We were able to get a 2 night stay at the Regency in San Juan for March 13&14 before our cruise on the Sea Princess. We are paying $125 per night through Expedia. My wife has been trying Priceline for about a month for a lower price for that time but to no avail. She still wants to try and is up to $100 but at least we have a backup and are able to cancel the Regency if she suceeds.
From what I have seen on the internet, the Regency is a very nice hotel in the heart of town with all the other 4 star hotels. The beach is across the road which is good because I will deffinately need to work on my tan before the cruise since I live in upstate NY and the past 21 days has not gotten over the freezing mark and below 0 every night.
About eight years ago, we did a pre-cruise stay at the El Conquistador in San Juan. We paid a lot of money to stay there and had one of the worst experiences we've ever had at any hotel we've ever stayed at. It was very expensive, not close to anything, so you had to eat there and one reason we booked it was that it was on a cliff over-looking the ocean. It was a beautiful hotel but all of our experiences there were bad. First of all, they took my credit card number before I even got on the bus to go to the hotel. Later, I found out they used my card for a very high security deposit and didn't tell us. It was so high that the credit card I was going to use on the cruise didn't work because they said I didn't have enough credit on it. When we left they didn't give us credit back on my charge card. I had to come home, write letters, and make several phone calls to San Juan. I wish I had known who to report them to because of this, but I didn't. I believe we paid over $300 a night and that was the most I've ever paid for a hotel room. The hotel room had roaches and they came to our room every half hour to see if we had eaten anything out of our little fridge, which we had not. The food was the most expensive I've ever encountered anywhere, and we ate very little there. I think a glass of orange juice (a small one was $5.00). Anyway, we came home and told our TA and she just said that we were the first one's she had known of to ever stay there and that's about all she said. Needless to say, we'll never stay there again and I like San Juan as a cruise stop but I'll never stay there again for a pre-night stay........
Thanks for the information. What rates did you get at the hotels you mentioned? I need a nice hotel for the pre cruise, as I get in late. The post cruise hotel, however, is for an entire extra day. Tell me about the Ritz. Was it worth the money? Thanks, Mike
I would highly recommend the San Juan Marriott Resort in the Condado area. It has a lush pool and is right on the beach. The hotel night life is fun with a outside bar and an inside lobby bar that had live entertainment when we were there. There is also a Stellaris casino within the property.
If you are looking for accomodations that are a bit more reasonable the Hampton Inn in the Isle Verde area is an exceptional value. The pool is nice and the beach is a couple of blocks away. There is an outside pool bar and an inside lobby bar. A delicious Continental breakfast is included. This hotel is very close to other 'fancy' hotels including the Ritz that offer great nightlife. There are a number of casinos in hotels in the area.
We've also stayed at the Radisson Ambassador hotel in the Condado area. The staff at this hotel are very nice, but the pool is on a rooftop and the area outside the hotel is questionable. The hotel itself is a bit run down and the room we stayed in had peeling paint and water stains on the ceiling. The nightlife in the hotel was non-existent, even with the casino on the property.
We would highly recommend the Water Club in Isla Verde. It's a smaller 'boutique' hotel on the beach(o.k. a small street, about 15 ft. wide runs by the front door) but essentially on the beach. It's a beautiful place and you really have to see it to believe it. The name says it all. Water is the theme of this place and it's amazing what they do to accentuate that (how about waterfalls in the elevators?). The lighting is really neat, both outside and in, including in the rooms. They are on the smaller side but not tiny, and ours had hardwood floors. The bed is not against the wall but kind of in the middle. Each room has a CD player stereo system. There is a beautiful ouside (under roof) bar up top with a beautiful view and the pool is up on top also. it's definitely not your usual hotel. Friday night, i guess the place is one of 'the' places to go to be seen in SJU. Lots of VERY expensive cars, extremely well dressed beautiful people, etc., heading for the club in the hotel. It was fun to watch the folks as we don't belong to that demographic. Anyway, we liked it so much, we are planning to go back to just stay there, not on a cruise this time.