My husband, two children (ages 4 and 7) stayed at the Condado Lagoon Villas and felt the space was ideal for families. The villa consisted of one bedroom with two double beds, a bathroom (with tub), a small kitchenette, and a balcony. The adjoining room had a full kitchen, updated bath (with stall shower), living area with pull-out couch, and another balcony.
There is a small pool for Villa guests only, but we didn't use it; the kids loved the larger main pool. You can access the main pool/beach and lobby either by walking inside or outside, and we didn't feel the separation from the main hotel was an issue at all.
We were generally happy with our stay, and would most likely stay again. Having young kids, our biggest concerns were adequate space and beach and pool areas, and we were happy with all of these.
Here are our highlights and things we didn't love:
-The view of the ocean from the balconies was fabulous.
-The front desk told us the hotel was sold out, yet we never felt it was overly crowded.
-The two rooms (with door between) was ideal for us. After the kids went to bed, we still had tons of space we could utilize.
-The pool area was beautiful. The pool water was on the cool side, but there is a swim-up bar (on a different level than the regular pool so you *can't* sit at the bar and still watch your kids swim, and many lounge chairs.
-The beach is private and very clean. It was extremely windy when we visited and the ocean was rough, but there is a breakwater for the beach so even when there were high-wind warnings, the water was calm. If it's not too windy, you can request the staff bring an umbrella to you.
-You can walk to Condado in 15 minutes, where there are several restaurants. (We ate at Ropa Vieja and Casa Lola; both were excellent -- far superior to the hotel restaurants. There is also a Denny's and Chili's for pickier eaters.)
-The gym is a true, full gym, not your typical hotel "fitness center."
-Housekeeping was inconsistent. They did come every day but sometimes they would restock supplies (like coffee and dish soap) and other times they didn't. We found leaving a daily tip and note with what we needed (e.g., extra towels) worked well.
-Staff were fine, but not amazing. We had a couple of specific issues:
When we first arrived, the door to the LR/kitchen was locked, and we thought the bedroom with the kitchenette was our "suite." The second day, housekeeping left a note saying they realized we had both rooms and unlocked the door. We called management to get a one-night refund of the difference in price (not a full refund; we just wanted to pay for the one room that night, instead of paying for the suite). Over the course of 4 days, we called 4-5 times and no one ever called back. Finally, my husband held for 20 minutes until a manager came to the phone. He said he would get back to us after checking with housekeeping and did eventually credit us.
The website and promotional material says kids under 5 eat free and kids 5-12 eat for half-price at "select restaurants." (Also, one said "does not include room service" and another says "including room service.") We asked the front desk and two different concierges what restaurants these were, and no one could tell us. One concierge suggested we call or visit each restaurant and ask them. (We never figured it out.)
-The restaurants, including the grill by the pool, were extremely expensive and the food was unhealthy and unappetizing. For instance, two turkey sandwiches with fries was $28. We ended up not ever eating at the pool grill. We did eat at the "Italian" restaurant but ended up ordering traditional PR food. It was fine but not worth the money; there are better options in Condado or Old San Juan -- ask the concierge for recommendations.
We ate one day at the Pina Colada Club by the hotel entrance. Even though we were "the first customers of the day," they were out of several menu items. My kids each ordered a kids' burger. My daughter got a regular burger and my son ended up with a chourico burger. He ate it, so we didn't complain, but for a $60 meal, we expected more.
-Don't eat at Morton's. While it's the Morton's prices you expect, it's not the typical good Morton's service and food.
-Have the cab driver stop at the grocery store on the way to the hotel from the airport. He only charged us an extra $8 for the extra stop and 20 minute wait. We got breakfast food, milk, snacks, beer, wine, and rum at the grocery store. The rooms have a full kitchen with stove, oven, full fridge, microwave, and dishwasher so you can save money (and eat healthier) by eating some meals in your room. (We decided to forgo the hotel breakfast buffet and eat breakfast in the room every morning.)
-Buy lunch at Starbucks in the hotel lobby. They have hot and cold sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, drinks, etc. at a much better price than the hotel restaurants.
-Walk into Condado or cab it into Old San Juan for dinner.
-Take advantage of Happy Hour specials at the hotel restaurants. For instance, the hotel bar has $5 veal sliders and $3 hummus and $5 drink specials from 5-7.
-Take the free pilates and yoga classes at the beach in the morning.
-Visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro. It's a $14 cab ride from the hotel and $3 admissions (kids are free). We all loved it, and then we walked into Old San Juan for lunch and sightseeing.
-We all loved the half-day excursion to El Yunque rain forest. We heard great things about the full-day trip, but thought it would be too much for the kids.
- 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