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“Horrible service”
Review of Cervantes

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Cervantes
Ranked #23 of 48 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Miami Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Horrible service”
Reviewed 18 January 2012

Had a horrible experience from arrival to departure. I would never stay here again. The general manager Angel was not very friendly from the moment we stepped in the door, and we received the worst service I've ever experienced. I work for the largest hotel chain, and I recommend for those travelers to stay in chain hotels where you already know what to expect. The hotel ran out of pillows the first night and towels when we only requested one of each. They don't have double beds and they charge $100 for every additional guest. The only good thing about the hotel was the location, I strongly recommend the Sheraton Casino next door. We used their concierge services and they went above and beyond. Don't stay here! Worst nightmare! Waste of money and the rooms are super small.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank Adrianamarie1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 20 January 2012
Dear Guest:

Since you stayed with us, management changed. Hospitality is very important to us and we are sorry for the way you were treated. Our staff gladly advises our guests on must see places and arranges everything for you, so you can relax and enjoy your time.

Being a Boutique Hotel, our rooms are not large, but our Standard/Queen room, for example, is perfect for two people.

Hotel Management
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2012

I stayed at the Chateau Cervantes on New Year's Eve with my five-person family, after having completed a fantastic cruise to the Southern Caribbean, and as someone who travels frequently, I was astounded by the incredibly poor service, room quality, and overall experience provided by the Cervantes, particularly given the expense.

Even though we only stayed for just one night, we experienced an inordinate number of issues (see them listed below), and the response we received from management regarding these issues only became more aloof and unaccommodating with each interaction.

1. Uncomfortable, Unacceptable Sleeping Situation. We were permitted to reserve, and were subsequently placed, in the Penthouse Suite--a double-occupancy room--even though we were a family of five. The hotel frequently loads more than two people into this suite, so they thought this would also be appropriate for our large family, and the sleeping spaces that they presented to us were one king-sized bed, a full-sized sleeper sofa (which my sister and I, both thirty-somethings, had to share) and an airbed on the floor. For an $800 room, the minimum one would expect is a real bed to sleep in, and only two out of the five of us could claim this.

2. Poor Room Design. The Penthouse Suite was clearly designed for couples who want to do nothing else but bathe and/or sleep, since the space allows for no other activities. The TV was in the bedroom but didn't face the bed, and only a few, very uncomfortable ottomans/chairs were set in front of the TV (which, by the way, had intermittent sound a few channels). The only way for five of us to watch TV was through the picture-window in the living room. Ironically, this ended up being somewhat of a blessing, since the bedroom also had a picture-window into the bath/shower area, allowing zero privacy for anyone wishing to bathe (very awkward for families). Lastly, lighting, outlets, and mirrors were clearly the last priorities when designing the space, since they were sparse and placed in ridiculous places. Example: no mirrors by the bathroom sink/vanity.

3. Maintenance Issues. As mentioned in previous reviews, the A/C and hot water are intermittent. A/C worked for us, but was incredibly loud--so loud that the private terrace offered nothing but the sounds of mechanical grumblings and views of a wall of plants (bamboo, I think?) blocking the parking lot across the street. Hot water was also iffy: we had it, but some showers got lukewarm by the end. The key cards stopped functioning in the middle of the night. The wifi only worked in the lobby, not in the room. And the telephones didn't work at all.

4. Poor Hotel Service. We could not check in to our room until after 4:30pm, despite the 3pm check-in. This was particularly unfortunate, since we disembarked from our cruise at 10am. Also, our room was only stocked with four towels (see #1), and despite asking three times, with assurances that they would bring up at least one more towel for our fifth family member, the towels never came. Also, none of the front desk staff was very knowledgeable about nearby restaurants, activities, etc. They would call places we identified but couldn't offer recommendations.

5. Indifferent, Unprofessional Management Response. The manager, Michelle Colon, was incredibly unhelpful. Any one of the aforementioned issues would be enough to issue a complaint, but taken together, they made the price of the room absolutely outrageous, and we sought some sort of response or compensation. During our first phone conversation (made on one of the front-staff's cell phones, about two hours after trying to reach her on the one working telephone in the hotel), we were told that there was absolutely nothing that could be done to make our sleeping situation more comfortable: no additional rooms, mattresses, or airbeds or any other offer, only the one free drink provided to my father during the 90+ minutes we waited for our room. We spoke with Michelle again the following morning, after we overheard her agree to issue a 10% refund to another couple due to their hot water problems. Although she said that she could not offer us the same, since our floor did have hot water, she would speak again to "the owner" to see what she could do. This was a phone conversation in Spanish, which I assume she thought we didn't understand, since she was flippant in her description of our concerns, referred to them as stupid, and highlighted that she had already given us a complimentary drink at the bar (as though this were sufficient). It's unclear whether or not "the owner" actually exists, since Michelle is not permitted to provide this person's direct phone number or email address, but this person(?) did end up giving Michelle authorization to issue us a 5% refund. We took what we could get, but not surprisingly, we did not believe that this was nearly enough. Note: this ended up being an actual refund, rather than a discount, since they put through the full room charge the night before our check-out.

The hotel is in a convenient location in Old San Juan, which is an absolutely lovely and interesting place to visit, and I can definitely sympathize with travelers who would prefer to stay in a local, boutique hotel rather than at one of the chain hotels. But, in this case, due to the terrible service and management, the poor design choices prioritizing style over functionality, and the disruptive maintenance issues, I would definitely recommend any other option over this one. And never, ever pay $800+ for the Penthouse Suite, since it will never, ever be worth it.

Room Tip: Do not opt for the Penthouse Suite, since it's incredibly overpriced.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank klf599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2011

Stayed here for just one night prior to a cruise and what a great find. The hotel is located in a great area of Old San Juan convenient to everything you might want or need it was 20 dollar ride from the airport and the driver knew exactly where it was. I had read about the recent a/c issues but it was working fine. Check staff was wonderful especially Michele.
I would love to come back for a longer stay. BTW never heard any noise from our front facing room.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dalcrew1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2011

The Hotel itself is lovely.Rooms are nice but on the small side. Beautiful french doors with balcony.Great location! However there was no hot water the entire time we stayed there, so be warned.They said they would send someone up but never did. So I give the hotel 4 stars for decor, location and a great food. I give 2 stars for service. The staff was great but the management clearly does not make service a priority. To not inform guests prior to their arrival that hot water is not available, is pretty bad. The breakfast is just toast, juice and coffee but the restaurant that opens later is amazing. It is super noisy but it's to be expected and you can't blame the hotel. Just bring plugs and it should be fine. So if you can deal will cold showers then you will be fine. One tip, DO NOT park in the lot closest to the hotel. Across the street there are two lots right next to each other. Park in the second one, the one farther than the first. It's like 9 dollars for 24 hrs vs 50 dollars.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the back side of the hotel for less noise and park at the second lot for 1/3 of the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kira G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 10 January 2012
We're sorry for the situation you had to experience during your stay at our hotel. If you ever decide to come back, you WILL have hot water. The problem was finally fixed!
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West Bloomfield, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2011

I have an upcoming reservation at this property, but was concerned with the reviews that have stated the this property has Air Conditioning and hot water problems. I contacted the hotel, and asked the front desk if this was in fact the case. The employee said that the A/C had been fixed (although recent reviews say that it has not been) but that the hot water issue has not been fixed on the top floor.

Although the rooms look modern and updated, I would be leary to stay at this property until these problems are resolved.

Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Newman P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CervantesprGM, Front Office Manager at Cervantes, responded to this review, 10 January 2012
Let me assure you that the problems mentioned were immediately resolved. When you stay with us you will have no inconvenience and will be able to enjoy Old San Juan as much as our hotel.
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MadisonGal6
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2011

We stayed at the Cervantes the night before our cruise departed from San Juan. The location was perfect – very close to both of the forts in Old San Juan, restaurants, and most anything else you’d want to see in the area. Staff were friendly and helpful and the room was clean and more than met our needs. We even had a balcony with a cute view of a quiet street. The continental breakfast was included, but only consisted of bread, muffins, and a pastry, plus coffee and juice – it would have been nice to have fresh fruit, but oh well. The restaurant looked very nice but we opted for something a little less formal elsewhere. Overall it was very pretty, well maintained, and the staff was great.
Visited December 2011

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank MadisonGal6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Italy & USA
Level Contributor
141 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2011

The staff at this small hotel were as good as it gets. Helpful, friendly just nice people. The hotel is fine, the rooms are nice and the food in the Bar / Resturant was great and shouldn't be missed. My one wish was to have coffee available before 8:30.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BKBA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cervantes

Property: Cervantes
Address: Recinto Sur #329 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#10 Family Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cervantes 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cervantes boutique hotel at the gateway to Old San Juan is for sophisticated travelers that appreciate the fine art of hospitality. Inspired by the intimate 'town hotels' of Europe, rooms and elegant suites feature contemporary luxury designed by NoNo Maldonado. Exclusive penthouse suite with private terrace, spa-bath and keyed elevator access. Concierge-level service, free continental breakfast, flat-panel TVs, free Wi-Fi in the Lobby and public parking garages are nearby. Enjoy creative international cuisine at our acclaimed Panza Restaurant. We are 5 minutes away form cruise dock 1,2,3,4. We are in the heart of Old San Juan. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cervantes Hotel San Juan
Cervantes San Juan

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