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!
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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