Caribe Hilton {PRI}

Old Sep 1, 04, 10:56 pm
  #151  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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The Normandi, a nice hotel, is located about 200 yards from the Caribe Hilton. If you are driving or renting a car you could use the same parking garage.
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Old Sep 1, 04, 11:04 pm
  #152  
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There is an Embassy Suites and Casino and a Hampton Inn right next to the airport (it's actually all very close) if you are trying to stay at Hiltons.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 6:55 am
  #153  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Originally Posted by Terrapin
Staying at the Caribe in PR thanks to all the positive feedback here. However, they are sold out for my last night in PR. Hopefully, the last night will open up while I am down there or before I leave. If it does not, Mrs. Terrapin and Terrapin Junior will be with me, any information on a hotel nearby would be appreciated. Thank you all again. Terrapin
I have been told to avoid the Ritz Carlton but a workmate who has stayed at there and the Hilton Caribe. But I'm sure it would do in a pinch.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 12:20 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: May 1999
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Originally Posted by Terrapin
However, they are sold out for my last night in PR.
I would contact the property's management and nicely ask if they'd be willing to do a manual override for that last night.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 12:28 pm
  #155  
 
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The Condado Plaza, located very near the Caribe Hilton, (I believe it is just across the bridge, maybe a few hundred yards) is a possibility worth considering. They have nice facilities, great pools, and last time I was there, I was upgraded (without asking) to a huge two room suite on the Plaza Club level (like the exec. level at Hilton). I couldn't believe how huge the room was, especially since we were on a $99 a night internet rate.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 1:11 pm
  #156  
 
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Persistence !!

Managers name at the Caribe Hilton is Jose Campos, a good reasonable guy. Let him no the situation. I have stayed there many times, when you arrive put your name on the waiting list for the night you would like to stay but have no reservation. Check back once a day, there are always a few cancellations, early departures or late arrivals. There in the customer satisfaction business. It will probably all work out.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 1:18 pm
  #157  
 
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No Brainer

Stayed at both over 40 times in the past 2 yrs. The Caribe hands down. If you like to gamble walk over the bridge and go to the Wyndham. (10 minute walk)
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Old Sep 3, 04, 1:24 pm
  #158  
 
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If you like a nice pool and beach the Caribe will do just fine
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Old Sep 3, 04, 3:15 pm
  #159  
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AVOID!!!!!! the condado plaza... This is a BADDDDD hotel

Do NOT go here at all.. this place is next to the Caribe Hilton but thats all.. This place will not disclose hidden fees to you.. (I won a BBB decision.. aka.. the hotel paid up to my request).. to top it off I found the staff here rude obnoxious and downright at a complete disregard for the guests.. this was from the pion front desk clerk up through the GM... The room stinks.. the property stinks.. even the pool stinks..

is this biased.. maybe.. but thats my two cents..

if you have any doubt.. there are so many others to choose from..

consider yourself warned

Originally Posted by hhonorman
The Condado Plaza, located very near the Caribe Hilton, (I believe it is just across the bridge, maybe a few hundred yards) is a possibility worth considering. They have nice facilities, great pools, and last time I was there, I was upgraded (without asking) to a huge two room suite on the Plaza Club level (like the exec. level at Hilton). I couldn't believe how huge the room was, especially since we were on a $99 a night internet rate.
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Old Sep 3, 04, 3:56 pm
  #160  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Don't forget to bring one pair of long pants if you want to visit the exec lounge after 5pm. They strictly enforce their dress code. Trust you you will understand why after you've been in their at night. The clientel is certainly VERY wealthy and these people do 'dress for the evening'. I went in their for a drink before heading out to dinner (drinks are free and self serve) and while making my rum/coke was very quietly and nicely reminded that I was 'wearing short pants and they don't allow them after 5'. So I was able to take my drink with me and escorted out with a smile. I can't fault them for this rule. This is obviously a hotel that caters to the upper crust as well as the family vacation crowd and the Exec Lounge is designed for the former but welcomes the latter when properly attired.
I like these requirements.

Here's my question, do the childrens' meal discounts apply to all restaurants? Even Mortons?
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Old Sep 5, 04, 11:27 am
  #161  
 
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pitsheel, I spent an evening in Ponce while I was in Puerto Rico and while I didn't visit the Hilton, I wouldn't have wanted to stay more than a few hours in Ponce. We drove through some really unsavory neighborhoods to get to the main square - once we got there though, I will admit the square is adorable and has an incredible ice cream shop which is dirt cheap.

Most "outdoor activities" require a car. I would think a taxi would be very expensive to go anywhere further than old San Juan. In old San Juan I'd recommend visiting El Morro fort - there are always tons of families there hanging out in the park, flying kites, picnicing, etc. If you can find Palomas Park, it might be fun to take your kid there to see an unbelievable amount of pigeons (to be honest I found it a bit creepy but the kids there loved it!)

If you do rent a car, a visit to El Junque (the rainforest) is unforgettable. Amazing hikes through enormous "jurassic park"-like plant life, great interpretive center. You could probably get there on a tour bus out of the hotel, also. We did it by car though, so we were able to stop in Luquillo on the way back for the only cheap meal we ate the entire trip. There are lots of fun cheap shacks along the beach selling mostly fried fish but there are a few vegetarian options - mostly in the fried cheese category. Great pina coladas too.

The caves (forget their name) are also a neat tour that kids would enjoy. Definitely need a car or tour bus for that.

As for vegetarian options at the hotel ... we decided not to take advantage of the lounge, and ate breakfast at the Olas spa every day. They are expensive but have tons of vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch. Some days we got wraps (ie hummus and veggie) and vegetarian paella and other things to go, and took them with us.

In Old San Juan the Parrot Club had a fantastic roasted veggie and cheese sandwich on the lunch menu - also a "tower of vegetables" dinner plate that was very good. Fun atmosphere that both kids and adults would enjoy - but also on the expensive side.

We also had lunch one day in a cute hotel in Condado called Hosteria Del Mar that was fantastic for vegetarians. Condado has a great beach but I doubt you can use it unless you are staying there. We had a fantastic vegetarian lunch on a porch overlooking the beach (again, kind of pricey - $50 for 2 adults) - goat cheese appetizer with fried plantains to dip in it, home made veggie soup, some sort of wonderful green salad thing, interesting curry chayote entrée with all sorts of veggies and tofu in it.

Hope this helps!

- Truly
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Old Sep 5, 04, 11:51 am
  #162  
 
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While I agree that downtown Ponce has its issues, my wife and I enjoyed staying at the Hilton. Service was decent, the casino proved to be a winner, and the room was above average.

I also agree with the previous poster regarding the car - I would have gotten bored if we stayed on the property & there is a LOT to see on the island.
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Old Sep 6, 04, 5:22 am
  #163  
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Most people fly into SJU and drive as the Ponce airport (PSE) has limited service. I always have enjoyed driving from San Juan to Ponce. For even more "local color" use Rt 2 or the local roads rather than the Autopista for a longer but more interesting trip westward. The northern most road st really quite senic.

MisterNice
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Old Sep 6, 04, 6:58 am
  #164  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
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I vote for the Caribe

Originally Posted by mileshound
I've read the reviews about the Caribe Hilton and still don't know if we should stay there. Some people like the property and others do not. If it is busy it appears the service is worse. Some people like the beach and others do not.

It is a nicer stay if you are a Diamond and get lounge access but I am Silver so I won't get the lounge. We may be going the weekend after Easter with a 7 yr old. It may be busy but rates are still $150 so it shouldn't be packed. Since we will have the 7yr old, we won't be looking to light up the town.

We are looking for a relaxing place where we don't have to leave the property if we don't have to. The 7 yr old likes the ocean and the pool. My wife and I like a good beach.

I'm nervous after reading some of the reviews and don't know if I should be. If I was going on spring break or looking for action then this wouldn't be a good choice. However, that is not my case.

Anything you can add would be appreciated.
We stayed a week at the Hilton Caribe this past March and loved it. We too were looking for a place where we didn't have to leave if we didn't want to and that is exactly what we got at this property. It was me, my brother and his 5 year old girl and our mom. Had a very relaxing vacation. I'll condense my comments into bullets and welcome any specific questions from you directly. Just PM me and I'll reply.

* 5 restaurants on property including Mortons, all excellent food.
* Beach was excellent, nice sand, PLENTY of chairs, lagoon offered excellent chances for novice snorkeling experiences.
* 3 Pools + kiddie pool all in the same area. 5 year old taugh herself to swim in the kiddie pool. We'd spend all day the beach and when it closed (at 6pm daily) she'd insist on going up to the pool. Seems she likes the pool better and we like the beach so it was 'her' turn and we had to go to the pool. Funny how she played in the water all day at the beach but still liked the kiddie pool better.
* Pool bar served great drinks and you can take lunch onto the beach from the pool restaurant.
* Kids each either free or 50% off menu prices, I don't remmber which.
* KidsPak thing is offered if you inquire that includes a nice little canvas bag for carring toys and they have plent of games and things to do for kids to enjoy themselves. Even have a game room and babysitting service if you want a little alone time with your spouse.
* Incredible breakfast buffet, too many choices but a bit pricey for me to each every day.
* Best meal value I think is the soup/salad bar buffet at night. I think it might only be offered on Tuesday evenings but check to be sure. For $13 it is all yhou can eat salad bar and soup. They had four soups including a black bean soup that was out of this world. On top of that the salad bar was overwhelming in terms of choices. Not just sald, they had some meats and other things too.
* Make sure your 7 year old meets Pancho and KoKo in the lobby when you check in. They are in the tall white cages across from the main check in desk. We have pictures and Lauren (my niece) still screams out loud when she sees their picture. She visited them daily to say good morning and good night. Too funny.
* ON site car rental with Hertz if you get the itch to go for a drive -which I doubt will happen but nice to have that option.
* On site Spa - didn't get to use due to major sun burn on second day. I'm an idiot for not wearing sun screen.

We only left the property as follows:

1 day for all day snorkel trip. Loved it.
1/2 day for walking tour of old San Juan. HOtel is so close we could not pass that up.
1 dinner we ate in a local establishment nearby just to try the local cuisine. Excellent food and service. Forget the name of the place. It's not far from the Wyndham which you can see from the hilton.

If you want to see some pics of the property send me a PM. I have some great photos that will give you an idea of theplace.

Enjoy
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Old Sep 6, 04, 7:00 am
  #165  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Good question, don't remember

Originally Posted by InHoc
I like these requirements.

Here's my question, do the childrens' meal discounts apply to all restaurants? Even Mortons?
I think it may apply to all except Mortons. I know it doesn't apply to Mortons as we dined there and even the 5 year old paid full price.
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