I hope everyone was able to sleep in a little on this lovely Sunday morning! This is officially the last blog piece I think (at least for now) on my past cruise from January. It is sad and true! However, at least I have another cruise coming up in less than two months now! Today’s topic is going to be on the two different hotels that I stayed in pre and post cruise in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Well let’s start from the beginning. I flew from Rochester to Baltimore then Baltimore to San Juan on Southwest. I arrived in San Juan around 1:30pm. If you have the Hilton app, you can check in from your app and select your own room. We took a taxi from the airport which was $13 for four of us plus $1 per bag. It was only about a 10 minute ride from the airport.
This first hotel was the Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan. Since this was January 6th and Puerto Rico was celebrating the Epiphany, all of the holiday decorations were still up. This hotel was absolutely beautiful. It had a very large, open lobby/breakfast area. I highly suggest picking rooms 120/122 since they were on the back side with a backdoor entrance to the pool area. I personally enjoy not having to walk through the lobby in my wet swimsuit! The pool is beautiful with a hot tub and a swim up bar off of the pool. The swim up bar does have grill type food (burgers etc) and are also the same staff that puts on the reception. The food and beverage services are outsourced and not hotel affiliated. I had a burger and it was descent.
- Hot Buffet Breakfast
- 2 hour manager’s reception nightly with free drinks and snack foods.
The staff at this hotel was amazing. I think the front desk supervisor’s name was Miguel (he had a S teelers helmet on his chalkboard name tag at the time) and he was great. Very helpful when we needed suggestions for places to eat or questions about what was around. There was also a Walgreens within walking distance that sold souvenirs and alcohol.
The Hampton was a great and comfortable hotel. Since I work for a Hampton, I’m always a fan of the product. It is a great all around hotel choice with comfortable and dependable amenities and service.
The taxi to the port the next morning was $20 for the four of us plus $1 per bag. It was about a 10-15 minute drive over to the port. It was a very easy process and every taxi that we dealt with was super clean! I know there are some people that use Uber instead saying it was cheaper. I didn’t think these prices were bad and for more official transportation needs, I prefer a taxi. I used Uber a lot on my way back to get around Old San Juan.
The hotel that I stayed at on the way back was the Hilton Condado Plaza. This is a full service hotel so unless you are a Hilton Gold or Diamond member with your set preferences, breakfast is not included. I’m a gold member and had my preferences set for (2) continental breakfast coupons. The coupons were worth about $7 so you could apply that towards a more expensive item in the cafe.
This was a beautiful hotel that had direct beach access, a couple of pools (one of which had a water slide), multiple restaurants and bars on property. As we walked the property there were hammocks and patio furniture outside along with a life size chess game. There were also options for pool side massages and a kids program at extra costs. There are two buildings connected with a skyway bridge for this hotel. Some rooms face inward towards the road, the others either face the ocean or the seaway.
The room that we had was gorgeous. We were upgraded to an oceanview king with sitting area. The room we had was on the 8th floor and had a gorgeous view of the ocean. I loved the platform bed and the glass wall shower. It definitely had a great modern feel. I really loved the mattress as well. That was some of the best sleep I’ve ever had.
If you are looking for a place where you can have all your needs satisfied in one place, this would be a good choice. The taxi ride from the port was $15 plus $1 per bag so it was pretty reasonable and was roughly the same for going to the airport the next day. This hotel was only a 5-10 minute drive to Old San Juan which we used Uber for. There is also a starbucks right on the corner of this hotel!
I’m sorry this post is a little long but I think it is a good comparison between hotel types. Of course every hotel brand has similar products. For example, Marriott’s equivalent would be a Fairfield Inn and Suites versus a Marriott full service. These are all things to keep in mind when you are comparing your own personal travel preferences.
I hope you all enjoyed this and have a great day!
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