10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Enjoyable Stay in the Sun
"I stayed at the Caribe Hilton in Marsh 2003 with a few friends. We enjoyed our stay at the hotel and found the room and hotel to be clean.
Make sure your rate includes the breakfast buffet as it was great and then you don't need to get an $8 burger at lunch. The beach area is small and man-made but clean and private, perfect for kids. We took advantage of the yoga class and the gym. The hotel is a short cab ride from Old San Juan. In terms of restaurants there is something to please everyone, though none are cheap. Check out luxurylink.com for good deals at this hotel. I would stay here again on another trip to the island, provided I found another internet deal."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of November 2003
Great Deal thru Priceline
"I have never paid $65/night for a hotel before. Thanks to Priceline, I was able to book this hotel @ such a great price. Not only that, they had upgraded me to the club level. The hotel was empty at first but by the end of the week it filled up. The pools are great, but I happened to notice with the sunlight, that the pool was quite dirty. Another drawback is that there is no longer a casino, if you don't have a car, you have to hike 15 - 20 minutes each way to Condado or take a cab $10 each way. Very relaxing and suggest to book thru priceline, or Hotwire. Chances are it will be this hotel @ 4****stars, or a resort. Hilton HHonors members still get a continental breakfast for free on the second floor. The staff was great except for the Bell boys, and Valet. When I arrived, and I had seen they did not come up to take my luggage, I asked them to and they acted stupid, until I reported it to the front desk manager, which is nearby. Also, at 6:00 by the bar and the second floor, they both offer cocktails, and on the second floor drinks, and cocktails, all free. I reccomend this hotel if you do not want to spend $200 + on the Ritz, or El San Juan. I have stayed a the Ritz, before finding Hotwire or Priceline, and I feel that it is to stuffy for a young person. If you can get The Water Club, the Intercontinental, Ritz, or El San Juan at around the same price, stay at one of those, if not stay at the caribe."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of November 2003
Worth the Trip
"There is a certain charm to staying at a classic hotel witth so much history. Granted you can't see too much of it because of the renovations, but this is a fine hotel in an excellent location.
Perfectly located for the beach, Old San Juan, and the Condado, it's probably the best placed hotel in the area. The rooms are well maintained and appropriately appointed. Service is what you would expect in a large Hilton. Don't expect personalized service like you would get in a boutique hotel, but that's not the Caribe Hilton. It you're looking for a beach/city vacation - it's a great choice."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of November 2003
Not an ideal pit stop
"If I had to stay again in Puerto Rico, I would not recommend this hotel. On the surface, it is nice, clean, and well-maintained. However, compared to other Hiltons I have stayed at (and there have been a lot, I travel frequently), the outside does not match the inside! The hotel staff is not overly friendly - we had an issue when I was checking in - the staff lost some paperwork and could not process my check in. The bartenders are okay, but don't look for strong drinks! The concierge was less than helpful for a woman traveling by herself on business. I will say that the waiters in the restaurants were by far the friendliest and most outgoing staff around.
The rooms are okay - I had an "ocean view" as I was promised, but it was over the bulk of the hotel. Instead of hearing waves, I heard the nice hum of the air conditioner. The showers need to be majorly upgraded - barely any water pressure.
If you are looking at a hotel for honeymooning or pleasure travel, keep going. Everything is a cab ride away, there is nothing within walking distance, and the hotel restaurants are too expensive for what they offer. The beach is nice, but there are other places to stay in Puerto Rico for beaches - this isn't one of them.
Of all the hiltons I have stayed at, I will honestly say that this was the worst experience that I have had a hotel - there is no excuse for a desk staff to be as inept as they were, and by judging the amount of problems other visitors have faced, if you don't want a hassle, don't stay here."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of November 2003
'Hilton' should get their name off of this one!
"Just returned from 5 nights @ the Caribe Hilton. Problems started upon check-in. After having made reservations six months in advance, we were told no King rooms were available because there weren't cleaned yet. (It was 4:00 pm). When asked how much longer it would be, the desk clerk told us he "could not say." He sent us to look @ a Handicapped King room, but after lugging 4 suiitcases to preview the room, it was a Standard bed, not King. We then went back to the desk clerk-told him "No" and were then told a King room was now available in the Tower Bldg. The decor & paint in this room has not been touched since the early 80's. Lots of construction going on outside the hotel and rhey start @ 7:00 am sharp each morning! Out of 5 nights, I had to call for washcloths 4. (They brought 2 for 2 people bathing twice a day). The pool area is the best thing about his place. The restaurants @ the Caribe are expensive. This hotel offers little more than swimming during the day, (pools are closed @ night), and drinking. Yet their prices reflect a primo charge which should include alot more services and choices for their guests."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of October 2003
"The Caribe Hilton is a mixed bag, I have stayed there 3 times. I love
the calm beach and the cafe for breakfast. I don't mind spending 20
bucks a day for a great breakfast, (it really is awsome!) when Im
vacationing (if you cant afford to splurge a little stay home, you can
pay 250- for the room then run around looking for a 3- bagle and
coffee) The rooms are expensive for the condition they are in, if not a
complete rip off. I first stayed there in 1987 and they were very nice
then. The longer short building is the older one, rooms are like
closets and light fixtures don't work, mattresses are very old like
wood boards, I had back pain and couldnt sleep. The tacky paneling has
I was told the two beds were queen size and they turned out to be
doubles. "Bait and switch" or "bait and Lie"
The loction is ideal if you rent a car. The Spa looks nice new restaurants etc. The Front desk changed our room which was awful, the second one overlooked the air fan of the restaurant.
I was planning to go back this November but It dosnt seem to have
gotten any better from the reviews. Despie The construction, the sound
of sawblades while trying to relax on the beach. I don't think so,
especially at those prices.
I wouldnt mind spending the money but the hotel needs alot of TLC to
get to an acceptable level."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of October 2003
Both good and bad aspects of this hotel
"My boyfriend and I went to the Caribe Hilton for 4 nights this August. There were some good parts and bad parts about this hotel and the San Juan area that people planning a trip there should be aware of. The best part of the entire trip was that all of Team USA (NBA) was staying at this hotel as well as all of the other basketball teams from other countries. We met some players!
Our vacation started off by the front desk telling us there weren't any queen bed ocean view rooms available, despite our voucher stating that was the type of room we were guaranteed. They made us a deal that if we stayed in a Parlor Room (with a sofabed), we would have access to the Executive Suite for our entire stay. The Executive Suite was a room that served drinks and snacks during certain times. Trust me, the trade off wasn't worth it! Besides that incident, everything else was pretty good.
The hotel itself was nice, the pool area was pretty and so was the lobby/bar area. The beach area was just so- so. I've been to several other places in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico with nicer beaches. The sand was rough, and you couldn't swim too far in the ocean because of huge rocks. After seeing the beach area near other hotels, (El San Juan, Intercontinental) I was a bit upset at the condition of the Hilton's beach. If you are a big dancer, don't expect this hotel to cater to you. We went to a club at the El San Juan instead. Nightlife in San Juan wasn't the best!
The breakfast buffet was good, but that was the only meal we ate there. As far the the hotel's location, I wasn't too impressed. Every time we wanted to go to other hotels, it was a $16.00 cab ride each way! The proximity to Old San Juan was great though.
If you want to come to a hotel, hangout by the beach/pool, and eat all of your meals in once place, the Caribe Hilton would be a good choice. But if you want to be able to explore other areas and take advantage of the nightlife, be prepared to pay big in taxi fees."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of October 2003
I loved it!
"We stayed for a long weekend last February and loved it.
1.) The room was not fancy, but it was just fine with us. It was roomy.
We had a great water view, king bed & balcony.
2.) The buffet breakfast was great. It was a great spread, with lots of fresh fruit and other goodies.
3.) The messages at their spa were the best. I had two and both were done the same way. I could tell they trained thier staff well, unlike some other hotels.
4.) The beach was private, nice and clean.
5.) They had entertainment at night - a small combo band. We checked out some of the other hotels around and we were glad we stayed where we did. Some of the other places had littered beaches, freezing cold lobbies attached to smokey casinos, and loud airplane noise. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but we thought it was worth it for a long weekend. A good value overall."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of October 2003
Absoulutely the Best buy for the money!
"This was our first time to Puerto Rico, and really researched many travel books and articles. I also read many of the reviews about the Caribe Hilton, so I know that everyone has different expectations and opinions. I have lived in the Bahamas for years and am aware what humidity and caribbean weather and customs are like. We found the Caribe Hilton to be wonderful!!The check-in personnel was smiling and made us feel welcome after a long flight. We stayed in the tower and had a fabulous view. If there was an oversight of needing towels, we only had to pick up the phone, and it was brought immediately. The open atrium, with the ocean view was beautiful and inviting. The bar downstairs has the best bartenders, best drinks, live entertainment, and hospitality! The tour desk, set up tours and was very accurate and detail oriented about each tour. I suggest the "Spread Eagle" snorkel tour.....everything from the 51'FT. Catamaran (new) to the food, drinks,and crew were the best! Very proffessional! The concierge desk made some of the best suggestions..where to go, how to go, what their specialty was, who to ask for. He even called ahead for us too! 25 cents to take a bus (new and airconditioned) into Old San Juan, for shopping sightseeing. He gave us maps and circled places to visit. I find if you treat people with kindness and with a smile you just might get the same in return!! Try it in your travels, you may be surprised!!"
- Travel date: Wed 15th of October 2003
"We thought we got a great deal on Hotwire until we got there. There was a water leak in our room from the floor abover ours. That didn't mix well with the hot and humid climate of PR. The room developed a musty smell and they never offered to switch our rooms. Housekeeping staff was nosey. The restaurant food quality was poor. The definitely added on additional charges when we were checking out. The plus points..the swimming pool is nice, location is good (close to Old San Juan, Contado). We were fortunate to have a nice view of the water. This definitely didn't live up to Hilton standard."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2003