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“Trade location for quality”
Review of Sandy Beach Hotel

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Sandy Beach Hotel
Ranked #40 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Reviewed 9 June 2007

Our family of four stayed at the El Canario in San Juan for three days and had a wonderful time. The hotel is centrally located and within walking distance of many shops, restaurants, and attractions. We were literally a few steps from a gorgeous beach with very few tourists. The neighborhood was safe and clean. There was a decent continental breakfast with fruit and some excellent pastry.

That being said, the rooms were below par. The walls were paper thin and my children were exposed to very profane noises coming from the honeymooners in the next room. The view from the lobby is of the ocean but the view from our room was an alley and a seedy apartment building.

I would recommend this hotel to younger couples or singles due to the downtown location and the questionable occupants.

Stayed: August 2005
Thank Britishinmyheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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223 - 229 of 320 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2007

El Canario by the Sea is just that, a few steps from the beach. The front desk clerk allowed me to check in right around 11:00 when I arrived. I definitely appreciated that since I was tired from traveling and had just arrived on an early morning flight. As soon as housekeeping had the room cleaned up I was allowed to check-in. The elevator was being repaired and I voiced concerns about lugging a 43 pound bag upstairs. He gave me a room on the first floor, eliminated that problem, but I was concerned with lobby noise or patio noise. This hotel was quiet during the day and at night. I slept wonderfully sound and I felt safe. Very basic amenities, but enjoyed the location and the staff was very friendly.

Stayed: May 2007
1  Thank CirqueGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2007

I stayed at El Canario with my mother for the weekend of March 29-April 2. The hotel was exactly what I expected.

Yes, it has its bad points:
-Age: It is an older hotel, and it shows. The rooms are outdated and open to outdoor hallways surrounding a courtyard.
-Size: The rooms are small, and the bathrooms are cramped.
-Breakfast: Limited options. If you are planning on using the breakfast as a full meal, forget it. For a cup of coffee and a pastry, it is perfect.
-Insects: We saw a few palmetto bugs, but this is a tropical location. The bugs disappeared after the first night and we never saw them again.

However, the plusses outweighed the minuses for me:
-Price: About $200 cheaper than nearby hotels
-Location: The beach is just steps from the door. It is in the middle of Condado with shops, restaurants, and a bus line to Old San Juan within 3 blocks.
-Staff: The second shift staff was FANTASTIC. They were able to book a snorkeling excursion for us and reccommend the best ways to go to Old San Juan (the bus), the Bacardi Factory (the ferry and a publico), and El Yunque (car rental on Ashford Avenue). Add to that, they were very friendly and seemed to recognize everyone staying in the hotel (a plus for security!).

In summary:
This is a fine place to stay. If you expect a luxury experience, you will be disappointed. If you are on a budget and do not mind an older hotel (with its inherent problems) you will enjoy El Canario.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank srafnel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2007

It is right next to the beach as promised, but we had to go buy a bottle of Feabreaze to spray the room as it smelled so bad. The stairway smelled like chlorine the whole time we were there. And you can hear every single noise in neighboring rooms.
If I could make the decision over I would have never stayed there again.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank akurmang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2007

This hotel is a dump. Tiles falling off, cracked floors, cold showers. The night clerk was completely inept - a fist fight broke out in the room right next to us and it took him 30 min, plus 2 phone calls from us to get him to call the cops. We did not sleep after 1:30 due to the fight, cops etc. The hotel at first ws only willing to discout our room $20. I continued to expand the story of what happend in the room next door and she kept discounting by $5 increments. Finally, she disounted us to$80. The hotel should've comped the room. After 8pm you must be buzzed into the lobby, so I find it disturbing that men that were obviously enraged (and that is not an exaggeration) were buzzed in at 1:30a.m. and allowed to continue on to their room. I will be contacting the owner of the hotel as the manager was very unhelpful.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jjcj1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2007

I stayed at El Canario By The Sea from March 28 to April 1 with a group of friends. When I originally booked the dates I was a little aprehensive as I was going on the good word of other people on this site, but after talking directly to the management at the hotel I was convinced. When we arrived our check in was handled politely and quickly so we could settle in and start enjoying San Juan. The breakfast was satisfactory and simple, but the staff kept things neat and tidy and always politely answered any questions. The rooms were clean and bug free (not an easy task I imagine in a tropical country). If I could make one suggestion to the hotel it would be to update the rooms as they have the lobby. The hotel's site says that it is across the street from the beach, but it is practically ON THE BEACH!!! The sound of the wind and the waves was loud but lulled us to sleep every night (which wasn't hard after days of discovering San Juan and Old San Juan). If you get a chance check out the pizza/deli just up the street from Walgreens on Dr Ashford Ave across from a clothing store and beside a Mexican place - it is the BEST we have ever had!

Paula - Canada

Stayed: March 2007
3  Thank quincey1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2007

Needed to find a not so pricey room for the weekend of Feb 24th to attend my sons college (medical school) HOORAY!! graduation held in Bayamon which is 10 miles fron San Juan. Let me add that cab fare to graduation was $30.00 1 way. YIKES!!

I had read several reviews and was somewhat skeptical. This hotel was fine. No, it's not the hilton nor marriott but a holiday inn type room.The staff was very friendly and helpful to me. Housekeeping
was great. Even saw the housekeepers cleaning every wall of the elevator.

Cab fare from airport was $15.00 plus .50 per bag. Cab fare from hotel to old San Juan was $12.00 Bus # B21 was .75 to Old San Jaun. when leaving Old San Juan anyone will point you the way to the bus terminal to get back to your hotel. If I went back to San Juan again i would stay at El Canario By The Sea.

Stayed: February 2007
9  Thank SJQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandy Beach Hotel

Address: 4 Condado Avenue | Condado, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico (Formerly El Canario by the Sea)
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: £65 - £89 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Sandy Beach Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
El Canario By The Sea

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