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Any opinions about the Water Club hotel in San Juan?


Mar 12th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Any opinions about the Water Club hotel in San Juan?

We're looking to spend four nights in San Juan and are deciding between a few places, one of which is the Water Club. It is described as a "boutique" hotel. More importantly, it looks like a less resorty/smaller hotel that it a litte bit more upscale and less family-oriented than some of the others in the area. Plus, it's on the beach, seems to be in a good location and more within our budget than the others.

HOWEVER, I've read some AWFUL reviews of the place on-line. Was wondering if anyone here has any recent experience staying at this hotel. Thanks!
pajamasnyc is offline  
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Mar 12th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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My review from tripadvisor - probably the best & fairest u will get (even if I do say so myself!)

Had a 5 night stay at the Water Club, San Juan in March 2006. If a hotel were to undergo a refurb by MTV's "Pimp My Ride", this is what it would look like. Basically they have taken a very average 3 star hotel (sort of thing you find in any main Spanish / Greek resort), and pimped it to maximum effect. The result is a hotel that on first impression looks both luxurious and incredibly chic. The design and imagination that has gone into the hotel and its aquatic theming is striking, with a waterfall on every corridor, illuminated by blue neon lit Mediterranean-style drapes and scented vanilla candles. The blue glow continues into the very large bedrooms, with good views of the beach through white venetian blinds.

The bathrooms are a little less inspiring however. With a name like The Water Club, you would think the bathroom and shower would be the talking point of your stay, but unfortunately they are decidedly ropey, with dodgy tiling and decoration, and a shower that looks and operates like it was reclaimed from a 1970's Russian guest house. Rooms certainly AREN'T dirty as some reviewers on TripAdvisor have commented. Another sore point for me was the guest parking which is valet only and an uncomfortable $20 a day. Few rooms have balconies, and no fridge in the room, meaning chilled drinks have to be purchased from the bar for an extortionate $18 for a beer and one G&T ! I suggest buying some from the supermarket and keeping them chilled in an ice filled sink...

If you weren't staying here, like many of the evening bar guests, your journey upstairs would take in the best bits of the hotel - the lobby, Tangerine restaurant, the elevator and the roof top bar. For that reason many people who haven't actually stayed here might have a misleading or better impression of the hotel than it actually deserves.

The roof-top pool, although small and dated looking, is saved by the adjoining bar and double bed loungers. This place really comes alive at night and turns into one of the hottest venues in San Juan with a young, moneyed crowd listening to resident DJ's play house. Most nights this bar hosts parties (Moet champagne promotion party when we were there), and the 2nd floor occasionally has local bazaars. Like most trendy businesses in San Juan, The Water Club have nailed the soundtrack, and EVERYWHERE you go in this hotel, hidden speakers pipe either whooshing wave sounds, Cafe del Mar chill out beats, or in the evenings, soft beach house. (You can buy their own cd's from reception).

Free towels and loungers are available on the beach adjacent to the hotel, and all the staff are professional, helpful and generally affable.

Close to airport (10mins & $12 in a cab), but the trip into Old San Juan, home to the best restaurants and clubs that will make you feel you are REALLY in Puerto Rico is a little longer. Either take the A5 bus on the main road ($0.75 coins only), or take a cab for about $25 plus tip. Buses take about 30mins depending on traffic, but finish at about 8.30pm, so a round trip in two cabs can add $$$ to your night out.

Overall, The Water Club have realised they can't compete with the large chain hotels that dominate the San Juan area. Because of this, they are offering a completely unique style of accommodation and experience. It works well, but not at the price you will pay. For us almost £200 a night - simply too much for the quality of room we received.
mintyf is offline  
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Mar 12th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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I think mintyf's review is fair. Just be aware that the hotel is actually across the street from a public beach, not on the beach itself. I hae my own problems with the hotel, but it's not that bad. But its definitely a boutique hotel and has a bit of style.
doug_stallings is offline  
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Mar 13th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Mintyf - Thank you for the very thorough review. Your "Pimp my Ride" comparison seems very much on-point.

Doug - Thank you for the additional info about the beach.

Since staying on the beach is a key consideration for us, I think we will probably stay at the Marriott. But we'll be sure to stop by the Water Club for drinks and to check out the rooftop lounge.

Thanks again.
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