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“Disappointing start to our Vacation”

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El Canario by the Lagoon
Ranked #22 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Napanee, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Disappointing start to our Vacation”
Reviewed 17 April 2012

Our family stayed one night at this hotel before boarding a Southern Caribbean cruise. I found the gentleman at the front desk at night, when we were checking-in to be very abrupt and seemed really bothered by any questions I had. I had booked this room months in advance and followed up with an email a few days before. I also phoned to confirm my reservation and the man who answered the phone seemed very grumpy. We asked to have a cot in our room for one fo our kids. (I was happy they were willing to accomodate us with that, as I did not want to get 2 rooms and split up my family) When we got up to the room, there was no cot and I had to go down to the desk and was given one (without proper bedding, ie. no pillow) to carry back to the room on my own to the 4th floor.

The view out our window was of parking lots and buildings and was full of loud urban noises. The room was okay. The breakfast area by the front lobby was not bad, but the breakfast was very limited and picked over. Luckily the morning desk clerk seemed a little more friendly and told me about getting a bus to Old San Juan. Old San Juan was much more interesting and charming. It had a European flair.
I would definitely recommend skipping a stay in San Juan, unless you like loud commercial noise, shopping, few trees, and little charm and go to Old San Juan instead.

Room Tip: Skip this location and book in Old San Juan for more charm.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank NapaneeFamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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340 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
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English first
Amherst, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2012

We stayed at this location 2 weeks ago for one night pre-cruise. The men that work at the front desk have attitude problems. At check-in, the employee spoke to us in a very unwelcoming manner and would not make eye contact with us. He was not busy at the time and we were respectful toward him. When I asked him for directions to restaurants, he said that he wouldn't answer "restaurant questions" until he was done checking us in. Then he gave us incomplete directions and we had to find our way in the dark with little help. There was a different desk clerk at check-out and he wasn't much nicer. We booked directly with the hotel so I don't understand the reason for this negative interaction.
On the plus side, the lobby is cute and the breakfast room is very nice. It's located several blocks to the beach.The room was clean but the building has an institutional feeling. Not at all a holiday feeling. Post-cruise we stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. It was about $50.00 more but much nicer. There is no comparison between the 2 hotels. The Sheraton exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Candice K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, USA
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Really can't think of anything good to say. Location is ok, near all the other hotels and that's all. The main attractions are really in Old San Juan, it's probably better to stay there for a couple of days and then stay outside of San Juan, e.g. Luquillo or Fajardo for the islands, bio-bay, snorkel etc. Yes there is a bus stop that take you to Old San Juan for 75 cents but you never know when the buses are running. The first time we waited for 30 min and a taxi van offered to take all 4 of us at the stop for $2 each so we did. The second time, no such luck, we waited for 55 minutes and finally got on to a bus.

I understand it is a budget hotel ($130!) but everything is really old. It shows that no one cares about the place nor have the customers in mind at all. The bathroom has a little sink, no counter space at all, no towel racks, not even a hook behind the door. The water in the shower is weak and cold.

Wifi worked in our room for one day only, the rest of the time we had to sit in the lobby to get any signal.

We were on the 4th floor with a lagoon "view" through a tiny little window and other buildings, at least we got some light, can't imagine what other rooms faces the other side would look like.

Very depressing little place, we finally shorten our stay and moved to Luquillo.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AllensWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, CA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2012

When we booked, this was the last room in Condado on Expedia. We're weren't expecting much, and were pleasantly surprised. The rooms are spartan but roomy, the bathroom was fine (good water pressure) and the front desk folks were always friendly and helpful with parking (they have free onsite parking, but its crowded sometimes). Its only a short block from the beach, and in the middle of a good area. We also walked around the lagoon to rent SUP boards and had a great day there. This place is worth the money, just don't expect a 5**** hotel...

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank BIP_TK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
237 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

We chose this hotel after a bad hotel experience in Old San Juan, and we were worried about its inconvenience to the city, but we turned out to be very happy with both location and the hotel itself.

This hotel describes itself as 'European' which, as a European, I have to say hotels really ought to stop using as a euphemism for 'a bit small and run down' - there is nothing particularly 'European' about the hotel. It is situated on a quiet street just off Ashford Avenue (the main drag) and a 5 minute walk to the Lagoon and a 3 minute walk to the beach and plenty of restaurants and bars. And 1 minute from a Banco Popular ATM. Great location.

We were initially given a room with a lovely view of the Lagoon (suggest you ask for this!) but with twin beds despite us specifying we wanted a double on booking.com; they turned out to have no doubles but instead gave us a room with two doubles at the same cost. Unfortunately this was on the other side of the hotel and had a grim view of the neighbouring building's wall. But it still had good light and was okay.

The rooms are fine - a little dated but neat, clean, spacious enough, and with comfortable beds, as well as a little seating area with a table, wardrobe, drawers, a fridge, and suchlike. The breakfast is free and uninspiring, but fine - cereal, juice, and some pastries in a little breakfast room next to the reception.

As well as enjoying the local restaurants and bars in Condado (a pleasant area with a beachy feel) paddleboarding on the Lagoon, and splashing on the beach, we walked to Santurce, which feels much less touristy and had great art museums, to Miramar, where we went to the cinema, and we caught a 15 minute bus to Old San Juan. Condado is also nearer to the airport, El Yunque, and Fajardo compared to Old San Juan, so it was nice to cut down the duration of the taxi ride.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ms_scotsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stillwater, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

Perfect location with comfortable clean rooms at a reasonable rate. The beach is just a short walk (3 minutes away) and easily accessible. The staff was exceptionally friendly, helpful, and knowledgable. The front desk clerk saved us considerable money suggesting we take the city bus to Old San Juan (75 cents per person) instead of calling a taxi. The rooms are spacious, quiet, and clean. The best part about our room was the air conditioning unit with a numbered temperature control where we could set the temperature at 74 degrees, just as we like. (Much more accurate than low, med, or high.) We've stayed at this hotel before and will again. It's the only place to stay in San Juan.

Room Tip: The suites on the top floor are quieter and have an outside sitting area just outside. It's the...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ford-Fifty-Six
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2011

We enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Great location, friendly staff and comfortable room. Will return!

  • Stayed December 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Boredsoxgirl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Canario by the Lagoon

Property: El Canario by the Lagoon
Address: 4 Clemenceau Street | Condado, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in San Juan
#7 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#12 Business Hotel in San Juan
#13 Family Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Canario by the Lagoon 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Canario By The Lagoon Hotel San Juan

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