El Conquistador Resort
What We Love
- The free ferry trips to the resort’s private island
- Traveling by cable car around the enormous property (especially fun for kids)
- The 23 (23!) restaurants ensure you never have to eat at the same place twice
- The resort’s cliffside perch means spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean
What To Know
- Those in the know call it “El Con”
- There’s an all-inclusive package that includes three meals a day, drinks, and free waterpark entry
- The 18-hole golf course was designed by Arthur Hills
“Oversize” is the word that applies best to El Conquistador. This resort is overflowing with activities, swimming pools, restaurants—you name it, and there’s more than one of it. A top spot for families, this is vacationing at its easiest, where the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is whether or not to splurge on the all-inclusive package. The property encompasses five “villages,” each with slightly different styles of accommodations, though all rooms are spacious and come with a balcony or terrace. Pools and Jacuzzis are serviced by “ambassadors,” who bring snacks and drinks to your lounge chair; there’s also a small water park with slides and a lazy river. The dining scene runs the gamut from Starbucks to steak, with kid-centric options and a couple of fine dining restaurants for romantic evenings. Palomino Island, a short ferry ride away, is where more active guests will want to spend time—the private island has gorgeous beaches and a rum bar, plus horse-riding, catamaran rides, banana boats, and snorkeling.
In the Area
Most guests won’t spend much time off the resort grounds; with a deluxe spa, golf course, and that private island, there’s tons to do at EL Conquistador without venturing further afield. If you do want to add some exploring to your itinerary, the resort offers excursions to the nearby bioluminescent bay, El Yunque rainforest (hiking is superb here, and you can swim under waterfalls to cool off), and to San Juan. The city is about an hour’s drive from El Con, so it’s worth renting a car if you’re planning to do more than one day trip.
How to Get There
The biggest reason that I moved to the other hotel at the second day, even though I'd made a reservation for 2 nights, was there's no operating restaurant. I needed to feed my little one and there's no other option, but changed the hotel. Even though they gave me the notice that the facilities are under construction, but they should've said that no services except for the swimming pool are available, the toiletries are covered with dust and no HHonor benefits would be delivered at all (I'm a diamond member of the program and I could barely had a breakfast but they didn't gave me even a bottle of water, instead asking me to buy one from the convenient store next to the front desk). I believe they should shut down the property until the restoration is complete. I regret to have spent my valuable time there. The view and facilities including the golf course are good, but those advantages are not properly managed and operated.
I both worked and stayed at this hotel as an emergency relief worker. It was closed to the public, but I believe it will be reopened in the near future. It is an amazing and beautiful hotel, and the staff are so sweet, friendly and welcoming. I was working all the time, but I was able to take walks at lunch to explore this gorgeous gem. I look forward to coming back with my family when it reopens!
I believe that once the resort gets back to a sense of normalcy, it will once again be a beautiful place. But, right now this place seems to be a shell of its former...I will come back to vacation in March of 2019, I hope by then the bugs and the smell will be gone, and they will clean the bird poop away from the eating areas near the outdoor grill - I just couldn't bring myself to even walk pass the area.
This a late review. I was there with my family--wife and 2 kids 11 and 10 in March 2017. Resort is about 45 mins from the San Juan Airport but the drive is Comfortable and gives a good glimpse of the island. Setting of the resort is truly majestic. Pertched high off the cliff with sweeping views of sea and very expansive and lovely setting. Very big resort with many different areas. You have to get on a private cable car to get down to their private marina to catch the boat to the private island with beach--wow!!. Restaurant choices are very good. Service is usually very good but can be somewhat inconsistent. Rooms are good even in basic category. We had oceanview room which is worth it as the sunrise is really beautiful. Not sure why they have to charge extra for their super small " waterpark"--but the really cool Infiniity pool is inside there so we paid. Overall this is an excellent resort and I really hope this was not damaged by the hurricane. I hope to be back.
My husband, Parth, and I originally planned our entire wedding for January 2018 to be held at El Conquistador Resort. We absolutely love Puerto Rico and we fell in LOVE with this resort when we visited back in October 2016. We worked with Kamil Rivera, the catering manager to set up our plans. Unfortunately, due to the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, we had to change our wedding plans completly, however this place will always hold a special spot in our hearts. We can't explain the beauty in words - it's definetly worth the visit. There is an infinity pool in Las Casitas Villages that you can relax at, a boat that brings you to a private island (Palomino) which is full of games and sunshine. It truly feels like paradise on earth!