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carlaintexas Jul 23rd, 2011 07:09 PM

Rio Mar or El Conquistador? Still can't decide.
Still trying to decide between the two resorts and I want to book this week...
Can anyone give me pros and cons for each..
How are the rooms at Rio Mar. I have seen the renovated rooms at El Conquistador and they look very nice.
Are they similar in size and amenities?

Thank you so much for your help.

kay_pr Jul 23rd, 2011 07:18 PM

El Conquistador is bigger, the pool and beach areas are better. However, it is far from San Juan and other areas, you would have to stay at the resort most of the time.

Rio Mar is really good, nice beach and closer to other ammenities like El Yunque and San Juan.

I had stayed in both... I prefer El Conquistador.

Weadles Jul 23rd, 2011 08:06 PM

I'll preface this by saying we last stayed at Rio Mar two years ago. We would never go back. We thought it was awful- overpriced mediocre food, beach littered with cigarette butts and broken plastic cups, rooms that smelled of mold and supposed "ocean view" blocked by trees,
golf course a mess, front desk not all that helpful. Could this all have changed within the last two years? Of course, but if we were booking again, I'd go straight to San Juan or the El Conquistador.

carlaintexas Jul 24th, 2011 08:07 AM

Thank you both for your insight!

Trisha1 Jul 25th, 2011 12:23 PM

We liked El Conquistador and enjoyed the boat trip to the island beaches. If you want to go into San Juan or to the rain forest you need to rent a car as soon as you book, beacause there are very few rental cars available.

Byron_Franklin Aug 12th, 2011 06:46 AM

We flew into San Juan in June of 2010. San Juan was very overwhelming. We had accomodations at the Conrad which was nice, but the surroundings were not at all what we had expected. Upon arrival we immediately started trying to find something else! We had friends who had stayed at the El COnquistador before, so we called there and explained our circumstances. They offered us a deal which included breakfast in their restaurant - which is the best breakfast I have ever had- We are a family of five. We spent just under four thousand on the entire trip including two nights at the Conrad, sight seeing in San Juan and then five nights at El Conquistador.
El Conquistador was beautiful. As soon as the gates opened we knew we had made the right decision. The resort is gorgeous. The rooms were spacious and very comfortable. The restaurants were excellent - esp the flat bread pizza by the pool. The ferry out to private island (Palomino) was really nice. The beach at Palomino Island is one of my wife's favorite in all of our travels. It's one of the nicest hotels we have visited. I would highly recommend it over the Rio Mar. rio Mar is very close to the rain forest = mosquitos.
On our way from San Juan to Fajardo we stopped at the rain forest for a few hours, stopped at Luquillo beach to eat at #23. It was a fun ride to the El Conquistador - Just make sure you fill up before you leave San Juan as there are not a lot of gas stations.
Also, our room had a view of the lighthouse, the bioluminescent bay and the ocean. I would request that again side of the hotel again myself. It was incredibly beautiful. If you like to kayak, don't miss out on the bioluminescent bay. It was an awesome experience.

Byron_Franklin Aug 12th, 2011 06:58 AM

Also, somehow I forgot to mention Cullebra Island! The beach there was voted the most beautiful beach in the world in 2002. The ferry ride isn't short. I think it was around an hour to an hour and a half??? Just make sure you get on board the ferry a little early so you can get good seats. Cullebra is almost untouched. It felt like Gilligans Island. There's a small store at the pier and a few small places to get food and small busses that drive you on some rugged roads out to the beach. The beach is like something from a dream. there are no resorts, no fast food, nothing like that - just a beautiful, gorgeous, clean, unpolluted beach with a back drop of only the lush greenery of the island. Luckily, there is someone there to rent chairs and umbrellas and there is a snack stand. The water is crystal clear with pretty calm waves. My wife, who loved the beach on Palomino Island because of the great water and sand, and wants to see every beach in the world says to tell you that this is, by far, the most secluded, natural beach she has ever seen. If you choose El Conquistador you should definitely consider going to Cullebra for a day. it'll be like nothing you have probably seen before.

neglex Sep 24th, 2011 06:48 AM

We want to go away for five nights over Christmas. We are thinking about Puerto Rico. I have read reviews on trip advisor some of which say that the service at El Conquistador is terrible and that it isn't clean and is run down. Are these accurate or is it really nice? We are also considering Las Casitas Villas. It that nicer? Is it worth it? Is the Ritz a better choice? Of the three what do you recommend? Thanks so much!!

ruwithme Jan 5th, 2012 04:58 AM

Curios if you went to PR over Christmas ? Were did you stay ?

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