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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
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    Reviews (7,754)
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    3,466 - 3,471 of 7,754 reviews
    Reviewed 16 July 2014

    We almost didn't book our trip in June based on the reviews on trip advisor. I'm so glad that we went ahead because this is a truly beautiful and special property to stay at! In my review I'll offer tips that helped us and address many of the concerns addressed in previous reviews. (We are Hilton Diamond members and we used points to make our stay affordable, so keep this in mind when reading our review) If you don't want to read my lengthy review then just know that we have never stayed at a Waldorf before, so we have nothing to compare it to, however we felt the positives WELL outnumbered the negatives. Use common sense when reading reviews, every traveler knows what they find truly important and read between the lines. :-) We are a family of four, with a 12 and 16 year old boys.

    1. Room - I do believe location is KEY. We followed the advice of others and used more points to make sure we were in the Las Brisas Wing, top floor facing the ocean. This wing is modern, new and the top floor was unbelievably quiet. We had the 2nd room after the double doors and thought for sure we would be waking up all night due to noise, but it was so quiet! We could even hear the Coqui frogs and night critters just like at home. There was no noise from the funicular and the views were incredible. Housekeeping was responsive and kept up with towels etc. Room was spacious for 4, included a fridge, walk in closet and we were 100% satisfied. The beds were the most comfortable I've ever slept in at a hotel. It looked as if rooms in other parts of the resort were older and not placed as well, so that could impact the quality of your stay.

    *TIP - Top floor rooms facing the marina were wonderful and fun to watch the funicular.
    The Garden rooms will offer more affordability and if you are willing to forgo the ocean view the garden is lovely at Las Brissas!

    2. Cleanliness/Upkeep of the Hotel. This property is SPECTACULAR and anyone who is concentrating on minor flaws is missing all the natural beauty offered at this location. The entire stay we saw staff attending to the maintenance of this property, cleaning, painting, trimming, sweeping, you name it there was always upkeep going on . You can't expect a property this big, on the ocean, with so much exposed area to be 100% all the time and if you are looking for minor flaws you can find them, however the beauty and quality of this property outweighs any minor imperfections.

    *TIP- go up to the top floor by CHOPS Steakhouse and walk the outside walkways during the day and night to see SPECTACULAR 360 degree views of the property including all of Fajardo and the lighthouse on the backside. We walked it every night and was a highlight of the trip!

    3. Food- (Cost & Quality) It is this area I will agree with some of the past reviewers but say that it is EASILY worked around. I realize that because we are diamond members we can afford the hefty price of breakfast (With our two "complimentary breakfast" coupons daily we still paid around $60 for our two kids to eat) but having said that breakfast at Las Brisas was a GREAT way to start every day. The food offerings are delicious, made fresh and offer local and popular items. The banana porridge, made to order omelets, muesli, salmon etc. allowed us to fill up and never need lunch. (And we ate at 8am every morning). The waitstaff is wonderful and standouts are Cesear who was a top notch gentleman and Stacey who greeted us with a smile every morning and remembered our names and personal needs. BRAVO! They were very sensitive to food allergies and requirements!

    *TIP - Ask for Puerto Rican coffee, they will bring you out a freshly made cup and it's wonderful! Ask for a to go cup at the end of your meal and you will have Java on the go. If you use the buffet to really eat quality food in the morning, you can easily go until dinner with just a snack or two in between. We brought cliff bars and snacks with us and never felt as if we went without.

    We also ate at:

    Ballyhoo - OK food, nothing special but a solid meal. Good Service.

    Cafe' Bella- Ordered Pizza to the room one night and ate on balcony - Pretty Good.

    Ordered drinks and appetizers while watching World Cup game, drinks were amazing, food ok, service was good.

    Went to dinner there once, food was decent, service poor - 1 person in our party was ill 1 hour after eating.

    TIP- Eating Dinner at the resort is pricey and the mid-price options offer just average food. (We never ate at the higher level restaurants). I would advise going out in town and eating at the local restaurants. They are wonderful and prices are affordable. You can walk into FAJARDO via the Marina and eat at Kasavista, or drive a little off property and enjoy a meal at di yukas (Our best meal, don't miss out on their Mofongo) Don't worry if you have food allergies, every place has someone who speaks fluent english and we found them to be very sensitive and careful with our issues.

    TIP- Try to pack your suitcases full of snacks like cliff bars, small pre-packaged snacks etc. We also traveled with "nips" and small bota boxes of wine. It was well worth it since drinks are so expensive on site and most times we just needed a little pick me up snack, not a full meal during the day. You can take snacks to the island, so pack a small insulated bag with waters and snacks if you are concerned about keeping your costs down. We still enjoyed frozen lemonades on the island and ice cream, but felt as if we were more in control of where we spent our money. There is also a Walmart and Walgreens on the way to El Con, so stopping there for supplies is also a great idea if you have a car rental and you don't want to pack your suitcases with supplies. Bottled water is a must. There are no concession machines on site and drinks are expensive.

    Palomino Island- This is truly the gem of the whole property. We have never been somewhere so filled with beauty and things to do for the kids. It was busy but never packed (Feb-April might be a different story). We took the horseback ride, which we all enjoyed. It was pricey but it supports a very important cause on the island and the views are spectacular at the top.

    *TIP - bring your own snorkel & mask. There is a rental fee per day and it is really worth snorkeling to see the nurse sharks, coral reef and tropical fish. BRING WATER SHOES! Coral surrounds the island and unless you want to park yourself on the first strip of beach (the most busy) when you get there, you will need them to venture out. Your feet will thank you and you will avoid stepping on a sea urchins and wrecking your vacation. You can buy snorkel equipment and water shoes on site but you will pay much more than just throwing them in your suitcase at home or stopping at Walmart/Walgreens on the way in.

    Other Tips:

    If you have kids do the Scout About program! It is a scavenger hunt all over the property for 13 colored rubber band bracelets that can be redeemed for a El Con Scout About bracelet. It's a great program, lots of fun and it gets you to see all the different areas of the resort. I did it with my 12 year old and I had as much fun as he did. We loved the view from the golf course of the rainforest and we would have never ventured out there if it hadn't been for this program. Well Done El Con! We also noticed that it was a great way for kids to meet, they compared colors and locations of the boxes. Get a Scout About map at the concierge desk on day 1!

    Take a nice walk around the WHOLE property. Las Casitas is beautiful to walk through, as is the Golf course area, Spa area and beyond. Each part of the hotel contains gorgeous gardens and at night it is a magical place. My husband and I took a glass of wine and walked the grounds for an hour+ each night and between the views, the soothing Coquis and the trade winds we never wanted to go home.

    If you have made it to the end.... BRAVO to you. I hope the tips are helpful and you enjoy your vacation at El Con! We are already dreaming of going back.

    Room Tip: Top Floor of Las Brisas wing is modern, clean, quiet, comfortable beds and terrific views.
    • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
      • Value
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    13  Thank Urban68
    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 17 July 2014

    First and foremost, thank you for being a valued Hilton Honors Diamond member. I appreciate the time you took to share such a detailed review with us and other travelers. I am glad that you and your family took advantage of the many amenities throughout the resort including strolls throughout the gardens, fun in the sun at Palomino Island and your journey of discovery with Scout About! I am happy that your family enjoyed your accommodations and the comfort of your bed.

    Thank you for highlighting the helpfulness and friendliness of our team members as well as the ongoing maintenance you saw throughout the resort grounds.

    I am delighted to see that your family is "dreaming" about your return to paradise...we hope to welcome you back in the near future for your second El Conquistador vacation.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 15 July 2014

    This was a family vacation with myself and 18 year old son, and 14 year old daughter. The rooms were very dated. Stains on bed headboards, decorative pillows, chairs. I switched rooms 3 times. The staff was very accomodating and eager to satisfy which was a positive and allowed us to make the most of oour trip. The food on the property is very expensive. I came prepared however to pay $5 for a liter of water, and $9 for a liter of Simply Lemonade is outrageous comapred to prices in the states. To take a cab to the nearest Walmart would have been $40 round trip. We ate at Blossoms and the Chop House on different nights during our stay. The service was impecable, but price very expensive. $172 bill for 3 people at Blossoms. Palamino Island was beautiful. Water crystal clear blue, sand very soft on various sides of island. The pool staff was very accomodating particular Victor. As I said we made the most of our trip but I would not come back to this hotel again or recommend it as a 5 star property.

    • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
      • Value
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    2  Thank Shawn L
    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 16 July 2014

    Shawn,

    Thank you for taking the time to share a detailed review with us. Your feedback has been reviewed with our senior management and is appreciated as it allows us to identify areas of opportunity. We apologize for not exceeding your expectations during your stay.

    I am pleased to see that you and your family had a great experience at Palomino Island and that you enjoyed your dinners at Chops Steakhouse and Blossoms.

    Thank you for acknowledging the helpfulness and friendliness of our team members.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 15 July 2014

    This is a fantastic family resort, visited for the 2nd time in 4 years....stayed in July which is off peak season. Very clean and plenty of things to do for everyone! We have been all over the Caribbean and the views in this resort stack up as well with any other resort. The staff is very attentive, especially the concierge, front desk and pool staff. We were a group of 8 so we appreciated that wherever we went (Palomino Island to restaurants) everything was set up for us when we arrived. If the resort isn't busy would check in on an extended late checkout. We were given an additional 2 hours at no charge.

    The hotel does need some updating in the rooms (Rug, Paint, etc.), especially since it is a Waldorf owned property but the rooms are very clean, spacious and have extremely comfortable beds. I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff is! They are always greeting you with a smile. We ate at all the fine dining restaurants on the property (Chops (Steak), Blossoms (Asian fusion) & La Picola Fontana (Italian) which is a bit pricey but worth it if you do not want to leave the resort. For breakfast we dined at Los Brisas for Continental or Buffet (worth it) or you can do Starbucks for a lite breakfast. Would recommend dining poolside as well for a snack or lite lunch.

    The taxi or shuttle service from the airport (approx 50 minute ride) can be very expensive. Through research ee discovered Shawn from Luqillo Taxis. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND giving this guy a call. He was the one and only taxi driver in Luquillo and a great number to have to hand if you want to go anywhere local. Arrived on time for airport pickup and return from resort, also very friendly. Not native to PR but he has a great knowledge of the local area. He is prompt, reliable and charges reasonable rates for a ride, especially large groups. Highly recommend and much needed to get about the local area if you don't have a rental car or fancy a night off driving.

    Room Tip: Call Luquillo Taxis and ask for Shawn. Tell him Mike from NY highly recommends.
    • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
      • Value
      • Rooms
      • Service
    4  Thank Mike T
    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 16 July 2014

    Mike,

    Thank you for sharing your detailed review with us. I am happy to see that you and your family had a wonderful vacation with us - thank you for choosing us for the second time. We hope to welcome you back for your third visit to the resort in the near future.

    Thank you for also highlighting the warm hospitality you experienced from our team members throughout your stay.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 15 July 2014

    Great Hotel and when you and your family received an exceeded service is better. At the pool Ivan and his staff they accomplish all the needs for me and my family, great service, food and beverages, towels, attention and never left a great smile, my congratulations to them and best wishes.

    • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Service
    2  Thank Jose M
    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 16 July 2014

    Jose,

    Thank you for sharing your review. I am thrilled to see that we were able to exceed your expectations during your vacation. I am happy to see that you and your family had a wonderful stay with us.

    I appreciate you acknowledging the helpfulness and friendliness of our team members especially the warm hospitality you experienced while at the main pool.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 15 July 2014

    I am always worried with my gluten and lactose allergies if I will get sick or not on vacation. This hotel, by far, had the BEST Executive Chef I have ever seen. His name is Ernie Reyes and he will take care of you. He brought out special food for me on the 4th of July buffet. He continually came around to our table to ask if I wanted more. He made sure that I could eat and would not get sick!! He also explained that his staff went to a seminar to get more information on how to make more gluten free meals and his goal was to have a whole kitchen dedicated to just gluten free cooking in the very near future. I was SO IMPRESSED by his professionalism and how much he helped. I will for sure stay here again due to Ernie!!! (THANKS Ernie for all of your help with all of my food allergies)

    The resort itself was nice. The rooms were not a typical Waldorf, but it was clean and all the staff were very nice. Palomino Island, the resorts private island, was very nice and clean.

    My husband and I enjoyed ourselves!!!

    Room Tip: There are rooms that you have to take a tram too, which is where we stayed. I would not suggest those as it gets to be a very long line at certain times of the day (especially when the ferry that takes you to Palomino Island comes in which is every 30 minutes)
    • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Service
    2  Thank Indy999
    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 16 July 2014

    Thank you for sharing your 5 star review with us! I am thrilled to see that all of your dietary restrictions were addressed and that you were able to enjoy your vacation without worry.

    I am delighted that you had such a wonderful experience during your stay. Thank you for highlighting the great service our Executive Chef provided you.

    We hope to welcome you back to the resort soon.

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