Which Starwood Property should be choose in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Punki, Apr 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We will be heading to Puerto Rico in a week or so for a wedding. For two night we will be staying at the Intercontinental, which is the location of the big event.

    For the first and last nights of our trip, however, we are trying to get in a couple of Starwood stays. Which hotels should we choose?

    On Sunday we would like to be close to the airport as we fly back Monday morning.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    There's a W on V (won't attempt to spell it) island, which could work if you want to get away from San Juan.

    I've only stayed in the Caribe Hilton, and so has secretsea18 very recently.
     
  3. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    How many nights total is your trip? If you are only looking for 1 night before and 1 night after your stay at the Intercontinental, then leaving San Juan to go over to the W Vieques is probably too big of an excursion. (You'd probably want to fly to Vieques.)

    The Sheraton Old San Juan is probably the best location among the Starwood properties around the city. The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino is located at the Puerto Rico Convention Center -- not in the Old Town area, but the hotel is only a few years old. There are no SPG hotels on the beaches near San Juan, nor any immediately at the airport. The downtown area is about 7 or 8 miles from the airport.

    About 30 minutes east is the new (and usually very expensive) Cat6 St Regis Bahia Beach.

    About 30 minutes south up in the mountains is the Cat3 Four Points Caguas Real Hotel & Casino which may have inexpensive C&P awards (though I think you're wanting stay credits). I'd actually be interested in hearing about this hotel which (despite being a 4P) seems to be on the verge of being able to be called a resort.
     
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  4. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Well Hello There,

    If you want a hotel in San Juan, I recommend the Sheraton Old San Juan. It has a great location right in the heart of the city.
     
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  5. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Sheraton Old San Juan is a nice choice since it is so close to many restaurants etc... The only down side is you may be battling the cruise crowds since the pier is across the street.
     
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  6. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We will only be there for a total of four days. One night at an SPG property, two nights at the Intercontinental, and then one night at another SPG property.

    We don't yet have plans to rent a car, but may do so on Sunday so we can explore on our last day. By then, I do believe that all of the celebrations will be over so Sunday is pretty much a free day.
     
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  7. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    I have not stayed there (last two stays were in Hilton Properties) but I have stopped by the lobby of Sheraton Old San Juan twice and I echo the sentiments on the great location...

    sdcarver
     
  8. JFKSFOLAX_friend

    JFKSFOLAX_friend Active Member

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    1) I consider the Sheraton Old San Juan to be in one of the worst locations of Puerto Rico...not best. You couldn't hand pick a more traffic-laden street in Puerto Rico (or NYC, for that matter). Around 5 PM on any weekday or 10 PM any weekend night, just stand in front of that hotel and enjoy the car exhaust fumes as the autos move 1 MPH whilst constantly honking their horns. I go to PR to get away from that stuff.

    2) The Sheraton PR Hotel & Casino opened roughly November 2009 so it is about 16 months old. Nice property. Beautiful pool and deck area. Decent rooms and gym...very standard Sheraton. They have a club that is opened from time to time but the hotel closes it on a whim. If the lounge is closed guests get free breakfast coupons. I have stayed there twice and found the staff to be among the most friendly and incompetent I have ever experienced.

    3) The Four Points Caguas is landlocked so don't expect to lay out at the beach unless you have a car. It is mostly a business hotel.

    4) I have been to this property many, many, many times. The Four Points Palmas del Mar is an old hotel going through renovations. It is on a huge stretch of great beach. The property hast two 18 hole golf courses. The food on the resort is borderline inedible. The hotel gym is awful. Make sure you get a renovated room. The property has a casino, though it is one of the worst casinos I have ever seen in my entire life. They have four blackjack tables (though usually only one or two working unless it is a weekend), roulette, and tons of slot machines. There is no craps or poker. Basically it is filled with 80 year old local woman playing penny slots and getting free grilled cheese sandwiches all night. It's a sorry sight.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask. It feels like I have spent half my life in Puerto Rico (exaggeration).
     
  9. Flews
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    Flews Silver Member

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    Sheraton Old San Juan is perfectly located. As for "traffic", we've experienced none of that and once stayed there for four nights, in addition to multiple other stays. There was certainly be no vehicle traffic to speak of on any Sunday we have stayed there. Granted, things could have changed since we were last there three years ago.

    A little tired, although reasonably priced to reflect that, as a "last night" hotel well located for an easy walk around Old San Juan, this property can't be beat in my experience.

    Hope you had a great time - Old San Juan is one of our favorite places to walk, explore & eat.

    Cheers,
     
  10. JFKSFOLAX_friend

    JFKSFOLAX_friend Active Member

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    Well, my advice is from someone that has been going to Puerto Rico 1-3 times per year since I was a teenager (I am well, well past my teenage years) versus someone that hasn't been to PR in three years.

    Again, when I think Puerto Rico/Caribbean, I think beach, sand, tennis courts, golf courses, lush grounds, etc. The Sheraton Old San Juan's locale is more similar to Manhattan or the I-405 in Los Angeles during rush hour than the Caribbean.
     
  11. SC Flier
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    Given this, I'm not sure what your recommendation is for a SPG property in San Juan (per the thread's title). I'm inclined to think that you don't actually recommend SPG at all for San Juan.
     
  12. Flews
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    Flews Silver Member

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    Your response begs a few questions:

    How many times have you stayed at "Sheraton Old San Juan"?

    If the "Sheraton Old San Juan" is so bad, why do you stay there?

    And if you don't stay there, why are you so dismisive of my own experience, which is based on multiple, repeat stays?

    Cheers,
     
  13. JFKSFOLAX_friend

    JFKSFOLAX_friend Active Member

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    I like the Sheraton Convention Center/Casino property. I have stayed there twice in the hotel's short history (about sixteen months). Sure, no golf course/tennis courts, etc., but I usually stay here a day or two on either side of a more extensive trip elsewhere. The pool deck is nice (when it is not overrun with people), the gym and rooms are fine. The property is convenient. It is a perfectly fine property.
     
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  14. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    ugh, Sunday is not the day to go exploring/driving around as most everything will be packed. I'd write off your current trip as being San Juan based and stay put.

    I'd highly urge you to come back to Puerto Rico and GET OUT of San Juan, the beauty of Puerto Rico is not in San Juan.
     
  15. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    The Sheraton at the Convention Center was fine--felt a lot like a "W". For our purpose of getting in late and getting an SPG stay, it was just fine, but not really my cup of tea.

    Now the Sheraton Old San Juan is really my kind of a hotel. I like being in the center of the action, and this definitely was in the center of the action. We loved the view of the docks from the little balcony in our suite. There were 4 cruise ships in port and I really like looking at cruise ships. We jumped on the free trolleys and took two different trips around the city. The weather was perfect--just a little warm rain--and there were tons of restaurants everywhere. There was also a CVS just a block down the street where you can buy pretty much anything you might want or need during your trip from sunblock to wine.

    All in all it was a fabulous trip--one night at the convention center, just for the experience, two nights at the Intercontinental for an amazing wedding and the ocean/beach experience, and one night in Old San Juan to enjoy the city. If we go back to Puerto Rico, and I suspect we will someday cruise in or out of that port, we will defnitely stay again at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. Heck, we might even give the St. Regis a shot but it seems to be a long ways away. Maybe we will rent a car and combine the St. Regis with our "explore the island" day. ;)
     
  16. Flews
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    Glad to hear it all worked out! We're looking forward to our next return visit to OSJ!

    Cheers,
     
  17. SC Flier
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    Which would be a very good thing to do if you have any interest in a little bit of hiking in the El Yunque rainforest.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    I enjoyed seeing the big radio-telescope located near the northern coast about halfway across this island. I went as part of a special group, so I'm not sure what their conditions for public visits are. It does involve climbing a lot of steps or getting special handicapped permission.
     

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