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
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Beautifully restored former convent in Old San Juan with colonial interiors and traditional Puerto Rican cuisine
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.
Hotel El Convento
100 Cristo St
San Juan, Puerto Rico
How to Get There
The preferred airport for Hotel El Convento is San Juan (SJU-Luis Munoz Marin Intl.) - 12.2 km / 7.6 mi. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property’s location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance. Distances are displayed to the nearest 0.1 mile and kilometre.