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.
- 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