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“The very best pre-cruise hotel”

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Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel
Ranked #20 of 48 Hotels in San Juan
Reviewed 14 October 2009

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.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Susanrita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 October 2009

We stayed at the Sheraton San Juan before our Carnival cruise. We had a room overlooking the water where our ship was docked right outside the door. This hotel has a great location for cruise travelers as you do not need a car. Walk to shopping and El Morrow. Free wifi and pc/printer.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank BKTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2009

My wife and I visited Old San Juan prior to a cruise in September 2009. We chose to stay in the Sheraton Old San Juan due to its close proximity to the cruise ship port and the attractions in Old San Juan. You can literally walk across the street to board the ship. Also all of the attractions in Old San Juan are just a short walk away, very central location! A few years prior, we stayed in the Condado area and found that the taxi fees were quite high to travel back and forth between Condado and Old San Juan daily. The free Old San Juan shuttle bus and trolley system also has stops directly outside the hotel. The rooms themselves are not that great, are in need of renovation and are small. The roof top pool looks great in the pictures, and it is a nice touch, however the pool seems to be much smaller in person. The cost of the room was more expensive than most in the area compared to the value. We justified the extra premium on the cost with the great location.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MSL_Dub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2009

The female front desk attendants and female front desk supervisors were all sharp toned and unpleasant at all times during my stay.

I reserved a room with a view of the harbor and was told at check in my room had a harbor view. I went to the room, opened the window shades and saw a parking garage in every direction from the window. The room also had a strong mildew/mold smell and large stains on the carpet. I called the front desk about this and was given another room. The new room also had a mildew/mold smell and carpet stains but a view of the harbor. I purchased a can of Lysol spray to help with the smell.

I was in the room one day when housekeeping arrived. I asked the room attendant to let me know when I needed to move to another area of the room so that he could vacuum the carpet. He looked at me as if he had never heard such a request. "Vacuum?" he replied. Yes...vacuum. He vacuumed the room and the sneezing that I had been experiencing for 4 days subsided. Interesting.

On my second night there, I smelled what seemed to be cigarrette smoke in the non-smoking hotel. I opened the door of my room and there was a strong smelled of smoke...from the other type of cigarrettes (not the regular nicotine cigarrettes). "Security" was sent to the floor; however, "security" only stepped off the elevator, made a circle in the hallway, and got back on the elevator.

A tropical storm was scheduled to move in over the island. I went to the front desk to ask about the hotel's procedures during such a situation. The front desk agent, with a sharp tone and much attitude, informed me that the manager was working on a plan. She told me that the manager would contact all of the guests with information...never heard from the manager. The tropical storm (although a tropical depression by that time) moved in the next day.

On some days housekeeping left clean towels, on other days they left no towels. I checked all towels before use because the towels had stains more times than not.

The hotel restaurant (Palio) staff were very polite, helpful and accommodating at all times. The lunch and dinner food was very good. The Bellmen were also polite. Internet was free which was very important to me. Pictures of the rooftop pool are deceiving. Also, I was informed (after my stay) that pets are allowed. That I'm sure had something to do with my sneezing (along with no vacuuming).

If you're interested in accruing the most reward points possible...stay with another hotel chain.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled on business
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1  Thank TSTex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2009

I was born and raised in San Juan, PR. 40 years ago I left the city to go to college in the western part of the island (3 hours trip) and stayed there. My last trip to old San Juan was 10 years ago. I took a weekend break and reserved at Sheraton Old San Juan. Boy that was the best decision I’ve made in recent years. The hotel staff was very friendly, special note on Yaira, she was very kind and helpful. The assistant front desk Manager, Mr. Ramon Martinez, was also very helpful; especially on a problem I had with the reservation. The rooms were not too big but to be honest you don’t need a football field to have a good time. I’ll be back!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Frank00680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

This hotel is very convenient if you visiting San Juan for a night or two. It's located in old San Juan near several cruise ship piers. We stayed for two nights so we could tour Old San Juan. The hotel itself is very comfortable (4 or 5 star quality). The room we had didn't have much of a view but the price was right. The hotel is close to all kinds of restaurants and we even found local entertainment one night down by the water. We visited both of the old forts nearby and walked all around the old town area. The hotel has internet access in the lobby which was great for airline check in. There is also a casino in the lobby - it was sort of fun to watch. We did visit the rooftop pool - kind of small but very refreshing and relaxing after a hot day of sightseeing. All in all a very very comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank MisterMVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2009

We chose this hotel because of the location & it was at a good rate. Our previous experience in Puerto Rico was not so good, so I was a little aprehensive. Everything worked out great. The room was clean & comfortable....a little small, & a small window, but we didn't care about that. Everything about the trip was wonderful. In Old San Juan, You are soo close to so many wonderful restaurants. We live on St. Thomas, so we didn't care about going to the beach. We did not have a rental car & I loved being able to walk or easily get a taxi or other transportation. We had absolutely no problems with checking in or out (maybe they fixed that problem with the previous reviews); it appears they even offer several options for checking out. We enjoyed the rainforest while we were there. I don't recomend the breakfast at the Sheraton....highly overpriced & bad quality. From reading other reviews, we mostly ate breakfast at Mallorca. It absolutely has one of the best cups of coffee I ever had. The food is decent to average, but you can't beat the speed or the price! Ate dinner at Sophia's & Marmalade....absolutely wonderful!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank BlondieK97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel

Address: 100 Brumbaugh Street | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico (Formerly Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino)
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in San Juan
#13 Family Hotel in San Juan
#15 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: $222 - $593 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 240
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 
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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

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