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“Bienvenidos a la Isla de Encanto”

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El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Closter, New Jersey
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Bienvenidos a la Isla de Encanto”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

I spent a very relaxing 6 days in April, 2013, at the Hilton El San Juan Resort & Casino in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. I had last stayed at this hotel 10 years ago when it was under different ownership, and I did appreciate the remodeling. The lobby is still as amazing as it was then, with the beautiful wood paneling and ceilings and the magnificent bars. The rooms are much brighter with the white furniture, however, the dirty white vinyl on the sofa was one of the first things I noticed when I entered the room. Although we had a partial ocean view, because of the configuration of the room, this sofa was facing away from the ocean. However, my main complaints were the lack of sufficient lighting in the room and the mold on the tiles of the shower floor (which despite several requests was not cleaned). I do have to say that the staff was very accomodating. Despite the dirty tiles in the shower, the housekeeper we had was fabulous. The concierge staff was extremely helpful, and the hostess at the breakfast restaurant was very nice. The pools and easy beach access make this hotel a wonderful place to stay, and despite the few negative comments I have made, I would not hesitate to stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: Request a higher floor for a better view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank didi15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 8 May 2013
Thank you for your review! There are many hotels/resorts in the San Juan area, and we thank you for selecting the El San Juan for your getaway. Your review was very complimentary of our service and facility, and I thank you for that. I am glad the the location, and the resorts amenities were to your liking and you had a great stay! For your future enjoyment,
we are currently remodeling all of our rooms in the main building, including the bathrooms and furnishings. Upon your next to San Juan, it would be a pleasure and to personally welcome you back..

I remain at your service
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3,107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Sayreville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

The hotel from the outside to the lobby looks great - a bit dark inside compared to other hotels in the area and the casino is good too. However, the rooms were very outdated and seemed like a lot of money went into the lobby, pool areas, etc. and they forgot about updating the hotels rooms themselves - I'm a Gold and received a upgrade, however, the room was very cold even with the Vent off!; the room looked like a IKEA bedroom furniture, the bathroom floor tiles and vents were dirty and did not feel like a Waldorf property, let alone a Hilton Family. I have stayed at other Waldorf and this did not meet expectation. In our room, we had to use muscle to open the bathroom door as it was very stiff and the walls are pretty thin that you can here your neighbors chatting and/or alarm buzzing next door in the morning.

While I love staying at Hilton properties, I was expecting this property to be on the top as I read with other reviews, however, would look to stay else where. Our room had a view of the Intercontinental and that looks very rundown from the outside. The only reason I give 4 stars is because the location is perfect for activities on the beach, the pools were great, the service was top notch, and so was the breakfast. Other than that, the rooms were okay.

ESJ does have a lot of restaurants, and in the La Galleria there is a restaurant called Galleria pizza which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner but very slow service. We ordered a pizza and pasta and took almost 45 minutes to get our food and it was not busy as well. There is a Chilis opposite the hotel and a good mexican restaurant next door to the hotel as well. Walking outside of the hotel is a bit rundown however, nearby is Walgreens if you need something quick. There is also a Starbucks in the hotel which was nice.

Overall, ESJ was okay - the lobby ambiance is good but the rooms were a bit rundown. I would compare at other hotels such as the Ritz but not Intercontinental.

Room Tip: Having a high-floor was nice but the walls are thin so playing music while in your room is not a goo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hersh P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 8 May 2013
Thank you for your review, it was a pleasure being of service! I see you took advantage of the many amenites the El San Juan has to offer and enjoyed the service the staff rendered!
Puerto Rico, as an island has so much to offer as a destination, and the location of the property is ideal for a perfect getaway. Your comments regarding the rooms are constructive and I appreciate your feedback, for your future enjoyment, we are currently in the proces of renovating all of our guest rooms in the main building, including the entire bathroom, and guest room product. I Thank you, again and we look forward to your return visit! Please make sure to contact me, as it would be a pleasure to welcome you back!
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Princeton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

Although our room, in a casita around the pool was nice, the check-in process was poor. No directed us to the front desk nor offered to take our luggage. After we checked in, we were given a brief and incomplete description on how to find the room. The numbers were not marked anywhere and we wandered around with all our luggage for half an hour!

I wrote to Hilton afterwards and they sent me a one-night reward but only sent written questionnaires. No one spoke to me and there was no effort to fix what is a very serious service problem. Finding the breakfast room in the morning was a similar experience.

Room Tip: From what I read, the poolside rooms were better than those in the main hotel
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Paud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 10 May 2013
We are sorry we were not able to provide you with the quality of services you deserve. This is not typical of our hotel and staff, and we are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience. Your satisfaction is very important to us and we try hard to make sure all of our guests have a rewarding stay. We again apologize for the inconveniences that you endured, if there is anything we can do to correct this please let us know. Thank you again for your feedback and we hope you will consider staying with us again.
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Level Contributor
126 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

This was my first time staying at the El San Juan Resort and I will be back! When you walk in the lobby it looks as if time has stood still. The lobby, along with the rest of the hotel, makes you feel like you went back in time to a peaceful relaxing adventure. I stayed in the pool casita and would highly recommend this to anyone looking for some relaxing pool/ocean time. The rooms are moderate but still give you that feel of something special. The staff is extremely friendly and the property is very clean! Well done!!

Room Tip: The pool casita is excellent,,, they had upgraded me to a "tower" room which gave me a vie...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Wvuman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
07921
Level Contributor
54 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

We took a day week-end and stayed at the El San Juan. We loved the location on the beach, the availability to walk to local restaurants and bars, the on location casino and restaurants, the large and magnificent pool. The place is energized and upbeat.
Only complaint is that the bathrooms need to be updated. Otherwise, everything else is wonderful.
We will recommend this place to friends and family and we will definitely return.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank tenacity77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 8 May 2013
Thank you for your review and for selecting the El San Juan for your 'Getaway" I appreciate your taking the time to share your feedback. Direct feedback assists the team with providing the customer service and product that will meet your desired expectations. The Resort offers the most amazing location on one of Puerto Ricos' most renown beaches, I am very happy to hear you had a wonderful stay! For your future enjoyment we are currently remodeling all of our guests rooms, including the bathrooms.

Thank you for your reccomendation, I look forward to your next visit.
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Baltimore Maryland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

Don't stay here. Overpriced. Crappy service. Rude patrons. Lousy beach. Up-tight atmosphere. I've stayed at lots of nice places around the world and this place, especially for the price, left a lasting bad taste. Sharing my review so you might be spared.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank thalvorsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 10 May 2013
Let me begin by thanking you for choosing our hotel. We very much appreciate your business.

Please accept my apologies for the concerns that you have raised in your review. I was both surprised and deeply disappointed by your recount of your experience with us. I assure you that it’s contrary to what our customers typically see from us. However, I can very much empathize with your situation and assure you that we will take your comments into consideration to improve our property.

I apologize if you went through any inconveniences and I hope you give us another chance to serve you, if you travels bring you back to our area. Please know that we value your business and will work hard to earn your trust once again.
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Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2013

First impression: We arrived early and our room wasn't ready, which we expected. We checked in and left our luggage with the (keeper of luggage) & went out to check out the pool & beach. We were pleased to find various pools & hot tubs and the lush landscaping was nice. There seemed to be a lot of areas closed off and unoccupied though and it just seemed deserted.

Cell service is terrible. I had to keep going back to the room to charge my phone. Not what I expected for a city the size of San Juan. Also, the Wi-Fi Internet keeps dropping connection & for $22. a day, I would expect better internet service. My husband is here on business and has things he needs to accomplish using the internet so it's very frustrating.

The main lobby is dark and cold feeling...I know this hotel is old and "historic" but this was not what I expected for the Caribbean. Nightlife doesn't start till around 10pm or 11pm which we found out on Friday night by accident. We were invited to a party at "the club" inside the hotel which we never even recognized or knew existed. I couldn't tell you what the name of it is, even after being there for a couple of hours. The sign is seriously lacking.

I used one of the lobby ladies rooms one evening and shared the stall with a cockroach which was disgusting. This was not the last one for me to see during our stay either. Another one was on the floor just outside of the restaurant where we had breakfast. $25.00 for the buffet for one person was a bit steep and overpriced, to say the least.

Final impression: We will not return to this hotel, ever again. It's WAY overpriced, dark and dirty.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JonandPhyllis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanwilkerson, Front Office Manager at El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 10 May 2013
First of all, thank you for your candid feedback of your stay with us. I appreciate you selecting our hotel. I understand that you were disappointed with some issues at our hotel and more specifically regarding the cleanliness of our hotel. I sincerely apologize that we did not meet expectations and I am actively working with our housekeeping team to ensure our standards of cleanliness and comfort are consistently met. We strive on providing our guests with a clean and comfortable stay and we will do everything we need to do to ensure that this issue does not occur again. I am always looking for reviews to provide insight into our guests experience and I will keep your review in mind.

Thank you again for your feedback and I invite you back to stay with us the next time your travels bring you to the area.
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Additional Information about El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-5706, Puerto Rico (Formerly El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel)
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront hotel surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped grounds in fashionable Isla Verde district - 15 minutes from Old San Juan. El San Juan Hotel presents a perfect blend of tropical splendor, Old World elegance and vibrant culture. Redesigned guest rooms are bright and inviting - ideal for a retreat. Lounge at the beach or on the expansive pool featuring flowering gardens, and spacious sundeck, Olympic-sized pool, Fantasy swimming pool with swim-up bar, waterfall and whirlpools, private cabanas for rental or relax and rejuvenate at the spa. Enjoy a vibrant and varied nightlife, choosing from nine on-site award winning restaurants, plus lounges, bars and nightclubs. One life to live? Live it up at El San Juan! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El San Juan Resort And Casino
El San Juan Hotel Isla Verde
El San Juan Hotel Casino
The Waldorf Astoria Collection Carolina
El San Juan Hotel Puerto Rico
El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection By Hilton Puerto Rico/Isla Verde

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