Hilton Ponce & Casino Hotel

, Ponce, Puerto Rico
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Hilton Ponce & Casino Hotel

1150 Caribe Ave - Ponce - 00716 - Puerto Rico Hotel Website | 787-259-7676
252 Traveller

Reviews - Hilton Ponce & Casino Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hilton Ponce & Casino Hotel

Good Hotel

from CAStein
Spent a week at the Hilton just after Easter this year. The visitors were a pleasant mix of vactioners / business travellers and English / Spanish speaking. The hotel was impeccably well maintained and professionally managed and staffed. I stayed in the Executive Tower and had concierge lounge access. My room was clean, large and nicely but not creatively furnished. Marble bathroom was large and again very clean.

The concierge lounge is located on the ground floor. It offers standard continental breakfast fare, canapes at cocktail hour and sweets later. The lounge is air-conditioned and well appointed. Free internet access is offered as well. The lounge was mostly staffed by enthusiastic and friendly students from one of the local universities. They were unfaillingly polite, but their youth and limited llife experience curtailed their usefullness. Inquiries about hiring tour guides, contacting realtors, even eating out were fielded without much success.

To me the beach looked nice enough. Good maybe for a walk or sunning. Because of the dark sand, the water does not have that quintessential gin clear look found on some other islands. I did not swim in the sea because either all the beach chairs were taken, or it was too windy. There were many appealling and quiet places between the beach and busy pool to take in some sun and read. Restaurant / bar service was offered in all such areas.

The restaurants were all well run and staffed though the menus are more Hilton North American standard than local. Fish was not prominently featured, though I did have what might have been the finest lamb chops I've had in quite some time. The restaurant at the adjacent golf club (a shuttle will pick you up) is truly outstanding. I ate there my final night and would have gone more often had I discovered it sooner. They are supposedly an Italian influenced restaurant, however, on the night I was there, they only offered a limited menu (I don't remember why). I had delicious mahi mahi with a tomatillo cilantro sauce and fried plantains.

Great hotel, but the beach is terrible!

from IndianTourist
We just returned from half a week in PR. Spent a couple of days in Ponce Hilton in an amazing ocean-facing room in the north tower - with the sound of the waves. The room was large and the King size bed was really comfy but the bathroom could have been better. The floor tiles are in desperate need of a strong bleach!!
The hotel has a nice disco - called BOHEMIA that plays some peppy latino music and a casino (where we lost some money).
The restaurants serve decent food and the bar (which is open till 1.00 a.m.)has the most amazing pina colada I've ever had.
The pool-side, the jacuzzi and the lawns are well-maintained and, pool towels are free.
The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and will help you with directions and sight-seeing.
However, the beach at the hotel is really terrible - full of pebbles and stones and rocks - DO NOT TRY to take off your footwear there!
We went to La Paraguera, a tiny fishing village (an hour's drive from the hotel ). It has facilities for snorkeling and a beautiful bioluminencent bay where we swam in the enchanted waters.......no trip to Puerto Rico is complete without this experience. It's like being in a magical kingdom, surrounded by star-dust mixed with the water.
TIP:
1. Do wear a wet suit to avoid feeling cold.
2. Do not give up the opportunity to swim in the enchanted waters if you feel scared of jumping into dark waters. WEAR A LIFE JACKET!

Nice Hotel, only decent beach

from fairweather
We stayed for 3 nights/4 days in March (10th-14th). Ponce is a small area carved out between industrial plants. It is not very attractive.
Getting to the hotel was interesting--driving in San Juan you honestly take your life into your hands. Drive was beautiful once you are out of SJ. The hotel was very nice--solid 3.5 star. The 'black sand' beach was more 'grey' and the water continually cloudy, with large (unseen) rocks that you'd crack your feet on. Walking down the beach, the water got much clearer, however the beach was littered with a LOT of trash.
The last day we were there, we were approached by a local who stated the water was polluted by industrial waste (as we were swimming there) and that beach robberies of "Americans" was very common away from the resort.

Food at the hotel was very good--the upper scale restaurant was superb. The employees of the hotel were always friendly and helpful. Rooms were spacious and clean, and had nice fridge's. Pool was nice, but FILLED with loud kids.

If you go to Ponce, plan to eat fast food. We could not find ONE restaurant in Ponce Proper other than the little place on the water that had seafood. We did discover why PR is the FF capital of the world! If you are looking for authentic PR food, you probably wont find it in Ponce. We were also given the 'stink eye' everywhere we went outside of the resort. We did not see many non-locals out looking about. Our trip to the 'boardwalk' was interesting to say the least. Ponce locals do not seem to be too thrilled with tourists.
Based on our observations, crime is rampant in PR, so we were extra careful about leaving possessions in the rental cars. Most houses have iron gates over balcony's and doors, and any decent car has large "lojack" signs in the windows.

I will definately not visit this side of the island again. We were looking for an area that was not hugely 'touristy', but was at least friendly and nice looking. Ponce was dirty and a little bit scary. it was, however, pretty easy to navigate once you got the hang of it.

A place to relax, but could be better

from A TripAdvisor Member
Hello everyone, we are from Staten Isalnd, NY and we stood at the Hilton in Ponce from 3/17/05 to 3/21/05. It was a great place to relax and the staff was very friendly. The food was good, but the prices were very expensive. However, there was not much to do as far as acivities were concerned. We actually missed out on a couple of acitivities within the near by vicintiy of the hotel that we normally wouldnt have missed if we were directed to or informed correctly by staff members. One must ask the front desk staff of any activities that one might be interested in doing such as snorkling, party boat rides or if there were any islands near by that one might be able to visit because they would not volunteer any information unless you askled. Unfortunately, for my wife and I, there were some front desk staff members that were not aware of such activities and that was the problem we came across. Nonetheless, the hotel itself was fascinating and the room service was very clean and professional, but the beach was horrible and the casino was small and a little out-dated. Although, the night club was nice not many guest attended. However, downtown Ponce and San Juan were interesting historical places to visit. I strongly recommend the rain forest and the trolley rides in the historical place in Ponce and visiting the Monterro Fort in Old San Juan. Overall, My wife and I would consider on going back again with our family if there were some activities within the hotel that would become avialable such as para-sailing, jetskiing, paddle boats, kyaking, banana boat rides, etc. Unfortunately, this hotel didnt have any of these activities or any staff member assigned to direct their guests to any such activities or events that might be of any interest to their guests. So with that said, if you are interested in just relaxing and soaking it all in and doing absolutel nothing, this is the place to go. But, on the otherhand, if you are looking for relaxation and some water activities within the hotel to share and enjoy with your loved one or family members, this is not the place of choice.

Relaxation at its best!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just got back from a two night stay at the Ponce Hilton. The only thing I can say is I wish I could have stayed longer. The service was great. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. The hotel is large and spacious, and even though we were told they were booked, we never felt crowded. We stayed in the West tower on the first floor. The rooms were clean and bright. We literally stepped out of our door only paces away from the Carribean. We had breakfast on our own patio each morning....which was private and lovely. The beach, although small was fine considering the adequate supply of lounge chairs and shade when needed. There is a very nice pool. Although the casino is small, it more than met our needs....a lot of locals frequent the casino. If you want to dance, there is a club for salsa dancing. Dinner at LaCava is a must. Great service and wonderful food...well worth the money. The buffet was good as was the tasty lunch we had at the bar close to the pool. This hotel is more suited for couples of any age, families and business people. Singles most likely will not find much action. Our stay here was well worth the 2 hour drive from San Juan. We wanted relaxation and that is what we got! We will return!

Great Experience

from A TripAdvisor Member
I have to agree with most of the previous review. This is a great place to relax and lounge by the sea or pool. We just returned from 8 days at the Ponce Hilton with our 2 year old son and found for the most part all aspects, positive.

The hotel is spread out so you don't get the traffic and noise of a tower concentrated in one place. You also don't have to go parading through the lobby to get everywhere so it has a feeling of privacy. The grounds are beautiful. The pool seemed small at first but was never crowded and we were there during president's week. The kids playground worked out well for us where our toddler met some new friends. The beach is adequate - the sand is dark in color and gets hot - one San Juanarian we met said its not the nicest beach in Puerto Rico compared to others in PR. We took a day trip to Playa Santa about 40 minutes west where we saw a true caribean beach - blue/green water - white sand etc.warm water.

The food at the hotel was expensive, as it is with any hotel, but mediocre. Kids under 5 eat for free on the buffet, which is good for breakfast - but not the kind of food toddlers usually enjoy for lunch & dinner. We stocked up our refrigerator from the local grocery store and went out for most of our meals. Good choices were "Seasons" at Fox Delicias in the main square of Ponce, Mark's at the Melia and Lupita's for inexpensive Mexican. One bonus with regards to food was the free coffee every morning from the coffee machine outside the executive lounge. This wasn't any ordinary coffee machine - it had cafe con leche, mochaccino's, warm milk etc.

The rooms in the tower were spotless - beautiful shower (no bath tub) - we had a ground floor room which had an extended patio - no worries with the little one and balcony etc. and had a gorgeous view. The room each day did eventually get serviced - but sometimes not until 3:00 PM. Our refrigerator didn't work and noticed it right away. It took 3 follow up calls before getting a new one.

My husband loved the fitness center - they had everything - including bicycles, albeit a little rickety but a work out none the less. In addition, the tennis courts were really nice and if you found someone other than the pro to hit with, you could play for FREE - thats unheard of anywhere! The hotel doesn't coordinate tennis partners or tournaments, so my husband just put up a sign with our room number and got a good response - he played every day.

The staff was very friendly but wasn't able to provide valuable information. We rented a car and were given poor driving directions for EVERY destination we pursued. Eventually, we figured out where to go after stopping to ask for better directions. In addition, the woman at the information desk (concierge) was very friendly, but could not advise me of an offsite beach to go to as she had only been living there 6 months and had never been to any of the local beaches. She suggested we drive with our 2 year old for 2 hours or more to a beautiful beach for which she could not give me directions because she herself got lost. The staff in the business center seemed to be the only folks who could give me valuable information.

Overall - we had a great time once we found our way around and got into the routine of just relaxing by the beach and pool.

Very Relaxing

from AnnaV
Our family has just returned from 5 days at the Ponce Hilton and we were very pleased! I am sorry the reviewer from Oregon felt so uncomfortable there, we felt the exact opposite and we are white mainlanders with 2 small children! The staff was always friendly and more than helpful. The comment about the service by the pool is half accurate - you place your order at the bar and the waitstaff delivers it to you by the pool. We even had waitstaff return to see if we needed anything else.
I agree with other comments about the food being expensive, but it is good and there is a good variety and you can eat just about whatever you want, whenever you want. Our last night we went to La Cava and our 5 year old daughter wanted pancakes and our son wanted pasta with marinara sauce and they were more than happy to accommodate. The restaurants were so friendly and generous, I think we paid for a total of 3 meals for the kids and we ate every meal on the property. The kids even got gifts and free ice cream, they loved it!
The surrounding town is not that exciting. This is definately a place to stay on the property and relax.
The fitness center, although small, is great! They have just about every piece of equipment you need for a great workout! There are also bikes to ride on a great walking/riding path around the perimeter of the property. I walked every morning and it was so nice to be outside in the perfect weather!!
We found the pool great and very clean. All kinds of floating toys, chairs and volleyball for play at the pool's volleyball net. The hotel added a basketball hoop the last day we were there - all the kids at the hotel played together - it was fun!
The beach was a bit disappointing in that it is "shelly" and it was very windy. We found a nice sandy spot to the left and enjoyed the warm waters.
There are lots to do for kids of all ages. There is a basketball half court, 2 volleyball courts, table tennis, playgrounds for toddlers and older kids, a small rock wall and lots of beach toys. They really thought of everything. Even a water cooler at the beach.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We were looking for a place to relax by the pool, play some games with the kids and enjoy, and that is exactly what we found.

Very Disappointed

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Hotel - Very nice interior lobby, rooms were nice and clean. As you would expect at any Hilton. This is a hotel, not a resort, for people looking for interaction or activities other than gambling this is not the hotel for you. This hotel caters not Puerto Ricans, not tourist.

The Staff - To sum it up, "Pure Resentment", and I am not sure if it was because we were mainlanders, white or both. The group I traveled with all felt the tension and it was quite uncomfortable. The staff at the hotel gave the impression they were not overjoyed with our visit to their hotel. Reminds me of what American Blacks must have felt like when traveling in the South, in the fifties. No matter how big the tip, we could not get a thank you or prompt service. Puerto Ricans did appear to receive excellent service.

The Pool Area - I think when this hotel was originally built, they had planned on making it more like a resort than a hotel. That must have failed as there swim up bar is no longer operating, no music or any other activities at the pool area. Close your eyes and your could be at a motel pool anywhere.
Service at the pool for our group of mainlanders, was non-existent, we had to walk up to the outside bar to get food or drinks. However, the Puerto Ricans at the pool did receive excellent service.

The Beach - This is not part of the Hilton property and is public. It is quite dirty with lots of trash & broken glass.

Ponce, The Boardwalk - I strongly recommend staying away from Ponce on Friday Night & Saturday, as this is when the locals congregate and the resentment by the staff is only an extension of the locals. We went to the boardwalk on Friday night, and the nasty stares and comments were over whelming. We ate at a restaurant there, and have never had ruder treatment.

Glamour in the south!

from liketotravelAtlanta
Ended up in the southern part of the island escaping cold winds in the north. Very ritzy hotel for this small city and enjoyed our stay of one night (2/17/05). Big open air lobby and large pool; black sand beach but water clear when observed from a distance. Interesting walk to the channel and boardwalk. Ponce almost European in atmosphere-and very cultural-lots of museums.
Food and service OK; staff spoke English as well as we did! Enjoyed our stay!

Relaxation was my goal

from CALIKris
We stayed 01/23/05-01/29/05. It was a business trip for my husband and I came along just to get away and relax. We flew into San Juan, rented a car and drove about 90 minutes to Ponce. The drivers here can be impatient and somewhat crazy. At the hotel we self parked our car and checked into a room on the fourth floor. The room was decorated with a tropical feel and was very clean (I like the idea of clean tile floors vs carpet in a hotel room). We had a great view of the beach area and ocean. This is a GREAT place to go if you want a relaxing vacation during this time of year. The number of guests at the pool varied from 8 to 15. They have a great beach area with lots of lounge chairs, play area for children, picnic tables, and access (appeared inaccessible to the public ) to a public beach area. Jogs and walks along the beach were nice. The gate to this beach closes at 6pm. I also enjoyed using the gym facilities. Food was average to above average. Buffet breakfast was great, dinner watching sports on the big screen at outdoor bar area was great and access to the exec lounge for breakfast, appetizers, dessert and coffee was convenient and staff was outstanding. We never did eat at La Cava restaurant since other reviews on this site did not rave about it. The casino at times could have been a bit cleaner and tidy, but we had fun there. The staff was very friendly and went out of their way to help us. The only misunderstanding was when I inquired on a Tuesday morning about a haircut. I was told the salon was open Fridays and Saturdays but they could arrange to call someone in to do it (I declined). When I called on Friday for the appointment, I was told they are open during the week at 1 pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 10 am. Anyway, I got a great haircut at a reasonable price. This city is not quite ready for tourists. We visited Seralles Castle (very nice tourguide) and adjacent cross. The downtown was congested. We tried to visit the cathedral but it had closed at 2pm that day. The only purchases we made were rum and coffee. We traveled to the Ponce Port and expected to find lots of shops and restaurants. What we found was a nice place to go for a walk and several food stands. This hotel is a great place to relax and good place for business travelers. Looks like the golf course is quite nice too. The hotel has a wonderful open air atmosphere and staffed with friendly helpful people. Most of the staff spoke english. It was an enjoyable stay.

Top Local Tips for Ponce

CASINO I enjoy gambling, especially video poker machines. Most casinos in Puerto Rico do not have poker machines and that was true of the casino at the Hilton in Ponce. Their reasoning is that the locals don't like to play poker machines, however, I would suspect that the locals aren't the ones staying at their hotel for $280 a night.

Drive instead of taking a connecting flight It is less expensive and sometimes faster to rent a car in San Juan and to drive to Ponce than taking a connecting flight. There is a very nice, 65MPH turnpike from San Juan to Ponce.

El Anaco Very nice restaraunt, great food!

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Other names for Hilton Ponce & Casino Hotel

  • hilton ponce resort
  • hilton ponce hotel
  • hilton ponce golf & casino resort
  • hilton ponce
  • fox delicias hotel
  • Address: 1150 Caribe Ave - Ponce - 00716 - Puerto Rico
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