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“Beautiful Views”

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

I traveled here for a conference the week of November 6th. Overall the resort is very pretty and well maintained, showing some slight signs of wear in the bathrooms and around the property. Our room was very spacious but the lighting was so poor, with only 1 light in the entire room. We ate at the Strip House (very risque pictures...don't bring the kids), Las Brisa, Iguanas and two other grills. All the meals were good, and the prices were a little high...but not unexpected from a resort. The pools were very nice, and there were many areas available with lounge chairs and shade to relax outside. Although you have to take elevators down to one level, and then a sort of mountain monorail down to the marina to catch a boat to the beach, we never waited that long nor minded the journey. The boats are large and quite nice, and very timely. We enjoyed Palamino Island very much, shopped there, had drinks and lunch -- quite enjoyable. I did not pay for the room...so am unsure of the cost, but the experience was very pleasant and I would go there again if I had the chance. Also keep in mind you are an hour from San Juan. I traveled to the rain forest which was great...and out to dinner one night outside the resort. It was easy to get to both places, as the concierge was very helpful.

Room Tip: I heard some people complain about the rooms down in the marina level because the tram up to the mai...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank LaurenBlauvelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,493 - 5,499 of 7,753 reviews

Reviewed 2 December 2011

This was my first time to Puerto Rico and to the resort. After riding a little over an hour from San Juan International through some sketchy neighborhoods to get there, the views took my breath away! Simply gorgeous landscape and the water was incredibly blue. It is obvious that the El Con is an aging hotel and that in and of itself is not a bad thing. While we were there, several renovating projects were taking place. The new conference addition is beautiful. Our conference service manager Maria was INCREDIBLE! She and her team went way above and beyond for our group - including one member came in on his day off to deliver cookies!

I was on the first floor facing the pool, which was amazing! Note that it does rain a lot in Puerto Rico so there was a noticeable dank/musty smell when I first entered my room. One of my colleagues could not bear the smell (or the black worm/skinny cenitpede visitor) and was moved. After her complaint, when I returned to my room, it smelled great - as if someone had come through and sprayed. I was satisfied. On the final two days, I also had two of the centipede like visitors but again, I was on the first floor, in the tropics. It could have been worse. Also, bring some bug spray and nasal allergy medicine. I was covered in bites and since all of the stunning foliage is in bloom, I was a walking allergic reaction. But I still had a great time.

The casino was much smaller than I expected and had an old vegas feel - it would have fit in well at the Golden Nugget.

The food in the seafood restaurant near the marina (can't remember the name) was, well words can't adequately describe how good it was! I suggest the prawns and risotto app and scallop meal. A friend of mine was also crazy about the pumpkin soup (not called pumpkin but if you request pumpkin soup, they'll know what you mean) and garlic shrimp she had. I never went to the island but our guests came back raving about it so definitely give it a try.

I will definitely come back again. Unless more upgrades have occurred, I wouldn't pay more than $180-$200/night for a regular room.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank jcuvafan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2011

The resort is excellent.Their private island is very nice.Their staff was great.Everybody had a smile and made us feel very welcomed.The rooms were spacious and clean.At check-in we were told there would be a $950.00 "hold "($150.00/day) on our credit card to offset resort charges during our stay.Since we don't use credit cards, this was a problem.We worked out a cash deposit with the Desk Manager.This hold charge was never mentioned prior to our arrival.Our trip was paid in full so this was an unpleasant surprize.There is no entertainment at night and the fine dining restaurants were way over priced.Being in the restaurant business,we felt the restaurants were not worth the value.A few people said the restaurants were just ok but not worth what they were charging.That being said, the resort itself was very nice and you couldn't ask for a better staff.Everybody went out of their way to make us feel comfortable.

Room Tip: Rooms in Las Olas all have ocean view
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JeffSmargiassi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2011

Just got back from this wonderful resort last week. It is beautiful. Yes you can nitpick over tiny things but in the overall picture, it was awesome. The views are amazing, the staff was excellent.polite and quick follow up, If something was not working, it was fixed right away. It's a great place for kids. The water park is very cool. The day I left it was raining and they were playing a movie for kids and they had games set out everywhere.Pools are great, never a problem finding a chair. I found the food great, the steak house especially. Their island is so peaceful. No it is not brand new but it has lots of charm and class unlike the cookie cutter resorts I have been too. Don't listen to the stupid gripes people have made on here. So petty !

Room Tip: if you ask for a garden room you may not get your choice of room location. It's a large resort s...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank KS5959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Quick take: Great Property however Management issues & Nickle-&-Diming. The private island beach was slightly littered with trash and looked like a hurricane had recently destroyed it (but alas there was no recent hurricane in March 2011!).

This hotel is really beautiful. It reminds one of the Greek island of Santorini with a classy resort at the top, and steep cliffs that descend to the sea. The scenery is quite breathtaking, and worth at least a drive-by visit.

The hotel itself is a very large. It has two cable cars the connect the upper and lower portions of the resort. The Casitas, at least from the outside, don't appear to be worth the extra cost as most vacationers would come over to the regular hotel. The hotel is really geared for families, not couples or romantics.

Positives:
+ Overall a great property with beautiful seascapes and layout
+ Really nice lobby
+ Nice pool area with several options
+ Resort has a Starbucks on-site in addition to several other stores

Negatives:
- Beach looked like it had been destroyed by severe weather in certain areas
- Water was littered with rocks and very hard to walk into on the private island
- Drinks were weak and small
- The main breakfast buffet area had quite a spread but the area smelled really disgusting - like the room was cleaned with dirty water because the staff didn't want to use soap
- Most rooms are dated and really old
- Tried to charge me for parking my rental car, which I had rented on-site
- Clientele at the hotel wasn't great - lots of people lacking manners which can be expected at a mega-resort anyway.
- Jacuzzi: some people would get in, then turn it off.
- Hotel had a leak next to the elevators, and instead of fixing it, used a giant fan to try to dry it up. (you can't make this stuff up!!!)

I got the impression that because the Conquistador is now run by a financial company instead of a hotelier, they are specifically running it with minimum cash. When the financial company bought the Conquistador and related hotels, they purchased it on debt. With the state of the economy and financial markets, they are sparing no dime on the upkeep of the property.

Personally, the hotel could have been nice (and probably was super elegant at one time), however I probably won't go back.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ARK_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

I enjoyed my four night stay at this hotel but there is room for improvement. It is a huge resort and eating three meals a day here, the food was only average. Exhausted one day after lunch, we tried to order room service and learned it was not available between 1 and 4pm. There was no turn down service which meant no fresh towels after a trip to the pool/beach in the evening. The renovated room was nice but the bed was very low to the floor. The small fridge in the room was a plus. The hotel only gave us two waters upon our arrival. My room was one building across from the check-in desk, making it very convenient to the bell stand. The grounds are beautiful with orchids everywhere. We used the hotel's shuttle system, which was convenient. The hotel is one hour from the airport. One of our friends had an early morning flight. Be warned that the shuttle does not depart before 6am so you may need a cab, which cost more than $125 one way. This hotel has several gift shops so if you forget anything, they have it! Kudos to the staff for bringing our golf bag to the bell stand late at night when we realized it was still at the golf course! Starbucks is on site. The cheese type/quiche item served one time during my visit at Starbucks was delicious! I was angry it was not there daily! The casino had weird hours, opening at 4pm and not staying open all night.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Isky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

I've traveled the caribbean a lot (I mean a lot, since I was 2) and this place has it down with the customer service, and providing a quality stay value. Yes, as some have griped here the food is pricey but it's of decent quality and you're at a resort and that's always the expectation. Yes there is some nickeling and long walks but you're not staying at HoJos people. It's 4-5 star and they work hard to keep get there where the majority are posers or overdo it and you pay even more.

You simply can't beat the service at this place. We stayed in on the Ocean View side of the main building Las Brisas, and with minor issues they were there in minutes on almost every issue and had great follow through. This was from the hotel services to the bars to the restaurants. Everyone has been trained great and really knows what it means to provide good service. Palomino Island ferry service and the island itself and the pools, as well as all the activities for every flavor and the kids was amazing. My daughter loved the water park which is a total value after 1:30p or 3p. Totally would stay here again...

Room Tip: Pay a little more and ask to stay in Las Brisas overlooking Los Croabas where we did, or else down b...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank dewong07
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: £141 - £326 (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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