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“Honest review.. the pros and cons...”

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Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Isla Verde
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Honest review.. the pros and cons...”
Reviewed 17 May 2014 via mobile

Pros... the location, the friendly staff, safety, conveniences, concierge.

Details - the location is right on the beach and the back porch with open air dinner seating and it's large lounge area with big palm trees, the hammocks the nice pools for adults and kids really help make the location beautiful and perfect for anyone wanting to relax unwind and get some sun. The staff is very friendly and helpful they are always smiling greeting you opening doors they will tell you you should not know what day or time it is you are on vacation.
The conveniences such as the bars inside and out the dance area the inside and outside dining areas the gift shop and the variety of snack foods, sandwiches and items for breakfast lunch and dinner are pretty good.
The breakfast buffet was always good, dinner at Sirena outside is pricey and can be great or inconsistent.
There are multiple menus to choose from. The best things we ate were the paella at Sirenas, the pool side lunches from Papayas, the skirt steak with Chimi churi from Salsas and the sandwiches from Bananas.
We felt very safe the entire visit and the concierge took care of booking an excursion for us to Culebra and explained anything we asked about.
The interior and gym bathrooms are always clean and when you are outside and the birds come near your table which they will and leave a present near you the staff cleans up right away.
If all you want to do is stay at the hotel and take a day or two to explore San Juan and spend the rest of the time on the beach you can stay here get wonderful service a nice tan people watch enjoy terrific views feel safe and be well cared for by a very friendly staff then there is little reason to ever leave the hotel area.

Cons... the location, the casino, the cost of food, the wifi, the laundry room, the workout room, bed comfort.

Details - the location right on the beach is terrific but there is not much within walking distance the Walgreens, dance clubs and restaurants are a good walk away along the row of other hotels and condos but they are a very short taxi ride away. If you didn't rent a car keep plenty of cash on you for taxis a trip to San Juan will run you 21 dollars. Local quick trips are much less if you really want to avoid walking down the street or down the beach. Just remember if you do have a rental car parking is not easy in town and at the hotels it isn't cheap either. We opted to not rent a car and it worked well for us.

Avoid the casino at all costs I play 3 card poker and black jack regularly at different places in the states and I have never seen a casino that allows people to use cell phones at the table to remain seated when not playing and deals cards while only speaking Spanish 95% of the time. The casino is for the locals by the locals and as a regular player you can tell when cards are being pushed.
I watched the house in 4 hours total playing time over three days deal themselves 9 pairs of JQK/8,9,10 straights back to back. When they hit a straight expect one right behind... I watched a local who was playing Jacks as a high card (which is a huge no no) and losing suddenly go up from nothing by 250 dollars and walk away it was obvious he knew the dealer and had cards pushed his way.
The only winning big hands were the same ones triple 6 and 8,9,10 straight flushes. (I hit one of each and another woman hit the same) both times the house stopped play and reshuffled but when the house hits there is no reshuffle. Over time it just didn't feel like a legit game and regular card players know exactly what I mean.
I have seen some odd things playing cards but the likely math of hitting 9 pairs of the same straights over 4 hours divided between 3 days is astronomical.
Players hitting the exact same good hand almost back to back over the same time frame is even more unusual and the look on the pit boss face was almost as if we the players somehow accidentally got a hand that belonged to the house and they were immediately on the telephone due to the pay outs.
A legit casino shuffles regardless of who wins or loses be it the house or players so everything stays random, while playing or watching i can say the cards are not changed and washed regularly either.
I would highly suggest staying out of the casino if you are a serious player from the states unless you just don't care about how a game is run.
As for the cost of food.. the food is pretty good not great not always as hot as it should be and therefore inconsistent they will remove it from a bill but that isn't what you want.. you want piping hot food and no do overs. Unless you stick to sandwich food or salads having a meal under 30.00 for two people is almost impossible either their food and personnel costs are too high or they are just gouging.
We stayed on the 8th floor had a decent view but the beds are not what i would expect from a Marriott property, our bathroom light went out, the safety lock needs to be changed and one of the light sockets was dead if you tried to charge a phone, also the wireless is just bad period...the wifi network really needs to be updated in a big way. That said who in their right mind plans to stay I their room on vacation.. not me. The equipment in the laundry needs to be replaced as the dryers are bad and barely work. The gym is very functional but the weight machine had a few missing accessories and needs to be serviced otherwise the gym was clean and had working bikes ellipticals treadmills and plenty of free weights benches medicine balls and crunch balls.

So my review sound somewhat negative why the 4 rating? Because there isn't a 3.5 and the room prices, beach location, back porch, the outside lounge area and staff made the stay close to a 4. In all our 7 days at the hotel ran $2,251.00
Our cabs and gift shopping in San Juan and other shopping and airfare took the trip to close to 4k including all drinks, meals, one excursion and a few items in the hotel shop we bought. Make your choice on renting a car or not and know what to expect on food costs and avoid the casino you could probably do a week with a hotel bill around 1800.00 for two people and a total trip cost around 3k.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank -jmb72766
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
I am happy that you enjoyed our beautiful beach, pool, and famous swim-up bar. It is great that you were able to relax, unwind and get some sun! I am very pleased to hear that you found our staff to be friendly, helpful and always smiling! If you decide to visit Puerto Rico again please do not hesitate to contact me at hneumann@sjcourtyard.com or 787-648-8834.
Kindly,
Henry
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Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

The view was beautiful, the beach was right outside and most of the staff went out of their way for us. The thing that really colored our whole experience with this hotel however was the noise coming from the renovations that have just been started.
We were at the resort for a week and on the 10th floor. The noise began right after 7 am and went on until 5 pm. Everything from hammering and the workers radio to industrial drills and jack hammers. The front desk staff quickly became rude when we called with this issue even though they had trouble hearing us during most of the conversation because of the noise going on above us. We were told that they could move us if we really wanted them to but that you could hear the noise on every floor so it wouldn't do much good. I asked to speak to a manager and was kept on hold for 10 minutes only to be told that the manager was aware of our issue and would contact us. We went about our day at that point and checked in with the front desk the next day because we hadn't heard anything to be told they would let the manager know we wanted to speak to them and they would contact us, again no contact. We were in San Juan for a wedding and the majority of the guests stayed at the Courtyard and all had issues with the noise. I will be taking this up with corporate now since the manager couldn't find time to respond to us in the week we were there.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Tflorom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
We are currently undergoing a 10 million dollar renovation to our facility. This project will complete revamp all of our guest rooms and lobby for your future enjoyment. I would love to personally discuss your stay with us. Please feel free to contact me directly at Hneumann@sjcourtyard.com or 787-648-8834.
Thank you,
Henry E. Neumann
Assistant General Manager
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Micco
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I stay here frequently and my last stay was excellent.
I like the location as close to airport and easy to get to. There are stores you can buy things at nearby. You can walk to a lot of places and bars if you want to walk.
The beach is huge and the pool and facilities are nice and constantly being updated. Pinones in very close so you can always go for fried food and cold beer. Very inexpensive and lots of local flavor.
The restaurants are very good and lively on weekends. I even won some money in the casino this trip!
GM Padin and his entire staff are excellent and always willing to help with any needs you have.some of the staff this time went above expectations for me .as a previous review said, you will see him all over the property checking on things and talking with guests and employees. A special thanks to yanet , Katherine, Adrian, Joel, Vladimir, Janiara, Karen, and Christina. They always are great and friendly.
If you stay there for business or vacation and you will really enjoy it.
I am a marriott platinum member and stay in hotels weekly and this is one of my favorite places.

Room Tip: Oceanfront if possible
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Jeffrey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
Hi Jeffrey! Thanks for your loyalty and for sharing your experience with us. I agree with you that regardless of the purpose of the trip, either business or pleasure, you will enjoy your stay. I would like to let you know that we are renovating our rooms and I am sure that next time you visit you will be blown away with our new room product. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any assistance.
Warmly,
Henry
787-648-8834
hneumann@sjcourtyard.com
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

I stayed here for one night right before my cruise and I enjoyed it very much. We were asked almost immediately if we had been helped. Throughout my stay I could see what looked to be the manager walking around the hotel checking up on all the areas. He looked to have a lot of energy, as I saw him everywhere.

Upon arrival we were given a partial ocean front room on the 11th floor which was very nice. We had arrived early but they still checked us in right away. We enjoyed our 11th floor room but they were doing some construction on the 12th floor so we ended up switching our room to an equally nice room on the 5th floor, still a partial ocean view. I think they almost all have partial ocean view. I had booked with expedia so even though the hotel has a resort fee, it was included in the price I paid expedia so there were no other additional charges.

The rooms themselves were very quiet, I never heard anything on the 5th floor room. The room we had was clean but the bathroom did show it's age a bit. The bedroom area didn't look as worn out and you can tell they try to keep the hotel up. Even though there we signs up to not smoke on the balcony, the time I did walk out there I did smell smoke. Not the hotels fault. The beds were comfortable, TV channels very limited, combination of English and Spanish stations.

Outside the pool was refreshing and inviting. I loved the hammocks on the beach. Staff was friendly and the on site restaurants were very good. We ate at the Ocean grill restaurant right by the pool, large portions. The large green Iguana's were all over the place. Shocking at first sight but the restaurant staff were able to make them move away from us by giving them lettuce. Yikes. We also tried another restaurant there and it was affordable and good for dinner. I think I only saw three or four restaurants on site, but that was plenty.

The beach itself is rough with large waves. I got in the water but not for long, I like a calmer ocean. The staff set us up with their towels, beach chairs and umbrella's for free. Nice afternoon at the beach. There was a wedding taking place that day but that didn't take away from anything. We could at times hear the planes from the airport since it's so close but it didn't bother me and it was only when we were outside.

Check out was very easy and we walked right out and got a taxi at the door.

I would stay here again at the right price. We enjoyed staying on the beach. It was a nice start to our weeklong vacation.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cora7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
I am thrilled to hear that your stay with us was a great start to your vacation! Please come back and enjoy our newly renovated rooms.
My best,
Henry
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Pittsburgh
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

My daughter and I stayed there for 4 nights and had a wonderful time. There was no need to leave the resort other than to sight see. The ENTIRE staff was helpful, accommodating and very friendly. The selection of restaurants were good. We ate at Salsa buffet for dinner on our first night there and went back for breakfast buffet twice. The pools are gorgeous with the swim up bars. Complimentary beach towels, beach chairs and umbrellas were definitely appreciated. You walk right out the door onto the most beautiful beach.
When we booked we didn't realize that there was a casino right in the resort. Wow, that was a wonderful surprise.
Very short ride to the airport. The entire resort was very clean, beds were comfortable. In room refrigerators and bottled water were also much appreciated. I just can not say enough about this great place. We will definitely be back.
The only complaint is that the air conditioner is quite loud and seemed to turn itself up at night and it got a little warm.

Room Tip: The upper floors have the best view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mamaof4girls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
I am happy you enjoyed your time with your daughter. A lot of our frequent guests agree that we have the most beautiful beach. When you decide to come back please do not hesitate to contact me at 787-648-8834 or hneumann@sjcourtyard.com.
Regards,
Henry
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Jourdanton, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

I booked this hotel because it was close to the airport and had great views. We were only staying one night before our cruise (celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary) left out.
The manager Jose upgraded our room and we were treated as if we had booked a suite for a week instead of just passing through.
I can't say enough about the service at this hotel. From the moment we arrived till we checked out everyone was incredibly helpful.
When we return to Puerto Rico we will also return to the Courtyard.
If I had to pick one thing to change it would have been the food. Although it was not bad by any means, it just didn't have that wow factor. However the outdoor restaurant at sunset is absolutely beautiful and romantic!
Thanks Jose for a fabulous time!!!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shannon73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
I am so glad you liked the hotel and enjoyed your stay. Next time you come back please stay for more days so that you can experience all that Puerto Rico has to offer. When planning your next trip please do not hesitate to contact me or José.
Regards,
Henry
hneumann@sjcourtyard.com
787-648-8834
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Belmont, New Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Just spent four days there and enjoyed it immensely. We arrived at the airport, got our luggage, got a cab, arrived at the hotel and had the keys to our room within 17 minutes!!! Check in was very fast. Instead of a front desk, there are kiosk’s, all of which were staffed by smiling faces welcoming us to the Courtyard. There was a doorman which was a surprise to see at a Courtyard, which is handy for when you needed a taxi or have your bags held until your flight.
Our room was what we had expected. Clean but dated. Bed was comfy and linens clean. Can’t wait to see the renovations when they are completed!!!. We were in room 811 so we were on the side of the building that had the rundown building next door but close enough to the front of the building that it wasn’t too much of an eye sore. The view from the elevator area was great. I stopped each day to take it in. One side… the beautiful ocean and beach and the other.. the airport. I found it entertaining.
Lobby was clean and welcoming with numerous dining choices and casino right there. First is Banana’s. They serve up sandwiches, pizza, sweets and ice-cream. I had a brownie and it was large, moist and yummy.
Picante is the bar/restaurant that serves burgers, coconut shrimp, and other bar grub. The live music was lively and I enjoyed that it was a place that locals came to. It made it feel like an authentic Puerto Rico experience. Past reviews mentioned that the locals might get “better treatment” while they did get to order food that wasn’t on the menus, while we were unable, I felt very well taken care of at Picante. I live in a resort area myself back at home and I do feel like I get preferred treatment at my local spots, so I understand. The locals seemed like family to the band and wait staff. I did enjoy watching the fabulous locals that were dancing. The night we were there we used our “free drink coupon” for what the staff called “a rum drink”. We continue to drink those for the rest of the night and were pleasantly surprised when the tab came an there were only $3 each. Next night we decided to drink the same thing. To our surprise they were no longer $3, but more than double. So if price matters to you, get it clarified before you order anything.
We went to Salsa for a buffet dinner. The salad fixings were fresh and plentiful. The roasted pig yummy. The breakfast buffet was very good and a good value. Bacon, eggs, bread and fruit. Boxed cereal and oatmeal also available.
Papaya is a grill and swim up bar. We had a few meals here and enjoyed them all. We had burgers, chicken tenders, Mexican chicken rolls and the fish sandwich. Fries were good. We enjoyed that the lizards hung out there. They were fun to watch. Happy hour was from 3pm to 5pm and they have a beer and a mixed drink available for happy hour. Mixed drink was fruity and was told it had vodka in it.
We never ate at Siene, but the area of that restaurant is beautiful. It is where we had our buffet breakfast thou and it is right on the beach.
One comment about the service at all the restaurants. It is slower than we are used to back in the states so when you read that others have commented on the “slow service”… It is true but we are all just very impatient American’s who want everything NOW… LOL We decided to just relax and go with the flow. Very enjoyable.
Casino was small but had lots of machines and a few table games. The people working there were very friendly.
Pool area was clean, plenty of chairs and had different places to sit, be it shade or sun. Pool temp refreshing, not to hot or too cold. Beach area was nice. The hotel has nice young men who will bring chairs, tables and umbrellas to what location you choose on the beach. Only thing that might have made our “beach time” more enjoyable would have been having more wait-staff bringing drinks around. Although I might have spent a lot more money. Being a Court yard you wouldn’t expect to need this type of staff… but if you got the location… I’d say “do it”…
In the four days we were there we saw two weddings. Both looked well planned and that the people were all enjoying themselves.
When we were ready to leave we were greeted by Orlando Hernández, the Manager while in the lobby. I can see why this is such a wonderful hotel after speaking with him. He should be very proud of his staff and his hotel. My husband and I are looking forward to returning in a few months.
Even thou close to airport, jet noise was not bad.

Room Tip: Choose a room facing the beach directly or to the right side.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Testtrackmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henry N, Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, responded to this review, 13 May 2014
It is great to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We do try to give our guests an authentic experience of the island, like for example with our local food, and live music. I am happy that we were able to exceed your expectations and I am sure that you will be even more pleased when you see our renovated rooms. For your next visit please contact me at 787-648-8834 or hneumann@sjcourtyard.com
Best wishes,
Henry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort

Property: Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
Address: 7012 Boca de Cangrejos Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 Romantic Hotel in Isla Verde
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Verde
#4 Business Hotel in Isla Verde
#5 Family Hotel in Isla Verde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a powdery expanse of Isla Verde beach in San Juan, the newly renovated Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is the perfect location for business or pleasure. The first hotel in San Juan to offer FREE Internet & wireless services it makes business a breeze! For families, babysitting & play services, game room & the beautiful pool & beach make any holiday perfect. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Hotel Isla Verde
Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort
Courtyard Carolina
Marriott Carolina
Carolina Courtyard
Carolina Marriott
Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort Puerto Rico

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