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“Boutique Hotel”
Review of Cervantes

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Cervantes
Ranked #23 of 48 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Boutique Hotel”
Reviewed 25 January 2013

We stayed at the Chateau Cervantes overnight from September 15, 2012 to September 16 as a married couple in their upper 60's.

This is - what I would call - a boutique hotel. It has a non-descript entrance but an impressive lobby area.

We booked a room at this hotel as we were going on a cruise the next day and the location was close enough to the port to enable us to walk there rather than take a taxi. (The Sheraton was closer but completely full).

The reception clerk also acted as a bellboy, and in the morning as a waiter.

The room was compact and the balcony opened up on the back-street which offered a view of other buildings of equal heritage..

There is an elevator which services all floors and when we first entered our room, it was quite cool and that was fine as the day was hot. Unfortunately, during the evening, the central air conditioning failed and we suffered a rather uncomfortable night. It wasn't until the next day that the AC was repaired. (We did receive a reduced room rate for the inconvenience)

The continental breakfast (which was included) was quite interesting as it consisted of several bread/bun/pastry selections artistically arranged on a platter served with a bit of butter and a spread. Fruit juice was available. Coffee was espresso - individually prepared by the waiter/receptionist/bellboy. When I asked for Cafe Americano (standard coffee), he had no idea what it was. Also, since there was only the one waiter, service tended to be slow. But, since the breakfast was included with the room rate - I have no complaints. If you are looking for a more standard North American breakfast, there is no lack of restaurants in the vicinity.

As for Wi-Fi connectivity - it doesn't exist in the rooms. I did manage to find a location in the front lobby on the settee where I was able to connect with a weak signal.

As mentioned previously, we selected this hotel because of its proximity to the docks. Unfortunately, due to the cobblestones, we were unable to pull the suitcases to the ship and had to use a taxi for the two block ride. On the plus side, in this historic section of Old San Juan, Hop-On/Hop-Off buses are free and there is a stop just outside of the hotel.

All-in-all, it was a decent hotel for a one-night stay but would have been much better with air conditioning and a buffet-style continental breakfast.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank alpha1011
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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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013 via mobile

My husband and I decided to stay here after our Carnival cruise. It is an easy walk from the pier as long as you don't have too much luggage.

The hotel is in the heart of Old San Juan and provides easy access to many restaurants, shopping and historical sites. It is not on or near the beach. If you want to stay on the beach I'd recommend the Ocean Park or Condado area, or the Caribe Hilton which is on the outskirts of Old San Juan.

You can hop on the free trolley to tour the city, or rent bikes like we did. It was a lot of fun. Avoid taking taxis or be prepared to pay $20 each time, regardless if you're going 5 blocks or to the airport. The airport is only approx. 20 minutes away which is also convenient.

Walk to Cuatro Sombras for coffee or tea and a quick breakfast and walk to Cafe Manolin for lunch. Both places are easy on your wallet and Cafe Manolin has excellent Puerto Rican food- especially the Mofongo con pollo! For dinner, splurge a little and head to the Parrot Club which is also just around the corner. The food is delicious!

Now- back to the Cervantes. The staff is friendly. Michelle at the front desk was our favorite! Very friendly and helpful with recommendations. The rooms were little small, but clean and updated. We were on the 5th floor over looking a street with lots of garbage dumpsters. I'm pretty sure they collect trash all through the night in Old San Juan.... So a little noisy but nothing that kept us awake.

I was happy to get a good rate on this room, but unhappy when I received the final bill- which included a $25 per day "San Juan location fee" and $30 per day of room taxes and occupancy fees. I went back and read the fine print from when I booked on Orbitz and the charges were disclosed, but I still think it's a trick to make the posted price appear lower than it is.

Overall I would stay here again if visiting Old San Juan.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PghGirl26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 25 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We're so glad you enjoyed your stay with us at Chateau Cervantes and that not only our hotel met your expectations, but also our staff!
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boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

i have stay in cervantes a couple of times before for business this time do not know what happen. Hotel is nice like always rooms comfortable. restaurants close and good. late arrival brian really nice and helpful. check out horrible Yuri worst ever hospitality a must to learn in this new crew. Panza too expensive for the food serve.

Room Tip: standard rooms more quiet
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travelerhappi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2013

Pros:
-Close to many shops and nightlife
- Beautiful decor
- Large rooms
- Glass everywhere

Cons:
- No sense of hospitality. The hotel claimed to be sold out, despite claimed availability on Booking.com listing. For their communication failure, they "upgraded" the reservation to the only available room-- the most expensive room-- for a price (the presidential suite). The room was in total disrepair. Go hospitality!

We stayed because last minute bookings in San Juan late on a Saturday evening are near-impossible.

- Fire hazard at fire escape, right outside of presidential suite: stairwell cluttered with industrial materials, including a tank with combustibles (fire + fire escape stairwell with flammable items nearby= certain death).

- No evening staff (we called in advance for a late check-in). The lack of a staff to speak to about our concerns did not invite rest. We had to suck it up.

- Deceptive/ confused staff: I asked for late check-out. First, the front desk asked for how long. Before I could answer, I was denied. Seconds later, I was told late check out was available for a price-- because the room was booked for the same day and needed to be ready by a particular hour.Wait-- either the room is available or it isn't-- or I smell a hustle. Late check-out in other three stars is typically free or completely unavailable. Again, go hospitality!

When I complained about the room's condition to the hotel, they claimed (lied!) the room was in perfect condition, prior to my entering it and that I had stated so myself. I do wonder how they feel they can blame stains generated by corrosion on me.

- Meager continental breakfast: concentrate orange juice, un-toasted toast, old croissants, cheese that had been out for hours and a side of fly.

- Yes, a fly in the food. The combo front desk/ waiter didn't seem to notice.

- Dirty tub (yellow stains), table (permanent stains?), ice scoop, ice tub water, and stairs.

- Shower is in disrepair: hot water is nearly impossible to turn off and wall cover for shower head and glass door flap are both detached.

- No phone in the room (for those who are traveling without your own mobile)

- No soap in soap dispenser by lobby. What instead? A mysterious green slime

- Some doors stick to the floor and are difficult to close-- chiefly, the bathroom door.

- Musty odor in the bathroom area.

- Mysterious green slime in toilet flush button (corrosion?)

- Toilet roll dispenser allows for roll to fling into neighbouring bidet, if you pull even slightly. Gross. Book a four star for this price.

- Balcony view of a parking lot.

- No parking or valet (the closest garages charge hourly, ranging $16- $68 for an evening). Parking is a horrible hassle in San Juan. As a seasoned Puerto Rico traveler, for overnight stays, on a weekend, it is often best when a hotel has its own.

- Nicked couch.

Room Tip: Do not choose the presidential suite. Actually, do not stay here at all.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank superaims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Troy, New York
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2013

My wife and I had lunch at the restaurant here (excellent, too) and she discovered it
is also a hotel. We needed a place to stay so made a reservation for the next night.

A very comfortable hotel. Rooms are very clean. Queen sized beds, mostly, I believe.
Great bathroom. We didn't use the TV. Internet is the only complaint - no reception on 5th
floor. I use the lobby and it works very well.

Front desk staff is great. Especial thanks to Yuri (Judy) for her help and friendly service.
Location great. Near Starbucks and Post Office plus local shopping and many restaurants.
Taxi's are, it seems, $15 to anywhere. Near some of the cruise ship docks. Our ship is a
$15 ride away!

Glad we stay here.

Room Tip: No internet 5th floor. Not sure of other floors. Entire 6th floor is a suite!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Troytraveler05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 25 January 2013
We really appreciate you taking the time to review us. These reviews are so important to us. Glad to hear you not only enjoyed our hotel but also our outstanding restaurant , Panza.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Covington
Level Contributor
100 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

The Cervantes hotel is a small gem in old town San Juan. The whole place is elegantly appointed. The rooms are charming. A beautifully presented continental breakfast is provided in the morning. The staff is extremely helpful and cheerful. In fact, the afternoon of our departure old town was being inundated by people for some festival. The street was clogged and one of the hotel staff went down the street to the intersection and flagged a taxi for us. Our room had a balcony overlooking a back street. Taxi is the only way to get there from the airport and cost us $23 (which includes a fuel surcharge). The hotel is within walking distance to Castillo San Cristóbal and Cristo Chapel allowing the opportunity to visit the fort and the chapel before boarding your ship. Also within walking distance are some really excellent restaurants. The cruise ship docks are close by and easily reached by short taxi ride.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rosietomato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 25 January 2013
Thank you so much for the positive review on our hotel. They really help our staff understand what our guests want and need. Can't wait to have you back at Chateau Cervantes!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

The Cervantes location is perfect for seeing Old San Juan. We were well received and shown our room. The bathroom was clean and modern with a great shower that provided tons of good hot water. The bed was good. We liked the balcony, although the balcony doors provided a good opportunity for road noise to enter. We were on the fourth floor, on Tetuan St. Both mornings we were there they picked up the trash at around 4:30 am which sounded like a billion beer bottles being dumped into a truck. You can imagine. And since you are near the cruise ship docks you get some noise from partying folks. The staff was very helpful and called a taxi for us and made sure that it arrived. The breakfast was good, would have liked a piece of fruit in addition to the bread and yogurt provided. The coffee was excellent. I would stay at the Chateau Cervantes again.

Room Tip: I think if you could get a room facing Recinto Sur versus Tetuan, you might not have to hear the tra...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Snefru7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 26 January 2013
So glad yo enjoyed your stay and can't wait to see you again at Chateau Cervantes!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cervantes

Property: Cervantes
Address: Recinto Sur #329 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#10 Family Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Cervantes 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cervantes boutique hotel at the gateway to Old San Juan is for sophisticated travelers that appreciate the fine art of hospitality. Inspired by the intimate 'town hotels' of Europe, rooms and elegant suites feature contemporary luxury designed by NoNo Maldonado. Exclusive penthouse suite with private terrace, spa-bath and keyed elevator access. Concierge-level service, free continental breakfast, flat-panel TVs, free Wi-Fi in the Lobby and public parking garages are nearby. Enjoy creative international cuisine at our acclaimed Panza Restaurant. We are 5 minutes away form cruise dock 1,2,3,4. We are in the heart of Old San Juan. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cervantes Hotel San Juan
Cervantes San Juan

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