The stay was 2 days pre cruise on the Carnival Victory. We went on this cruise in 2007 and stayed at the Condado Plaza and paid a lot more for our room and we felt the Sheraton was much better and in a better location for pre cruise. We paid $155.00/night before taxes and we booked direct with the hotel via telephone.
We arrived at 1:30pm via taxi from the airport (taxi fare is a set rate for all taxis-$19.00 for a trip from the airport to the Sheraton plus $1.00 extra per suitcase). Greeted at the door by doormen and they couldn’t do enough for us. Everything was taken care of. We went to the desk and there was no problem that check in was not for another two hours, are room was ready and we went up immediately. The desk staff was very friendly and helpful, check in was a breeze. We asked for a recommendation for “real local Puerto Rican food” for dinner. They recommended the Raices, two easy blocks from the hotel, he even drew a map. The hotel is very nice, decorated plain but elegant. Everything was clean and in good repair. If you are very critical and choose to look for imperfections, they are there but you really have to look.. Ex.: some worn spots on carpet, evidence of previous paint layers etc-but they were hard to spot. Our room had a King bed which was very comfortable. The air conditioner is controlled in the room and worked well. There was a desk/chair- good size. An extra arm chair and foot rest that could easily sleep a child up to about age 7. The TV was new and a flat HD model with cable TV 30 channels and a pay per view movie channel, safe, ironing board and iron. Bathroom was standard for this type of hotel with the usual “goodies”. There was a hairdryer and coffee maker in the room. Our room had a large window overlooking the port where the cruise ship would pull in. This hotel is in the middle of Old San Juan and close to the free trolley that runs all around Old San Juan on a regular basis. We walked to Raices as recommended and we were not disappointed. It is small, caters to locals, delicious, excellent service, and not too expensive at all (dinner for two with a beer/dessert came to $45.00 with tip.) As a nice touch, everyone dresses in authentic Puerto Rican dress. They spoke English well and all the dishes were Puerto Rican and not just the usual tourist dishes. Back at the hotel, they have a nice pool on the roof, small but adequate and very nice to swim in, there was also a Jacuzzi. The exercise room was with the pool and it looked well equipped. The machines looked new and they were in good repair. You do have to use your room key to access the elevator to the hotel rooms and pool area. The casino was on the small side but looked adequate.
Saturday we ate at the Sheraton that has a breakfast buffet in the Palio Restaurant. Nice complete buffet and very good….the drawback was expense. It was $18.00 per person which we think is a little steep for breakfast. Luckily there is just two of us but, if you are a family with children, eat breakfast else where. We took the free trolley which runs all around Old San Juan. (Stop at an info booth to get a trolley map with all the trolley stops on it) We ate a late lunch and the Burger company which is also at the Sheraton-great food here…HUGE hamburgers and portions. $9.00 for a burger bigger than a Whopper, and fries that were too much for use to eat and we shared one order of fries. In fact this held us for the rest of the day and we never had dinner. Of note we saw A LOT of people waiting in the lobby today with luggage. All seemed to be pre cruise guests. I would recommend coming two days before the cruise and not the day before. I’m sure the people waiting a long time in the Sheraton lobby would not give it high marks for checking in.
Checkout was easy although elevators got very crowded in the morning due to the crowds of people trying to leave and get to their cruise ship. The Sheraton will keep your luggage for you downstairs and next time we will bring our luggage down VERY early, say about 6 or 7 am and store it downstairs so the wait for elevators a couple of hours later with tons of people will luggage can be avoided. Another tip, forget valets for your luggage, it take them forever to transport the luggage in the elevators too so peak “time to go to the cruise ship time” you will wait forever for a valet and cart.
Overall, this was a wonderful hotel and couldn’t be more convenient for pre-post cruise stays. The staff was extremely helpful and we would stay here again regardless of what we had to pay.
POST VISIT: addendum - When checking in for the Carnival cruise, we had packed in our checked luggage a hammer and screw driver because we were having trouble with one of the wheels on our luggage. We packed it just in case, it was my husbands “favorite old screw driver and pliers. Unfortunately, “tools of any kind” are contraband on cruise ships and we got called down to open our luggage. They also decided while the luggage was open to disallow my very good computer breaker/extension cord “fire hazard” in cabin. I could not bring these on board but could throw them away or mail them home. Carnival said the Sheraton “mailed” things. Well it was Sunday and we could FED Ex it for a ridiculous expense or wait for Monday and sent it US mail (cruise ship was leaving-not an option) In steps the bell man Alex and he offered to hold it for us while we were gone and we could stop at the Sheraton and pick it up -no charge (We gave him a tip when we picked it up) Alex saved the day for us as well as saving us from throwing away some items we wanted to keep. THANKS ALEX!!- I posted wonderful Alex’s picture with this review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel is situated in the heart of historic and romantic old San Juan district. We are ideally located on the waterfront, just a few moments from the docking point of grand cruise ships. We are literally "Steps from Everything" as you can walk to over 200 restaurants, cafe's, pubs, shops & much more. There is also a secluded beach 0.7 miles / 13 minute walk across Capitol - Senate house in Old San Juan or a 1.1 mile scenic walk to pristine Escambron beach which has food kiosks etc. Discover why Old San Juan is the Caribbean's most visited city. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel And Casino
- Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel San Juan
- Sheraton San Juan
- San Juan Sheraton
- Old San Juan Sheraton