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"Nightmare at El San Juan Hotel & Casino" El San Juan Hotel & Casino Tip by avilaca

El San Juan Hotel & Casino, San Juan: 2,964 reviews and 16 photos

On Saturday, September 11, my partner and I arrived at the above-mentioned hotel, to stay for two nights. The purpose of our trip was a short weekend getaway to relax and enjoy the amenities the hotel offers, such as the pool and beach service. We were excited to stay in this four star hotel that is part of the Waldorf collection and Hilton family.

Upon our arrival, we were checked-in the hotel by a courteous staff member who was warm and welcoming. We were given room 916 in the main tower. When we walked in the room there was something drastically off putting. The imagery used in the hotel website seems polished, sophisticated, fresh and modern. Our room was everything but that. The décor seemed scattered and messy. The tile floors felt sticky. We got suspicious of the cleanliness of the room and started to feel really uncomfortable. We checked the bed and we found the white headboard had various stains. We couldn’t tell if it was blood, glue, dirt, or hair dye. We moved to the bathroom and found a similar issue there. The grout had mold and mildew and the towels that were supposed to be white looked like a mismatch of different shades of dirty white.

We called the front desk to inform them of the situation and asked that someone be assigned to clean the room properly and get rid of the questionable stains in the bed. We stepped away to have lunch and returned 2 hours later to find that the room was just like we left it. Someone from housekeeping attempted to clean the stains to no avail. However, they seem satisfied with their job although clearly the stains were still there as obvious and vivid as we left them. We called front desk a second time to inform them of that the issue wasn’t resolved. The assigned the Head of Houskeeping, Migdalia Feliciano to come check. She came to inspect the room and with clear and arrogant carelessness told us that instead of focusing on the stain, we should have noticed that they added a plastic lamp to our room. And questioned if we noticed. We didn’t. Redecorating the room wasn’t our request; it was cleaning it.

She was clearly bothered and made us feel as if we were an inconvenience. We insisted that the room be clean properly. Migdalia walked to the room door and yelled the name of a staff member who walked in equally confrontational and holding a bottle of Tilex or similar bathroom cleaning product. She tried to rub off stain but couldn’t, instead by doing this she revealed the true white of the upholstery and accentuated how filthy this room was and how poorly it has been cleaned for years. They also tried to clean the mildew of in the bathroom. The issue wasn’t getting resolved. The incompetence of the management and cleaning staff alike was palpable. Migdalia nor anyone in the hotel management staff ever offer to change our room. We didn’t ask for it either, but truly expected that solution to be the most appropriate and intuitive from a trained personnel. It wasn’t. Instead, they offered to come back later to clean the room again. That was a joke and a waste of time. At this point we had no choice but to stay in that dirty room. We didn’t have the time to cancel our reservation and change hotels. Our short vacation at a four star hotel was quickly turning into a nightmare, dealing with incompetent, mediocre and unhelpful service, reminiscent of a two start rated hotel.

On Sunday morning before 9am, we were woken up by an uncommonly noisy vacuum cleaner. I opened the door and found a housekeeping person leaning against the wall, eating a snack and chatting with another staff member with the vacuum cleaner on and sitting there creating unnecessary noise and cleaning nothing. The apparent cleaning issues are obviously as was the unconsidered and uncaring staff that has clearly no supervision or work ethic. What was supposed to be a fun and relaxing getaway has turn into a disappointing experience and I blame this hotel and most of the incompetent staff for it; a group of useless employees who don’t seem to know what hospitality is.

We were scheduled to check out on Monday but our flight didn’t leave until the evening so we asked if we could have a late check out. This request couldn’t be accommodated and the front desk person said that we couldn’t because the housekeeping staff was in a rush and needed to finish quickly. Judging for the desolate scene at the pool and beach area where only 8 guests were out by the pool and 12 by the beach, this hotel was practically empty. Couldn’t the hotel arrange for our request after a long list of negative experience? So we decided to go by the beach and check out by 1pm as we were supposed to.

In our second beach visit during this stay, we get our towels and are ask again to wear a wristband to indicate that we are hotel guests. We walk to the beach and found to a few empty and scattered beach beds that we dragged and put together. Note that no Hotel staff offer or ask to help. In our first time in the beach, we had to get out own drinks at a poolside bar because no one ever came by to offer service. About 40 minutes after we got to the beach two young girls approached the area and immediately, a young man from the staff came to offer then service. Within in 3 minutes he produced 2 bed and four hotel towels. These girls were not wearing wristbands and there was no exchange of payment for the service. We were close to enough to notice. Immediately after they were settled another young man came to offer them a drinks. His name is Jorge and he asked other people, including us, if we needed anything from the bar. Jorge, brought the drinks to the girls but he didn’t give them a check. However, when he gave us our dinks he brought our check. We never asked for the check. We are guest in the hotel and we are given a check but the people that walked off the streets don’t get one? This doesn’t make sense; non-hotel guest get better service and no check with their orders but hotel guests get ignored and charged with each other.

At this point we are convinced that something is going on so we decided to ask Jorge. We called him and questioned him on the obviously suspicious situation. He got defensive and offered a million of useless reasons and couldn’t give a straight answer to any of the questions. He couldn’t even answer a question on the service policy from the concession: who should be served and who shouldn’t. As hotel guests, it was clear that we are not getting the same preferential service and we had the right to know, so, we asked Jorge to call his manager since he wasn’t being of any help. Curiously, Jorge He left and came back to ‘the girls’ and hands them what seemed like a check in a black sleeve.

After a long while, Diana, the food and beverage manager of the pool are came and offered more stellar service. She couldn’t answer any of our questions either. She didn’t seem to know anything about who gets service and who doesn’t. How come? After a long time questioning her, we realized that she just wasn’t going to be of any help either or provide any information because she didn’t want to or more likely because she didn’t know. We opted to ask for her contact information as we were determined to notify the hotel of this situation. She promised to bring us her business card. To no surprised, she never came back or sent one with the information. We had to leave the beach as the check out time was approaching. As we walked by the pool we spotted her casually chatting with a guy at one of the poolside bars. Has she forgotten about us? Another proof that management didn’t care about us, our business, our concerns or anything remotely associated with service. We asked her again for her card and she promised us that it would be at the front desk when we check out.

We finally get to check out to end this nightmare at an overrated hotel. We had the opportunity to speak to the Assistant Front Office Manager, Yvonne Ramos. Yvonne was the only person who treated us with respect, who seem to care and listen, and although at the end of our experience, offered an apology. No one from the managing staff, Migdalia in Housekeep or Diana in food and beverage, never did or offered a real solution. In fact they seemed bother and defensive and we felt that they didn’t care about customer service. Diana didn’t leave her card at the front desk as she told us. She lied. She doesn’t care and she laughed at us, she was disrespectful at the beach, she was rude and unprofessional. The only thing she seems to be good at was covering up her staff and the mess that and biased service the offer.

It is very unfortunate that we chose El San Juan Hotel. It was a clear mistake. This hotel is everything we didn’t expect. We are disappointed and upset because we wanted to love it and we walked away disgusted and confused: did we just stay at a Waldorf-Astoria Collection hotel? We felt we planned and paid for a vacation but we got rubbed of it at this hotel.

Address: 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico, 00979, Caribbean
Price Comparison: about average
Phone: +1 787-791-1000
Theme: Hotel

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  • Updated Sep 27, 2010
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