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“Old world charm...you won't be disappointed (once you can swallow the expense)” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
MI
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Old world charm...you won't be disappointed (once you can swallow the expense)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

We booked a Historical tour package for El Convento that included a walking historical tour of OSJ, 3 nights in a Queen Vista room (room 514) with a bay view. Our room was on the smaller side, and I swear the bed was not a queen size! It seemed tiny! But the room was well-appointed with nice linens, outfitted with a large flat screen, and included a nice seating area. I enjoyed opening the large windows and watching outside. The entire property was open and airy, but what was remarkable was the service. The front desk acted as a concierge for us, and booked us a Biobay tour when there was none available. They emailed me confirmations, left me voicemails, and made sure I had directions on where to go for the tour. Annette was particularly helpful with this! All of the staff was really helpful with restaurant recommendations, walking maps, etc.

The walking tour with David was packed full of information. The history was cool, but the hubs and I got a little tired in the heat and with all of the details. David was pretty enthusiastic, so we hung in there. I might skip this next time as we are not big history buffs.

We enjoyed the wine & cheese hour, the views from the balconies, and the onsite bar. We did breakfast one morning and while it was good, it was overpriced and there was some construction going on at the time so it was pretty noisy.

The price was a little more than we would have liked, but we didn't need a car during that time, we had wonderful accommodations, and loved the walking proximity to most of the things we wanted to do locally (i.e. forts, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife). Overall, we felt it was worth it.

Room Tip: 514 is a vista room with a great view of the water!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NJCARES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (499)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Lincoln, Illinois
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2012

This is a gorgeous open air property in the heart of Old San Juan. The staff is wonderful, and the rooms are clean, well decorated and functional. New TV's and very modern tiled bathrooms.

There is a wine and cheese reception on the balcony every night - a perfect place to watch the sun set - and this is no cursory wine and chese reception. It's a huge selection of cheese, and very nice wines, and ripe fruit. It's perfect - we changed our evening plans so we could take full advantage of this relaxing event.

There is a small roof top pool with a great view of the city and ocean.

The restaurant is fantastic - amazing breakfast (try the manchego and serano ham french toast) and outstanding Tapas. The vibe is casual and friendly - you can sit and enjoy the sun and breeze for hours without feeling pressured to leave.

You feel like a regular the minute you get here - they treat you very well from every aspect.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cyasukot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Beatiful historic landmark in the heart of Old San Juan. Lots of Old World charm.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank yazoo_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Stayed on 2nd floor in queen vista. Nice room. First & second floors have 20 ft ceilings! There is a lush courtyard in middle so view seems good from all the floors. There is a rooftop plunge pool & hot tub with amazing views! Staff was friendly & accommodating. Service can be a bit slow at restaurant in morning but be prepared to relax & you won't be bothered! Everyone is so nice & helpful! Great location! & def eat at tapas restaurant across the plaza from hotel (near the huge banyan tree)! It's wonderful!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mare0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Beautiful hotel in walking distance to all the sights in Old San Juan. I'm a believer that if you want to do San Juan, you should stick to the old parts and spend your beach time in Culebra or Vieques where the beaches are much more spectacular and less crowded.

El Convento was luxurious, incredibly fun and was my favorite part of our honeymoon. After 3 days in Culebra, we headed here and enjoyed the free water, coffee, tea, wine and cheese. The staff could not have been more helpful or friendly, and the one breakfast we had at the restaurant was a little pricey, but delicious. We also did a package deal that let us have a rainforest and bio bay tour (full day of activities!). We had a great time, and I would recommend Hotel El Convento to anyone!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 60618Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

We went to El Convento after 3 days at Hilton Caribe. While the Hilton property was beautiful, we definitely prefer the vibe, service and location of El Convento. Hotel is charming, historic with excellent service - loved the library / terrace. Charms of Old SJ right outside steps, best part of trip was walking around town and historic sites just down the street.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ACF22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Maryland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

First of all, i would like to state that i AM NOT affiliated with this hotel or any travel company in any way, shape, or form. My reviews are honest and forthright.
So lets get to the hotel. If anyone tells you there is a better hotel that is better at capturing the essence of Old San Juan, they are dead wrong. We stayed here for 5 days and traveled ALL of old san juan....and to be honest, this is absolutely the best thing there. By saying that, i'm not putting down OSJ, it's just a testament to how enjoyable Hotel El Convento is. Where to start? Every single room walks out to a beautiful courtyard containing a beautiful tree with plenty of conquis that serenade you every night. You never walk down a hallway to your room, your room opens to a 10 foot wide walkway that travels along the entire inner part of the hotel. The restaurant on the bottom floor in the courtyard (Patio del Nispero) is just awesome. Pumpkin fritters, crusted salmon, Flan Brulee.........completely original and awesome. The food is cutting edge. Altho, i will say, El Picoteo (the tapas restaurant on the 2nd floor, rents the hotel space) has better Pina Coladas. After our meal, we asked to see the restaurant manager so we could tell him how much we enjoyed our meal; he was unavailable at the time, however, the next morning, slipped under our door was a hand written card from the restaurant manager (i forget his name) thanking us for how much we enjoyed our dining experience (try getting that in the states) and 2 coupons for free sangrias (which were awesome). Every one at the hotel was incredibly hospitable. My wife and I were enjoying a bottle of wine at the table outside of our room when a hotel employee walked by........without even making eye contact, he offers us an ice bucket for our wine (which is not his job btw), we accept, then he goes and brings us an ice bucket and stashes our bottle of wine in it immediately. The rooms: the terracotta tile was very authentic. The room was very comfortable and not cramped at all, the fridge was fully stocked with bottled water which you could replenish for free at the honor bar at any time (oh btw, there's an HONOR BAR). What's more is that there is a privacy door between your room and the door to the hallway....so any noise from the courtyard at night was basically blocked and reduced to white noise akin to your A/C running or a ceiling fan, if anything at all. The first night, i woke up 3 times but went back to sleep b/c i didn't see any light AT ALL and thought it was the middle of the night. Turns out, the shutters and the curtains don't let in ANY light....so my body was right....it was telling me to get up b/c it was 10 am.....but pitch black in our room (which i found very pleasant). El Picoteo is a very nice place to eat, and is equal to and in many cases much better than the restaurants around town. It's a bit pricey, but u get what u pay for. Garlic shrimp were truly jumbo shrimp and worth $14 for 5 of them. BTW, a lot of the restaurants in OSJ are a bit pricey, so whatever, if u stay at el convento, don't be afraid to enjoy their dinning. There is a pizza joint w/craft brews on the 2nd floor too. Didn't go there, but they have a nice little selection of craft brews.....surprisingly, a lot from North Coast Brewery.... Oh, how about this....the staff knows who you are. Several times, my wife and I were sitting somewhere on the premises and a member of the staff whom we'd never even seen before would come by and address us by our names....i don't care how they know who we are, to me, it says that they care about their guests. Beautiful rooftop with a nice view of the sunset over the harbor. The pool is small, but i'm not going on vacay to do laps, so who cares. Finally, one of the best parts (which really got our evening started) was the free happy hour from 6-7 every night. We fully took advantage of this. I'm not gonna say the wine was awesome, but it was ok and it was free. 7 diff varieties. 4 Reds from Spain. A white from cali, a white from spain and a sparkling rose......plus plenty of cheese and fruit to satiate your appetite. meunster, bleu cheese, brie, reggiano, cream cheese w/chives, it was nice. Drink a bottle of wine and listen to the coquis while sitting on the patio watching the sun go down, compliments of the hotel, that was great. To sum up my very long review (sorry), i wouldn't ever stay anywhere else in old san juan (just b/c of how amazing this place is) and i would almost go back JUST to stay there again, b/c it's worth the trip alone. Not to mention, it's located right in the heart of old san juan. Oh also (i can't shutup) there's a guy singing and playing guitar in the plaza in front of the hotel, its very pleasant and he's very good. You can have your beach front mega resort, i'll take the 500 yr old piece of history with the best of everything all in one place. If you stay here, you will not regret it, unless you're a horrible person, i guarantee it. Bottom Line: i'm going here again, and i don't think i'm leaving the premises. Thank you Hotel El Convento, you are a diamond in the rough

Room Tip: I heard that room 518 was the best.....but i don't know. we stayed in 418 and it was great. I wo...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Honk B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Convento

Property: Hotel El Convento
Address: 100 Cristo St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in San Juan
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#1 Business Hotel in San Juan
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel El Convento 4.5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of historic Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento has set new standards of luxury, comfort and service while preserving the rich character of this former 16th century convent. This landmark treasure, a member of Historic Hotels of America and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has earned four diamonds from AAA each year since its opening. This is the exclusive hotel experience to indulge the most discriminating of travelers, and is a hotel like no other. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Convento San Juan

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