Hotel El Convento

4 stars
100 Calle Cristo, Old San Juan, 00901
Hotel Overview
Reviewer score
4.5
out of 5
131 reviews
Small Luxury. .

5 star treatment every step of the way! Made the trip personal and even better : ) See full review

  • the solo travelist
  • Mar 9, 2014
Perfect Old San Juan Location

If your looking for the atypical resort hotel on the beach this hotel is not for you; although you... See full review

  • Joseph721
  • Feb 8, 2014
Old San Juan hotel sets the standard for historic elegance
The historic Hotel El Convento was opened as a convent in 1651 and reopened as a hotel in 1963 by an heir to the Woolworth fortune. Rita Hayworth and Ethel Merman are among its famous guests. The hotel sets the standard for luxury in Old San Juan. This gem of Spanish Colonial architecture was meticulously restored with handcrafted tiles, thick mahogany beams, velvet settees and hand-carved chairs. A lushly landscaped interior courtyard is lit by Old World wrought-iron lanterns. Modern conveniences include a rooftop plunge pool, sundeck and free Wi-Fi.
Highlights
  • Historic character and architecture in luxury AAA Four Diamond setting
  • Rooftop sundeck and pool
  • Footsteps from Old San Juan hot spots
  • Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres nightly
  • Three on-site restaurants
Location

Hotel El Convento lies in the center of Old San Juan, across the way from the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and two blocks from La Fortaleza, the governor's home.

Rooms

Hotel El Convento has 58 finely appointed guest rooms, each more luxurious than the next. These warm, charming rooms include ornate handcrafted furniture, Andalusian terra-cotta tile floors, fine linens, goose-down pillows and elegant marble bathrooms. Captivating views of San Juan Bay and the city are enjoyed from every room. Expect a spacious desk, Bose radio and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Features

The small, luxury Hotel El Convento is the oldest member of the Historic Hotels of America and is rated a AAA Four Diamond property. Extras include a library with high-speed Internet access. Spa services and personal trainers are also available.

Dining

There are three on-site dining options at Hotel El Convento including El Picoteo, overlooking the hotel's courtyard. The restaurant offers tapas and paella for lunch and dinner. Nuevo Latino Caña is the posh spot to see-and-been-seen under a high, wood-beamed ceiling. Caña is open for lunch and dinner. Patio del Nispero is named for its open-air courtyard setting shaded by a historic fruit tree. Breakfast and lunch includes refreshing menu choices such as the Jibarito salad, mixed greens with avocado, fried local farmers' cheese and red onions.

Recreation

There is a plunge pool and Jacuzzi on the bougainvillea-draped fourth-floor rooftop deck with breathtaking views of San Juan Bay and the city. The El Convento Beach Club offers beach and pool privileges at sister properties. The fitness center is free.

Transportation
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (7.5 mi/12 km)
Attractions
  • El Morro Fortress (0.3 mi/0.4 km)
  • Isla Verde Beach (0.6 mi/10 km)
  • Fort San Cristóbal (0.6 mi/0.9 km)
  • Puerto Rico Convention Center (2.3 mi/3.7 km)
  • Condado Beach (2.7 mi/4.4 km)
  • Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (3.6 mi/5.8 km)
  • Plaza Las Américas (4.2 mi/6.7 km)
Business
  • Business center with printing, copying and faxing available
  • Seven meeting rooms
  • Executive board room
  • Full catering available
  • Audiovisual equipment and support available
  • High-speed Internet access in all meeting areas
Policies & fees

A major credit card will be needed at check-in for incidentals.

This is not a comprehensive list of fees. Any amounts listed above may not include taxes and are subject to change.

Hotel El Convento Rooms

Queen Deluxe Room
Queen Deluxe Room includes: One queen bed and City view from French balcony (no step-out space). Open-air-corridor seating facing interior garden courtyard. Spanish-antique and antique-replica furniture, including desk, dining set, reading chair. Tile floor. Small marble bathroom with pedestal sink, shower/tub, bathrobes/slippers, telephone. 32-inch LCD HDTV. Bose CD player, radio. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access. Compact refrigerator with complimentary bottled water. Smoking not permitted in room. Rollaway bed needed for a 3rd person in room ($35 extra nightly charge).
Vista Room
Vista Room includes: One Queen bed with full view of San Juan Bay from French balcony (no step-out space). Open-air-corridor seating facing interior garden courtyard. Spanish-antique and antique-replica furniture, including desk, dining set, reading chair. Tile floor. Small marble bathroom with pedestal sink, shower/tub, bathrobes/slippers, telephone. 32-inch LCD HDTV. Bose CD player, radio. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access. Compact refrigerator with complimentary bottled water. Smoking not permitted in room. Rollaway bed needed for a 3rd person in room($35 extra nightly charge).
Double Deluxe Room
Double Deluxe Room includes: Two double beds with City view from French balcony (no step-out space). Open-air-corridor seating facing interior garden courtyard. Spanish-antique and antique-replica furniture, including desk, dining set, reading chair. Tile floor. Small marble bathroom with pedestal sink, shower/tub, bathrobes/slippers, telephone. 32-inch LCD HDTV. Bose CD player, radio. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access. Compact refrigerator with complimentary bottled water. Smoking not permitted in room. Rollaway bed not allowed in room.
Superior Room
Superior Room includes: One queen bed or two twin beds (run of house)and limited view from French balcony (no step-out space). Open-air-corridor seating facing interior garden courtyard. Spanish-antique and antique-replica furniture, including desk, dining set, reading chair. Tile floor. Small marble bathroom with pedestal sink, shower/tub, bathrobes/slippers, telephone. 32-inch LCD HDTV. Bose CD player, radio. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access. Compact refrigerator with complimentary bottled water. Smoking not permitted in room. Rollaway bed needed for a 3rd person in room ($35 extra nightly charge).

Amenities

  • Free internet
  • Pool
  • No smoking rooms/facilities
General
No smoking rooms/facilities
Concierge
Activities
Pool
Fitness Center
Spa
Dining
Bar/Lounge
Restaurant
Room service
Services
Childcare Service
In-Room Safe
Meeting/Banquet facilities
Conference facilities
Doctor on call
Internet
Free internet
Parking
Parking
Accessibility
Handicapped rooms/facilities
Wheel chair access
Service dogs allowed
Service animals allowed
Handicapped parking
Audible emergency alarm for sight impaired guest
Wheelchair accessible elevators
Visual emergency alarm for hearing impaired guest
Ramp access to buildings

Hotel Map

18.4659 -66.1184
Area served
Old San Juan, Condado, Hato Rey, Rio Piedras, Guaynabo, Bayamon, Isla Verde.
Nearby airports
Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU): Approximate driving time is 20 minutes and distance is 9 miles.
Area description
The hotel's location in historic Old San Juan makes walking the best way around to the numerous shops, restaurants, and historic sites. Hopping on and off the district's open-air trolleys is free. Nearby attractions: San Juan Cathedral - across street / San Juan Gate - 1 block / Puerto Rico Indian Museum - 1 block / La Fortaleza (governor's mansion) - 2 blocks / Casa Blanca museum & garden - 2 blocks / African Heritage Museum - 3 blocks / Pablo Casals Museum - 3 blocks / San Felipe del Morro fortress - 0.5 mile / San Cristobal Castle - 0.5 mile / Plaza Las Americas (shopping, dining) - 7 miles / Pinones forest (bicycling, hiking, surfing) - 12 miles / El Yunque Rainforest - 31 miles.

Nearby points of interest

  • Museo del Nino: 0 mi
  • Calle del Cristo: 0 mi
  • Bacardi Rum Factory: 0 mi
  • El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan): 0.1 mi
  • La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina: 0.1 mi
  • Plaza de Armas: 0.1 mi
  • Parque de las Palomas: 0.1 mi
  • Paseo de la Princesa: 0.1 mi
  • Fortaleza Street: 0.2 mi
  • Castillo San Felipe del Morro: 0.5 mi
  • Castillo de San Cristobal: 0.6 mi
  • Port of San Juan: 0.6 mi
  • Puerto Rico Convention Center: 1.8 mi
  • San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan): 2.2 mi
  • Fine Arts Cinema: 2.3 mi
  • Museo del Nino: 0 mi
  • Calle del Cristo: 0 mi
  • Bacardi Rum Factory: 0 mi
  • El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan): 0.1 mi
  • La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina: 0.1 mi
  • Plaza de Armas: 0.1 mi
  • Parque de las Palomas: 0.1 mi
  • Paseo de la Princesa: 0.1 mi
  • Fortaleza Street: 0.2 mi
  • Castillo San Felipe del Morro: 0.5 mi
  • Castillo de San Cristobal: 0.6 mi
  • Port of San Juan: 0.6 mi
  • Puerto Rico Convention Center: 1.8 mi
  • San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan): 2.2 mi
  • Fine Arts Cinema: 2.3 mi
  • Museo de Las Americas: 2.6 mi
  • San Juan Gate: 2.9 mi
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico: 3.1 mi
  • Bellas Artes: 3.4 mi
  • Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico: 3.5 mi
  • Ocean Park: 4.6 mi
  • Jardin Botanico: 6.1 mi
  • Isla Verde: 6.7 mi
  • Arecibo Observatory: 42.5 mi

Dining

Pizza E Birra
Pizza e Birra offers a taste of classic Italian and American-Italian dishes, but the main attraction is definitely Pizza perfection. For the perfect combination Pizza e Birra features over 20 different craft beers from all over the world. The Pizzeria embodies all the eclectic elements that characterize the cobblestone city, with a cool modern spark
Patio del Nispero
Shaded by Hotel El Convento's famous 300-year old nispero fruit tree, Patio del Nispero is located on the ground floor of the stately open-air courtyard in the hotel. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Patio del Nispero is a welcome culinary treat serving international gourmet fare in casual yet elegant surroundings. From the best banana nut pancakes,to creative and hearty sandwiches and salads, with even traditional Puerto Rican dishes, alfresco dining has never been more tasteful!
El Picoteo
There's something cooking in Old San Juan where the food is inventive, the service never misses a beat, and the wine list is exceptional. The atmosphere at El Picoteo is all about food and mood. Hot or cold, tapas warm you up for mas tapas de picotear. El Picoteo offers a cornucopia of choice without parallel on the island. After a sampling of delectable tapas, try the paella - voted best on the island! The gazpacho, tortillas, empanadillas, croquetas, specialty pizzas are all fantastico. The wine list fills classic bistro slots with imaginative producers and delectable desserts round out the eclectic menu. This is the place that defines the tapas and paella experience.

Meeting facilities

Meeting Info
Hotel El Convento offers superb meeting and banquet facilities. With close proximity to the financial center in San Juan, and 7 multi-use meeting rooms of varying sizes, the hotel is the perfect venue for banquets, charity events, and high-level corporate affairs. The 2700 sq. ft. Salon Campeche is a spectacular ballroom and can accommodate from 250 - 300 people for classroom/banquet seating. For smaller gatherings and corporate functions, choose from Salon Oller which accommodates 75 people for a seated event; Salon Paoli, perfect for a group of 50; Salon Zafiro, for a group of 35, the Executive Boardroom which seats 12. Two additional rooms are available for up to 40 people. The hotel has every amenity the business traveler needs to assure a successful trip from audiovisual facilities, computer ports, dual-line data port phones in each guest and banquet room, Internet access, and valet parking. Restaurants are located within the hotel and we also provide expert catering services.

Hotel Policies

Check-in:
1500
Check-out:
1200

Terms and conditions

Rates quoted in currencies other than the hotel's base currency are subject to the rate of the international exchange. Rate may change throughout stay. Rate may reflect average nightly rate. Extra charges may apply. Incidental charges, such as room service, are not included in the rate.

The amenities and/or facilities may not be located at the hotel, but within a reasonable distance, and additional charges may apply for use.

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Guest Reviews (131)

Ratings and reviews for Hotel El Convento

Overall score

4.5 / 5
131 out of 131
Amenities:
4.4
Room cleanliness:
4.7
Hotel staff:
4.7
Room comfort:
4.5
Location:
4.8
Value:
4.3

96% would recommend to a friend.

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Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

4
The Vacationing Cowboy
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Dec 14, 2010

Great place for a couple getaway

This was my wife and I's first real getaway together without our kids or family around and we had a great time. Staying in old San Juan was perfect for us there was night life close by if needed and also quiet hometown restaurants to enjoy a meal and reconnect. We had cultural stimulation also within walking distance (i.e. the beach forts of El Morro and San Cristabal)among others that were very interesting to explore if you enjoy that sort of thing. During the week the narrow city streets were relatively quiet, however they come alive on the weekends and its fun to sit at a streetside bar or restaurant and watch all the people go by. There are also casino's in the newer resort areas you can take a cab to for a night or two of fun. If you plan on staying more than a couple of days you may want to consider renting a car as taxis can get expensive if you plan on moving around the island alot to see the sights. Its also alot of fun to drive around and get lost, you never know what you'll find and short of a major accident you cant really get pulled over for anything down ther...trust me on this ;) Overall it was agreat place to vacation and booking with [...] was great as well, there were no hang-ups at all during the trip travel went very smooth. We plan on returning to Peurto Rico again in the near future. [...]

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Dining is still expensive even in old San Juan but it was worth it we enjoyed trying different local foods and drinks. Take a chance and go off the beaten path outside the tourist areas, we did and couldn't have been happier. We ate in towns and restaurants that would scare most people but the people were very nice and the food was even better in those areas not to mention CHEAPER!

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Leah Love to Travel
MA
Nov 6, 2010

Best Hotel EVER

Absolutely beautiful hotel. It is an old Convent that has been converted into a hotel. The building is beautiful as are the rooms. The staff was friendly. There is a nice wine & cheese hour in the early evening, free coffee/tea/water all day, 2 free computers with internet, a small pool & hot-tub on the roof deck, roof deck with nice views of city & water, I could go on and on.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
3
Shopping tip: Short walk from hotel

Hotel is a very good location. There are several shops in very short walking distance, including specialty stores, US outlet stores, and tourist shops. There are also several restaurants within walking distance. We also just walked around looking at all the beautiful buildings with their bright colored paint and decorated balconies.

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Shadrach
Dover, NH
Nov 5, 2010

Excellent!

The people who work at this hotel are fabulous! We found people friendly in general in PR but the staff here really are the most. The room wasn't huge but was bigger than I expected it to be. We had a nice little view overlooking the plaza and cathedral. Beware of the balcony railing! Ours was falling off. It was a lovely room. This is definitely a "luxury" hotel and a big splurge for me. It's high end without you feeling afraid to touch anything. Very comfy with a big TV and a Bose radio. Plenty of outlets. Other areas of the hotel are just as great. A wonderful terrace off the "honesty" bar where you get your own drinks and write it down. Free coffee, too! The pool is just a plunge pool so don't think you'll do a lot of swimming in it. The Tapas bar in the hotel has great food. I'm in the food industry so I'm pretty picky. Try the Tres Leches cake for dessert! I had one every night we were there! The breakfast/lunch restaurant is less exciting but the Cuban sandwiches are good and you'll have fun keeping the birds off your table and watching the lizards crawl around. Great location!! Old San Juan is small and easy to walk around. Also, there's lots of government buildings around and lots of police. From El Convento it is an easy walk to both forts, all the museums, restaurants and everything else in OSJ. Seriously, you couldn't ask for a better location to explore.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
3
Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Food is expensive in OSJ. La Bombonara and Mallorca are both close to the hotel and are diner style bakeries. Cheap, filling food with lots of locals. These places will have enough to satisfy anyone who misses an American breakfast, too. For a really GREAT meal, try Tantra, a Puerto Rican/Indian fusion place. Expensive but delish. Just a block north from El Convento is El Patio de Sam. It's got good food and friendly staff. You can get Puerto Rican food and burgers there. We went twice because we were too lazy to walk anywhere else and wanted something less pricey than the hotel.

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

4
Anonymous
Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 3, 2010

Old World Charm

El Convento was lovely. The staff was kind and helpful. The atmosphere is absolutely charming! From the palms in the breezy courtyard to the Spanish Colonial style of the architecture, the hotel really offered an experience far better than a typical hotel. Additionally, it also doesn't feel like a chain hotel or a cookie cutter experience. They even have a lovely wine and cheese hour (complimentary) where you can relax and meet other hotel guests. We enjoyed the Tapas restaurant while we were there, though found the service rushed and the prices on the high end. As far as other places in Old San Juan appeared, El Convento definately was the place to be if you wanted to be in the heart of the Old City and not have a cookie cutter experience.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
4
Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Out to see the world
Denver, CO
Oct 10, 2010

Superb hospitality, gorgeous property

We were amazed at the hospitality shown us at Hotel El Convento. While the location is perfect, the building is historic, rooms are charming, etc, it was really the small touches that set this hotel apart. The staff was always helpful but unobtrusive. Water was free from the refigerator in the room or from the 3rd floor common area. There was a nice honor bar where you could grab a soda/mix a drink with all the amenities and write what you took. Daily wine and cheese is not to be missed, suprisingly high quality wine and cheese. The pool (while small) and hot tub were open 24/7. In short, it felt like home away from home. The rooms, public spaces, and restaurants were just as picturesque as the photos make them appear. You can walk to an endless array of great restaurants or shopping, adventure tours pick up right nearby, and there were two different beach resorts with partner agreements if you want that experience. We tried both, one had a very Miami/modern feel, great pools, solid beach, in a different but fun part of town. The other had hammocks on the beach and a gorgeous beach with more of a traditional beach resort feel. They can link back to your El Convento account and assign you a "fake" room number so you can eat/drink at these other hotels without worrying about cash or credit cards. In short, we really couldn't have been happier with our stay here and will definitely be coming back.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Two places that stood out, at different ends of the spectrum: La Bombonera (old-school diner, great breakfasts, especially the mallorcas) and Marmalade Cafe (one of the best meals I had in my entire life and I eat out a lot).

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Anonymous
Boston, MA
Sep 29, 2010

A Gem

Hotel El Convento is a gem. The staff was polite and accomodating. Our room was small, which was not a surprise having been a convent, but clean and comfortable. Nightly wine and cheese hour was a great way to meet other guests while relaxing on the outdoor terrace. The plunge pool was small, but large enough for relaxing or cooling down from an afternoon of sightseeing, the view was amazing, especially at night. We travel fairly often and although this was our first trip to Puerto Rico, we definitely will be going back with the expectation of staying at Hotel El Convento and continuing our exploration of Old San Juan.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Dining tip: Long walk from hotel

The food at Dragonfly was awesome.

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Anonymous
Silver Spring, MD
Aug 30, 2010

Great Hotel !

This hotel is very charming. The rooms are clean, the staff is very accomodating and the location is perfect! It's right in the center of shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and site seeing. I traveled alone and felt very safe at night. The only drawback for me was no beach. I had to take a taxi to the beach and the taxi drivers are not honest when charging cab fare.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
3
Shopping tip: Short walk from hotel

Everything is close; you will never get bored!

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

5
Don Jorge de la Foto
Business
Washington, DC
Aug 12, 2010

The Best of the Best

Walking distance to all that is Old San Juan, from the museums to food! The staff is wonderful and very glad to help in any way. This is clearly the best hotel in the old city. I have stayed there before and will do so again.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Ostra Cosa at the top of the hill on Calle Cristo on the left side. Simply the best lamb chops!

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

4
Legallady
Brooklyn, New York
Jul 25, 2010

Best of old and new

I loved the hotel. It's really beautiful and the staff is wonderful. However this is not the greatest hotel for single people or families. The pool is small and there is no room service. There are two great things though that are good for singles. Old San Juan has some great restaurants near by especially the tapped bar across from the hotel with flamenco dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. If ur single make sure to visit in high season and check out the sister hotel, La Concha for some gambling, great nightlife, pool, beach and a very modern twist. Stating at EL El Convento you get the best of both worlds.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
4
Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Tappas bar across from hotel.

Review of Hotel El Convento

Reviewer score

3
Ianne Traveler
Bloomington, Indiana
Jun 16, 2010

Great Hotel; Some Spotty Service

The hotel is beautiful with lots of interesting history. Its location is right near great shopping and restaurants in Old San Juan and just a couple of blocks from the El Morro fort. Our room was very nice, looked out on the plaza/park. Particularly enjoyed the 6pm wine reception with quite a variety of drinks and a lovely patio setting to watch the sun go down. Breakfast was good and service there was excellent.Our visit did start off a bit negative. We waited 1 hour and 20 minutes for the hotel to deliver our luggage. I called the bell captain several times and the phone would just ring and ring with no one answering. I finally went down to the reception desk and they started pursuing the lost luggage. It turned out it had been misdelivered to the wrong room. So a negative start to a good stay.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Found lots of good dining spots in close proximity to the hotel. Dinner at AquaViva was quite tasty.

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