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“Poor customer service”

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El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Fajardo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

I called to book reservations and the receptionist was rude and didn't even let me finish asking questions...she kept cutting me off and then without warning transfered me to reservations while I was still talking to her... I was trying to book for 12 and I would have spent a lot of money so thank goodness I didnt waste my time

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
4  Thank Jessica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,400 - 3,406 of 7,747 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014

We went on a family vaction to celebrate our daughter turning 18 and graduating high school. The property is very big and pretty well maintained but I did not think it was up to what I thought was Hilton or Waldorf standards. The swim up pool was dirty and the wait for the funicular and ferry were too much. I do not want to travel and wait to get to a beach on vacation. When we arrived our room was not ready and there was alway a very long line at check in desk. I love that it is a family hotel but we do not have small children. There are many everywhere especially the pool. It would be nice if they had their own pool. I do not think I would go back.

Room Tip: rooms in bldg 3 are great with ocean views
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Vickie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Okay, I spent a ton of time online before booking my recent summer trip to Puerto Rico. We took the plunge despite some of the negative reviews and booked at El Con. I'm really, really glad I did. The resort had way more positives than it did negatives and I would absolutely, positively come back, even in spite of the negatives.

Positives:
1)The views. The views from all areas of the hotel are simply stunning. Take a look at some of the pictures on here from other travelers and know the pictures don't even do it justice.
2)The beach at Palomino island. The ride over on the catamaran is pretty fun, but the beach is just pure bliss. My husband enjoyed some great snorkeling on the island. I enjoyed the sand and the quiet. If you move off the part of the beach where the ferry boat lands, and go around the island, it gets even more quiet and amazing. The price of my hotel room was worth it just for the beach.
3)The location of El Con. My ocean view room was amazing. I could see the bio bay & the island's lighthouse from my room. The ocean went on forever. I watched a moonrise one night, and after a small afternoon rainstorm, saw a rainbow over the ocean. Seriously - the stuff of postcards. Additionally, you're walking distance from downtown Las Croabas, where there are a ton of good restaurants off site. If you rent a car (which you absolutely should) you're 20 mins away from El Yunque and an hour away from Old San Juan and all the attractions there.

The Cons:
1)Food is very expensive on resort. To be expected though. If you go to breakfast and only order the continental, watch that they don't try to charge you for the full breakfast - that happened to us more than once. Absolutely, positively go off site for food. Check this and other travel review sites for places to go. Don't let the language barrier intimidate you. It's necessary if you don't want to keep spending $100+ for dinner each night.
2)Drink is very expensive on resort. Suggest going to the closest Walmart or Walgreens (about 5 mins from hotel) and buy some Medallas or Don Q for your room.
3)Parking is expensive, expect if you rent a car you're paying $17 a day to park it.
4)There's an end of the trip room tax they tag you with, mine was about $40 a day. I'm pretty sure it's a local tax, so there's no getting around it. Didn't make it suck less though. Had to remind myself I was on vacation and to just suck it up.

All in all, don't let the negative reviews send you packing. The views and the beach are worth it bar none. If you rent a car and head offsite each night, you'll truly enjoy the island and your trip will be amazing. I will definitely return.

Room Tip: Go ocean view. If it costs extra it's totally worth it. I'd probably avoid staying down by t...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Thank Kris Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I stayed there in October 2012.
Pros:
Nice friendly staff.
The facility is huge with large number of activities.
The view from the room was the hi light of my stay.
My first golf experience and the trainer as well as the staff at the shop were very nice and friendly.
Tried the spa once and was just fair.

Cons:
The room was spacious but the buildings is completely outdated and need complete renovation.
The food quality is less than average and requires upgrading although there is a huge variety of
restaurants.
The beach is on the other site of the hotel and requires a boat ride, just ok.
Breakfast is much less than u expect from such a hotel.
Stables and horses at the beach are of poor quality, did not even think of trying it.

Overall:
Nice holiday if family with children since the price is good with large number of activity.
If u are looking for luxury holiday, this is not the place.
Good facility for the price u pay but far from being a 5 star facility or service.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ahmed s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I read some of the bad reviews for this resort, and well, I agree that there is waiting for the funicular, which is frustrating, but I don't remember ALL that waiting and bad room décor. IF you have kids, I think it may be the BEST place to stay in Puerto Rico. I don't go back to a place if I didn't enjoy it the first time, like most I guess, and we had such a fabulous time here the first visit, that we came back again. My friend informed us about a Puerto Rican groupon and we got an amazing deal on the room and waterpark package.

I went here twice, in August 2013 and two years prior to that in July 2011. Our first visit impressed us so much that we came again, and we came with a friend who was born in Puerto Rico and she enjoys coming here. Both times we visited here, we came with this friend and her two boys, and I have one son. All of our kids were under the age of 12. There is a kids club here for young children, but we did not do it.

Yes, it's a little of a long way off from the airport but I enjoy any ride, so I'm different from those travelers that don't like that. In 2011, we took the hotel van, and last year, we rented a car. In 2011, our friend had the car, so she took us off the property to eat, which is what we did when we rented the car last year. We are not hotel restaurant eaters unless we are too tired to drive - we like to get out and try the local fare, or even a chain restaurant to see if it is different than the same restaurant back home. We did eat at the pool restaurant twice, just due to convenience, and yes, it's pricey, and not too good. That happens...but then it's back into the pool.

I remember not waiting at all the first time to check in, and then waiting a while on the second visit. But, we had one parent stay on line, and the other took the kids around the property.

We like the pool - our son and his friends stayed in it for hours. We played ping pong, we walked around the grounds where the villas were, we stood looking out into the ocean, we peeked into the gift shops because we had time, we had a good breakfast with hardly any wait and we tried to time leaving the hotel when we saw a lot of people would not be waiting for their cars at the valet line.

If you can time yourself to get to the funicular very early, you will not wait to go on it. The mad rush is around 10:00 to 5:00 - peak time for all vacationers, so I think it's just a matter of timing.
The funicular takes you to a little town with restaurants and the waterpark. For afternoon fun, you cannot beat the waterpark. I don't remember the prices but if you go after 4:00, which was just enough for us on one visit, it's cheaper. There is food there - the usual pool fare - but we spent so much time on the rides that we didn't even worry about eating. My son and I were in the lazy river for probably more than two hours and the slides were exhiliarating. The eternity pool was lovely as you look out on the ocean. I don't know - I relaxed here and just enjoyed everything - maybe I'm just like that.

Back to the resort, there are shops and a Starbucks so you can have your morning fix. The first time we came, there was a casino, and the second time, there was a game room for kids, with the basketball shooters and pinball machines. There is a disco, an ice cream shop, and lots of room to sit and mull around. There are parrots to talk to, a piano to play, and someone who plays it at night while you walk around, and gift shops in which you just may find something not so expensive to take home. The first time we were there, there was a small arcade room, and then last year, they were renovating that into something else, perhaps moving the casino there so it wouldn't be out in the open so much and little kids would want to run in there.

I don't know if this would be a honeymoon place, but for a family with any golfers, it really does have a lot to do. My husband played golf and my son and I drove him on the cart. We were the only ones out there!!! So no waiting there...there are also tennis courts if that's your thing. It also has a very small gym where the tourist shops are but which I went to every morning. I just went on the treadmill and lifted a few weights but it was enough for me, to think I earned an ice cream later on in the afternoon....

As for the rooms. On our first visit, we had such a lovely surprise - a room with an ocean view for not the price of one. It has a balcony that we thoroughly enjoyed and a chaise chair inside on which my son fell asleep most of the time after the pool. We felt it was decorated nicely and we had lots of room - two queen beds, I believe. The second time we stayed, our room must have been a smoking room once before and we couldn't stay there because none of us are or have ever been smokers. Well, we got a room that overlooked the marina, the ocean, and the lighthouse at the tip of the island, and what a wonderful surprise that was! So I have nothing bad to say about the rooms, especially for the price we paid.

But for me, here comes the best part about this hotel and what I enjoyed the most. First, you can get off of the property and take the boat to their private island - how cool! Yes, you may wait for that - but I don't remember waiting such a long time. We enjoyed the cool breeze of the ride and just doing something different. The island has beautiful warm, clear water, a reasonable restaurant, watersport rentals and secluded beach areas - with gorgeous outlets of rock and tree scenery against the water. You can also go horseback riding.

BUT, this was the BEST memory I have of this place. Last year, the Housewives of Beverly Hills filmed here - we saw them come off the boat (all to themselves of course), hang out at the little house across from the restaurant, and film on the beach in the back secluded area. For a star struck celebrity watcher like me, it was the highlight of the highlights for me! We were allowed to watch them from a distance and I was very close to them while they filmed in the little house. I saw them fixing their makeup, and swimming in the ocean. And it was even better when we saw the episode on TV, heard the dialogue and said to ourselves, "So that's what they were talking about!" Listen, if the Housewives of Beverly Hills filmed here, some location scout probably thought this was the best venue on the island. In the evening, there was a private party by the pool, and how I longed to be there!!!! Upon our return to San Juan, I saw the whole gang again filming in the streets and got a photo with Kyle and Brandy - they were lovely and spoke to the crowd. If anything could have gone wrong on my vacation - those two sightings took it all away.

Lastly, I took the Bio Luminescense Tour which I could see take off from my room in which I stayed last year. I think you can purchase this from the hotel but I paid for it right by the bay. This is right next door to the hotel and YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!!!!!!!! I didn't swim in the ocean with the little creatures that light up, nor did I see the critters light up so much - that was disappointing -- BUT the most amazing part of this tour was trying to kayak back in extreme darkness. What a team building experience with strangers! It was a feeling I will never forget. Just kayaking there through twisted trees and having to bend down through them before you arrive into this vast lake of well, lake - was such an experience I would definitely do it again.

Overall, I found that there was lots to do. We stayed here five nights and it was just enough. When we rented a car, we got off the property and went to the El Yunque Rain Forest and ziplining. Sure, that was a drive, too, and if it were up to my husband he would have stayed at the resort all day. But I like to get off the property, too, and the resort was a nice place to return to after driving and being out on the town. The good thing is, you can get off the property and find local places to eat so I think you have the best of both worlds here.

Room Tip: Both times, we did have a view of the ocean and we enjoyed it. Ask how much extra it is for this - i...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Thank travelchick627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

First I want to talk about how excellent the food was, especially Chop Steakhouse- food was amazing, steak cooked to perfection, and our server, Danielle Ramsey, is full of life and went above and beyond. El conquistador hotel has a great location near luquillo beach, el Yunque rainforest, nightlife near las croabas, and snorkeling at palomino island to name few. Great honeymoon. We will be coming back.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank xWiLox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Stayed at the El Con at the end of May for a conference. The place is HUGE. Great view and lovely amenities. Unfortunately, being a single traveler (not with my family) I felt there wasn't that much to do. I like to drink and party on vacation but it seemed that the bars were not that exciting. There was a main bar (Bar 21) but other than that, it seemed like a place to bring the kids to hang in the pool, or play golf.

The food was not up to the standards of a Waldorf by any means. The only decent meal I had was at the Steakhouse, which left me $200 lighter when I left.

Room Tip: Getting a room in the Marina means you have to walk FAR to get to your room but it is so worth it. I...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Korinne77
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: £183 - £357 (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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