Historical Traveller Reviews of Embassy Suites Hotel Dorado del Mar Beach
the good, the bad, and the ugly
Don't expect a charming, out-of-the way beachfront resort if you choose to stay at the Embassy Suites Dorado Beach. Instead, be prepared for a very ordinary stay in a very ordinary part of Puerto Rico. The hotel looks like any other Embassy Suites, only uglier since it stands out as a giant, boxy monotlith stuck out in the middle of nowhere. The food is also uneventful to say the least. We ordered chicken nachos at the poolside resaturant and found them to be almost inedible. Picture a plate of dyed red and green chips, topped with watered-down guacamole and melted cheeze-whiz. The free breakfast is passable, especially the made-to-order omlettes which are actually pretty tasty. Our room was spacious and very clean. And, the ocean view was well worth the extra $20 per night, since we were able to open our balcony door and enjoy the ocean breezes and sound of the tree frogs at night. The staff was courteous and helpful. No problems there. The pool area was very nice with fabulous veiws of the ocean. All in all, we enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Prices in Puerto Rico during high (winter holiday) season are out of sight, so I guess this all-suite hotel can be considered a bargain. If you're looking for a fancy, upscale resort, I suggest looking elsewhere. You'll be disappointed. If you're satisfied with a cookie-cutter Embassy Suites in a not-so-very interesting or beautiful part of Puerto Rico, with clean, nicely appointed rooms and a great pool/ocean area for families, you'll be pleased.
Nice place to stay
My family stayed at this hotel during the first week of Nov. We actually stayed in the time sharing portion run by the Aquarius Vacation Club. Nonetheless, we still got access to the hotel's facilities and were impressed. We liked the pool and the private beach although both are relatively small.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay. I wouldn't consider this place a full blown resort as the activites they offer are somewhat limited but it is a nice hotel to stay away from the hustle and bustle of San Juan. They may want to consider adding another computer for guests to suf the internet. There's only 1 and at times there can be a wait. The hotel is about 25 minutes west of San Juan. Also the directions they provide coming from the airport are somewhat confusing.
Great Tropical Hotel
Just returned from a relaxing stay at the Embassy Suites Dorado. We loved everything about the hotel. Make sure you are a Hilton Honors member so you can get free cocktails at the lobby bar instead of just the beer and wine at the pool bar. The breakfast buffet was great and there was plenty of seating and many people cleaning up the tables. All the staff were really nice and helpful. Free use of the computer in the lobby was nice to email home. The pool was great and we loved the small beach. We brought our own snorkel equipment and were able to see lots of coral and tropical fish in the little bay. Had a good lunch at the pool restaurant that was moderately priced. Walked to town and had dinner at Pee Wees one night. A TripAdvisor traveler had recommended it and we were glad we went. The walk was easy as we didn't have a rental car. We also ate at the little mexican restaurant next door to Pee Wees and it was good but more expensive for simple food. The pizza and salad at Oreganos across from the hotel was great and very convenient. We were at the hotel mid week which was nice because it wasn't crowded. Go for the cheaper Net Direct rates at Embassy Suites.com. Our room was on the top floor overlooking the golf course and mountains. No need to pay for an ocean front room when you are always outside at the pool and beach. We found we spent very little time in our room. The room was very clean and well laid out. The refrigerator and microwave are handy if you bring snacks. We will definately stay here again.
Great for the price
My father's family lives in Puerto Rico. Ordinarily, when I visit, I stay at my aunt's house in Cerro Gordo (can't beat free and GREAT home cooking!). Last week, my grandfather passed away, and since a lot of family was coming from the states, we had the travel agent book us a flight, room, and car knowing that my aunt would be hosting others.
My husband and I stayed in a room/suite with a king bed on the 5th floor overlooking the driving range. Since we weren't there for "vacation" but for a funeral, we did not take advantage of all the hotel had to offer. We did spend a few hours at the pools (beautiful!) and took a brief walk on the teeny tiny beach - very clean. The hotel was not crowded, but we were there in the off season. The room air conditioner worked wonderfully in the humid post-Ivan pre-Jeanne storm week. Both our room and my sisters' rooms were clean and well-furnished, everything worked wonderfully. A call for extra towels was answered promptly, although the request for a knife to cut the lime for the rum & cokes was never fulfilled. Oh well, after a few Don Q's who cared if our lime is peeled, not sliced?
Someone mentioned the slow check in - we had the same experience. However, since most people are on VACATION, take a deep breath and sink into the rhythm of the island - everything moves slowly except the worktruck drivers with the unsecured loads around blind curves on the wrong side of the road - that's just Puerto Rico. The staff was very courteous, and even though our travel agent only booked 1 room when we asked for 2, the lady at the check in counter took it all in stride and checked us in.
The breakfast buffet which is free has a wide variety of food - eggs, meat, cereal, fruit, yogurt, coffee, juice, etc. Can't complain about free.
Over all, a nice experience. In fact, the rooms are so spacious we probably could have all shared one with no problem. When we return to PR we will most likely stay there again instead of my aunt's as it was affordable, spacious, and clean, and we don't have to share a bathroom with my aunt and cousins, as well as displace people. I will still go there for the food tho - way better than a restaurant and the cafe con leche is to die for!
Best in Dorado
We stayed at the Embassy Suites in July of 2004. Very clean...GREAT pool area (esp. for kids). The beach was on the small side, but we found that we stayed by the pool more anyway. We visited the two Hyatt hotels in Dorado (not the rooms, but the restaurants, casino and lobby areas) and thought that the Embassy Suites was by FAR the nicest hotel in the area. Having a two-room suite was great! One thing to be wary about, though, is the view...there really isn't much from most of the rooms...you might be able to see a sliver of the ocean, but not much. If you stay in Dorado..you absolutely must RENT A CAR!!!!! There are plenty of fast food places to eat in Dorado, but you'll be about 30-40 min. away from San Juan and the taxi rides are incredibly expensive!! Be ready to drive about 1.5 hours to the east coast (Culebra, Fajardo, etc.) And also be ready for VERY VERY confusing road signs....and the drivers in PR...they drive like bats out of you-know-where!
Embassy Suites-Dorado Puerto Rico-Great Family Vacation
from A TripAdvisor Member
Our family (parents & 2 kids: ages 7 & 11) enjoyed a lovely week at the Dorado Embassy Suites! It proved a fine destination for spring break - with well appointed, nicely decorated, suites with terraces, most facing the ocean. There were two TVs; the door between the suite's master bedroom locked the kids out on their own side, allowing adult privacy. A perfect, self contained resort with a great golf course adjacent to the property (and 4 others just minutes away). We stayed on the top floor (7th) & really enjoyed the ocean view! If you want an ocean view, ask for it, as the rooms that face the front of the hotel, view the golf course. Having a fridge & microwave was nice - we stocked up on bottled water & sodas at a local drugsotre. The hotel is rather isolated, making a rental car important if you want to explore the island. While the hotel dining choices are limited, we enjoyed many delicious dinners at a local, casual restaurant called PEE-WEE's'(next to McDonald's). It was so good that we had to go again - and again!
There are (too) many familiar fast food operations just a 5 minute drive from the hotel. While the hotel offers a listing of fancy eaterys in Old San Juan, they also have a small binder featuring local restaurants with delicious Puerto Rican & American offerings. A 24-hour Wallgreens accross from the hotel's gated community, sold everything from pool floats, sunscren, snacks and inexpensive t-shirts (a nice alternative to the more expensive hotel gift shop)! We loved the breakfast buffets and found the manager's cocktail party each evening a relaxing bonus. The kids liked having the chance to have pina coladas (without rum!). The hot tub was a popular spot during those evening parties! The multi-tiered/level pool (max depth is @ 4 1/2 feet) is just perfect for kids & parents, also featuring shallow areas for little ones. There were also schedlued kid activities - beach bingo, baloon toss, kick-board swim relays, etc. - free & fun for the kids.
While we'd heard the beach was small, it was bigger than we expected!
The water is calm & shallow because they've build stone walls to create a protected cove.... a perfect spot to toss a float in the ocean & relax! Lots of sand. It does get rocky about 15 or 20 feet from the shore. Great for kids- no big waves & very safe.... the beach does not connect to other beaches along the shore - so you can not walk to other hotels or beaches. Plenty of chairs, chaises etc. Rental umbrellas, cabanas, kayaks & floats are available. The staff was wonderful & pleasant. Virtually everyone (short of the maids) spoke English well.
If you go, get a GOOD map - don't depend on the free tourist maps.
There is a washer/dryer laundry room available in the hotel - it was great to pack less, knowing we could do laundry. Would we go back?
...YES! The hotel staff is friendly & helpful; the facilities are relatively new, bright & well maintained. Given the range of choices, the Dorado Embassy Suites provides great value in a lovely location.
Note: we were there over Easter weekend - the hotel was VERY busy.
Students in PuertoRico were on school break the week before Easter and many families escape the nearby San Juan area for Easter weekend. The Monday after Easter was remarkabaly calm & quiet at the hotel.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Just returned from a 4-night stay at the Embassy Suites in Dorado, P.R., with my husband and 18-month old daughter. We took advantage of the hotel?s online web special which included an ocean view suite. When we got to the hotel, we were told that the only ocean view suites available were smoking rooms (we asked for non-smoking). They then downgraded us to a partial ocean view (full parking lot view) but still charged us the same amount. The woman assured me we were still getting a good deal, but the whole thing didn?t sit well with me. The a/c in the room was not working when we got there, the walls of the room are paper thin, car horns and alarms were going off in the parking lot below us, and they put us in a corner room near the ice machine which was very loud, as well as some kind of staff-only area where we could hear the staff talking and rolling things around until about 9-10pm at night. My daughter and I couldn?t fall asleep with all of the noise. We even had to call security one night because the people in the room next door were slamming cabinets, doors, and yelling out loud at 10pm. If the walls weren?t so thin, it probably would?ve been okay.I was also extremely annoyed that the ?Kid?s Club? room was a big room with nothing in it except a ping pong table. There was no ?Kids Club? as far as we could tell and definitely no board with activities for kids even though I called the hotel a couple of days beforehand to specifically ask about it! The only thing to do with a young child is the swimming pool which is the one great thing about this hotel. The pool area is very nice and clean. There is also shallow end that is fantastic for the smaller toddlers to splash around.Overall, most of the staff was extremely friendly and pretty helpful, especially in the buffet area. The wait staff was great about smiling and stopping to say hello, as well as play with our daughter. The bell staff were quick to answer our needs (like fixing the a/c and bringing up a crib for our daughter). The front desk staff is a different story; slow, unhelpful, and unfriendly. The concierge ladies weren?t very friendly, but they definitely helped us out with things to do in PR. The buffet was good, but very busy and in too small of a space. The Manager?s Special was good, but kind of dead, we thought. Lastly, the beach is beautiful, but as others have mentioned, very small.I would definitely research other resort type hotels and other areas of the country before staying at the Embassy Suites again. I was not impressed by this hotel at all and blame the management staff for hotels deficiencies. The staff does try hard to help you enjoy your stay ? too bad management doesn?t seem to care.
t Bother with Embassy Suites in Dorado
from A TripAdvisor Member
We just returned from an 8 day trip where we stayed at the Embassay Suites in Dorado, P.R. The hotel was obviously poorly managed. There were problems with housekeeping (some days the maid did not show up) dining rooms (buffet breakfast was cold, messy and very disorganized - too many people in too small a space), concierge service (the concierge was hardly ever there and when she was, there were 12 people waiting to speak with her), groundskeeping (they powerwashed the pool area and turned on sprinklers in the middle of the day soaking everyone and driving them away from the pool area with the noise of the power washer). The pool area is nice however, when they began power washing it was impossible to sit out and relax - the noise was horrible. The service in the two restaurants was third-world. The servers had no concept of time, moved very slowly and we often waited over an hour for food. Really terrible and stressful. The hotel is also trying to sell timeshares of some of their units and there were local people paraded around the hotel everyday. These locals, for their trouble, are given a free night's stay at the hotel for sitting through the presentation. This causes an incredible swell in the hotel occupancy on the weekends - the hotel is full of locals and eating at the already dangerously overcrowded breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, becomes downright risky. The hotel's response to this is to put up a sign encouraging people to have breakfast early and avoid the rush of people however, they should put up a sign saying "Having breakfast after 6:30 a.m. could lead to trampeling injuries including the possibility of death". The sign should also state that eating after 6:30 a.m. does not guarantee you a plate, fork, knife, cup, saucer or and juice, coffee or milk. It's okay though because the food is awful anyway and you'd be better off skipping the breakfast altogether. Unfortunetly, there is little here that does not disappoint. The daily "managers cocktail reception" offers only stale popcorn in plastic cups and a cheap party mix of pretzels and chips. The drinks are served in 6 oz. cups that are finished with three mouthfuls requiring you to stand back on the line to get another one before you make it back to your chair. I would not recommend this place to anyone - everything about it was cheap, cheap, cheap.
Great place for families
from A TripAdvisor Member
After staying at the Caribe Hilton and then another resort in Aguadilla, this was heaven. Extemely friendly staff from the moment you arrived, free breakfast every morning, and drinks from 5-7pm. Family friendly, wonderful pools, food very reasonable (grilled cheese, drink and fries $4.95), very neat and clean rooms, laundry facilities and safe location. Had their own small beach which was cleaned every am and staff came to you on the beach. Secluded and sheltered so kids can swim. Would go back in a minute. Ranks above Caribe Hilton on cleanliness and on same level for friendly staff. If you have children and you just want to swim and relax, this is the place for you.
Stayed at Embassey Feb 2004 great time
Great hotel. Clean and friendly people. The beach at the hotel is small but clean. No sea weed since there is rocks making a little bay for the hotel. about 1/4 mile away there is a great public beach with calm waters. The only complaint is the hot tub out at the pool had no hot water. The staff said it has been broke for a while. Besides that I had a great time with small refrigerator and coffee machine in the room.
Manager's reception was definity long enough. 5:30 to 7:30. I would stay there again.
Top Local Tips for Dorado
Vega Baja Beach
The best beach we ever went too... only 30 minuts from the hotel... ask the locals, it worthes the trip!
Very Good, but a lil on the pricey side
Louis Taxi Cab Adds Great Value
I would have Louis Rosado pick me up at the airport ($60 + tip) and be my driver for the entire week. He is an ambassador for Puerto Rico and Dorado in particular. He knows so much and provided my family with wonderful details about the history of the area, the culture and the people. He was very reliable and friendly with the kids. We all loved him. He drove a very large van with comfortable seating for 6 plus lots of luggage space.