My wife and I got back two days ago from a trip to San Juan for a friend's wedding. We chose this hotel because it was the location of the ceremony and reception, and it didn't make much sense to stay elsewhere.
When my wife and I walked into our room, we immediately noticed how dirty it was. There was trash swept under our bed, and we had smudge marks and cup rings on just about every table or surface in the room. We didn't bother to say anything because it wasn't worth ruining our happy mood just to try to get a cleaner room.
Multiple Leaks in the Bathroom
The second day, we woke up to water pouring out of the walls and ceiling of our bathroom. It wasn't awfully bad at first, but by early afternoon when we were getting ready for the wedding, just one of the 5 or 6 leaks was filling the waste bucket in just under 2 hours. We called maintenance who came up and told us, "Don't worry, every 17th room on each floor is having the same problem." We didn't have time to deal with moving rooms because of the wedding, and when we got back, it had slowed down to a few trickling leaks. We were leaving the next morning, so we just stayed in there, even as upset as we were.
Stolen Diamond Ring
Packing that night, my wife couldn't find the anniversary ring that she had put safely in the corner of her jewelry box before we headed to the beach the day before. I emptied it on the bed and sorted each piece of jewelry out one by one, and the diamond ring was gone. My wife is extremely careful with her jewelry, and there is no way on earth the ring was lost. The only explanation is that someone stole it.
I would say it must have been the cleaning staff, but we discovered on the second day that the door to our room did not fully secure and lock each time it was closed. I tested this once I noticed it, and even though it would stay shut after closing it and giving it a small tug, several minutes later it would pop open.
We filed a report with hotel security upon checkout and asked to speak with someone about being reimbursed for everything that had gone wrong during our stay. They didn't just apologetically decline, they actually argued with us. Eventually, they offered to give us $75 dollars back, even though the nightly rate was $160 and the total cost of our stay was roughly $650... The cost of the stolen ring alone was $1200, and they still refused to help us.
So now, I'm writing this review to post on every travel site I can find and hopefully, it will save some of you from experiencing some of the trouble that we went through at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino, a property of Hilton Hotels.
Unique Quality: Nice beach, but service is extremely slow, predominately unfriendly, and extremely dirty.
I have to say the staff's attitude for the most part is poor but in the Casino just down right rude. If your not a local person they would rather you not be there. With that said the restaurant's are fantastic but I will never go back because the attitude of the people is they don't like you ..
Unique Quality: Location it's on the beach
On Saturday, September 11, my partner and I arrived at the above-mentioned hotel, to stay for two nights. The purpose of our trip was a short weekend getaway to relax and enjoy the amenities the hotel offers, such as the pool and beach service. We were excited to stay in this four star hotel that is part of the Waldorf collection and Hilton family.
Upon our arrival, we were checked-in the hotel by a courteous staff member who was warm and welcoming. We were given room 916 in the main tower. When we walked in the room there was something drastically off putting. The imagery used in the hotel website seems polished, sophisticated, fresh and modern. Our room was everything but that. The décor seemed scattered and messy. The tile floors felt sticky. We got suspicious of the cleanliness of the room and started to feel really uncomfortable. We checked the bed and we found the white headboard had various stains. We couldn’t tell if it was blood, glue, dirt, or hair dye. We moved to the bathroom and found a similar issue there. The grout had mold and mildew and the towels that were supposed to be white looked like a mismatch of different shades of dirty white.
We called the front desk to inform them of the situation and asked that someone be assigned to clean the room properly and get rid of the questionable stains in the bed. We stepped away to have lunch and returned 2 hours later to find that the room was just like we left it. Someone from housekeeping attempted to clean the stains to no avail. However, they seem satisfied with their job although clearly the stains were still there as obvious and vivid as we left them. We called front desk a second time to inform them of that the issue wasn’t resolved. The assigned the Head of Houskeeping, Migdalia Feliciano to come check. She came to inspect the room and with clear and arrogant carelessness told us that instead of focusing on the stain, we should have noticed that they added a plastic lamp to our room. And questioned if we noticed. We didn’t. Redecorating the room wasn’t our request; it was cleaning it.
She was clearly bothered and made us feel as if we were an inconvenience. We insisted that the room be clean properly. Migdalia walked to the room door and yelled the name of a staff member who walked in equally confrontational and holding a bottle of Tilex or similar bathroom cleaning product. She tried to rub off stain but couldn’t, instead by doing this she revealed the true white of the upholstery and accentuated how filthy this room was and how poorly it has been cleaned for years. They also tried to clean the mildew of in the bathroom. The issue wasn’t getting resolved. The incompetence of the management and cleaning staff alike was palpable. Migdalia nor anyone in the hotel management staff ever offer to change our room. We didn’t ask for it either, but truly expected that solution to be the most appropriate and intuitive from a trained personnel. It wasn’t. Instead, they offered to come back later to clean the room again. That was a joke and a waste of time. At this point we had no choice but to stay in that dirty room. We didn’t have the time to cancel our reservation and change hotels. Our short vacation at a four star hotel was quickly turning into a nightmare, dealing with incompetent, mediocre and unhelpful service, reminiscent of a two start rated hotel.
On Sunday morning before 9am, we were woken up by an uncommonly noisy vacuum cleaner. I opened the door and found a housekeeping person leaning against the wall, eating a snack and chatting with another staff member with the vacuum cleaner on and sitting there creating unnecessary noise and cleaning nothing. The apparent cleaning issues are obviously as was the unconsidered and uncaring staff that has clearly no supervision or work ethic. What was supposed to be a fun and relaxing getaway has turn into a disappointing experience and I blame this hotel and most of the incompetent staff for it; a group of useless employees who don’t seem to know what hospitality is.
We were scheduled to check out on Monday but our flight didn’t leave until the evening so we asked if we could have a late check out. This request couldn’t be accommodated and the front desk person said that we couldn’t because the housekeeping staff was in a rush and needed to finish quickly. Judging for the desolate scene at the pool and beach area where only 8 guests were out by the pool and 12 by the beach, this hotel was practically empty. Couldn’t the hotel arrange for our request after a long list of negative experience? So we decided to go by the beach and check out by 1pm as we were supposed to.
In our second beach visit during this stay, we get our towels and are ask again to wear a wristband to indicate that we are hotel guests. We walk to the beach and found to a few empty and scattered beach beds that we dragged and put together. Note that no Hotel staff offer or ask to help. In our first time in the beach, we had to get out own drinks at a poolside bar because no one ever came by to offer service. About 40 minutes after we got to the beach two young girls approached the area and immediately, a young man from the staff came to offer then service. Within in 3 minutes he produced 2 bed and four hotel towels. These girls were not wearing wristbands and there was no exchange of payment for the service. We were close to enough to notice. Immediately after they were settled another young man came to offer them a drinks. His name is Jorge and he asked other people, including us, if we needed anything from the bar. Jorge, brought the drinks to the girls but he didn’t give them a check. However, when he gave us our dinks he brought our check. We never asked for the check. We are guest in the hotel and we are given a check but the people that walked off the streets don’t get one? This doesn’t make sense; non-hotel guest get better service and no check with their orders but hotel guests get ignored and charged with each other.
At this point we are convinced that something is going on so we decided to ask Jorge. We called him and questioned him on the obviously suspicious situation. He got defensive and offered a million of useless reasons and couldn’t give a straight answer to any of the questions. He couldn’t even answer a question on the service policy from the concession: who should be served and who shouldn’t. As hotel guests, it was clear that we are not getting the same preferential service and we had the right to know, so, we asked Jorge to call his manager since he wasn’t being of any help. Curiously, Jorge He left and came back to ‘the girls’ and hands them what seemed like a check in a black sleeve.
After a long while, Diana, the food and beverage manager of the pool are came and offered more stellar service. She couldn’t answer any of our questions either. She didn’t seem to know anything about who gets service and who doesn’t. How come? After a long time questioning her, we realized that she just wasn’t going to be of any help either or provide any information because she didn’t want to or more likely because she didn’t know. We opted to ask for her contact information as we were determined to notify the hotel of this situation. She promised to bring us her business card. To no surprised, she never came back or sent one with the information. We had to leave the beach as the check out time was approaching. As we walked by the pool we spotted her casually chatting with a guy at one of the poolside bars. Has she forgotten about us? Another proof that management didn’t care about us, our business, our concerns or anything remotely associated with service. We asked her again for her card and she promised us that it would be at the front desk when we check out.
We finally get to check out to end this nightmare at an overrated hotel. We had the opportunity to speak to the Assistant Front Office Manager, Yvonne Ramos. Yvonne was the only person who treated us with respect, who seem to care and listen, and although at the end of our experience, offered an apology. No one from the managing staff, Migdalia in Housekeep or Diana in food and beverage, never did or offered a real solution. In fact they seemed bother and defensive and we felt that they didn’t care about customer service. Diana didn’t leave her card at the front desk as she told us. She lied. She doesn’t care and she laughed at us, she was disrespectful at the beach, she was rude and unprofessional. The only thing she seems to be good at was covering up her staff and the mess that and biased service the offer.
It is very unfortunate that we chose El San Juan Hotel. It was a clear mistake. This hotel is everything we didn’t expect. We are disappointed and upset because we wanted to love it and we walked away disgusted and confused: did we just stay at a Waldorf-Astoria Collection hotel? We felt we planned and paid for a vacation but we got rubbed of it at this hotel.
The Rio Mar is located in the Carolina region of Puerto Rico, about 45 minutes from San Juan and right across the highway from the El Yunque Rain Forest. The best part of the resort is the fact its away from the main tourist areas and has its own section of beach! The resort offers many different upscale places to eat and various bars on the beach and in the pool area. There is live music and dancing at night at the main bar in the resort as well. The beach is beautiful and well maintained and is frequented by hotel guests only. The pool area is extremely large and has a area for kids as well with a slide and fountains. The rooms are a bit on the small side but very beautiful and the beds are about as comfortable as it gets. I didn't golf but the golf course looked wonderful. Overall at a average rate of about $200 a night its a bit over priced but worth it because of the private location.
The lobby at the El San Juan is warm and inviting in the Carribean way. However, when you get to the renovated rooms they no longer match. They are all stark, bleak, cold and empty. They call it a minimalist design but it left me feeling codl and thinking the hotel ran out of money. The floors are white wood/plastic and cold to the feet. The shower door is a piece of glass that only covers half the entry way so that water runs out on the floor. The walls are empty without much artwork. The furniture is made of plywood that is painted white, but does not completly cover the plywood pattern. There is a clear plastic chair to sit at the desk/table and a couch covered in pleather that sticks to you. This used to be a comfortable warm room, but it seems the renovation went horribly awry. For my money I will stay elsewhere in the future.
Unique Quality: The El San Juan does have a beatiful lobby, pool area and beach access. They added covered beds around the pool to lay in and drink during the day. Although the renovated rooms are bleak, cold and uncomfortable they do still have some suites that are worth looking into if you can afford it. I got moved to one of these after complaining about the renovations. I hope that if enough people do the same, they will make the hotel more comfortable once again.
Directions: Isle Verde
The Wyndham El San Hotel & Casino is listed as one of the "Leading Hotels In the World" and for good reason. The expansive lobby with its HUGE chandelier is but one of the attractions. Indeed, the lobby is the place to see and be seen on a Saturday night as the locals strut their stuff and socialize with each other, the guests, and often with celebrities. I have seen many professional athletes, actors/actresses and others here. The night club goes all night. There are several top-shelf restaurants to suit any taste. The pools are beautiful, and the hotel sits right on Isla Verde Beach.
The rooms are nice but maybe not as modern as some, but the hotel is a classic. There are several boutiques, a cigar bar, and of course the casino.
Numerous other restaurants are within a very short walk.
I lived next door to this hotel for 5 years and wish I was still there!
Unique Quality: Great pools and beach.
And of course the lobby!
Directions: On Isla Verde Avenue, only 5 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes from Old San Juan.
I am going to make the bold statement of saying that the Wyndham El San Juan is the best hotel I have ever stayed at in any city in the world (with a close second being the Beach Hotel in Hermosa Beach, CA). It really has everything you would ever want so, for better or worse, you really never have to leave. In summary this hotel has:
1. About 7 restuarants including a Palm Steakhouse, two restuarants on the roof with great views and food, a sushi restuarant, etc.
2. An elegnat casino with blackjack, craps, poker, slots, etc. It is not open 24 hours, but late enough to lose all your money.
3. A really nice, high scale club (Babylon) whose entrance is in the hotel lobby.
4. Two huge pool areas, as well as a very large beach front just beyond the pools.
5. Multiple shops for any kind of necessity.
6. The service is top notch. The employees of the hotel went out of their way to find us a place to stay when all hotels were booked and we weren't even guests of the Wyndham at the time.
The bottom line is that this hotel is "Elegant." During the high season the price gets very expensive but you can probably find some very good deals during the low season. If you are willing to spend a little more, there is no better place to stay in San Juan.
Unique Quality: Although I did not personally stay in this hotel, we stopped by the Wyndham El San Juan in Isla Verde to wait out a rainstorm before going into Old San Juan.
The centerpiece of the hotel is the swanky bar area with its huge chandellier - it's there in front of you when you walk through any of the hotel's main entrances. The hotel also has a casino area.
In off peak periods, you can typically get great deals from the hotel's website or call the hotel directly (not the main reservation number).
Night View of the El San Juan Hotel
One of the Pools at the El San Juan
Taken from the stairs in the Disco- El San Juan
Does anyone know the name of the boutique in the El San Juan which sells purses, designer original jeans and unique accessories? I have lost my card from that business and would like to order a pair of the jeans. The shop is off of the main lobby of the hotel. Thanks for your help.
100 Cristo St, Old San Juan, San Juan
1309 Ashford Ave, San Juan
1159 Magdalena Ave, Condado, Santurce, San Juan
8000 Tartak St., Carolina, Puerto Rico, 00979, Caribbean
Latest San Juan hotel reviews
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Address: 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico, 00979, Caribbean