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El Conquistador A Waldorf Astoria Resort Reviews

Caribbean | Puerto Rico Our Rating rating Details
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Customer Rating 427 Reviews
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.2
Beaches & Pools
 
4.5
Dining Options
 
3.6
Room Comfort
 
4.2
4.2 out of 5
"The hotel was nice. It was what we expected for the money we paid. I didn't like that the beach required a boat ride, but the beach was nice." – Shorti2
433 out of 504 (86%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
A island view room El Conquistador 5/2011 view from El Conquistador towards Palomino Island View of the ocean from Palomino Island view from Palomino Island Palamino Island Beach El Con, from boat to Palamino Island View from our room many fun pools island beach (hotel ferry) Some of the pools Palomino Island On Palamino Island View form the 3 rd floor view from my room Hello from PR to all in NJ Balcony view of Las Croabas village and Fajordo Lighthouse From marina they take you to the island Ocean view from room view of island from hotel lobby Returning from Palomino Island to Resort My bestfriend full filling his Dreams View from our room at dawn simple but beautiful room Snorkeling Side of Palamino Island view from our room private beach great ocean views small island in distance is beach Sunrise view from our room - Palomino Island in distance Palomino Island Private Island Beach All the chaise lounges were just waiting for us on the private island! Just a glimpse to how beautiful & expansive the resort was... Our hotel room view from El Conquistador resort Cable car horseback ridding at Palomino Island view from ocean view room Palamino Island Pool Our rooms view; El Con beach outside of Farjardo The Pool Palomino Island - lovely! View from top of funicular View from the top portion of the hotel View from El Conquistador Ferry to Palomino Island Wow The Main Pool at El Conquistador Resort room view El Conquistador Resort from the ferry this is just one light in one hall! Ferry to Palomino Island pool view Sunrise from the pool area, off to Vieques Island main pools dirty marina - not beach a peak of the lazy river at the private waterpark View from the room down by the marina Palmino Island Palomino Island

All El Conquistador A Waldorf Astoria Resort Customer Reviews

1-10 of 427 reviews. Sort by
June 15, 2012
Glad we went!

I am from Seattle and several times a year I get the "I need me some sun" bug. When I found the El Conquistador I was very excited reading about the private island, water park, and Waldorf Astoria accomodations. I read 100's of reviews on the property before I booked. These were our thoughts: 1) Palamino Island by far the best part. It was beautiful with lots of fun activities. 2) The waterpark was nice and the food was less expensive there. 3) We had fun popping in and out of the casino. 4) The room was nice. (I wouldn't rate it 5 star, but it was clean and comfortable.) We were down my the marina, which was a GREAT location!!. 5) The pools were nice and it was great that they were open for our enjoyment 24/7. 6) Food. You are probably reading that food will be terribly expensive. And it will if you choose to eat at the hotel's pricier options. However, if your good for burgers, wraps, and local foods... there are plenty of options. 7) Our best discovery... if you walk off the property past the Marina a few blocks you'll hit the area where the Bio Tours depart and there are all kinds of GREAT local places to get wonderful Puerto Rician foods! If you go around 6:30 when the Tours are getting underway, there are sometimes vendors selling local crafts and bakery items as well. 8) Getting around. OK the place is huge, but we have to say for how big it was, we didn't find it too overwhelming to get from the marina (where you catch the boat to Palamino) up to the main hotel area. The Funicular for the most part was fantastic... every once in awhile if you catch it at a bad time (when the water park closes)... yes... you will have to wait in a line, as there is NO other way to get to the main hotel. 9) Our biggest complaint... there was absolutely ZERO nightlife... the bars close, there wasn't good music to sit and listen to, there weren't any hotel sponsored activities ie) water classes, etc. (One night there was a magic show and another a boring blues kind of band for awhile... but the hotel is lacking providing the guests this information so you can plan to attend. So unless you have a car to go in to town... you are dead in the water after dinner.) Overall we had a great trip. The people were super nice. The weather was perfect. The resort was beautiful. If you get a good deal... go for it, you will be happy you did! If you've never been to Puerto Rico... the Bio Kayak tour was great (don't go on full moon) and rent a car and check out the rain forest and Old San Juan. We didn't get a chance, but we heard there were some great caves to check out as well.


114 of 115 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Seattle, WA
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

August 6, 2010 Featured Review
Better than expected

The resort was beautiful from the moment we stepped on the bus transportation from the airport to the drive up to the resort, passing through an 18 hole golf course, clay tennis courts. We couldn't wait to take the boat over to the private island to explore all the amenities. We immediately joined in a beach volleyball game, made some friends, and built sandcastles with the kids. The rooms were larger than expected and the decor was bright and fresh. We enjoyed all the restaurants the resort had to offer as well as the multiple pools. We took advantage of the tours that we were able to arrange through the concierge and although most would complain about the Heineken party being hosted at the resort, we found it amusing and took the kids down to check it out at the end. We were extremely impressed that by the next morning when we woke up- you could not even tell that the biggest party of the year had occured in the pool the night before. Maintenance of the property was impeccable. We have plans to go back next year and will likely make this an annual destination.


181 of 186 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Calgary, Canada
Age: 25-34
Travel: 7+ trips/year

May 7, 2012
Needs RENOVATING!

I"m a beach lover. this is a resort, and its obvious their number 1 mission is to make as much money off each guest as possible. Instead of trying to please and satisfy each guest as much as possible. The resort public areas are all picture perfect, (lobby, grounds, drive way, golf course, and mountain side view. However, all the places a guest sleeps/eats/lounges is worn, rusted, mildew, and outdated. My biggest complaint, was the wait time for "breakfast". sometimes we waited 90 minutes-2 hours. there were several high school groups there, and they came in bright and early, ate everything that would be desired. then they lounged waiting to every one in there group was finished, so other diners had to wait outside, while the kids were sitting at the tables for up to two hours, having eaten several times. Other complaint was the gratuity. I understand its a resort. But if all the decent food has been eaten, can you really charge me a gratuity on your "estimated" cost of what my breakfast would be? after all i got was a bowl of cereal and milk that was starting to sour by the time we got in to eat. BE WARE-THE BEACH IS 45min AWAY ON AN ISLAND, you are not allowed to bring any food or drinks, but encouraged to buy it from them. Its scorching hot, little shade insight, some nasty black sea grass for 15feet into the water, so you have to swim over it so you don't have this nasty feeling black "sea grass?" under your feet. Like i said earlier, Views are amazing, and so is the boat ride to the beach...but EL CON, really needs to rethink their service to customers. Also i hate add on costs. Put all the gratuities, taxes, resort fees, taxes and whatever other fee you can in ONE PRICE!!! Stop Nickle and Diming people to death. I remember at check out, i asked the bell hop how do i go about getting a cart, so i could bring my luggage up( i only had two small bags.) he very sacrcastically said, "tip a bell hop"! Needless to say, i was happy to go. Took great photos, but just wasn't worth a week of a musty room, no easy beach access, and wait lines for elevators and dining.


135 of 138 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
1.0
Service
 
2.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
1.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Atlanta, Ga
Age: 35-44
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

February 26, 2013
Northern NJ couple away for fun in the sun.

The hotel and the grounds are very beautiful and well maintained. Each section has its own distinct flavor and you should describe what you are looking for so the customer service rep can help you find what will work for you best. Best meal: Shrimp ceasar salad Worst: The pizza and the red snapper fried sandwich On Palamino beach: The best cheeseburger I've had in a long, long time. I mean perfection! Best view: From our window - Room 3327 Beach: Beautiful for sure. No waves. Beds: Super comfortable Las Casitas Village: The grounds, the villas, the view, the colors, the pools--wonderful. Restaurant hours: You should be able to get real food after 11pm in more than 1 location at this huge resort. Parking: $16/pp for self-park is quite high Nightlife: Lacking for adults Live music: Very nice touch. More is needed. Even if there's a charge. Water park: It should be included in the price of your stay. Funicular: This was a very cool feature. This is a beautiful property. If you are in good physical condition and love pools as much as the ocean you won't be shortchanged in either direction. I would stay in this hotel again. I did not have a problem with anything while I was there and I'm sure my husband would say I'm quite picky...right honey, lol.


62 of 64 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: NJ
Age: 35-44
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

November 27, 2011
Puerto Rico - El Conquistador

We stayed with friends for 4 nights the week before Thanksgiving. From the time we arrived we were treated exceptionally well. I had done a lot of research prior to the trip so I was aware of the charges that we would incur upon check in. They applied a 750 dollar charge to our card for incidental purchases. This was assigned to our I.D. card for the resort. We did not pay with that for the first day, or so, but honestly it was the most convenient way to pay once we were settled in. The rooms were spacious and very well maintained. The garden view was a great choice, as we overlooked the Bioluminescent Bay and the rain forest. The lights from Fajardo and the surrounding towns were gorgeous at night. I actually think i would prefer this view to the partial ocean view, as i do not think you would be able to see much from the top of the 300 foot bluff. Palomino Island (the private one owned by the resort) was by far the highlight of the trip. The snorkeling was phenomenal - with sea turtle and octopus sightings and a myriad of tropical fish. The beaches were clean and the bar and shops were very nice. We also took a dive trip through the hotel and it was amazing. We kayaked into the bioluminescent bay, and we set that excursion up on our own. The hotel wanted 95 dollars, but we booked it for 45. It was an amazing trip, and would highly recommend Kayaking Puerto Rico as the company of choice. They were very professional and comparably priced. Also, near the marina, there is a guard shack that borders an adjacent property. If you walk beyond the shack, and down the road about 10 minutes, there is an open air market/park and several small restaurants. This is also where the kayaks launch for the Bio Bay tour. The food here was very reasonable (3 of us ate for 16 dollars including 4 beers!) I would recommend visiting this village if the prices at the resort seem expensive to you. The people were all very friendly there and the food was amazing. There were several shops that we purchased souvenirs from as well. We rented a car and decided that it was a worthwhile investment, even though we did not use it that much. The mid sized car rental was about 200 dollars, while the shuttle was 300 for the four of us. We stopped by a Walgreens about 5 miles before getting to the resort and picked up some basic snacks, drinks, etc. This saved us a lot of money. The drinks at the resort ranged from 6 dollars for a can of beer to 10 dollars for a mixed drink. We made another trip to the local supermarket to restock after the second day. We paid for a lot of the car with those trips alone. It should be noted that driving in PR can be a bit to get used to, as noone uses turn signals, and noone seems to pull over for police vehicles with their lights on. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and buy the best insurance for the rental car. The hotel staff was very receptive to us bringing in our own supplies, and the room had a small fridge to keep things in. There were also a couple small stores within the hotel lobby that sold pop and other items that were very reasonable. They may have been arguably as cheap as the supermarket on some items. Overall, this was an amazing experience. We are panning a return trip next year. We did eat several times at the resort and it was nothing less than top notch. We spent every possible minute at Palomino Island, and that is what we miss the most. Our friends had been all over the Carribean to other resorts, and they agreed that this one was the nicest they had seen. I would highly recommend El Conquistador to anyone that asked.


29 of 29 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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Top 500 Contributor
From: Michigan
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

July 23, 2012
Overall good time

This was my 2nd trip to the island. 1st time I stayed @ Condado. El Conquistador is far better in nearly every way with the exception of the 40-60 commute from the airport. The property is beautiful, clean very well maintained. The property is combined with its sister hotel La Casitas Village. We stayed 6 dys 5 nights, the staff was very nice always greating you with a smile. One of the reasons that we chose this hotel were the many dining options which is good & bad b/c the hotel is in a pretty isolated part of the Island in Fajardo. For Breakfast pretty much the only option other than room svc is Las Brisas which is a buffet which we had no complaints. We had diner at a few of there restaurants Ballyhoo, Blossoms, Strip house & La Piccola Fontana none were bad, but they arent going to blow you away either other then the prices. expect about $100 for 2 & about $50 for each add'l adult. There is no beach on the main island there is a 20 min ferry ride to Palomino island for beaching, canoo, Jetski & horseback riding. The beach is beautiful the only knock is the gravel in the water dont forget your pool shoes, it gets uncomfortable barefoot. We had a reseved a partial ocean view room & were upgraded to full ocean view. The room was spacious & clean which brings me to my 1 main issue. Cockroaches and I undertand its an exotic island and all but on our 2nd day I woke to find a cockroach hanging out on the room curtain. Im from NY i've seen & lived with roaches once upon a time but this was by far the largest insect ive everseen about the size of a pencap with legs. In all i had 3 encounters twice on the 2nd day & once on our 2nd to last. I also noticed smaller roaches on the ferry boat that transports guest to & from the beach island. To sum it up the only things keeping this resort from being a 5star. 1- Roaches such a big beautiful resort should not have infestation issues. 2- Dining, need 1 more option for breakfast & prices for diner maybe 10% cheaper. I could only imagine what those larger families checks were after diner. El Conquistador has definitely 5 star potential but only 4 star experience.


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: NY, NY
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

July 30, 2010
Not a good value

the place has has a lot of work but still not enough- the room had bed bugs! For how much it costs there are many better places that are not infested with bugs I would never return or recommend


26 of 26 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 2
Value
 
2.0
Service
 
1.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
1.0
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From: Fairfield County CT
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

January 25, 2013
not what it's cracked up to be

Long thought of as one of PR's premier resorts, our observations were that the place has lost it's luster. It looks as though it can use a renovation...things are starting to look run down. Thank god we had beautiful weather over our 4 night stay. Restaurants were average in taste and overly priced. The hotel is too big and it takes forever to get from the main level to the marina level. Palomino Island Beach was BEAUTIFUL but it wasn't enough to make me stay there again....


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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: New York, NY
Age: 45-54
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

May 6, 2013
Great Location, Slightly tired property

I was looking for a last minute run for sun with my two teenage daughters. Cheap Caribean offered an excellent value deal with flights from Boston to San Juan and a four night stay at El Conquistador. I would recommend the hotel, however I offer a bit of insight. If you are expecting a five star experience, you will be disappointed. The property is slightly tired, and the service is adequate. Just don't expect "over the top" and you will be fine. Personally, we had a great price, so I was pleased. I was told by the front desk that April is a good time to get a good price at this location. There are several buildings (I think 5) to choose to stay in. We were originally put in Las Brisas, (if you look at the web site it is the rectangular building that is built into the cliff). This is known to offer the best views, as you are high up, have the best peripheral views and can take in the resort, the coast, the marina below and the private island off shore. This building seemed older and the rooms were tired (even though they just went through a renovation). Our bathroom was really tired. We moved to the Marina, which was beautiful. It seemed newer and larger, because the ceilings are twice as high. The fourth floor view was stunning, right on the marina and looking out to the island. The ferry to the island and the water park are down at the marina, so it is a great place to stay if have kids...less time going up and down the tram. The two restaurants at the marina have great ambiance and food. Expect hotel prices for everything, no deal there. We rented a car and went out to eat a few times. LOVED Estacion, which you can actually WALK to. Take a right at the end of the entrance to the hotel and it is on your left.


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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Rye NH
Age: 45-54
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

November 30, 2015
Very nice vacation

We stayed at the main hotel (not the Marina or Las Casitas), so this review is mostly of that area. The good: The rooms are excellent and clean, plenty of storage to unpack, patios, and a refrigerator....everything in our room worked perfectly and plenty of hot water. I would recommend taking a cab from the airport to the resort, and have them wait while you get some items at the Walmart which is not far away......we saved hundreds of dollars on water, soda, snacks, sun screen, etc over the cost at the resort (if that kind of thing is important to you). They hotel staff if very friendly and helpful, and the maid service was excellent. Also (and this was important to us) the resort is very near to Fajardo, and the nearby restaurants were amazing. Since the hotel is built on a cliff, there is a view of the ocean and surrounding islands from most everywhere. The casual dining is perfectly acceptable if unexciting, though the breakfast buffet was rather expensive, and on the weekend could have a long line waiting for a table. The hotel itself does not have a beach, but the hotel's Palomino Island is a catamaran ride away. NOTE HERE: The beach at Palomino is on the leeward or sheltered side of the island, so there will be no body surfing of boogie boarding. The hotel does offer snorkeling, diving, banana boats, and jet skis......and they do have plenty of chairs, umbrellas, and thatched roof structures to enjoy. Although I did not play, the property has a stunning very hilly golf course....there are also hard court and grass/clay tennis courts. There are 3 rather nice pools nearest the lobby, an upper pool which is for everyone. There are 2 lower pools, one for adults only and one for children.....the problems is the adult and kiddy pool are located right next to one another, so your relaxation may vary. The bad: The hotel is built into the side of cliff, so getting anywhere requires walking and stairs, lot's of stairs. For example our room was pretty close to the lobby, and it still required an elevator and 8 separate stairs cases to the upper pool, and 10 to the lower pools. The hotel does have Palomino Island that you can take a catamaran to, though to get to the catamaran required two elevators, hundreds of yards of walking, dozens of stair cases, and a tram. NOTE HERE: I am not knocking the hotel for this, in fact it is what allows such excellent ocean views. I just want anyone who might have difficulty walking to know what to expect....especially when the temperature is in the upper 80s. On the weekends it appears the hotel opens up unsold rooms to locals, so be prepared for packs of unattended pre-teens, crowded loud pools, and lines at some of the restaurants. The ugly: The fine dining restaurants on property were very very expensive, the steak house was much more expensive that any you would find in Chicago or New York.....and with so much amazing food just located off of the resort ($10 or $15 cab ride). I am not exaggerating here, the nearby food is destination worthy. An example: We ate at Le Estacion, had a 3+ pound lobster, two drinks, two sides, and dessert for $106 including tax and tip.....similar on the resort would have been $300 or so. Amazing restaurants nearby that you must visit, though the menus change daily depending on what daily catch the fishermen bring in.....and the restaurants may not even open if the catch is sub par; your dinner was swimming or walking hours earlier. (1) Le Estacion - definitely funky, think North Carolina barbecue meets Key West, everything is grilled over mango wood and incredible (2) Pasion por el Fogon - More of a relaxed fine dining experience, resort casual would be fine. The draw here is fresh fresh fish, the menu changes daily (3) Kasavista - Great service and food, very friendly.....great, but preferred Estacion and Pasion by a HAIR. I would absolutely go back (4) La Ola - Unfortunately ran out of time to eat here, though feedback from many people we met were glowing....sorry to have missed it. I hope this helps


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Chicago, IL
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year