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“4-Star Resort with 5-Star Staff”

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The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2012

My husband and I stayed here for four nights. As others have said, it's not as nice as other Ritz-Carltons, nor is it in the same caliber as a St. Regis. It's really like a fancy Marriott or Westin with a few little extras thrown in. However, don't let that dissuade you. We had a fantastic visit and would return, largely due to the amazing staff.

The resort is in Isla Verde on the beach and is within walking distance of several restaurants and a short cab ride away from Old San Juan. The first floor holds the beautiful lobby, a small casino, some shops (including Tiffany), and restaurants including BLT Steak and Il Mulino.

Rooms: Rooms are nice and recently renovated. Housekeeping was great, including nightly turn-down. The bed was very comfortable. However, there were a few oddities -- the rooms are fairly small, and most lack balconies. Since the windows don't open, it is really hard to get wet clothes and bathing suits dry. We ended up lining them up along the window, as they would not dry in the bathroom. There are plenty of toiletries but no slippers. There's a stocked mini-fridge, and even though they claim sensors will determine if anything is moved and your room will get billed automatically, we put leftovers in the fridge and weren't charged for moving things around. The power went out once while we were there, and it came back on within 30 minutes. If you do opt for a balcony, they are small. We had a "city view" room but still had a nice view of the ocean from the 8th floor.

Pool/Beach: The pool is clean and large. There are rafts and a hot tub. The guys at the towel hut were sooo friendly and really personable. Unlike most hotels, they will assist you in putting the towel on the chair, and the guys at the beach will set up chairs and umbrellas for you. They are hard workers and I'm sure appreciate tips. There is plenty of bottled and orange-scented water at the pool and beach. They also handed out mixed nuts one day. The beach is clean and pretty. It's next to some other condos/hotels, but it was always quiet. The water is blue, but it's hard to see anything in it. The surf can be pretty strong. The beach and water itself were nicer than the one at the St. Regis.

Casino: A few table games, but mostly penny slots. It wasn't too exciting, though there was as live band one night.

Restaurants: We actually didn't eat at any of the restaurants because we wanted to experience more local food. However, I regret not eating at Il Mulino, where they had a three-course menu for $43 from 6-7 p.m., and half price wine by the bottle.

Activities: There are two tennis courts, and use of tennis racquets is free. The spa and gym were being remodeled while we were there.

Staff: Everyone was so friendly and seemed so genuine, and this is what impressed me the most. They remembered names, were eager to offer food/sightseeing recommendations, etc. While there, I had an injury and death in the family. Venus, the front desk supervisor, was quick to accommodate a late check-out to help us on our last day and gave me a big hug. I really appreciated her service! And the security supervisor helped me immensely in the business center.

For the price we paid, I think it was a great value in a good location, and we would return!

Room Tip: Even with a city view room, on a higher-level floor you may still be able to see the ocean.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nanci_Dru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,036 - 2,042 of 3,261 reviews

Reviewed 30 September 2012

From the moment we stepped out of the taxi nothing but good service. The room was beautiful but not as grand as I expected. Once I laid in the bed I couldn't make myself get up. The grounds are breathtaking and the private beach and pool well you just have to experience it for yourself

Room Tip: try to choose room with oceanview
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Angelairene22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

I think that this hotel is very nice, it is what I would think a Ritz should be. However, this being said I think that for the price that you pay for this experience they should provide some other amenities such as: a refrigerator and microwave. I personally have a diabetic wife and should have snacks but you can't use the fridge in the room, if you do you have to pay for it. When I said something to the guy at the front desk all he said was "yes, sir I can have one sent up if there is one available." never heard about it again. Other than this I think that it is ok and if you go here expect to pay for everything which is fine but 14 dollars for a drink?! or from 20-40 dollars for one persons breakfast?! But, I digress it is a nice hotel but not great.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank texman b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

My review is low because while the hotel is fine it's certainly not as nice as other Ritz's I've stayed at. The best part of the hotel is the pool and beach area which is very nice. The rooms are standard. Staff is nice and accommodating. If the hotel did a little updating it might have a shot competing with other Ritz hotels. Yesterday, we moved the 2nd highest rated hotel in San Juan and are now missing the RItz...it's MUCH better than where we moved it.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank agw7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

I stayed her July 4-8, 2012 with myn family. It is a great hotel. I was a little nervous considering all the reviews I read were not that great. But the hotel is not old and dirty. It is very clean and the rooms are nice. It is a quiet place to stay. I wish they had more activities on-site (perhaps a night club or lounge). There is a lobby lounge but I wanted something a little more upbeat. I was surpised to see a ton of children, but they were never in the way. I spent more time at the beach then at the pool. I would suggest this hotel to anyone who is staying in PR

Room Tip: I would suggest upgrading to club level. As you get meals and cocktails in the price you pay.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Dalicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2012

Branding of hotels is intended to inform the potential guest of what to expect. Sometimes, this happens and sometimes, it does not. The Ritz-Carlton hotels see themselves, I think, on the same plateau as hotels like the St. Regis. Guests tend to expect that same level of elegance and service as well. I say all of this to remind the reader that the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Juan has much to recommend it--although, unfortuantely, it probably does not live up to expectations.

Location: The hotel is located on Isla Verde which is only about a mile from the airport ($12 cab ride plus baggage charge), but in many ways, it is miles away from any sign of hustle or bustle. The beach in back of the hotel which is overlooked by the swimming pool is beautiful and warm. On either side, one can see other high rise hotels taking advantage of the same beach. Nevertheless, the beach is not overly crowded and there is very little noise at night--so if you are looking for large swatches of uninhabited sand, this is not the area for you. If you are looking for a quiet retreat with restaurants, etc. close by, this may be for you.

Accomodations: The rooms are surprisingly small for an upper class hotel and very few have balconies. The bathroom in our room was more than adequate with both a shower and a tub. We did not have a new bed, and I had a backache in the morning, which rarely happens at the better Marriott locations. I thought the rooms were clean enough and the housekeepers to whom I spoke were extremely friendly and helpful.

Service: I have come to believe that the Marriott hotel chain has some of the best-trained employees in the hospitality industry. If there were any crumudgeons here (as reported by others), we did not meet them. The bell hops, concierge, waiters and the above mentioned housekeepers were all helpful and friendly. We did have one glitch that gave me an aha thought having read previous reviews. The receptions at the desk told us we were being "upgraded" to a garden view room--which I thought odd since my reservation clearly said "ocean view with balcony." I gave her my printed copy of the reservation (and I recommend that you always carry one with you) and she called someone and reported what my form said and the reserved room was forthcoming.

Amenities: The spa was closed as was the concierge lounge. We had not been informed of either before arrival. The casino was open and uncdrowded. I am not much of a gambler, so it is hard for me to report on your odds here. There was no resort schedule of activities for adults or children that I saw. The turn down service at night includes tiny pieces of chocolate and ice. There are robes, but not slippers, for your use. The various personal items were more than adequate and augmented each day.

Food service: We ate at the Mares (breakfast), the Ocean Bar and Grill (lunch), BLT Steakhouse (dinner) and the lobby lounge--but not at Il Mulino. The breakfast buffet was disappointing for those of us who are accustomed to the lavish spreads at the full-service Marriott and Renaissance hotels abroad, but that is not to say that it was bad. I loved the good-natured omelet maker. He was practically worth getting up for and the omelets were good as well. Others items varied from terrible to mediocre to above average. There were no Puerto Rican specialties. My husband loved the Cuban sandwich at the Ocean Bar and Grill, and the hamburgers were also quite good. If there are good Puerto Rican beers, they were not here. Nor were there other Caribbean beers, like Red Stripe which we normally love.

BLT is an excellent restaurant with prices to match. A $55 tenderloin (without sides) was a little overdone for medium rare, but was good. A special Puerto Rican pork chop was fabulous. The apple pie, not so good; the souffle crepe of passion fruit was a yummy ending. The servers were delightful.

Value: This is the sticker for this review. We have had the great good fortune to have been able to travel extensively and have been to a number of lovely resorts in the Caribbean and Hawaii. In terms of value, I think that this hotel does not rate in the top 1/2. I will remind you that all hotels charge different rates at different time--but this was the not the high season and the best rate to be had was quite a bit higher than the Renaissance and on a par with the St Regis, both in San Juan. (We have stayed at neither.) We chose this hotel because it was a Ritz-Carlton, and it did not live up to the expectation we would have for such a hotel. That does not mean that I would not recommend it to someone who found a reasonable rate and wanted a first-class (but not luxury level) experience in San Juan.

Room Tip: Facing the ocean is always good, but this does come with a premium price normally.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Texastravveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2012

check-in was slightly delayed because they were short-staffed and the couple in front were at wrong hotel, and then decided to stay etc. Kept telling myself in the 20minute wait I was in Puerto Rico and need to relax. Otherwise was great stay. Everyone very nice. I loved the iguana's roaming around the grounds. They were more flexible in late checkout which pretty much made up for the check-in issues. This review would have been 3 starts had it not been for that. Rooms were very comfortable as is to be expected from the ritz. The pool was a little too busy though. Looks nice in pics when no one else is there, but not quite the same with 100 people milling around. Review would have been 5 had it not been for the sheer number of people.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank NYReliable
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 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Spa 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: £334 - £639 (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 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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