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“NO BANG FOR THE BUCK”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Well we will start off with our initial room being a huge disappointment. The entire hotel needs upgrading. It had an early 90's look to it. The ocean view was outstanding, which was the highlight of the room. The service was ok, nothing to brag about. Many of employees at the hotel were friendly, however the others were downright rude. Not sure if it's because of the language barrier. That was a real turn off. Additionally, what we discovered is that many locals from Puerto Rico use this resort as there getaway on the island, so many of the guest are from Puerto Rico.

We also found the restaurants to be way overpriced. Particularly the Cafe Caribe restaurant, the food was horrid and we paid $50 for burgers and fries. The burgers tasted like. . .not really sure I'm still figuring that one put and my stomach didn't appreciate that meal at all.

Although, we had the one bad experience the other restaurants: Ballyhoo Bar & Grill was good and the service was outstanding with options for local favorites like rice and beans, tostones,mojitos, etc. Las Brisas was my favorite of all the restaurants, who can possibly screw up breakfast. . .the waiters/hotess were super attentive. They wanted to make certain we had everything we wanted and the breakfast buffet makes my mouth water just thinking get about it even now. If you have the pleasure of eating here, try the rum syrup it was delicious! The Stingray Cafe is a very elegant, romantic restaurant with an array of delightful selections. However dinner was way overpriced for lamb chops and steak, it rang to a tune of $200 which included a tip. I had a glass of wine and my soon to be husband had water. Appetizers were great, fish soup and a not so great poached pear salad, I've had better salads at Panera Bread. Dessert at the Stingray Café left me wanting more.


They also have a private island beach, that you take a ferry to, it takes about 20 minutes each way and they run frequently to accomadate the quests. The ferry operators provided good service, and the water at the Palomino Island was the sole reason I love visiting Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Side of the Island is majestic, blue/green sea and white coral sand!

The island is well maintained, the service is ok, the drinks are way overpriced. You can't bring anything from the hotel to drink or a cooler because it's not allowed. I get it, but make it more appealing to spend more $. Four drinks for two adults cost $55 including tip. Overall our two visits to the resorts private island beach were memorable.

They have a super fun water park for the kids, and loads of other outdoor water things to do. You will spend lots, I repeat lots of $. There isn't much indoor activity going on in the evening for the adults to enjoy. This was really
disappointing because the hotel has a great entertainment area. I don't think they make a real effort to attract this type of venue.

Lastly, the spa is off in a separate area and from what I could tell isn't extremely busy. However, the services they provide are a bit of a splurge, if you want to indulge in some well deserved pampering.

On a scale of 1-5, (5 being the best) our overall experience would be a 2.5. The reason is for the service we received from Ruben at the front desk, he took care of us, the private island beach was memorable and not as busy like in Isle Verde, and the breakfast at Las Brisas was mouth watering. Other than that our next visit to the jewel of the Caribbean will not be spent at El Conquistador, simply said you don't get the bang for the buck!

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank yoliejlo67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share such a detailed review. Your candid comments have been shared with our management team.

The resort is currently working on enhancements such as new furniture throughout our lobby as well as new carpeting in our guestroom corridors. In addition, the resort is working on specials for food and beverages including our daily happy hours.

We are happy to see that you did enjoy Palomino Island, Coqui Water Park and your experience at Las Brisas Restaurant and the helpfulness of the team there.

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3,633 - 3,639 of 7,754 reviews

Reviewed 16 May 2014

I expected better after my first trip which was superlative The desk staff were rude and uniformed and could not resolve issues the internet is spotty at best the food though good si not worth the high cost

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank Mohan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

This was my first time staying at this hotel. The people that worked there are the best people I have ever encountered at any business, let alone a hotel. They are all so friendly and helpful, smiling alot They made my stay. The rooms were good but need some minor repairs, but the people make the difference as well as theexcellent service.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
1  Thank m60735
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fel93, Guest Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you for sharing a review with us. The resort is currently working on enhancements such as new furniture throughout our lobby as well as new carpeting in our guestroom corridors. We are pleased to see you had such a wonderful experience during your stay with us. We appreciate the time you took to highlight the warm hospitality you experienced throughout the resort from our team members.

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Reviewed 16 May 2014

Loved going to Palamino Island and all the options of things to do there. You can ride horses, rent jet skiis, Hobe cat, floaties, you name it. Hotel has great/tasty food and comfortable accommodations. Many many restaurant options ranging from casual to fine dining. Great options for everyone for families, friends, and couples.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank hsoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

If you want a wonderful vacation, this is the place. The setting is fantastic, lots of great restaurants to choose from. The Lobster Risotto was the Best! The casino could be a bit larger but still fun. Take the ferry to the hotel's private beach and it has it's own rest there too!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank mlouis7158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fel93, Guest Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thanks for sharing your review. We are happy to see you enjoyed the many onsite amenities throughout the resort including your dinner at Stingray Cafe, Palomino Island and our Ultra Lounge. We look forward to welcoming you back as our guest.

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Reviewed 16 May 2014

Best part of our stay was the beach at Palomino Island. Recommend renting a car. Other highlights: going to El Yunque one day and stopping in Old San Juan forts before heading back to the airport. Definitely eat off property. Recommend trying: Calizo Seafood for dinner, La Estacion for dinner and Las Vistas for brunch. On property: Stingray and Iguana's cafe both good. We enjoyed the Marina views and this area is quieter than others in the resort. Now for the mixed bag: I made our reservation in August 2013 for an April 2014 stay. I had called the property several times to confirm our desired room type (Marina w. 2 Q beds), the 3 times I called prior to arrival (months and weeks previous); the front desk reps. said the room type was noted. When we arrived in San Juan, on the way to the property, I again called the hotel to confirm the room type prior to our arrival. The front desk manager said we would be in a different part of the hotel (Las Brisas with view of a utility road) and not in the Marina as I was previously led to believe. We agreed to stay in the assigned room for one night and manage the inconvenience of moving the next day as the front desk manager had offered to move us to a Marina room. The rooms are far from sparkling'. I went through an entire container of Clorox wipes wiping down the counter tops and cleaning the bathroom. There were hairs and various dirty smudge marks on the walls and surfaces. No one answers the phones at the front desk/concierge/valet. We checked in late and had to wait in a very long line for our room assignment. Throughout our stay several activities were delayed or cancelled. Keep in mind that this is an expansive property and it takes time to get from many of the rooms to the various activity areas. There was a glass blowing activity for kids one night of our stay. Our 10 yo daughter wanted to participate. The activity was advertised from 6-8 in the lobby area. We left dinner early to make sure we got to the activity on time at 7:45pm. We inquired when we got there if they could take her for the activity; we were told yes and waited for 20 minutes while another girl finished her glass project. When the girl finished, the woman managing the activity said they were done and "they had been there "all day""...not very professional or kind. Our daughter was extremely upset as were we. We were the only people left waiting and they misled us telling us she could participate. We also wanted to participate in a ceviche making class with our daughter. The staff forgot what the activity was and instead wheeled in makings for mojitos. Hardly appropriate for a 10 yr. old that wanted to learn to make ceviche. I had also made a snorkel trip reservation through "La Casa Del Mar" (the onsite water activity group) weeks prior to our trip. When I checked in with them that morning, they said they didn't have our reservation and had cancelled all trips for the remainder of our stay. The staff was not even apologetic. Frustrating! A long way to go and a lot of money to spend for so many disappointments. This property has a lot of potential, it's a shame that not all but most of the staff is so lackadaisical. It's a beautiful location with a lot to offer. Palomino Beach is excellent and was the highlight of our trip, though I did collect the equivalent of 2 bags of garbage off the beach while we were there. This is probably because the crowds are so large on the weekends that the staff can't keep up with the mess. It was a pleasure to be able to ride horses at Palomino Island knowing that the stable was well managed by Dr. Kelly and her staff. So many stables in the Islands do not have the horses well being in their best interest but I truly believe Dr. Kelly is doing a decent job there. The Iguana Cafe was also good. Service was a bit slow but the food is excellent and worth the wait while you relax. The activity desk at Palomino Island deserves to be mentioned. "Emmanuel" took us on a HobieCat to Palominito to do some off shore snorkeling. This was one of the best experiences we had at El Con. Bottom line, if you go to El Con with open expectations and make the best of it, you'll have a decent experience. If you like to stay on plan be prepared for dissapointment.

Room Tip: We prefer the Marina area. Takes time to get there but area is more quaint and away from the rest of...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Dcrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fel93, Guest Relations Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you for your detailed review. We appreciate your candid feedback as it allows us to identify areas of opportunity to better serve our guests in the future. We are sorry that we did not exceed your expectations for every aspect of your stay. Your comments have been shared with our management and entertainment team to be addressed accordingly.
Overall we are happy to see that your family had a wonderful experience at Palomino Island including horseback riding, enjoying the beach and the service from the activities desk.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

I made our reservation in August 2013 for an April 2014 stay. I had called the property several times to confirm our desired room type (Marina w. 2 Q beds), the 3 times I called prior to arrival (months and weeks previous); the front desk reps. said the room type was noted. When we arrived in San Juan, on the way to the property, I again called the hotel to confirm the room type prior to our arrival. The front desk manager said we would be in a different part of the hotel (Las Brisas with view of a utility road) and not in the Marina as I was previously led to believe. We agreed to stay in the assigned room for one night and manage the inconvenience of moving the next day as the front desk manager had offered to move us to a Marina room. The rooms are far from sparkling'. I went through an entire container of Clorox wipes wiping down the counter tops and cleaning the bathroom. There were hairs and various dirty smudge marks on the walls and surfaces. No one answers the phones at the front desk/concierge/valet. We checked in late and had to wait in a very long line for our room assignment. Throughout our stay several activities were delayed or cancelled. Keep in mind that this is an expansive property and it takes time to get from many of the rooms to the various activity areas. There was a glass blowing activity for kids one night of our stay. Our 10 yo daughter wanted to participate. The activity was advertised from 6-8 in the lobby area. We left dinner early to make sure we got to the activity on time at 7:45pm. We inquired when we got there if they could take her for the activity; we were told yes and waited for 20 minutes while another girl finished her glass project. When the girl finished, the woman managing the activity said they were done and "they had been there "all day""...not very professional or kind. Our daughter was extremely upset as were we. We were the only people left waiting and they misled us telling us she could participate. We also wanted to participate in a ceviche making class with our daughter. The staff forgot what the activity was and instead wheeled in makings for mojitos. Hardly appropriate for a 10 yr. old that wanted to learn to make ceviche. I had also made a snorkel trip reservation through "La Casa Del Mar" (the onsite water activity group) weeks prior to our trip. When I checked in with them that morning, they said they didn't have our reservation and had cancelled all trips for the remainder of our stay. The staff was not even apologetic. Frustrating! A long way to go and a lot of money to spend for so many disappointments. This property has a lot of potential, it's a shame that not all but most of the staff is so lackadaisical. It's a beautiful location with a lot to offer. Palomino Beach is excellent and was the highlight of our trip, though I did collect the equivalent of 2 bags of garbage off the beach while we were there. This is probably because the crowds are so large on the weekends that the staff can't keep up with the mess. It was a pleasure to be able to ride horses at Palomino Island knowing that the stable was well managed by Dr. Kelly and her staff. So many stables in the Islands do not have the horses well being in their best interest but I truly believe Dr. Kelly is doing a decent job there. The Iguana Cafe was also good. Service was a bit slow but the food is excellent and worth the wait while you relax. The activity desk at Palomino Island deserves to be mentioned. "Emmanuel" took us on a HobieCat to Palominito to do some off shore snorkeling. This was one of the best experiences we had at El Con.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank Dcrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fel93, Manager at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you for sharing a second review with us. Again, we apologize for not exceeding your expectations in every aspect of your vacation. We appreciate your detailed feedback which we have shared with our management team to help better our guests experiences. We are happy to see that your family thoroughly enjoyed their time and experiences at Palomino Island.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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: £140 - £335 (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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