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“Deeply disappointed” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandy Beach Hotel

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Sandy Beach Hotel
Ranked #36 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
The Villages,
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Deeply disappointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2010

My husband and I stayed at this hotel several times when it was El Canario by the Sea and we were very pleased. Based on those experiences, we recommended the hotel to friends. We were very embarrassed to see how the hotel had deteriorated in a few short years. Where to begin? We and our friends booked identical rooms yet when we arrived they had a mini-suite and we had a room so small we could barely walk around the bed, which was almost in the doorway. After protesting, we were provided with a larger room almost identical to our friends' but lacking a small writing table. After many requests, I gave up asking for the table, but we had to argue with the desk as to whether we "deserved" the larger room. By the way - the large room was no treat. There was little hot water, the room was cleaned only occasionally, and we had to keep asking for towels. Oh yes, and the ceiling tiles kept falling down. A continental breakfast was provided but, after the first day, pastries and bread were never replenished so that by our third day everything was stale.
Pluses? The hotel is steps from Condado Beach, half a block from the bus to Old San Juan, and quite convenient to Condado night life, restaurants, and shopping. The rooftop terrace offers a wonderful view of the beach and is very relaxing after a long day of sightseeing. Still, unless you are willing to see this hotel as simply a place to change clothes and sleep, you should avoid it. There are plenty of other options in Condado.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Susan964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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311 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
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English first
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2010

Terrific location, just on the beach. Nice view from the rooftop terrace. Local restaurants were fabulous. Rooms needed major updating, cosmetic repairs, new furniture. Water pressure/hot water was minimal' ask for more towels and insist upon it. Convenient/cheap offsite parking; I recommend renting a car as it is less expensive than using cabs, and more convenient than the buses. Parking in Old San Juan is so inexpensive at the parking garages. Tis place was not too clean, beeping icemaker all night long, and the breakfast was adequate, but boring. Great coffee. I like it better when it was owned by the El Canario group. The front desk people were mostly friendly.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeff19438
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2010

As guests who have stayed in this hotel under the previous management, we booked our stay in May for eleven days and requested the same room which we had stayed in for the past ten years.We were very dissapointed when we arrived and were told that our room was not ready. We were put in another room which also was not cleaned.
The room had dried blood stains on the floor, the shower had hair and other debris in it, towels were dirty and smelly , the mirrors and wall were dirty and the quilt on the bed had a big hole in it. We had to clean our own room in order to feel comfortable in it.

The next day we were then given the room we originally requested however, there were no towels. When we complained to the hotel manager she told us she was only the secretary, apparently she was too embrassed or ashamed to admit that she was the manager, and said "these things happen and an early reservation does not guarantee a specific room " eventhough the it says in the computer " do not move guests from this room" .. Our reservation was made with the niece of the owner who was the one who noted that we were not to be moved from our requested room.

Over the next ten days we had to clean our own room and change the linens and towels. The one maid they had came in when she felt like it or not at all, one day she showed up at 5 PM to start cleaning and only stayed for half an hour. There was garbage left in the halls, the ice machine was broken and kept beeping all night which kept you up along with the noisy air conditoners. The guide books that gives guests ideas as to where to go, and what to see were in the rooms but were dated from 2008, the current copies were hidden in the emergency stairwell and not even displayed in the lobby. Then you might not be able to read them while in the lobby because the front door was so salt encrusted I was surprised that any light filtered in from the outside.

I could go on and on but there isn't enough space to tell you how disappointed we were with the place. It got to the point that we were recommending other hotels to guests who were about to check in. After hearing our horror story they fled.

The only plus was the front desk staff who were plesant.

If you want a pleasant experience while in San Juan avoid this dump at all costs. I would recommend looking at any of the other Canario hotels which this one used to be.

To quote Betty Davis "WHAT A DUMP"

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank adonald291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pinconning, Michigan
Level Contributor
358 reviews
233 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2010

The hotel wasn't terrible. It just wasn't great, either. If you're looking for a place to stay, it might do. If you want to be right near the beach without paying excessive hotel prices, this may be for me. The rooms are rather small, especially if you want more than one bed. The room is very minimalistic, but does have a TV. There is no wireless internet. Parking will cost you, as it does elsewhere, but be careful. They have an agreement where it will be only $10 a night at a nearby parking lot, but there was a whole lot of confusion about how that worked. Ask and make sure you understand before you go and park if you need to. There is a continental breakfast, which was nice, but whoever set it up woke up very early and starting talking rather loudly. The rooms are not very well sound-proofed at all, and so I could hear everything, even when I didn't want to. Finally, the beds were not all that comfortable, but I did fall asleep in the end.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gittinsj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2010

My sister and I had booked onto a Princess cruise out of San Juan and needed a one-night stay in a hotel hoping to do some sight-seeing before boarding the ship the next day. I had booked one night on-line for Feb 6th 2 months ago secured with my Credit Card and confirmed by El Canario By the Sea. It looked like a very cute and cozy B&B right on the ocean and was very reasonable in price.
Unfortunately our flight from Toronto was delayed due to storms in the U.S. causing us to miss our connection in Newark, and we arrived very late in San Juan at almost midnight. We were hot and tired and after a $25 taxi ride we arrived at El canario where we were told there was no room for us despite having the e-mail confirmation with us. There was no explanation for this and we were told we would be sent to another "sister" hotel called Coral By the Sea which was back at the airport area. They even wanted us to pay for the taxi ride again but we insisted they should pay the driver at the very least. Needless to say we were very angry and disappointed. The hotel they sent us to was in a very run-down area and looked terrible from the outside. There was no water pressure at all from the shower and the floors were uneven, there was not even a matress cover. You can be sure I searched high and low for signs of bedbugs.
All in all a very unprofessional establishment - we were never even offered anything for our trouble and inconvenience. I would definitely not recommend this hotel to anyone as it seems they cannot be trusted to honour their e-mail confirmations.

C.S. & J.B.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brodycooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
41 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2010

I travel frequently to San Juan and stay with a friend who's apartment is 1-1/2 blocks away. I always walk past the El Canario on my way to the beach and thought "this would be a great place to stay if Maria's place wasn't available..." Well, I had the chance to give it a try, and it met my expectations. Location, location, location. Steps from the beach... the bus into Old San Juan is around the corner and a quick 75 cent and 15 minute ride (5 minutes longer than a taxi, and much cheaper) It's right in the heart of Condado, some of the most expensive real estate in the Caribbean, steps to the beach, to restaurants, etc. Rooms? Small, clean, air-conditioned, nothing fancy but perfectly fine for sleeping, hanging out between beach runs. Staff was friendly, helpful, courteous...Complimentary breakfast in the charming courtyard was yummy and adequate. One could nit-pick details, but this isn't the El San Juan or the Marriott, but a MUCH better bang for the buck. I would recommend this hotel to anyone. Bring your laptop and sit at Starbucks around the corner for a coffee and free Wi-Fi, or leave the laptop at home and visit the Internet Cafe around the other corner although there is excellent Blackberry reception in the rooms. I've traveled all over Europe and Central America and stayed in little hotels like this, and this one is by far one of the best in it's "category". San Juan, Puerto Rico? It's about sun and surf, and this little gem is, for all intents and purposes, right on the beach.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PEHManhattan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Branford, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2010

I have been to Puerto Rico numerous times and will always go back. BUT I will never stay at an El Canario Inn. This practically ruined our trip. The price looked good for our budget this trip. Well, we got less than what we paid for! The elevator never stopped properly so you always had to watch your step. Our room was very small and has not been updated in 50 years! Drop ceiling that would flap up and down if we opened a window. Cracks in the wall. No hangers in the closet. Broken unusable safe. Beds not made properly, with sheets never changed, we knew this because there was always sand in our beds. Old tile floors never vaccumned. Tiny, tiny bathroom with no counter space and very weak shower pressure. A bag with new toiletries was taken! We had to ask for toilet paper everyday of our stay!!! I can go on but I won't...False advertising!!!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PatMcS
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Sandy Beach Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 25
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Canario By The Sea

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