Hotel El Convento

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

100 Cristo St, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901, Caribbean

5 Reviews

Hotel El Convento
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4 star hotels

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  • Families88
  • Couples92
  • Solo91
  • Business94
  • ainsleigh's Profile Photo

    Colonial-Era Luxury and High Expectations


    Let me begin by saying that Hotel El Convento is absolutely beautiful. The colonial-era architecture and dark wood make you feel like you're staying in a period novel. I loved the inner courtyard that opens to the sky- we stayed during a hard rain and it was gushing through the hallways and against the restaurant canopies, really cool. At night dozens of bats swoop around to eat the fruit off the trees in the courtyard; we sat out and watched them for hours and it was one of the best memories of our trip. There's a nice terrace overlooking Old San Juan where they serve free wine and cheese in the afternoons. The restaurants are all very nice, but have the same drawbacks of cost and tourist-trapness that hotel restaurants tend to have. Pick the tapas restaurant El Picoteo.

    I really wanted this stay to be perfect. Partially because it was my birthday, and partially because staying here was a major splurge for me. We booked our reservation well in advance, mentioned that it was a special occasion, and received an e-mail back saying every effort would be made to make our stay special. When we arrived we were told there was damage to some rooms from the rain and would be given a different room with one bed and one sofabed instead of the two queen beds we had reserved. The sofabed was very, very uncomfortable and old. We had initially booked a room with a nice view, and now we looked across at another building... we were offered the choice between this and a room with it's only window looking out into the corridor and thought that would be worse. At this point I'm pretty disappointed... We aren't the people to complain or fuss about things but we thought if we talked to someone maybe we could work something out.

    As we're waiting in line for the front desk, a couple with a child in front of us is told of the damaged rooms and offered the bridal suite. The couple walking away is saying they can't believe they were upgraded to a suite. We talk to the manager and are told now all the rooms are full. Wow. That sucks. The only thing we can have is a 4th floor room with a very nice ocean view but only one bed, our friend will have to sleep on an air mattress. They offer us $100 off for that night, and the second night we will be moved to the room we originally booked. The second night, the room was perfect, had beautiful high ceilings and overlooked the cathedral and the colonial square.

    I'm not sure if I would stay there again or not. It's expensive, very touristy, and we didn't get exactly what we were promised although this probably wasn't their fault. The more expensive the accommodation, the higher the expectations I guess. In the end though El Convento really was beautiful and had an unforgettable atmosphere and it would be hard to imagine my birthday vacation in Puerto Rico without it.

  • GlobeTrekr's Profile Photo

    Absolute best hotel in Old San Juan


    Unique Quality: Built by Spanish colonists in 1651 as a Carmelite convent which obviously was later restored to become a small luxury hotel. El Convento Hotel was opened in 1962 and is the oldest member of Historic Hotels of America.
    Very charming and relaxing with excellent restaurants. Everyday at 6pm they have the Daily Manager's Reception for guests on La Veranda Terrace. Free wine and hors d'ouevres! It can get crowded on the Terrace but there are a few tables and chairs just outside overlooking the courtyard which is where Diana and I sat. If you're in your room at that time or close by its definitely worth it. I remember lots of different cheeses and crackers along with about 10-15 different bottles of wine.

    Directions: On the corner of Calle Del Santo Cristo and Calle de las Monjas. Directly across the street from the San Juan Cathedral, you can't miss it.

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Sleeping Nuns


    I have not stayed here, but it was pointed out as a landmark by our guide.

    History of the building

    * 1646: Construction began on the Carmelite convent, through a petition by King Phillip IV of Spain
    * July 1651: The convent was inaugurated as the Monastery of Our Lady Carmen of San José -- and was situated across the street from San Juan Cathedral, the Western Hemisphere's oldest cathedral
    * Dec. 9, 1903: The convent was closed by the Archbishop of San Juan
    * 1959 : Under the auspices of Operation Bootstrap, Robert Frederic Woolworth - heir to the Woolworth fortune - began converting the convent into the El Convento Hotel.
    * Jan. 27, 1962: El Convento Hotel opened

    The interior has wooden beams, handcrafted tiles, carved chairs, velvet settees, and antique chests.

    Unique Quality: * Complimentary high-speed Internet access
    * Elegant marble bathrooms
    * Plush bathrobes
    * Goose-down pillows
    * Flat-panel LCD satellite TV
    * Bose radio and CD player
    * Two-line telephones, with data ports
    * Spacious work desk
    * Hairdryer, iron, and ironing board
    * In-room safe
    * Refrigerator, filled with complimentary chilled water
    * Coffeemaker and complimentary Alto Grande coffee
    * Individually controlled air conditioning
    Across from the hotel, is valet parking.

    Directions: Up Norzagaray Street - Fort El Morro approaching on the right.

    At the plaza right before the fort take a left to Cristo Street. At the top of the small hill, bear left, then right, around the plaza.

    Two blocks down the hill on right is El Convento.

  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    Historic Boutique Hotel


    Originally built in 1646 as a convent for Catholic nuns, it was renovated and converted into a swank hotel in the 1970's and updated in the '80's. Very much worth a stay for a couple of nights even if you stay somewhere else a little less expensive for the rest of your visit.

    Directions: Old San Juan

  • LindaV's Profile Photo

    A great place to stay in Old San Juan


    Great location, very central. Everything is basically walking distance. Make sure you do not get a room next to the elevators other than that the hotel is very cool.

    Definately make sure to check out the tapas bar and ask for "Raffe" the bartender he makes an unbelievable mojito....

    Unique Quality: Very friendly staff, the rooms are great and everything is walking distance. The continental breakfast they offer is outstanding...

    All in all a highly recommended place to stay in Old San Juan.

    Directions: Old San Juan

More about Hotel El Convento

Beautiful El Convento

by TripAdvisor Member ducatiman

Having read other reviews we decided to stay 5 nights prior to our cruise at El Convento mainly due to its central location in the old city and the fact that is away from the crazy commercial beach front areas of Condado and Isla Verde. It was a good choice, although some kind of error in the internet booking meant we were given a queen bedded room for 3 of us. No problem, they hadn't a two bedded room available for that night and instead gave us a suite with a bed settee in the living area. (My son complained that it was most uncomfortable with a very thin mattress and had to sleep on the counterpane to pad it out a bit) They left us in the suite for 2 nights and then moved us to a double room. Both room and suite were large and comfortable and were thankfully cool, we managed to do without the aircon most of the time despite outside temps of 87f, the building has been tastefully and carefully restored, an excellent job since I belive that it was once home to the city's refuse department! It had all the facilities you would expect, although the pool could only be described as a plunge pool, but enough to cool you off and given the status of the building it couldn't be bigger anyway. A good workout room is provided with multi gym, weights, treadmill and stair walker and was very much under used, myself and my son never saw any other guests use it. Breakfast on the patio was excellent with a good selection of food available and then later in the day the same area provided an honour bar. We booked on the internet and were quoted S195 per night, the bill showed S238 per night but they quickly corrected it, taxes etc add a fair bit to the bill which finally totalled over S1200 for the 5 night stay. We enjoyed our stay although it was expensive in comparison to mainland US hotel prices but then it is not a Holiday Inn. We would definitely go back. Thankfully we had no car in San Juan and relied on our daughter and husband to drive us round. The Hotel has some space in the grounds on the cathedral opposite but if you try to park in the streets be prepared for a long tour round looking for a space.

Adored El Convento....Just the Best!!!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I took a group on a cruise in May 2003. The return flight home was overbooked and USAir gave us vouchers for El Convento Hotel. The six of us who received vouchers had the best of times at El Convento.

The service was excellent, they gave us toothbrushes and tooth paste (our luggage went on to BWI). The room was so precious. The view spectacular. The food at Las Tappas was delicious. The continental breakfast the next morning was very nice.

The view from the balcony was so serene. My husband and I and another couple sat and conversed for the better part of an hour. We never felt that there was a rush for us to do something or go somewhere. I don't know if it was the fact that the hotel was a former convent, but I was so relaxed.

I cannot say enough about this hotel. I can't wait to recommend the hotel to others and I can't wait to go back.

In San Juan we stayed at the...

by drolkar

In San Juan we stayed at the EL CONVENTO HOTEL. As its name suggests, it used to be a Carmelite Convent -- and that shows in the architectural style of the building. The hotel's location is perfect, as it is right in Old San Juan. Complimentary wine and cheese on the terrace every afternoon.....!

Best hotel for weddings and other events

by gigipedrazam about Hotel "El Convento"

Great and EXPENSIVE hotel; Spanish architecture and high ceilings. I could not have my wedding there since they only take weddings above $20,000!!! But i fell in love with the property, location and layout. Is right in the middle of Old San Juan so you can walk around, visit "La Fortaleza" and then rent a car and explore the rest of the island.

El Convento

by JeSuisJill about El Convento Hotel in San Juan

I LOOVED this hotel! As a matter of fact, I left my flip flops in the hotel room and they MAILED them BACK to me in New York.

How often does THAT happen?


el Conventoel Convento

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Entrance Hotel El ConventoEntrance Hotel El Convento

In the inner courtyard of El ConventoIn the inner courtyard of El Convento

Forum Posts

Numero Uno, Gallery Inn or El Convento in San Juan?

by maggiwun

All three of these look interesting in their own way, at least from the websites. Has anyone stayed at any of them and can you give me your recommendations? This will be our first trip to San Juan. Thanks a bunch!

RE: Numero Uno, Gallery Inn or El Convento in San Juan?

by MundoViajero

I have lived in San Juan for 2 years, and while I have never stayed at any of those locations, I have visited them all.

Numero Uno is very different than both the others, as it is right on the beach. It is in a very nice more traditional neighborhood in Ocean Park. The facility itself is quite unique and not very big. I just had some clients stay there, and they said the rooms weren't that large, but they were very nice...and they loved the location.

The Gallery Inn-I visited the owner of the Gallery Inn when we first moved here. Fascinating woman, and what they have done to this old structure in Old San Juan is just amazing! The rooms are so nice and the library, sundeck...all incredible! It is very quaint and small...and I hope to go stay there once before we move away this fall.

El Convento is also very fascinating with so much history. It is much larger and more like a traditional hotel than The Gallery Inn. They have a great restaurant in the courtyard, El Picoteo, and you can't beat the location!!

I really don't think you could go wrong with any of the choices. Staying at Numero Uno would put you more with a beach crowd. Staying at the others would put you in the heart of history. Then choosing between those two would be a toss up!

Best of luck!


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 Hotel El Convento

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

El Convento San Juan

Address: 100 Cristo St, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901, Caribbean