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“Lost its charm with stressed out staff”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 May 2012

I've stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Isla Verde, Carolina twice before, and at other Ritz Carltons once a year for the past 12 years. I expected this trip to be as comfortable and charming as all of my other Ritz stays. Not the case with stressed out staff that were quick with guest and even rude to each other. So if you are looking or good service and don't need the calm waters for toddlers, try the Renaissance in Condado.

As for the Ritz, know what you should be prepared for, stressed out staff that are short with guests. On several occasions, meals at Mares and the Ocean Bar & Grill were delayed by 45 minutes without the wait staff even stopping to acknowledge the delays. The place is over run with guests and very short staffed. On one occasion we even saw the beach saw the beach operations crew belittle their manager, showing him how real men clean up the beach chairs. I guess their management is focused on opening the Dorado resort.

Room Tip: Ask about what view you are booking up front. Many rooms face the parking lot or out the side onto...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Dev G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,159 - 2,165 of 3,255 reviews

Reviewed 12 May 2012

This place met all my criteria for an awesome hotel:

-central location
-resort-style
-very friendly staff
-nice, large pool and hot tub; open all day and night
-free access to spa jacuzzi, sauna, showers
-plenty of pool deck chairs, umbrellas
-great pool side and beach service
-nice pool restaurant
-free wi-fi in hotel with good signal even by the pool and beach
-very reliable room service
-awesome gym with windows, high-quality equipment
-wide open beach, no restrictions, not rocky
-running trails along beach, especially along 187 east
-several nearby (walkable) dining options, convenience stores

We would definitely go back again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2012

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL resort. I went to stay with my family here and we all loved it. It is a lovely beachfront location, and is a short distance from other destinations you would like to go to. To start, the service is excellent. The concierge, Luis, was beyond accommodating, as well as all the other employees there. Everyone was just so helpful and friendly; they waited on us hand and foot.
What I especially loved about the hotel was the pool area. First of all, it is gorgeous. You are able to enjoy free orange water and oranges whenever you life, which is surprising delicious and refreshing. Servers are out all day long so you are able to have drinks and food brought straight to you, or if you choose there is an outside eating area/bar. The food is pretty great there too; it's basic "bar" food, but delicious. I would highly recommend going to BLY Steak if you're willing to splurge. Everyone loved the food there.
The resort also has everything to do imaginable there: bars, restaurants, shopping, fitness center, spa, and of course, a casino. You'll never be bored and really, do not have to even leave the resort if you choose not to.
I would definitely go back to the Ritz Carlton San Juan again. It was wonderful there and they had such a friendly staff. Well worth every penny I say.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Caitlin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

Expensive but yet there is a Cock fighting Arena right across the street. Beach chairs are gathered at 6pm and guest are asked to get up if you are on them. Front Desk Gentleman snobby,rude and doesn't try to help.Nothing to do after 6pm the place is like a retirement home. Casino is open all night to spend $. No flip-flops in the lobby at anytime, even if you are going to the beach! The only Interest this Hotel has is to get every $ they can. Doorman stopped opening the door because we didn't tip everytime we came and went.
On a positive note:The rooms were very clean and well kept and stocked with fresh towels, washcloths, shampoo etc. Housekeeping staff was very helpful, polite and pleasant.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Bea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

I've stayed in the hotel for a long weekend trip for my mother's birthday. The hotel is clean and staff are mostly friendly. Rooms were spacious and clean. The concierge desk was very helpful. Hotel is on the beach (clean water and sand) with large swimming pool. Casino is in the hotel as well.

Drawback: Very limited menu for lunch/snack options. The Beach cafe and breakfast/lunch restaurant have very limited menu, and the food is nothing to brag about. Presentation could have been better as well. The staff at this morning/daytime place were also rude and unprofessional.

If I would to go back to PR I may stay there again but only because I would prefer the beach to the old San Juan muggy streets. Perhaps there are more options to explore.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank marinanyfedd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

Let me start with the conclusion: I would most certainly return for the right price. It is a very nice upscale resort and offers a beautiful beachfront location that is a short distance to Old San Juan and most of the destinations you want (business or pleasure).

However, I did not feel that I was at a top luxury resort. If you changed the brand name to Marriott I probably would not have noticed the difference. However, my personal experience is that luxury levels in the Caribbean are lower than most of the world and against those lower standards the Ritz Carlton San Jan counts as a luxury resort. Otherwise, imagine a very nice four star resort. The staff are wonderful in their attitude, always pleasant and helpful and yet many lack polish with ties poorly tied, jackets threadbare and presentation styles that are at times almost comical (but sincere and well intentioned).

The arrival was just plain poor - we had made a request in advance which was first declined and then after a second request it was granted. However, upon arrival there was no evidence they had received the request! No one greeted our taxi and we lugged our bags to check-in without comment from any staff. In fairness, our future interaction with the door staff was very positive. At check-in the GSA made a big mistake by ignoring my wife - I am still hearing about it!! But that is poor and we had to ask to add her to the reservation despite a call to ensure it was done earlier that week.

None of these things would ruin a stay but they certainly don't indicate a luxury hotel. On to good things - the spa was nice although difficult to book (we would have booked at least two more treatments but couldn't get appointments). The beach service was great and the Ritz team there very friendly and helpful. The restaurant BLT Steak was MUCH better than than the NYC version. We stayed on one of the club floors and the Ritz team in the club lounge was wonderful. We might return just for them!

One more issue - we paid a $45 PER NIGHT resort fee (16% of room bill) which I find obscene. This was to pay for access to the fitness center, selection of fitness classes, wifi in rooms and public spaces, limited business services, and use of float mats and snorkeling equipment. Thus I paid $45/night for wifi as I didn't use the other items (and could have lived without wifi!). I understand the fees and how they help hotel profitability but 16% is just obscene. All of those items offered are normally complimentary at most hotels with the possible exception of wifi, and that is normally only $10!!

We enjoyed the Ritz Carlton San Juan but all of our stories will revolve around that resort fee and the lack of value offered. Was that what they really wanted? I can see myself returning as we truly enjoyed our visit but will assume a room rate 20% higher than quoted when comparing prices with other destinations.

In summary, a nice four star resort with wonderful, friendly staff and an incredibly greedy, soulless owner.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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3  Thank mikeandnoemi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

What can I say? The Ritz Carlton never disappoints! Pristine accomodations. Excellent service, and I mean EXCELLENT! Although I loved the service on the beach, I would have liked to have seen my server more frequently. Can get quite hot and thirsty in the sun!
The Spa was wonderful. The masseuse I had, provided an invigorating massage that relaxed months of NYC stress. Literally 5 minutes from the Airport. Perfect for a 4-day weekend getaway. Excellent restaurants in the hotel. But also enjoyed many in Old San Juan. Definitely worth the trip.

Room Tip: Rooms are always better facing the ocean. Go for it.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Marinela2011
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

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:
#3 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range: £242 - £793 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Spa And Casino
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
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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