
#9 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 Caribe Hilton, the ultimate beachfront hotel in San Juan, is set on an exclusive peninsula made up of 17 acres of lush tropical gardens. This Puerto Rico Hilton is ideally situated between historic old San Juan and the exciting Condado area, offering a secluded beach, lavish accommodations and amenities tailored to families, couples and business travelers alike. This San Juan hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin Airport and the closest resort to Old San Juan area. ... 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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