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“Beautiful property”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 November 2011

For the past 9 years, my family has vacationed over the week of Thanksgiving. We've been to many beautiful beach resorts, and this year was no exception. Our vacation at The El Conquistador was the right mix of beach, pools, relaxation and adventure. We stayed at Casita Village. It was spacious, and the ocean view was lovely. We had a 2 bed/2bath so it was very confortable to share with our 2 teenagers. The location of the Casita was beautiful, with stunning ocean views at every turn. If you're on the fence about where to stay within the resort, there's one big reason to pick Casita Village: The infinity pool. You must be a Casita guest to access it, and it is truly one of the most beautiful views I've ever experienced.

Be prepared for an expensive food bill by the end of the week. The restaurants are expensive (however, the service throughout the hotel is excellent) and the food is average. Not a huge deal, but it's worth mentioning.

Overall, a fantastic week with plenty to do for all ages. Be prepared to walk. A lot. But that's a good thing in my book!

Room Tip: I highly recommend Casita Village.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank KReale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,502 - 5,508 of 7,750 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2011

Every problem other reviewers mentioned are not exaggerations. Let's list, refrigerator -which I called about beforehand and was told by hotel was a frig, was not. Rather a "cooler"- really? I had baby bottles to keep cold. Las olas the part of the resort we stayed in was renovated, but had a very large cockroach in the closet - yuck. Also, the only way to get to our hotel room -I kid you not is by 2 elevators, one of which was broken for 7 out of our nine days and then waiting for a funicular which also had one of two broken. Much of our vacation was wasted waiting, waiting for funiculars to come (make sure you press the button a lot- I can't tell you how many times it passed our stop (there are only 2 for goodness sake!) and we now added 10 minutes to our travel time to get to the lobby. Did I mention it rained one day, no big deal except there is no way to get from the funicular with 4 small children & an elderly mother without being outside a least a few minutes? There is no shelter, we were tired, wet and still had to climb 2fkights of stairs because las olas has no elevators either. The staff is nice enough but indifferent, making not much more than a nominal effort in everything. The bright point in out trip was the rainforest and a restaurant that the hotel seems to go out of it's way to not recommend, Ole LeLoLai. Lousy front desk, unhelpful concierge, why are you still reading , cancel now! Consider yourself warned. Oh, lots of hidden fees, like resort fee which upon checking I specifically asked and was told no, it was included, until it wasn't at checkout. I am so disgusted I am writing my first review while I am still in this place!

Room Tip: Do not take room in las Olas unless you are a honeymooner with no intention of ever leaving. it tak...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Madeleinne Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2011

I emailed the general manager (Dermot Connolly) on 11/16 and still have yet to receive any response, or apology for the detailed problems I sent him about our stay. I echo a previous reviewers note that this place is an expensive hassle.

During our 9 day stay we experienced terrible service (at several of the hotel restaurants, the concierge desk - worst concierge service I've ever seen and all we were trying to do was get a cab to the airport and book one tour, lounge service), the hotel was unequipped to handle the number of guests - it takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to get to their private island from your room (they only have one operating funicular car because their other one is broken, and while their ferry seems large not everyone fits on the weekends), AC problems in our room, the fitness center included with your stay (not the one at the spa available for a daily charge) only has 50% of machines that are operational.

If you want to go anywhere, rent a car. While there are cabs in fajardo, it will take you 10 minutes to find someone to ask for a cab, and another 20 minutes for a cab to come there (the hotel does not have cabs waiting nearby). On two occassions, we had waited past 30 minutes so we just gave up and ate at one of the restaurants on site.

The icing on the cake was when we went to check out and were told someone would call us to walk through the final bill and email us a copy because their system was down. I've called the hotel and keep getting the run around to get a copy of my bill - but they had no problem charging my credit card 2 days after we left depsite no call and no copy of the bill.

We got a decent deal to stay there, but all the inconveniences were not worth the vacation days from work. I commuted twice as long per day to go anywhere on their funicular and ferry than I do to work in a large city everyday. Waste of time off - waste of your money. Still cannot believe the hotel manager has not emailed me back - what a disappointment - service here sucks all around.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank DCbeachlover0250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2011

I did read some of the comments prior to booking this trip and here are mine.
Our stay was for 4 days, and booked thru Costco Travel, its our first time dealing with them.
I mention them because it's plays a part in our trip.

Our trip was to just relax enjoy the beach

Our package came with full breakfast buffet each day (the buffet was a wide selection of items to choose from, the only thing that was an add'l cost was omelets) we decided not to pay for any extra items since the buffet was hugh.

Our room was booked with a garden view and 2 double beds when we arrived that wasn't available so they did offer to upgrade us to a ocean view (no charge). OMG what a view of the ocean can't say enough about the view, (the rooom was average, clean sheets and towels, the beds slept well, that are platform beds with pillow top mattress, its NOT the Waldorf from N.,Y standards)

The property of this hotel is beautiful but massive would takes days to discover every feature of this property, and a little scooter or golf cart wouldn't hurt. If your handicapped you need a wheelchair or scooter to get around on the property a lot of walking to get to the elevators, the trolly train they have that takes you to each level in the property.

You certainly couldn't walk to get out of the property and eat the local food its too far to walk.
The prices are definitly high for simple items, burgers, chicken sandiwiches, flatbread pizzas.
The drinks are over priced but tasty.

They have their own personal beach but it's on a private island from the grounds which isn't far and they supple the boat to take you over to it, no fee for this service.

The staff was very friendly and helpful, they suggested the local restaurants to eat at in the area, but you definitley need a car to get to them or walk thru the back ally to reach them off the premises, don't try that at night cause there are no lights in the back to see where to go, this is a deterrent from keeping the tourists from leaving the grounds and staying on the premises to eat and drink over priced foods.

We were surprised that they didn't offer any native food of PR in the restaurants that was disappointing, we didn't want to eat american food but something different.

finally to get back to Costco Travel our package also included a 100.00 tour credit. Nothing in the documents stating that if you don't have at least 4/6 people for a tour you DONT GO ON THE TOUR. The tour company 'Elegant Steering' doesnt tell you this until you call and setup a tour, nor does Costco travel tell you this either.

Everyone seems to be in the 'LIGHT' but the customer, nothing is said at time of booking the trip or calling the tour company they continued to put us off saying that would try to find people to go on the tour with us, THAT DIDNT HAPPEN EITHER.

Frustrated with the tour company and Costco, we rented a car (expensive) and with map in hands went to Old San Juan !!


that was the only really disappointing thing about our visit to San Juan. Having said all this I still would return and do a few things differently.

Elegance Steering wouldnt do business with them and Costco Travel not sure I would book any future trips with them.

One last thing, the weather was Hot, Humid, rainy but only a few minutes every other day then sunny...bring plenty of sun screen, shorts, T-shirts, sneekers and hats....EnJOY.

Room Tip: if you could get the Ocean view I really don't think you'll be disappointed. We did hear a...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank tripsavvy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

The Conquistador is a mixed bag. On the one hand you are in for very scenic views. On the other it is a resort that needs more investment, marketing, and better ways to connect it to the rest of Puerto Rico and San Juan. So it is up to this hotel to make it compelling enough for the traveler to choose this place over others in Puerto Rico beyond price alone or a golf course. This is a huge facility that needs a lot of upkeep and large volumes of traffic to make it profitable. I was attending a conference there and found:

Rooms: Need renovation and improvements. Also many rooming areas are located at quite a distance from the front desk. Make sure you ask where your room is located and how long it takes to get to the entrance/front desk area. Look at the resort map to find the area of the Conquistador you want to stay at. My room was OK.

Bathrooms: Good shower and hot water. Sink in my room had crack in it though. Again renovations needed.

Internet: Currently provided by ATT Wireless but broadband signal could be stronger - some room for improvement needed here. A plus though - no extra charge for internet. I hate that annoying $12-$15 upcharge many hotels in Puerto Rico apply for internet access.

Lobby and Area restaurants and bars: Good. Food quality and variety good. Casablanca night club is busy on weekends.

Also a two pairs of live parrots both green amazon and blue hyacinth macaws, and a single white cockatoo (who loves to say "hola") add life and pleasant moments for bird lovers and families visiting the hotel.

Casino: No craps tables or baccarat.

Conference facilities: Ample, good lighting and acoustics in meeting rooms.

Hotel Airport Bus transportation: Excellent. Best value to go back and forth to the hotel otherwise you are in for a very expensive taxi ride roundtrip. Car rental also a smart bet if you want to move around and not feel limited.

Location: Hotel is about a one hour drive from San Juan. Plan activities accordingly.

Customer Service: I did not have the same negative experience as others expressed here. However, I was not amazed by the customer service either. My experience was average. I had one issue where housekeeping did not get to my room until the late afternoon and only after I called to ask why my room had not been made up. However, the housekeeping staff were friendly and do a nice job.

Room Tip: Look at the resort map to see which room areas are available and what they offer and how close they...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank ambassadortm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

Thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, private island, friendly staff, wonderful food and awesome scenery. Concierge service was very helpful. Hotel bus takes 35-45 minutes from airport to hotel. Many pools to choose from. We went during quiet season, I think our experience may not be a relaxed during high winter vacation time.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ma2me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2011

After hearing so much about this property for many years, and knowing that it was quite a ride away from the airport and downtown San Juan, my expectations were high. And then to learn that its a Waldorf Astoria property, the brand image had me very excitied. After staying there for 4 days, I must say I was very disappointed. While the venue, the property and the views are spectacular, the building infrastructure itself is in BAD need of total renovation. This Grande Dame is definetly showing her age. Cracked plaster, dirty carpets, tired and dingy furniture throughout. A fitness center you'd expect to see at a Hampton Inn (no offense, but this is a "waldorf astoria resort" for heavens sake!). Cheesy casino...

But the worst is the quality and appeal of the food. Awful. Really bad. Couldnt find fresh anything - fish, vegetables, fruit or a decent glass of wine to save my life. Even the burgers were hurtin''. The only saving grace is the onsite Starbucks.

The pool and the private beach areas are nice.

Room Tip: We had oceanview room in Las Brisas area. Fine.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank bayberrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 1000 El Conquistador Avenue, Fajardo 00738-3711, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Fajardo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Price Range: £139 - £276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 918
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award-winning oceanfront resort perched atop a cliff, overlooking Caribbean Sea on one side & Atlantic Ocean on the other. Check out the dramatic views, the private island, relaxing spa golf course or the water park - it's all part of this Caribbean paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Fajardo
Waldorf Astoria Fajardo
El Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
Conquistador Hotel Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Puerto Rico
El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Puerto Rico/Fajardo

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