Which Hotel in Puerto Rico?

Nov 28th, 2008, 11:02 AM
  #1  
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Which Hotel in Puerto Rico?

We booked a March RCCL cruise, and will be staying pre cruise 3 nights. I'm having the hardest time choosing a hotel, even after reading all these posts. We will not have a car, but would like to stay in a nice hotel under $300 per night. Plan to visit Old San Juan. We like beaches, but don't plan to spend a real lot of time lounging by the pool. Would like to be close to nice restaurants, in a safe area. Thought about maybe the Marriott Stellar, can earn points, but maybe too far from all the activity? Hilton Caribe looks too isolated? Intercontinental kind of pricey? Sheraton Old town too invaded with ships? Ritz Carlton, too expensive! HELP? Thanks...
GailLK is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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I'm sorry my memory does not serve me well, but last time we were in P.R. for a short stay before a cruise there was a very nice large chain hotel in Old San Juan. Walking distance to everything and within sight of the cruise docks. The City of San Juan is a long cab ride from Old S.J. Unfortunately it is not convenient to a beach . I wouldn't be too concerned about cruise ship crowds in Old SJ. It is always crowded.
imwaiting is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Gail, the Marriott is in Condado, and it's a good location, within easy walking distance of several decent restaurants as well as being on a fairly good beach. If you want to stay there, I think it would be fine. I would call Old San Juan a moderate (not a long) cab ride away from there ... perhaps 10 to 15 minutes depending on traffic. And there are many, many restaurants in Old San Juan to choose from.

I wouldn't shy away from the Sheraton Old San Juan if you want to be within walking distance of restaurants.

There are some other less expensive hotels in OSJ as well. A lot of posters here have stayed at the Gallery Inn, and there's also a Howard Johnson. El Convento is the best (and most expensive) hotel downtown, but I think they are doing some renovations now, so do doublecheck before booking there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for your replys. I'm kind of leaning towards the Marriott so I can earn Rewards points, and kind of wanted a nicer view , and pool area. But this hotel is VERY pricey. Wondering if its really worth it to stay here? Don't really mind the 20 min cab ride to Old San Juan, but for $300 a night, I'm hoping its worth it?
GailLK is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Everything is relative - Marriott is a nice hotel but the only reason they are charging $300 is because March is a very expensive time to travel to Puerto Rico. So hard to say if it is worth it. Also, add about twenty percent to that rate for tax and resort fee. The problem is that any nice hotel you consider at that time of the year is going to be pricey.
tom42 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 09:48 AM
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You might also want to price the Courtyard Isla Verde. While quite a bit farther from Old San Juan, it's got a really good restaurant and is on a much better beach. I'd choose that hotel for up to $230 a night over the Mariott, even given the latter's great location.
doug_stallings is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 10:12 AM
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Also, the pool at Marriott Stellaris is nothing great. It is in a nice area with shops and restaurants.
travlgal is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Thanks again for all the responses.
I COULD use points for the Marriott, but not so sure it would be worth it, maybe save them for a JW Marriott resort. The fares to PR in March were really great from my city, but looks like I'm going to get socked with higher hotel rates. You can't win...

Anyone ever stay at the Hilton Caribe? Rates are better, gets decent reviews, also can earn HHonors points there. Is this hotel a "better" resort than the Marriott, or too isolated?

Thanks!
GailLK is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Marriott has nice grounds and a good italian restaurant on property. The beach is public. The water can be very rough.

We stayed at the Caribe Hilton in April 2007. It is a very nice complex. It has several restaurants, has a private beach (cove like) and pool areas. It is off by itself, but we cabbed to restaurants in just a few minutes. The rooms were nice at the Hilton and Hilton honors members have their own breakfast, and cocktail hour. This always works great for my family who are happy with a light breakfast.
The Marriott is on the Condado (Condado is very near the Hilton) which is located near many restaurants.
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 05:04 PM
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We booked a night here for March. Price was very reasonable and it gets good write ups. Not on beach, but fit the bill for us.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...5&tid=35167822

Coral Princess Inn

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 05:20 AM
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I stayed at the Caribe Hilton a couple of years ago. The room and grounds were very nice. The beach is small and very calm. The hotel is located between Old San Juan and Condado but not within walking distance to either (well, you probably could walk to Condado but I would only try that in the day). There really aren't any restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. That being said, it is a very short cab ride to either Old San Juan or Condado, where you will find many restaurants.
tom42 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies.
I am narrowing this down to the Marriott Stellar or Hilton Caribe (before I go insane!) since I belong to both HHonors and Marriott Rewards. If I can get the Hilton much cheaper, then will go with that. But we have stayed in some very nice Marriotts on our recent travels, and were very happy with the very comfortable beds, service, etc.
Hard to decide....
GailLK is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:07 AM
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If you are on Princes or Carnival, then the Sheraton Old San Juan is a great choice because you can literally walk across the street to the ship. If you are on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, then you are better off in the Condado area. The Caribe Hilton is off by itself. The area is not the best day or night when you want to walk around. There is a Subway within a block of the Caribe and they serve a decent, cheap breakfast. The city buses are a great way to get around.
cschultz8 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:22 AM
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cschultz-thanks for that last post, we are sailing with Royal Caribbean so will go with the Marriott in Condado area. I checked the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verda, and their rates are even HIGHER than the Marriott! Can't imagine paying $305 a night for a Courtyard Marriott, how great could it be, really..
GailLK is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:31 AM
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The Marriott is fine, but I think the Courtyard is nicer. And it's on a much better beach.

Still, I think hotels in San Juan are criminally overpriced. Keep watching for deals as your cruise date approaches. Hotel occupancy isn't very strong on Puerto Rico right now (and probably won't be stronger in March), so you might very well snag a better deal if you can still cancel without penalty. Don't hesitate for a moment to drop the Marriott if something just as good but much cheaper comes along.
doug_stallings is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 05:27 AM
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Just a note about the Courtyard - it is the closest hotel to the airport - you can see the planes going down the runway. So there will be some noise and, depending on the wind, some smell of jet fuel.
tom42 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 08:43 AM
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I'd have to agree , PR hotels seem very overpriced for their quality.
The highest room rating in ZAGAT for PR was a "24" for the Ritz Carlton, and that hotel chain usually scores "28's" internationally. However the Horned Dorset scored a "26", but room rate is $970 a night!

I did like the looks of the COURTYARD online, however, the "jet fuel" smell might be a problem, haha. Will keep looking for better rates prior to cruise.

If you have ANY other hotels you would recommend other than the Courtyard that I can keep watch on, please let me know.

Thanks so much for the replies!
GailLK is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:26 AM
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You may want to periodically check the Condado Plaza - right now rates are running at about $250 per night for March.
tom42 is offline  
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