More about Hilton Ponce And Casino
La Cava at Ponce Hilton
La Cava at Ponce Hilton
La Terraza at Ponce Hilton
Marks at Meliá Hotel
Don Juan at Cristina Street
All of them have affortable prices.
Nice athmosphere and fresh food everyday. La Cava offer International Cuisine
La Terraza offers Buffets everyday and everyday has differents cuisine. For example, thursday is lobster night.
Marks at Meliá is International Gourmet
Don Juan at Cristina is Puertorrican & International
La Cava del Ponce Hilton
Elegant and fine restaurant, open daily for dinner, complemented by an excellent wine list. A la carte gourmet menu featuring international cuisine.
Dress code is casual / elegant. During my visit I had duck for dinner. Meal was very good and the service was good too. The atmosphere provides for an excellant time to dine with friends or family.
Casino Sport Bar
A mid size casino with air conditioning & soft music. Pleasant atmosphere. There are waiters & waiteress always walking around to provide food & drinks.
Tip: If you park you car in the Hotel Parking you can get your ticket stamped and your parking is free. Casual, No sneakers.
Mixed experience at the Hilton Ponce
The Hilton Ponce was nice but nothing special. My husband and I stayed here one night after two nights at the Hotel Melia (downtown Ponce). We stayed downtown as our base for visiting the city and driving around the island (went through the mountains to Arecibo and everywhere in between). We came to the Hilton for a day of pool and sun, and it was just okay.
They call the Hilton Ponce a "resort", and I guess that just depends on your impression of what a resort should be. Perhaps I am spoiled by the excellent service I get in Cancun, but the Hilton Ponce offered decent service, but very understated. I would say it was very American in its attitude. People were polite, but not going out of their way to make that extra effort.
Here is an example: I called to book massages at the spa two full weeks in advance because I knew the hotel was supposed to be fully booked and I didn't want to chance it. I called that afternoon to re-confirm our appointment times and nobody answered the phone at the spa. I had specifically asked for the last two appointments of the day so that we could take advantage of the sun and pool, so I thought, "no big deal, I'll just call the front desk and ask what time the spa closes". So I call the front desk, and the lady doesn't know the answer to my question. She puts me on hold and after a couple minutes comes back to tell me that "the spa is closed on Mondays". Well, that's funny because I was SURE I booked it for February 20, a Monday. My husband started waving a brochure in front of me, which explains there is a huge spa at the Golf Course next to the hotel. So I ask the front desk lady, is it possible that my massage was booked at the Golf course spa? She has no clue what I was talking about. She did not apologize, simply transferred me to the golf course. Turns out there is NO full service spa at the Golf course, but they do give massages over there, and anyway, they lost my spa reservation. I thought the whole thing should have been handled better and they should have been at least apologetic. Instead they seemed clueless.
Aside from that experience, the resort was nice, but really not amazing. Definitely needs some updating, like chipping paint, that kind of thing. The beach is really small here and I've since learned that this side of Puerto Rico does not have great beaches. The pool is smallish and chilly and there were lots of kids there. We learned a little too late that there is a really nice pool over by the Golf shop, which we wished we had found that morning. It seemed much quieter over there. Also, the rooms over there seemed really really nice, but I wonder if they are part of a time-share, as the area was called Costa Caribe.
I would probably go back there if I planned a trip to Ponce, but only if I got a really great rate. The drinks at the pool bar are expensive, especially if you have been elsewhere in Puerto Rico, which is generally dirt cheap. The dinner with salad bar/soup/dessert was about $30 and gave extremely big portions. The quality was mediocre though.
My husband and I (who never gamble) decided to poke into the casino just to check it out. We couldn't stay in there more than 10 seconds because it was smoky and gross. It's not so much the smell of fresh smoke that is bothersome, but the smell of years of smoke that has penetrated the carpets and everything in the room that is just putrid. Even if I were a gambler and a smoker I would take a pass on this casino.
Christmas week at Hilton/Ponce, PR
Just returned from Christmas mid-week stay at Hilton in Ponce. Was a little concerned after reading some of these reviews, and of course, we had already booked the place through Jetblue getaways for a great price. So here we go...Husband and I had been to PR many times with teen daughter, mostly staying in and around San Juan. Took the only flight Jetblue from NY has to Ponce night after Christmas, arriving at 4:30 AM. Short cab ride to Hilton, one person working reception desk. Very pleasent. We upgraded to 2 br suite w/ magnificent deck. Husband crashed immediately, whilst daughter and I went exploring in the dark.(Very secure, cameras and security folks everywhere) Place was beautifully decorated for Christmas, lots of lights and flowers. Everyone we met from hotel were friendly and welcoming. I was plesently suprised by the beach area. Yes it is gated and locked at night and the black sand is unexpected for the Carribian. The beach itself was about a 1/2 mile cresent, perfect for walking, finding shells and beach glass. Padded lounge chairs a nice treat. Waiter service on beach always a plus to me. Spent each day lounging, as the reason we were there was to RELAX. The water was clear and warmer than the pool, with lots of folks swimming. I recommend water shoes to get past the rocks. No snorkeling but also no hawkers, hair braiders, jet ski noise, para sailers, banana boat rides, just quiet. No other resorts or hotels in sight. Big difference from Isla Verde, Condodo, etc. I would have liked to see kayaks or cats for use, but the quiet was worth the trade off. The place offered nothing for teens by day or night. There was a playground and mini golf for the younger crowd. There was also an arcade/pool table area in the rear of the lobby, played air hockey with daughter a couple of times before dinner. Forgot to mention, bikes are available for free from fitness center, good for touring the grounds. The grounds and public areas never seemed crowded even during this holiday week. The spa is miniscule and workers may leave you at the manicure table to answer phones, and make appointments. No massage tables outside. Better off going to a day spa near home. The food and drink prices were high as expected. The best meal of the week came from room service (salmon done perfectly, Steak tender). On lobster night,($36) they ran out of lobster after we ordered about 8 pm. so we were out of luck there, and no round of drinks to compensate. We tried the Japanese place by shuttle to Golf area. The wait was intermidable, the fish fresh and presentation was ok. The waiter came over every half hour or so to tell us our food would be right out, but we were seated for about two hours before the appetizer came! There was a pack of kids running through the place screaming which didn't help matters much. Again, a round a drinks or complimenty desert would have been appropriate balm to our frazzeld patience. This place would not last 10 minutes anywhere else. Back at the main hotel, we complained to front staff, the next day half the food price was removed from our bill, so the right thing was done there. Our rooms were clean, pretty, and large. Absolutely no complaints there. Husband and I went to casino three nights, lots of locals playing with lots of money. Joined the Hilton players club, rec'd no perks but walked away ahead so that was ok. The dealers seemed to know the regulars, but I didn't perceive any snobbishness towards the Americans. Drinks were hard to come by, had to ask the dealer who told the pit boss to send a waitress over. Do that as soon as you sit down so you get a drink w/in first hour of play. I actually gave up waiting and went to the adjoing bar to purchase a drink one night. Also, consider joining Executive lounge, the continental breakfast and delicious cafe con leche well worth the daily price os $30 per room. On last night we requested wake up call for 3:30 am., and set alarm, thank goodness, because wake up call never came. Check out was easy, but not enough cabs back to airport. We were getting nervous about our 6:00am departure as we found ourselves still waiting in front of hotel at 5:00am. People behind us were really upset, we attempted to get the manager to release the Hilton van to shuttle us. No go. We did make it on time. The airport is tiny and has only one screening area so we were divided on lines for Jetblue and Continental. Also were assured plane would not depart until everyone got through. Would I go back? Yes. But not with teen daughter. Perfect for couples on a long weekend, I would probably become bored after 5 days without something else to do. We are used to stepping out of our hotel for great inexpensive local foods and drinks. That was not an option here. There was nothing around the place, so be guided accordingly. If however, you are seeking the quiet, very sunnyside of P.R. the Hilton is a great choice. We were content and got what we came for: sun, beach, warmth, and clean beautiful accomadations.
My husband and I just returned from the Ponce Hilton where we went to escape the cold New York weather, our stressful jobs and our children. Jet Blue recently began to fly out of New York's JFK direct to Ponce. The flight was about 4 hours long and the hotel is 10 minutes from the airport. We stayed on the second floor of the Executive Tower. Our room was spacious, nicely decorated and meticulously clean. All the rooms in the Executive Tower overlook the Carribean Sea and have terraces accessible by sliding doors. With the doors open and/or if you sit on the terrace, you can hear the waves. The staff was friendly and helpful, the food was okay. We enjoyed a romantic sushi dinner at the recently opened Sanchos, located a 2 minute shuttle ride from the main hotel at the newly renovated golf clubhouse. The pool was beautiful and very quiet on Thursday and Friday, but got a little more populated over the weekend. A one hour massage at the small spa was relaxing and resonably priced at $65.00 for one hour.
Our only complaint was the ocean. The water is not the color that you would expect from the Carribean, since a nearby river, close to industrial plants, empties into the Carribean not far from the hotel.
All in all, for a quick, resonably price, quiet, relaxing and friendly atmosphere and a beautiful and clean room, try the Ponce Hilton. If you are going to Puerto Rico for the beach, do not visit the Ponce Hilton for you will be disappointed!
Nice relaxing place
My son and I just returned from a week at the Ponce Hilton. We had never been to Puerto Rico before; in fact, had never been to a "resort" before, and we picked this place via Priceline, mainly because it was fairly inexpensive. So we didn't know what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised. It's a fine place to relax, with a nice pool, friendly staff (the guys who park the cars were particularly outgoing and helpful) and enough things going on (basketball, tennis, and other kids to play "Manhunt" with) to satisfy an 11-year-old. I imagine it's not the flashiest of resorts, and people who have been to really fancy ones elsewhere might be disappointed. But for me it was just right. The room was big enough and clean, with a view of the ocean, and quiet. My son loved the food, which was very American; I found it pretty boring after a couple of days. So we ate elsewhere a few times. I'd recommend Pito's Seafood on Route 2 west of Ponce. All in all we had a relaxing time.
One other thing: if you are thinking of snorkeling, a trip to La Parguera, about 45 minutes west of Ponce, is definitely worthwhile. There are several companies that run trips of a couple of hours or more. We stumbled upon Paradise Scuba in the center of town and took their sunset trip ($50 per person), which was fantastic. We visited three reefs in a little over two hours, then came back to the scuba shop, where the owner's wife had prepared homemade chicken empanadas, which we washed down with soda and beer. Then back out in the boat after dark for a trip to La Parguera's Phosphorescent Bay. The captain turned off all the lights on the boat and we went swimming among the bioluminescent plankton. The captain said the effect would be particularly impressive because it was a moonless night, and it was: when you waved your hands in front of your mask it was like having thousands of sparkling grains of rice floating before your eyes. Fascinating and a nice way to end the day.
Perfect Spot for Me, Husband and 11 mo. old
We checked out of the Ponce Hilton on Feb. 12 after a one week stay. We are used to staying in five star hotels but picked the Hilton here because we had our 11 month old in tow and thought that it wasn't worth the top dollar to stay somewhere where we weren't going to be able to enjoy the amenities. Much to our surprise, we found this hotel an undiscovered gem. We checked in to a very nice suite with a large patio (about the size of our NYC living room). Dinner in La Terraza was good for the Caribbean - nice salad bar and okay main course. They were extremely nice to our daughter, which of course, made the dinner that much more pleasant. It poured rain the next morning and when I went into the other room to get my daughter, it turned out the ceiling had leaked all over her and she, the stroller, and her crib were soaked. The hotel was quite apologetic and moved us into a suite in the Executive Tower - a great upgrade. The rooms had a spectacular ocean view and lovely patio. We were glad to make the change and would recommend booking in this part of the hotel. It provided access to the Executive Lounge - free drinks, etc. all day and free Internet access.
Pool is the best part of the place - one at the main hotel and another quiet one at the Golf Course (so quiet we were the only ones there). Despite the fact that the hotel was booked, we felt as if we were the only ones staying there. Lots of conventions so it never feels crowded. Played tennis on great new courts with no wait or sign up necessary.
Dinners at the Sushi Bar and the Golf Course restaurant are highly recommended. Also La Cava was quite good although no ocean view.
We used the hotel's babysitting service - two of the three sitters were good - one was strange.
For us, Kmart and other shopping places were right nearby but you need a car. This was great because we could buy Pampers, etc. instead of dragging them along.
Would we go back? I say yes but my husband says no simply because we like to try new places.
To sum it all up, this place is a great deal.