Hotel El Convento
What We Love
- Daily Manager's Reception, serving a variety of wine and hors d'ouevres at La Veranda Terrace
- Staff is super-friendly, greets guests by name
- Three restaurants, serving cuisine ranging from Spanish tapas to traditional Puerto Rican fare
- Herbs from the hotel's garden are used in its cocktails and cuisine
What To Know
- The Old San Juan location means it’s not on the beach
- Don’t expect to swim laps in the rooftop plunge pool; it’s small
- The hotel is a popular wedding venue
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Amid the glitzy megaresorts along San Juan’s waterfront, El Convento, located in the historic walled quarter, is a one-of-a-kind oasis. Originally a 17th-century Carmelite convent, the three-story pale yellow building has been reborn as an intimate luxury hotel, with a romantic inner courtyard and rich wall tapestries that will attract those looking for a more authentic Puerto Rican getaway. Wrought iron chandeliers, terra-cotta tile floors and dark wood beam ceilings speak to its Spanish colonial past, as do the panoramic views of Old San Juan’s pretty pastel-colored buildings and bougainvillea-filled cobblestone squares from the rooftop terrace.
Bed and Bath
The 58 guestrooms are individually designed, but many feature high ceilings, mahogany furnishings, wooden ceiling fans and original artworks from noted Puerto Rican artists, along with such amenities as flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and AC that really cranks — most welcome in steamy San Juan. Top suites include the One-Bedroom Pablo Casals (the famous cellist was a frequent guest and gave impromptu courtyard concerts) and the Gloria Vanderbilt, which has a kingsize bed, a Jacuzzi tub, a dining room and Spanish louvered doors that open onto a spacious veranda with views of Plaza de las Monjas and the old city.
The hotel’s heart is the courtyard, where the Patio del Nispero offers alfresco dining, whether it be café con leche and pastries in the morning, grilled fish and mofongo (garlic-flavored fried plantains) for lunch, or late night passion fruit mojitos. On the second floor is El Picoteo, which serves tapas (marinated mushrooms, garlic shrimp), paella and killer sangria. There’s also a trattoria with thin crust pizzas and craft beer, as well as a rooftop plunge pool and a small (but well-equipped) fitness center. And the convent’s former chapel is now a popular wedding reception venue; ask a staff member to show you the historic, art-filled space.
In the Area
Just a few steps from El Convento is the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, where Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer and first governor of Puerto Rico, is buried (mass is still said there). Nearby is the massive El Morro Fort, the Spanish-built citadel that once kept watch over the harbor (be sure to take the tour), and streets like Fortaleza Street, which is lined with boutiques, jewelry stores and restaurants serving Puerto Rican fusion cuisine. When you’re ready to party, the quarter has plenty of fun bars and hole-in-the-wall salsa clubs where locals hang and dance up a storm.
How to Get There
Lovely 🧡 We had suite with little garden - sleeping with the sound of fountain that's beautiful experience...
Hotel building has very nice history what brings additional spice to your stay.
We love the architecture and old style, historical design. And big courtyard with huge tree inside also brings calm and good vibrations 🙂 Our stay was fantastic, hopefully you'll have the same feelings.
This gem in the Old Town is right in the middle of the action but still quiet. Service on check in (at midnight) set the standard that has been maintained through this hotel. The old convent was well restored several years ago and might be showing some signs of that but it is still a good experience. all the core services are still in good order, the cloisters and the rest of the public areas are well looked after. The hotel has cleverly blended the old and modern and avoided the cookie cutter stye of the glass boxes. And there is no better place from which t immerse yourself in the historical quarter of the Old Town. Food and beverage service standards are very good and the nightly wine and cheese is a good way to wind down and meet others.
We loved the hotel. Great location. Easy walk to anywhere in Old San Juan. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The room was beautiful and clean and the history behind the building is a great story. Highly recommended!
This is the second time I have stayed here and like the first visit I would stay again. The location is ideal for those wanting to stay in the Old Town area. They have a wine and cheese reception every evening. Additionally, ice cold bottled water and fruit is always available at no charge on the third floor. There are two people I would like to acknowledge. First, Tony. He waited on us 2xs in the dining room for breakfast. He is such an upbeat personality and it's contagious. After eating breakfast, I ordered a plate for the room for my fiancee'. Tony wanted to take it to my room for me! His energy is welcome and he is very attentive to your needs. Second, Amanda. She worked the front desk. The greeting and welcoming by her was genuine. Additionally, we ran into her the next day during the wine reception. She took the time to give multiple recommendations for places to eat and imbibe. I cannot see anyone give this place a bad review. If there is anything wrong, they respond. I didn't mention this to them, but if I were to improve on one thing, is that the hot tub seating/flooring was very abrasive. Maybe, it could be resurfaced.
This hotel is beautiful and in a great location for exploring Old San Juan on foot. The two-bed room I was given was spacious and had a nice view of the tiny park next to the hotel. My only complaint is that the bathroom was tiny. I even hit my head on the towel rack while picking something up. There's a nice terrace with a small pool and hot tub to use. There's a bar/restaurant in the open courtyard at the center of the building. The staff was fantastic. One thing to be prepared for is that traffic can be heavy on the tiny streets of San Juan. Allow extra time to get to or from the hotel.