Hotel El Convento

, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Hotel El Convento

, San Juan
4 star

Rooms: 59

100 Cristo Street - San Juan - 00901 - Puerto Rico Hotel Website | | 787 723 9020
897 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel El Convento

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hotel El Convento

Super Romantic

from A TripAdvisor Member
My Honeymoon was super romantic, The red roses petals turn down service, the champagne, the view from the room was amazing. The front desk staff was more than a Concierge, The room was small but very comfortable and charming. I will have my 1st anniversary again in the same room (512). This hotel remind me of walking in the streets of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Now I know why Hotel El Convento was selected one of the best hotels in the world by Travel and Leisure issue in January 2004. Thank you Hotel EL Convento, I will tell all my friends about you...

Mr & Mrs Jose Moreno, Miami Fla

The Best of Charm, Character and Service

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed here for 5 days in March, 2004 and found it to be one of the most charming, friendly, and comfortable of all the small hotels we've stayed at around the world. The big luxury hotels are wonderful, but just that--big. We recently stayed at the new Ritz-Carlton in MoBay and the Peninsular in Bangkok, and while both were fabulous, we found El Convento to be a pleasant change and much more relaxing. The staff was exceptionally attentive, helpful and friendly--eager to make sure our stay was what we expected from such a hotel. We were met by a bellman before we got to the front entrance who took our bags,opened up the elevator that takes you to the reception desk, and delivered the bags to our room. Reception was quick and we were not charged a deposit for either the room or safe keys. (Maybe a policy change?). We were even approached by the hotel manager who, after appropriately waiting until we activated the elevator with our room key to make certain we were guests, asked if the hotel could do anything to make our stay more enjoyable. The use of a key to operate the elevator was never inconvenient and added a high level of security and privacy, stopping outsiders and "boat people" from tramping through the hotel. Keep in mind that you are staying at a well known tourist attraction. The rooms were small as expected, but well appointed, clean, comfortable and charming. Our experience was much like those of the reviewers from Greenwich, CT (March 4) and San Jose, CA (March 2). And yes, as the reviewer from Orlando, FL mentioned (Feb 4), the maid staff is partial to setting the AC on ice box and the street cleaner will wake up the dead. (On the other hand, this happens only once a week and it is nice having clean streets). The hotel was exceptionally clean and the staff very responsive. When I mentioned that the maid should pull the door tight as the lock would sometimes not engage, we returned a few hours later to find a repairman had adjusted both the lock and the door closer. This hotel is in the heart of old San Juan, and unlike the big hotels on the island, gives you a feel of the city. Perhaps its nicest attraction, besides its location, is its totally open air appearance and feel. Yet you're fully secured within its old world interior as you relax on its several open air terraces. While the pool lounge chairs could be updated (they were clean and in working order) the rooftop deck is beautiful, much like a private courtyard, with good views of the sunsets. In this, I completely disagree with the reviewer from Chicago (Feb 28). No, the pool is not what you'd find on a cruise ship.
This is a small, personal hotel--not the "Love Boat." The included continental breakfast was more than adequate, and the fruit, rolls, several different juices and bread were fresh. The restaurants at the hotel (all independent) served well prepared and interesting food and were tasty examples of local dishes. The complemtary wine and cheese hour is well attended and offers an excellent chance to meet and talk with other guests. Excellent restaurants are within walking distance, including the well recommended and very upscale Italian restaurent across the street that (to our shock and amazement) did more than rival NY's finest in food, wine and atmosphere--and at half the price!
Overall, a most relaxing and comfortable stay in the heart of what you came to see. We look forward to our return next year.

t what I expected

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the El Convento during President's Week 2004. We booked this hotel because it was recommended in the Small Luxury Hotels. We had previously been happy with their recommendations. Unfortunately, I do not feel that this hotel qualifies as such a property. The first room we were given was dirty and in need of repair. It took us a while but they did change our room. The second room was cleaner but smaller.
The rooms were very rustic, not luxurious. Their is no concierge, so the front desk must help you. The continental breakfast is served in the same place as the front desk and felt like an ackward place to put it. The food was not desirable or had much of a variety. We loved the location of the hotel since you can walk to everything in Old San Juan.
We liked the look of the courtyard setting also. The restaurant "El Picoteo" served a nice selection of tapas and paella, also very enjoyable. It just does seem to be overpriced for the type of accomodations and service you receive. If you are looking for luxury this is not it.

El Convento

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the El Convento for 3 days prior to sailing out. The hotel was everything we expected with great service. We had a good size room with a large terrace. The terrace was very private for sun bathing. The hotel was very secured and we felt safe. We would stay at the El Convento again without any reservation. We got a wonderful price on Travelocity.

Exceptional Service

from A TripAdvisor Member
When you pay $400 a night, you expect a certain kind of room and amenities, but what really sets this hotel apart from others is its service. The staff at all levels was eager to assist us. They went beyond friendly-- they were charming! They seemed to know what we wanted before we even asked. The concierges got us reservations at the most sought after restaurants, and reserved us spots on an amazing tour of the Rainforest-- our tour guide took us to spots that most tourists don't get to visit, and many locals don't even know about. After the hike, the tour guide set up a romantic picnic for us with wine and local foods-- all because the concierge who arranged for our tour informed him that it was our anniversary. There were a couple of things that weren't up to our expectations like pool lounge chairs were rather old and need to be replaced. But otherwise, the level of service in this hotel surpassed our expectations. We will definitely be back!!

Wonderful Hotel with lots of charm

from TLM95120
We stayed in the El Convento last October and loved it. The hotel has so much character that you never want to go back to a big chain hotel again.

The location is perfect right in the centre of Old San Juan, very easy to walk to all the sights, restaurants etc.

Continental breakfast was included that was always enjoyable as you can sit outside. Also in the evenings they have wine and cheese which is a great opportunity to meet your fellow guests (if you want to)! They also have a honor bar in the evenings which made it so easy to have a night cap before retiring to bed.

We would definitly stay at the El Convento again if we were in Puerto Rico.

VERY, VERY DISAPPOINTING!

from Periwinkle
We stayed at Hotel El Convento January 18, 2004 when we returned from a cruise. I completely agree with the Feb.21 review from Danbury, CT.
(and we're not exaggerating when we say it's not worth the money).
Where do I begin? After having a difficult time just reaching the 2nd floor check-in desk (the stairs and the elevator are accessed only by using a key), a person trying to check in does not have a key and there is very little information to help you - nor are there hotel employees around to give you direction. Thus began our initial impression of this supposedly 4 star "luxury" hotel. The only luxury about this place is it's high price.. Our room wasn't ready. We asked to use the washroom.
The one used by hotel guests, other than their own hotel room, is off the library. There was no soap and no towels. I mentioned this to the employee at the desk. She said "Oh, that will be taken care of right away". We checked back at the hotel several hours later. The room was still not ready. The restroom had towels, but no soap. There is no reason for this--especially from a highly rated one. There was smashed cigarette butts on the tile floors of the outdoor area where you eat breakfast or have the wine and cheese. The free breakfast is nothing to rave about. Yes, they serve beverages in nice containers, food is presented well....and that's the extent of it. Food is mediocre at best. And I am not a food snob....eating breakfast at a fast food restaurant is fine....so you know this is not great food! Finally our room was ready in the afternoon. We used the pool which is the size of a postage stamp. The photos of the pool are deceiving. There are very few chairs or lounges by the pool and they are dirty and need to be cleaned or better yet, replaced. Our room was nice. But we've certainly stayed in better. Our real problems began in the evening when the people in the streets began getting louder and louder. There was a all night 4 day street festival right outside the hotel. This was not told to us when we booked nor when talked to hotel employees prior to making reservations. Then around 10:30 until 1:00am a loud band played right in the hotel courtyard. My husband talked to the manager that night and the next day. They offered us a free night stay---I would never come back to this place, nor waste the money for a flight to San Juan.
Unfortunately, Fodor and Frommer's book rate this place highly and fool people into staying here. When you stay here you are paying for the rich history of the hotel and not the condition it is in now nor how it is run. Please do yourself a favor and look elsewhere!

Not a good choice

from A TripAdvisor Member
wow. where to begin. Upon arriving in Puerto Rico, we got to our hotel, EL Convento, at 1:00 a.m. to discover that our room had two single beds, not two double beds, as we asked for. Then, upon inspection of the bed, i noticed many hairs on the bed sheet. And dried blood. Trust me, i am not a obsessive prude, but if you a paying $400 a night for a "deluxe" room, the LEAST you can expect is clean sheets! Even Holiday Inn Express has clean sheets. Then, upon trying to sleep, we discovered that there was a gay club right outside our window, blasting music until 3:00 a.m. When the music stopped, the jacuzzi motor started up, right above our room. It was not a good night. Thankfully, the next day we got upgraded to a suite, because we notifyed the manager. In addition, the serivce was very poor. I requested an extra blanket for the bed, and it came two hours later. If you asked the staff what time church service starts, for example, they'd tell you, "oh, sometime about 10:00 a.m., i guess," without even checking. The "pool" was 4 by 7 feet. The free breakfast was less than delicious. It consisted of some old bread, glazed donuts, and an assortment of unfresh fruit. On the upside, the outside and the lobby of the hotel is pretty, but overall I think that they cut some serious corners. I would not recommend this hotel. I would recommend the Ritz Carlton hotel, however. It was good service, room, everything, for about the same price. On my next trip to Puerto Rico, i will not stay in this hotel again.

Old San Juan gem

from A TripAdvisor Member
Spent a weekend at the Hotel El Convento, a small but classy hotel smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Old San Juan. Location is excellent but results in some interesting problems. Beware of street cleaning if your room faces the alley on the west side of the hotel. It starts at 7am on Saturday morning (which is 6am Eastern Standard time).
Don't leave your window open or you'll awake to the sounds of men shouting Spanish over the roar of the pressure washing machine. If you're hoping to sleep in after a late night on Friday forget it....even with the windows CLOSED.Rooms are small but well appointed.
Bathrooms are smaller. A/C typically set on ICEBOX. We reset it to 75 and the maid reset it back to ICEBOX. Good views if you face west and are on level 4 (above the buildings next door) so you can see the cruise ships depart at 10pm. Good security....key required to call elevator to ground floor. Very pretty outdoor deck area adjacent to front desk where good continental breakfast is served. Beware of "lukewarm" hot water with chlorine taste and similar decaf coffee. This was a problem both mornings AND at the 6-7pm wine and cheese reception (which is very well attended). Reg coffe is in electric hot pot and reliably hot.You will be charged a deposit for your keys ($25 each) and the safe lock ($75). This is refunded at check-out. Also be prepared to pay 21% tax/tourist fee each night ($80 is ALOT when added to an already expensive $400/night room). Do NOT rent a car if you plan to stay here. Traffic is a disaster and often bumper to bumper even during off peak hours. Streets are very narrow and there are pedestrians everywhere. We would recommend that you take a day tour (typically $40 to $50 per person) and HIRE that person to drive you around as needed.
Much more personal and private and by the time you pay for a car rental, gas, parking, and tips, you're ahead of the game, not to mention the local knowledge and information an experienced guide can provide.Hotel pool is small, jacuzzi is lukewarm (must be the same people who make the decaf coffee) but sundeck is fabulous with excellent rooftop views. Courtyard area on first floor very charming and front entrance beautiful. Front desk personnel very helpful although area is very small and can get crowded if more than 2 people check-in with luggage.Overall, a very good hotel but in my opinion overpriced for what it offers. Still the best place to stay on Old San Juan but should cost around $250 per night rather than $400.

overrated!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Beware this overrated Old San Juan Hotel. While certainly charming, that only gets you so far. The service was friendly, but severely understaffed and rushed. Not worth the price. Pool tiny. Disorganized breakfast. We had an untidy room with a moldy bath. We left after things didn't get better...shame on them.

They should turn it back into a convent. Would never recommend this place. BB

Top Local Tips for San Juan

Dining Great restaurants: Old san juan: marmalade, dragonfly, aguaviva. El condado: pamela's. All about 30$ per entree

Wonderful coffee in Old San Juan If you like coffee, while you're in Old San Juan, go to the Plaza de Armas and visit a kiosk there called "4 Estaciones". Order a cup of expresso with milk or without. It costs a dollar and is some of the best coffee we've ever had. It's smooth and flavorful and delicious. We're not normally expresso drinkers and we loved it. We also found that many people who work or live in Old San Juan stop there for coffee.

Wonderful coffee in Old San Juan If you like coffee, while you're in Old San Juan, go to the Plaza de Armas and visit a kiosk there called "4 Estaciones". Order a cup of expresso with milk or without. It costs a dollar and is some of the best coffee we've ever had. It's smooth and flavorful and delicious. We're not normally expresso drinkers and we loved it. We also found that many people who work or live in Old San Juan stop there for coffee.

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Other names for Hotel El Convento

  • hotel el convento
  • el convento san juan
  • Address: 100 Cristo Street - San Juan - 00901 - Puerto Rico
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