I had read many of the previous reviews for this resort and therefore had some expectations (and skepticism) prior to my visit. That being said, the resort was very nice, our room was very comfortable and had great views of the pools and ocean. The setting and landscape (basically on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean) was beautiful. The resort is large and my friends and I did what we could to ensure that our rooms were close to one another. It would have been inconvienient for some of us to be in a room down by the marina and some to be up by the main lobby and pool area. The pools and pool area was nice, but not at the level of quality that one might expect in a 5-star/Waldorf resort.
I was there during the second week of January (2014) and the resort seemed noticably empty. Some of the resort employees commented that it was slower than expected, even considering the natural slowdown after the New Year, when travel is closer to its peak time.
I reserved a partial-ocean view room and the room was located in building #4, which was adjacent to the building with the main lobby, close to the main entrance. Again, the room was nice, generally clean and had a balcony (sliding glass) door that opened up to the pool (no balcony, just a balcony ledge).
The trip to Palomino Island was relatively easy. The tram, or funicular as it is called takes you down to the Marina, where there is a ferry from the mainland to the island every 30 minutes. The island was not actually "private", but had many activities including basketball, volleyball, golf putting and other beach activities and rentals (kayaks, jetskis, etc.).
The restaurant and beach bar serve typical style food and beverage. Food and drink prices are on the higher end of what you might expect, but not outside of the range that I've come to expect at resorts like this. Aside from a martini/cocktail lounge upstairs and the main Bar 21 and gameroom (formerly the Casino), there wasn't much nightlife at the resort, but it seems to cater to families with younger kids.
I had received what I think are very favorable rates on the room, which were a base of $230 (plus tax and resort fee of $50-60) per night. There was also a $50 resort credit for any other expenses each day (as part of the Best of Waldorf rate special).
Overall, I was pleased with the visit. I was somewhat skeptical based on some of the poor reviews previously posted, but I didn't experience many of the complaints that others have reported. The staff and front desk support was helpful in making it a very enjoyable stay.
- 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