Caribe Hilton {PRI}

Old Jan 25, 20, 12:10 pm
  #511  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: HH Diamond, DL PM, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 797
I stayed at this hotel a couple of weeks ago for a long weekend. We traveled with a group of friends for a wedding and were spread out among three hotels, with the other two properties being La Concha and the Vanderbilt. La Concha is in the same price point as the Caribe and is much nicer. We paid with points at 50,000 a night. As others have mentioned, if you have to stay here this is the way to go. The $400+ rates are outrageous. First for the positive aspects of the stay, we found the diamond treatment to be excellent. We were proactively upgraded at check-in to a junior suite in the ocean front tower, we also enjoyed having options for breakfast. They let you chose a free continental buffet, a second full buffet for $11 each, or if you don't want to go to breakfast you can have a $20 credit for two for food or drinks in the resort. The room had a nice ocean view in the beach tower and it was quiet because we were at the end of the hall in the junior suite. They are also very responsive to the texting and in app concierge. We also found the food on property to be of high quality. They have a great team at the lobby bar.

For the downsides, the property felt more like a convention hotel than a beach property. While the lobby bar was nice, the check-in area is basically a large, open, space with white walls and not a lot of character for convention goers to hang out. It is constantly busy, like an airport terminal. They also do not allow uber into the main driveway up to the property, you have to walk down the side of the hotel to a pick up area. This is the only hotel in San Juan that does this. Taxis line-up in the driveway at the lobby, and they won't allow Uber to drive there. The security guards are very rude to Uber drivers. In one case, he cursed out our uber driver who was just doing his job and picking us up in the designated pick up zone. He stopped for 20 seconds so we could put our bags in the trunk, and this was what set the security guard off. This left a very bad taste for us. Also, they will close the entire outside of the hotel in nice weather for mild winds. This includes the beach, pathways, pool decks, pool areas, outside bar, etc. This happened everyday during our stay. They said it was for "high winds", but 20mph winds are common on the water and it was just such nice weather with beautiful skies. No other resort did this, as we could see from our balcony. At least we were able to go see our friends at La Concha and enjoy that pool (which never closed) or go to the public beach next door, which was calm, nice, and quiet. As you can imagine, the lobby was full of frustrated people who were mainly there for the beach and the pools to find locked doors and security guards. They wouldn't even let anyone take a walk on the paths by the water to enjoy the view. As a result of these downsides, we would never return or recommend the hotel to anyone for a vacation. If I was able to do it again, we would have just paid and stayed at La Concha or the Vanderbilt despite the great points redemption.
Jaimito Cartero likes this.
Michael19887 is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 12:30 pm
  #512  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Hey guys, have a booking here for 3 days in April. I was told the best way to get around the city was Uber rather than renting our own car as uber/taxis were extremely cheap. Can anyone confirm this?

Was also told that they have a Hertz desk at El Caribe. Does anyone know how much the day rate for a car rental is?
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 12:39 pm
  #513  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AA EP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz Platinum
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
Hey guys, have a booking here for 3 days in April. I was told the best way to get around the city was Uber rather than renting our own car as uber/taxis were extremely cheap. Can anyone confirm this?

Was also told that they have a Hertz desk at El Caribe. Does anyone know how much the day rate for a car rental is?
Hertz website will have the pricing you need.
milesandmoremiles is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 12:59 pm
  #514  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by milesandmoremiles View Post
Hertz website will have the pricing you need.
Thanks, but I wasn't able to find that information on the Hertz website or anywhere else online and was also looking to confirm that taxi/uber was the way to go.

Edit: Looks like they changed from hertz to enterprise actually and it's around $40 for an economy/compact.

Last edited by NightFury1; Feb 29, 20 at 1:08 pm
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 9:21 pm
  #515  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PlatMM, BA Silver, AlaskaAir Gold, HHonors DIA, Accor Silver, Marriott Silver, IHG Plat, TK/UA/AA
Posts: 4,047
Uber was very good in SJU. And cheap. There is a parking fee at the Hilton that wasn't cheap-- can't remember if it's $20 or 40....
My stay was excellent: Used 2 AMEX Hilton free nights and then used 50,000x2 for the 3rd and 4th nights.
This was over Presidents weekend and the hotel was sold out all weekend.
The good:
As a Diamond got a Wave Wing King on the 14th floor, stunning ocean view.
Room was very nice, big, and new. Great balcony with chairs and a table to enjoy drinks.
Room service breakfast was decent though not amazing (I paid knowing I'd get reimbursed for it, along with drinks and other charges with my $250 resort creidt from the AMEX Hilton Aspire card)
Beach is unique in SJU that it's got a breakwater; the weekend I was there it was around 20-25mph winds every day! So the main Condado beaches were super rough, not really for swimming. Hilton's beach was awesome!
There is also a swim platform and tons of loungers; even with a sold out hotel they had enough sun loungers!
Drinks were excellent, beach food was decent and not any more expensive than the Marriott Stellaris (where we stayed last year).

The blah/bad:
Uber picks up outside, I'm sure because of some bribery happening with the taxi cartel. Yuck. This however was actually *better* for Wave Wing rooms, since the Uber pickup spot is actually about 10 feet from the Wave Wing lobby!
Room Service breakfast billing was erratic, different prices and different dishes sent up for the same orders two days in a row.
Drinks and food orders were COMICALLY slow-- think 40 to 70 minutes for a drink or a hamburger. Even the drinks took 40-60 minutes. Really stupid management to not have plenty of staffers to make/deliver expensive food and drinks!
Pool closes at 6pm. Huh?
No late check out for a Diamond. Not one minute late. Nope.
Breakfast was just too busy/crazy the first day; after that I did room service. Felt like a Hampton Inn.
Diamonds get "continental" breakfast for breakfast, no hot items other than oatmeal. Just wasn't nice. Halfway decent options for continental, but I waited 20 minutes for a table because they didn't have enough staff to clean off the many vacated but dirty tables.

Overall, I'd for sure use points here again; really great property, but man they need some more staff when it's busy.
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kyushuman is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 9:27 pm
  #516  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
Uber was very good in SJU. And cheap. There is a parking fee at the Hilton that wasn't cheap-- can't remember if it's $20 or 40....
My stay was excellent: Used 2 AMEX Hilton free nights and then used 50,000x2 for the 3rd and 4th nights.
This was over Presidents weekend and the hotel was sold out all weekend.
Nice review. Anything around the neighborhood worth eating at or seeing?
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 9:50 pm
  #517  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PlatMM, BA Silver, AlaskaAir Gold, HHonors DIA, Accor Silver, Marriott Silver, IHG Plat, TK/UA/AA
Posts: 4,047
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
Nice review. Anything around the neighborhood worth eating at or seeing?
There is a small upscale mall nearby with decent options. But really Old San Juan and Condado are both about 30-40 min walk (which I did once or twice) or a 5-7 minute , $6ish Uber ride.
kyushuman is offline  
Old Feb 29, 20, 9:53 pm
  #518  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
There is a small upscale mall nearby with decent options. But really Old San Juan and Condado are both about 30-40 min walk (which I did once or twice) or a 5-7 minute , $6ish Uber ride.
Thanks!
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Mar 2, 20, 7:52 pm
  #519  
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 16,439
Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
There is a small upscale mall nearby with decent options. But really Old San Juan and Condado are both about 30-40 min walk (which I did once or twice) or a 5-7 minute , $6ish Uber ride.
As I mentioned in my Xmas review, that Mall, which is affiliated with the hotel, is really good if you want a better value meal (or just something different) without having to leave the hotel. The only downside is, to my knowledge, you can't bill you food to your room, so you won't earn Hilton points or be able to use any resort credits. There is little else of utility within a 5-10 minute walk from the property. Obviously, you can find more interesting food if you head into Old San Juan ($5 for the short Uber ride). I suppose there are also decent restaurants in Condado, but I think most folks will prefer the atmosphere and selection in OSJ.
iahphx is offline  
Old Sep 26, 20, 3:39 pm
  #520  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: MAR Platinum, Delta Plat., IHG Priority Club Plat. Amb., Hilton HHonors Diamond
Posts: 290
Any post-COVID reviews? How are amenities/benefits being handled?

Also, is this property completely open? On the website it does not appear all room types are available.

Current info appreciated.
Milhous Gloriosus is offline  

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