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“Nicer than I expected: Beautiful grounds, great service.”

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Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton
Ranked #25 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
virginia
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Nicer than I expected: Beautiful grounds, great service.”
Reviewed 29 April 2011

I spent a week at this hotel during spring break when it was really crowded, yet there was no problem for me to secure a lovely beach chair and umbrella delivery free of charge every day. I thought the grounds were very lovely and spacious enough to walk a few laps enjoying the gorgeous landscaping, evening lighting and pretty pools. There was piped in music only in one area which was also quite nice as you could enjoy it if you wanted but also have quiet time. The thing I thought was best about this resort was that the pool bar was NOT the main feature, and the lobby bar didn't open untill late afternoon/early evening. Sure plenty of drinking is possible and was going on, but I never say any cups littering the grounds or pool area ever, and with the pool bar being set off to the side a bit, the heavy drinkers were not a detraction for the fine surroundings. The beach side food variety could have been a bit greater for my tastes, but I did like the wine selection available at the lobby bar, complete with a combo band on a few of the evenings. I had a couple of different rooms in the villas. They are a bit of a hike to the main section of the resort, but all through a lovely garden and with an additional and less crowded hot tub and pool for villa guests only. I really enjoyed the city/lagoon view from my rooms, one of which had a full size and stocked kitchen in it which was very, very nice for me. Another room, a large suite was even nicer in many ways, but I missed the stove. The breakfast service in the restaurant was very lovely and very crowded so the kitchen was nice. Service at this hotel is outstanding. Everyone met my needs in every way, promptly and occasionally exceeded my expectations. Some of the male employees were a bit over friendly to me, a solo woman traveller, but no one ever crossed the line into unprofessional behavior. The gym was super great for bodybuilding or cardio except that oddly there was no nice changing area, just a bathroom without even so much as a counter to set your purse on. You can pay a fee to use the spa locker room, but I was disappointed with that as most of the light bulbs were burned out and towels were no where to be seen. The massage I had was normal, nothing outstanding, the masseur very attractive! Really I had a great time at this resort and I will be going back next time I just want to crash out in the sun, hear the roar of the waves. As for the waves, there was good swimming area with a diving raft and then a non-swimming area where you could enjoy the crashing waves and awesome view.

Room Tip: All rooms I saw looked pretty nice
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
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Thank touristwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 21 April 2011

I had read a lot of the negative reviews on TA prior to our departure, so I admit when we walked into our ocean view villa that had a view of the bridge I was upset I hadn't heeded the warnings of the prior guests that posted their experiences. The room ( a 2 bedded queen) is small and quite tight. We already had flight mishaps in our arrival to PR, so was seriously disappointed to find a small room with no view. Initially we complained to the desk in the villas, there was nothing they could do about a room change until possibly
the next day. Feeling rather bummed about everything, my husband had the idea to use the desk within the actual main hotel and miraculously they were able to find us a room on the very same floor with a large balcony and a fabulous view. Not sure why the main desk in the Villas was not able to make that switch for us, but I will say from tha moment on our trip was looking up. The room was clean, the bedding comfortable, and plenty of fresh towels. I had read that the Villas are out of the way and that it is far to walk to main hotel; please know this hotel complex is large, no matter where you stay there is lots of walking. Walking doesn't bother me, so we were fine with it. The pool area at the main hotel is gorgeous and the Caribe Hilton is the only Condado hotel that has any beach area. In PR, all the beaches are public and it is not allowed to have private beach property, the Caribe was a pioneer hotelier in PR in the 1960's, so they were at the time allowed to build a manmade beach and lagoon area. the beach area is small, but will suffice your need to get your toes in the sand,and the lagoon area is a nice safe swim haven for people of all ages. Food at the Caribe,fair at best, the drinks are pricy but we expect that at a resort. We found the best food to be in Old SanJuan, taxi fare to the old city is an outrageous $12 a pop, so share a cab if you can. The Caribe is also the closest hotel in proximity to Old San Juan, about 2 miles, so if you are fit and enjoy a walk to burn off some of those piña colada calories walking is an option, just pack a bottle of ter for the trip. We actually walked in twice during our one week stay. We found PR to not be the cleanest, street garbage seems to be a problem there, and there is also an obvious homelessness problem. We were surprised to find a few folks sleeping on the sidewalks. PR has great potential to be an Eastern coast oasis, but some may be deterred by littered streets. All that aside, we really enjoyed PR and the wonderful haven at the Caribe Hilton. A beautiful hotel, and after walking into other hotels in the Condado area, we were glad we chose to stay here. No casino, smoke free rooms, and family friendly.

  • Stayed April 2011
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Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LGMarcano, Manager at Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton, responded to this review, 27 April 2011
Thank you for sharing your experience in our property. While we are delighted to read your stay was a pleasant one, I am truly sorry we could not attend your request for a room change at the Villas Front Desk. I would appreciate if you could share more details with me in order for us to take corrective action. I can be reach directly calling the Condado Lagoon Villas. We hope to welcome you back to our property in the near future.
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Sparta, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

My husband and I stayed at this hotel in March. Had a little problem at check-in-- I booked the room online and asked for an oceanview with a balcony. When we saw the room, it was not what I expected. It was not oceanview and the balcony was about a foot and a half wide-- all you could do was stand on it. We went back to the desk and complained. They told me that it was a "french" balcony. We told them we wanted a balcony you could sit on and a room with a view of the ocean. They made arrangements for us to see a different room. The new room was way better. It had a balcony with patio furniture on it. It also had a full kitchen. We agreed to the new room. The view from the balcony was great! You could see the ocean, the lagoon, and city. I was very pleased with how they handled this problem. I had read several bad reviews about the property but, I found it to be very nice. There is some construction going on but we never heard anything. It is a large property when you include the main hotel so there is walking involved but nothing to complain about. There is also a shuttle to bring you to the main hotel. I am not much for swimming in the ocean but the beach was very nice. No shortage of chairs.

Room Tip: Double check room with hotel
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank clrwis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
U.S.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2011

The service was fantastic all over Puerto Rico. Never went somewhere more friendly and helpful. Folks at the Hilton Caribe Villas were no different. Although we received incorrect information about what meals were included in our package, the staff accomodated us immediately. The room was very nice, clean, and comfortable. Beds and linens were very cozy. The only mirrors were in the bathroom... so 2 people getting ready at the same time could have been easier with a mirror outside the bathroom.

The location was nearly perfect. They say that if you want a beach vacation, don't go to San Juan... which is true. THere is a rather beautiful beach in Condado (which is San Juan), but the Hilton isn't on that beach (which we knew, so it was fine). So, for us, the location was perfect and within walking distance (20 minutes) of the main Condado restaurants, beach, etc. And within a 10 minute cab ride (35 minute walk) to Old San Juan. There really is nothing around the hotel as far as restaurants, shops, etc. You really do need to go into Old San Juan or Condado proper... but the hotel is situated nicely between the 2 and has its own selection of restaurants if you don't want to venture out.

There is a great triple-decker pool with the middle layer and the swim-up bar having an infinity style to them. Also on the upper deck of the pool are 2 hot tubs. Beware: the water in them is ALWAYS gray (even in the mornings before anyone has gotten in). Not sure why. I got in them regardless and it was fine :-/ . However, staff do not enforce the pool rules: children were climbing the waterfalls of the pool, running around the edges, and other dangerous behaviours. Too bad the parents let this happen; but the staff didn't intervene either. And, the hot tubs clearly disallow children under the age of 12. But, kids as young as 7 or 8 were in them CONSTANTLY for dangerously long periods of time (much longer than the recommended 10-15 minutes). Often they were filling empty drink cups with the hot gray water and challenging one another to drinking/spitting it out. It made it difficult (impossible) for adults to use the hot tubs.

As one would likely expect, food and drinks at the hotel were over priced. An 8 oz Coors Light was about $8; a mojito was about $14. The mojitos were, however, delicious... the Coors Light was NOT.

The beach was likely manmade/built when the hotel was built. It's behind a manmade reef with a cement jetty sticking out with beach chairs etc. It's a small, half-moon shape and crowded with hotel-provided lounge chairs, etc. If you're looking for those sunrise strolls down an empty beach or body surfing, this isn't your hotel. If you just want to hear and watch the breakers beyond the "reef" and take in the sun, this will suffice. It's probably great for folks with kids who are nervous letting them play in the actual surf at the other beaches. This water is calm and the reef seems to keep out most sea creatures. There is no undertow or surf to worry about. So, it's probably nice for inexperienced ocean-goers.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank bcdrawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
Reviewed 21 March 2011

Stopped by Caribe Hilton's Oasis Bar on initial trip to San Juan - staying somewhere else. Took 7-day cruise, returned to San Juan, cancelled other hotel, ckd. in @ Caribe Hilton for post-cruise stay. Oasis bartender, VICTOR, is the best - try his "Mango Colados!" Yummm! Service throughout the facility was excellent, rooms clean & very comfortable beds. The resort location is excellent for taxi service to Old San Juan, cruise ship docks & day tours are scheduled on site. Luggage attendee, ISRAEL is "Mr. Super Personality!" Least liked: the fact that I had to leave! Will return to this Paradise on the Atlantic Ocean, and the awesome spectacular grounds!!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AZDino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, KS
Level 6 Contributor
218 reviews
151 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2011

I just stayed two nights the first week of March while in Puerto Rico on business. The hotel is very nice.; probably the nicest in San Juan. Check in went smooth. The front desk is all open air and pretty cool; literally. Although it was quite warm, the open air part of the hotel was quite comfortable. They do have a small beach. The pool was very nice and offered an outdoor bar as well. The hotel has two or three restaurants. I only tried Pina Colada's and it was pretty good (and their pina colada's were awesome). The room was spacious and very clean. The bathroom was very nice and updated. The hotel is only 10 minutes away from the airport. Ok, most everything at this hotel is pretty expensive; however I wouldn't expect it to be any different at this quality of a hotel. This was a nice hotel that I would recommend.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GT6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2011

The guest rooms at the Condado Lagoon Villas are tasteful, well-appointed and well- maintained, definitely up to 4-star international resort standards.

Now for the bad news.

- To go back and forth between the main resort facilities at the Caribe Hilton and your room in the Condado Lagoon Villas requires long walks past ballrooms, across winding pedestrian bridges and through guestroom corridors, plus at least one elevator ride -- a minimum of 10 minutes each direction, which quickly gets to be a major annoyance. I felt as if we were staying in the furthest reaches of Siberia

- Unless you pay extra for an ocean view, the view from your expensive, balconied guestroom will be spoiled by a permanent and utterly gruesome eyesore -- an abandoned hulk of a half-built tower that the hotel started building and then decided not to finish, which has been left as a permanent, hideous tangle of blackened concrete and rusted rebar.

This isn’t just some minor flaw in the distance -- it’s huge, and it’s smack in your face, obliterating a big chunk of the panorama from many guestrooms. See the attached photo for the truth of what guests reserving a 'City View Room' are subjected to.

The hotel’s website photos and marketing materials are all carefully framed and cropped to exclude this monstrosity. Management apparently expects guests to pretend they don’t notice it.

No one at the front desk mentioned or pre-emptively apologized for it -- there’s absolutely no acknowledgment to paying guests of there being an unsightly little blemish (mocking understatement) on the property, so when you arrive in your room and catch first sight of it, it comes as a dramatic slap in the face, an awful disappointment.

If you were visiting, say, North Korea, you might expect to have the landscape blighted by abandoned Communist construction boondoggles. But NO WAY is it acceptable to create a repulsive eyesore like this on the grounds of a 4-star resort, and then just abandon it, while at the same time pretending in your marketing that everything is beautiful and gorgeous.

Trust me: at the prices they are charging you, if they give you a room with a view of this monstrosity, you will be infuriated, and you will feel royally ripped-off.

- Check in time is a late and very guest-unfriendly 4pm. The front desk clerk acted as if he would be attempting a move-mountains favor for me, for which I should be exceedingly grateful, to try to get my room ready a couple hours earlier than that

- The grounds and pools at the Caribe Hilton are first-class, but the buildings are noticeably frayed at the edges, with lots of awkward and poorly decorated transitional areas. The whole place has a patched-together quality, the result of too many decades of incremental expansion with new wings and buildings, without ever having done a comprehensive redesign.

Most conspicuously, there are tons of very dated design elements everywhere you look -- stuff that clearly has been in place since the 50s, 60s and 70s. It appears that hotel management is hoping that you’ll perceive all this as being charmingly retro, when in fact it is really just evidence that they’ve been too stingy with re-investment to keep this property up to full 4-star international standards.

Since they are certainly charging you prices that are commensurate with the finest first-class resorts, I came away feeling ripped off by management who is pushing a product that’s beyond its expiration date, and that’s grossly flawed by a terrible eyesore of the hotel’s own making.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank NYWorldtrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton

Property: Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton
Address: 1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan 00901, 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:
#7 Spa Hotel in San Juan
#9 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan
#12 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peaceful and set aside, the Condado Lagoon Villas are close to all the Caribe Hilton resort amenities and can enjoy the flexibility of our villa accommodations, each divisible into three separate units or combined into spacious suites, perfect for families or groups. Guests at the Condado Lagoon Villas can also enjoy the convenience of a separate check-in exclusively for Villas guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Condado Lagoon Villas At Caribe Hilton Hotel San Juan

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