Caribbean - San Juan - Doubletree or HI?
Aug 28, 11, 5:31 am
Got a tier point run coming up in November and I'm looking at stopping off for a couple of days in San Juan (or doing an overnighte in Managua although SJ seems nicer). Will be by myself so no need for some fancy 5* hotel aimed at couples.
Read a few bits and pieces here and on Trip Advisor and the latter lists the Doubletree as the number one choice and to cap it all, it's nicely priced and looks fairly good.
The HI seems to get criticised (sp?) a lot here although mixed reviews on Trip Advisor.
I'm presently collecting PC points and have some Holiday Inn stays lined up prior to this stopover although I do have a Hilton Honors account with a few points so would be able to collect those as well.
I'm not really clued up with the geography of San Juan although most places seem to be a taxi ride of up to 20 mins from the airport and the western part seems to have the casinos and fancier hotels / beaches.
As long as the place is clean and has a bed, fridge, tv etc, I should be fine.
Location wise, would be nice to be able to walk easily to the Old Town. beaches and anywhere touristy as I've never been before.
Things like the Barcadi factory and rainforest will involve transportation / booking something I'm guessing so location should matter too much there.
Aug 28, 11, 10:53 am
Doubletree is better overall. Located in the middle of Condado area, close to the beach, shopping. Some of the other area hotels have casinos. Puerto Rico hotels tend to have a "night life" atmosphere in the lobby's. With live music, bars, pretty women, no need to go out to a club at all in my opinion.
I'm not sure if they have a fridge in the rooms, so I can not comment on that, however you can get a cheap styrofoam cooler from a nearby convenience store if you need too.
To get to Old San Juan, you will need a car or taxi. There is public transportation, but I myself am not familiar with it.
You need to check again on the HI property, since its hard for me to comment on it.
jerry a. laska
Aug 28, 11, 1:52 pm
Either one would be fine although I lean toward the HI now. Manager's reception some evenings. Nice little place to eat at the pool. Can't really walk to Old San Juan from Isla Verde
Read a few of the threads in the Hilton forum for some more info.
This is one of the better threads in the Hilton forum discussing the different options in san juan:
Aug 29, 11, 3:40 am
It does mention that the Old Town is about 3 miles from the Doubletree which is quite walkable. Would make a nice early morning run as well.
Did look at that El Convento place that seems popular in some posts but it looks designed for couples on a romantic break and is right out of Zorro judging by the Spanish decor!
Aug 29, 11, 9:21 am
Have not stayed at the HI so cannot comment on that but have been too the Doubletree and the Tripadvisor numbers don't lie. The hotel was recently renovated so the rooms a pretty new and look great. They have modern styling with lots of warm wood for a cozy feel. The location is also great with a few restaurants on-site and many more within walking distance. They are also a few blocks from the beach and have a 24-hour supermarket across the street. The rooms do have mini fridges. Best of all, the staff are amazing. Hope this helps. ;)
Aug 30, 11, 10:08 am
Definitely the Doubletree. It's only about 10-15 minutes tops to/from the airport and being in the Condado neighborhood makes its location super convenient. You can walk to Ashford Ave, the main strip in Condado and to Ocean Park Beach that runs the length of the Avenue; both about 3 blocks away from the Doubletree. Ashford has tons of great restaurants, bars and shops as well as many of the larger hotels with casinos such as La Concha Resort or the Marriot Stellaris.
I personally love Ocean Park as its a more residential beach where you can relax right off Ashford Ave. It gets pretty crowded on the weekends, mainly with locals, but that's really only a bother if you drive there and need to find parking; othewise it just makes it better. Also, I think the Doubletree lends out loungers and coolers that you can take with to the beach.
Towards the other end of the Doubletree, along De Diego Ave, you can visit the PR Musuem of Art (about 3 blocks down De Diego Ave). I've yet to be disappointed by an exhibit I've visited there and their sculpture garden is beautiful.
The Doubletree does have fridges and microwaves in the guestrooms, which is super convenient since there's a 24 hour supermarket across the street where you can stock up on goodies and drinks at a really decent price.
hope this helps!
I'd suggest the Doubletree. It's a 15 minute walk to the main tourist parts of Ashford Ave in Condado, and across the street from two of San Juan's newer nightspots (El Plan B and El Bar Bero). It's quite a bit better than the HI.
I also second the recommendation to see the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. It's a 5-10 minute walk down De Diego Avenue, just south of the hotel.
As far as distance to Old San Juan, I wouldn't walk there from either location. The limit of what I'd consider walkable would be the Caribe Hilton, or maybe the Conrad.
During the day, you could walk to Ashford Ave (3-4 minutes away) and take the B21 or C53 bus to Old San Juan, or cab it at night.