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El Conquistador Resort

Exterior

At a Glance

    Pros

  • bright, spacious rooms
  • unbeatable views of the nearby islands
  • good dining options
  • various meal plans available

    Cons

  • must take a boat to reach the beach
  • long waits at the funicular taking guests between levels
  • self-parking is far from the hotel entrance
  • hidden fees like parking ($16/day) and kids club ($70/day)

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

El Conquistador Resort Review

Perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean, El Conquistador (The Conqueror) is a sprawling complex that has claimed the northern tip of the island and is one of Puerto Rico's most sought-after destination resorts. Arranged in five "villages," the whitewashed buildings evoke the colonial era. Its ultramodern furnishings are low to the ground, making sure nothing obscures the ocean view. The resort's beach is just offshore on Palomino Island; a shuttle boat takes you there in eight minutes. There are seven different pools on-site, as well as a water park for kids (and kids at heart). For grown-ups, the Japanese-influenced Golden Door is widely considered among the Caribbean's best spas. The Strip House is the newest of a cluster of top-drawer restaurants, and a handful of boutiques offer retail therapy to island shoppers.

2010 Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winner

The original Golden Door in California was the luxury offspring of North America's first destination spa—Rancho La Puerta, in the desert just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. The company has been promoting healthful living since 1940—well before it was mainstream. The tradition continues at this island outpost, where treatments evoke Puerto Rico: Pineapple Body Bliss, Roasted Coffee Scrub, Rainforest Hot Stone Therapy. Quintessential spa activities—yoga, Pilates, tai chi, meditation—seem truly Caribbean amid all the sun, sand, and sea.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 1000 Av. El Conquistador, Fajardo, 00738 | Map It
  • Phone: 787/863–1000; 888/543–1282
  • Website:
  • Location: Fajardo

    Hotel Details

  • 750 rooms, 15 suites, 234 villas.
  • Rate includes some meals.
Updated: 12-20-2012

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa Review

    Well don't I feel stuipdo for not reading the reviews before spending my life savings at this dump. This is more like a 2 star hotel with ridiculous rates, erroneous billing, stupid parking and a great sense that the resort went to great pains to figure out every way humanly possible to fleece its guest while providing mediocre service, an average room, over, over, over-priced food and drink. The entire experience was painful. I will NEVER return.

    by mktman52, 1/2/12
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    El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa Review

    Buyer Beware!!! The resort is in a beautiful location and the amenities are very nice. However, the service is no where near luxury, management is having issues with the union and it shows. The food is cafeteria quality at NYC prices. I do not recommend this resort, unless you can go at a steep discount. Also rent a car because they GOUGE you on prices for everything. Caveat Emptor!

    by chiefoptimizer, 1/21/11
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    El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa Review

    Terrible. Apathetic staff made our stay an utter disappointment! I cannot believe the amount of money this "resort" charges and what little you receive for it. Even getting wash clothes and toilet paper was a lesson in futility at this place. The weather was pretty bad, which just added to the issues at this hotel. Errors on bills, absolutely no understanding by the staff of what customer service is, and over-priced and under quality food. I don't think we would ever go back to Puerto Rico, in part, due to our experience at this hotel. Save your money and go somewhere else. Read these reviews and heed their warnings!!

    by travel09lover, 3/16/10
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    jaxgirl

    My husband and I were less than impressed with this supposed "resort". Please do not expect to receive the attention to detail that would come with staying at either a Four Seasons Hotel or Ritz Carlton Hotel. The term "resort" should be used loosely when referring to this property. On numerous occasions there were details that were overlooked. During one afternoon we decided to visit the main pool and were surprised when a jack-hammer was chugging away at the pool deck. Luckily, our room was not overlooking the pool. Of course the sound reminded us of a day in New York City instead of a day in the caribbean. Many of the resort restrooms had doors or faucets that did not work. Even our hotel room door did not close without force. The hotel room walls are thin and you can hear all the goings on in the adjoring room including, the phone ringing, hair dryer blowing and even the conversation of the other guests. On our first night there we tried the marina side restaurant/bar and the bartender took our order then never made our drinks. We waited about ten minutes and then left. Oh and make sure you know the charges beforehand. On our final bill we were charged $20 for the bellman (per transfer), $15 for internet service (per day) and daily resort taxes and tariffs at $100 per day. The price of the room alone was equal to that of a Ritz or other high quality hotel. On a good note, The Strip House restaurant was delicious and exactly what you would expect from a high quality steak house. All in all, we felt that resorts should pay attention to the details and this was definitely not the case at this property. We have no problem paying for the service but it truly was not money well spent in our minds. Next time we will stick with a Ritz.

    by bethannjax, 2/14/08
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    ugh

    Stayed in the villas which were very nice. Having a butler to service your needs would be great if they actually accomplished something. They take instructions very well but dont follow through. The hotel throws charges for everything. Watch your bill. After I went through it I saved my self a couple of hundred dollars by disputing their charges. Too expensive for what you get. Main hotel is like being in San Juan on New Years Eve. Restaraunts are very expensive for mediocre to lousy food. The Beech is 15 minutes away and not worth the trip. With soo many other options in the carribean in this price range why go here.

    by nysemem, 3/23/07
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    resort great-can't say the same for the rooms

    My husband and I went to El Conquistador expecting a 4-5 star resort experience. For the most part the resort itself lived up to the expectations, but the room we had was far below the standard you would normally have in such a resort. After changing rooms twice, we were finally upgraded to a room in the area of the resort where the rooms have been refurbished-the Las Brisas wing. The room there was beautiful-but from what I understand this room would normally cost and additional $100-$160 per night, which in my opinion is a bit high. I don't think you should have to spend soooo much more money just to get a room that is livable. I cannot even begin to go into the numerous things that were wrong with our first 2 rooms. Apparently the resort has fallen in to disrepair in the last several years and it looks like they are doing many improvements, but unfortunately the guest rooms are low on the priority list. I would go back to this resort, but not for a few years, when I know that all renovations have been completed and the chance of getting a substandard room is zero. The food is also pricy, but not outreageous for a resort- and the 3 places we ate dinner (Stingray's, Blossoms, and Otello's) were very good. The private island and pools were also very nice, and the view is incredible! I would also recommend not renting a car-take the bus from the airport to the resort-they have everything you want to do right there and you'll save the $15-$20 per day they charge for parking.

    by myates, 2/26/07
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    Rundown and not luxury

    I have stayed at many resorts and this one was by no means a luxury resort. I wonder if they are having financial difficulties. The rooms and the property are rundown. The toilet in our room, even after being fixed, was leaking water (I hope!). The rooms are at best modest, the bathrooms large but look like an urban Holiday Inn or worse. The pools are crowded and mediocre. The private island is crammed with beach chairs and crowded. Great luxury resorts make you feel special, this place makes you feel part of a herd. The worst part of this experience is the poor management. The check-in process is so frustrating. A line of 4 people means a 20 minute wait. Then, if your room is not ready, you can check-in but get to stand in line again to get your keys. I could go on but suffice it to say - Don't bother. For the money, you can do so much better. In the meantime, they should be honest and admit they are not a luxury but more what you would expect from a Doubletree or Embassy Suites resort experience only not as good.

    by kwtraveler, 2/26/07
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    The REAL Pirates of the Caribbean

    This was the worst vacation of our lives--and we have stayed at everything from Motel 6 to luxury hotels. "Highlights" of the trip included all guests being rounded up and kicked off the beach so the resort could close it early; billing errorsin the hotels' favor, natchto the tune of thousands of dollars; and $350 per night rooms with photocopies of old room service menus and dirt so thick, we longed for the Ramada in El Paso, Texas. This resort is undergoing a renovation, but the real problem is the attitude of the staff: lots of "it's not my job" and no one will help you if something breaks. Broken funiculars, non working internet (it's 2006--get wireless!), the beach is a 25 minute ride away (no beach on the actual premises)--we wasted thousands for a 8 night trip here in November of 2006, and I a writing this to urge you not to do the same!

    by BettyKat, 11/30/06

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