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“Expensive, but Lovely”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Expensive, but Lovely”
Reviewed 8 May 2012

My husband and I stayed at the R.C. for four days, as a long weekend get away. It was part of a jet blue package

The positives:
*Clean beach and pool
*Towel huts by both the beach and the pool
*FREE Cold face towels and fruit by the pool
*Good wifi connectivity throughout the hotel
*Tasty food - lots of options
*Quick taxi service to anywhere
*Safe
*Friendly service from all staff
*Close to the airport (10 min), but you dont hear planes from your room or at the pool
*Lovely spa

The negatives:
*As other reviewers have said, EXPENSIVE. $15 bloody mary, $50 ravioli at il mulino that was undercooked. There is a Walgreen's pharmacy (large) that is only 3-5 blocks or so down the street. Highly suggest going there upon arrival to pick up snacks.
*Rainy season, which means daily rain starting at 3 pm, and lasts for the evening
*Our room wasn't ready for SIX hours upon arrival, making us look like homeless vagabonds by the pool with back packs. They said they would call one of our three cell phones when it was available. We went to the desk and were told they tried (no missed calls). That said, we were comped for lunch. Then we were moved to a room overlooking parking. Switched rooms, but waited on the porter for an hour and a half to help us

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sheilaandjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (690)
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English first
Wood Ridge, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed 8 May 2012

This was our first experience at a Ritz Carlton and we thoroughly enjoyed it! I was a little nervous because other reviewers said not to expext the same level of service as other Ritz's. Well if this is the lowest level of service, I'm certainly looking forward to spending vacations at other Ritz Carltons. I thought the service was terrific!

Our room did have a partial view that was just perfect! We were able to see the sunrise if we got up early enough. The rooms were great. Comfy bed and huge bathroom with a separate room for the toilet. Perfect! The maid service was great and they continually stocked us with water and lotions.

The pool was a bit small but it was ok as we switched our time between there and the beach. The crew at the pool and beach were terrific. They were always around for help and we could use as many towels as we needed. The only complaint I have is that there were always children in the hot tub. Shouldn't they not be allowed at all w/ parent or not? It would have been nice to relax in the hot tub a bit with my boyfriend without children and all the sand they brought in there.

We only ate at the hotel during the day and at the pool. It was decent, not a lot of choices and pricey. Otherwise we ate off the resort. There are lots of great area restaurants.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jb0228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

We stayed at this hotel for our days. The hotel is very nice and is located conveniently very close to the airport. The outside appearance is very plain and more like a Mariott. The inside grounds and services were complete but not up to Ritz standards. The restaurants, pool, spa and gym were all good, clean and updated, but nothing spectacular. The casino was also good.

For the price, this was a nice stay, but don't expect top Ritz service.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mkalen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan, Puerto Rico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

I stay at the Ritz in San Juan about every three months or so. On the bad side there are a few issues. First, the hotel does not offer any type of local cuisine. Second, Il Mulino is the on property and is the italian restaurant. Their food is good however the wait staff can be greedy and rude when it comes to tipping. Their receipts have a tip line for the waiter and separately for the captain. Since both provided good service i gave them a combined 40% tip (20 percent each). When I left and went to say goodbye to the captain he turned his head away from from me with a disgusted look on his face. Honestly, i'm not sure what they expect but that was just rude and although their food is good there is an italian restaurant right next door in the El San Juan called La Piccola Fontana. They have been there for 29 years and have an excellent staff, excellent food and excellent manners. By the way, they are not as expensive as Il Mulino is either. Moving on, the pool waiters and waitresses can be slow. This includes trying to obtain a menu or ordering drinks and food. During my most recent stay it took them 35 minutes t deliver a pepsi. For the past few years the slowness is basically a consistent problem. Additionally, their poolside food menu sucks. For a 5-star hotel the menu options lack. I have also noticed the cleaning staff is starting to decline. In the rooms the common spots are cleaned but if you moved an alarm clock of something else......there is enough dust to draw a smiley face. On a hot/sunny day you need to get to the pool early otherwise you may not get an umbrella.

On the positive side. The concierge staff was excellent as well as the waiters and waitresses in the Mares Restaurant. The pool staff went out of their way for us and they deserved five stars.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank gmartino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2012

We just returned today from five days/six nights at the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan (Apr 30 - May 5). I am pretty strict with my hotel reviews, so it takes a lot for me to say that this was a great hotel stay and vacation. The front of the hotel is lovely when you drive up and the staff welcoming. When you walk in the main doors you see through the lobby to the pool. It's a beautiful sight - the palm trees, blue umbrellas and the beach beyond the pool.

The staff went out of their way to introduce themselves by name and walk us wherever we needed to go. The staffer who checked us in presented us with champagne, as we were there for my birthday. Very sweet and charming! We were in a bit early, so we had lunch at the Ocean Bar & Grill while they held our luggage. Light fare, great view as you are next to the beach. It did start to rain so we went back into the lobby bar. A lovely bar hostess named Carol noticed we were sitting a bit and ran to the front desk to get a move on our room. She was back moments later with our room keys!

Our luggage was brought right up and our room was just what we ordered - ocean view with balcony. We had two walls of windows with one side overlooking the pool and the other the rest of the pool/beach area...BEAUTIFUL! I had read other reviews before booking our trip about noise from the airport. While we did see the planes and we weren't in a city side room, we got over it fast. You are in a beautiful hotel with lovely rooms and a lovely property - but definitely ask for pool/ocean side.

The beach and pool are lovely, the staff helps you with your chairs, umbrellas, brings you lunch, drinks, towels - whatever you need. It's really very nice and the beach was clean, water wonderful. In five full days not one person was rude or impatient. Everything is, "It's my pleasure." We have a busy life in New York and often find it hard to decompress - we were so relaxed and laid back by our last day.

Part of that relaxation was definitely the spa. Not entirely the best spa I've been to, but they are doing renovations to make it more separate from the gym. When you walk upstairs to the spa they have low lighting and lovely tea, but you can hear the spin class below. They are putting in glass to make it more sound proof which will be really nice. Our spa practitioners were very nice, very informative and we had a really amazing Eco treatment. My husband and I walked out of there buffed, smoothed and seriously relaxed. If you have the time and the budget, it's a worthwhile fun stop at the spa.

One note on overall cost - it is pricey. We got a great deal through American Airlines, but we didn't take the package that included food and gave you $100 resort credit. SORT of wish we had. Not a single meal at the pool or within the resort was less than $50. The exception being Il Mulino, which was really tasty, but $200. The food costs plus taxis and car rentals added up quickly. We gave into the pricing as we knew we'd spend more at a resort and were treating ourselves to a long overdue vacation, but it is a hit to the wallet.

Overall, this was a great vacation and I could not have asked for much more than perhaps less rain. The staff went out of their way to be helpful, remembered our names and made for a lovely birthday. My only comment, not entirely negative, but something I wished for repeatedly - would be a screen on the balcony door. We would have loved to sleep with the sound of the ocean and the Coqui. To do so without a screen meant the room got a bit buggy.

We would definitely consider this hotel again for any future trips to San Juan!

Room Tip: Ocean side will be quieter than city side, definitely sprint for ocean view with balcony so you can...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank GingerGirlNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2012

Just returned from 6 day stay @Ritz Carlton. My husband and I were very impressed with 90% of the staff. The girl who checked us in was very friendly and polite. We had a garden poolside view room and the bed was fabulous! Food extremely expensive but we knew that from the reviews in Tripadvisor. We got soda and water @Walgreens only about a block away along with other snacks. Ate at BLT for my husband's birthday-they surprised him with a small dessert and we thought that was very nice; food good but not great. Had a steak dinner @Ruth Chris located a few blocks away in the Intercontinental Hotel and WOW! best steak we've ever had.
About 3 days into our stay my husband was waiting for the elevator and two women-not together-both complaining about someone setting their alarm clock every nite to wake them up @3 or 4 am and that they were checking out of the hotel! When my husband came back to the room to tell me about it we didn't think too much about it until OUR alarm clock went off at 4 am. We did remember a different housekeeping person that evening and that we both thought he wasn't too friendly; but again just passed it off as a coincidence. Well, the next night we received a "wake up" call about 6:30 am. When I told the front desk person on the phone that we had NOT requested a wake up call he started arguing with me!
At this point we declined any further visits from housekeeping for fear that this wacko person might do something else! We decided it was futile to go and argue with the front desk and would steal more time from our vacation.
Our concern is that someone working there...obviously an adult person would be so troubled that he would plan and execute these passive agressive actions against people staying at the hotel. Beleive me, we are not wealthy "in your face" type people; just semi-retired and enjoying some time off. At no time were we ever rude to anyone working there so it's a mystery why this person would pick us. So, just keep your alarm clock unplugged and stay off the 5th floor!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank pattychris6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2012

We stayed for three nights. Consistently very good service, from desk staff to housekeeping. Appreciated free laundry service of muddy sneakers after rainforest hike. Bathrooms are beautiful. Had a good breakfast at Mare at hotel. Lobby area is very nice. However everything else is lackluster. The beach is dirty. The seaweed and natural debris I don't mind -- but I would expect a Ritz to pick up cigarettes, wrappers, general human-produced trash. That was disappointing. At least the water was warm and calm. We had a view of the parking lot and our bed sunk a little in the middle...wish we could have had an upgraded room. We were able to request and receive a fridge, which was appreciated.

Room Tip: Request a higher floor for a better view if you're getting a "city" view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jbsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Address: 6961 Ave of the Governors, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Carolina > Isla Verde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#2 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan 5*
Number of rooms: 416
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa And Casino
Ritz Carlton Carolina
Carolina Ritz Carlton
Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico
Ritz Carolina
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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