Without sounding like a commercial, I am just going to be as honest as I can: This hotel. This island. I have fallen in love with Puerto Rico and I hope that my review of this property will have you booking a flight for a weekend, or longer is recommended, with your family for your next island vacation. I have completely fallen in love with this country and here is one of the many reasons why.
The El Conquistador Resort, is a Waldorf Astoria property and is located about a 45 minute drive from San Juan in the city of Fajardo. We had a car arranged (which I highly recommend to do prior to your arrival) as we were literally off the plane and into the car and on our way in a matter of minutes from finding our luggage. With no customs to go through upon arrival, travel to Puerto Rico is very quick and easy!
Fajardo, a small city on the Caribbean and the Atlantic ocean was beautiful and definitely had us enchanted from the moment we arrived at the El Conquistador resort. Upon arrival, we were driven up a mountain side to the resort and were able to see the El Yunque National Forest in the distance. The front of the hotel is not something I even remember, because as soon as you enter, you are drawn to the panoramic views of the ocean that are immediately in front of you. This 500-acre resort has no reason for you to leave (unless you choose to partake in a few off property excursions, which are VERY well worth it) but you will enjoy every minute of your time on property if you choose to stay.
The Waldorf Astoria properties are known for their extraordinary destinations around the globe along with "True Waldorf Service" that goes above and beyond customer service n every way. They create unforgettable experiences for guests. The El Conquistador Resort was nothing shy of spectacular. Stunning in every way, this resort offers amenities and excursions that unforgettable to say the least. In all honesty, I have not stopped talking about my trip to Puerto Rico and my stay at the El Conquistador Resort since I left. And I am dreaming about going back again.
Families can make a lifetime of memories in one trip when they stay at the El Conquistador Resort. Situated atop a 300-foot bluff on the northeast tip of Puerto Rico, you can actually see where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. From our room the panoramic views were just breathtaking. I couldn't take enough pictures and in every picture, I felt that it wasn't doing justice to what I was seeing in person. There were 50 shades of blue that I saw each day-from the sky to the sea. And they were enchanting!
The El Conquistador Resort has a sister property, Las Casitas Village, which are elite accommodations that offer one to three-bedroom villas complete with butler service and private pools. All resort amenities are available for guests of both.
The rooms at the El Conquistador Resort have ocean views or garden views, with the El Yunque National Forest in the distance. Our room was very spacious and came with a cooler too. The resort is very spread out so bring walking shoes as there is so much to see and do!
Let's start talking about amenities. With everything from their 100-acre private island getaway, Palomino Island, the massive family-friendly Coqui Water Park, The Waldorf Astoria Spa, Arthur Hills Golf Course and of course the main pool complex which features three pools for swimming laps, floating, or playing water games. All pools have a uniqueness about them (swim up bars, infinity edges) so you will definitely want to pool hop! Of course there are the fun kid-centric amenities such as pool side tattoos, arcade games in the Ultra Lounge along with air hockey or remote control car racing, s'mores by moonlight, cool piraguas (snowcones) by the beach, and the amazing views from the cool funicular (a cable railway) which will take you up to the main resort or down to the marina and Coqui Water Park. Like kids in a candy store, there is so much to do, you might not know where to start, so just start somewhere!
As seen as a small island from the panoramic view of our hotel room, this island became my favorite part of the resort. As a guest, you will have access to high-seed luxury catamarans that run all throughout the day, that will wisk you away to paradise. Literally, roll out of bed, hop on the boat and off to paradise you go. Arrive on Palomino Island, a 100-acre private island where you will need nothing but your room key (linked to a charge card) your swim suit and a smile. Hike up the mountain for a 360 view of nothing but blue skies and blue water that surround you. Go horseback riding on the beach. Enjoy water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking or snorkeling right off the shore. You are literally in paradise. White sand and clear water will have you relaxed in no time. And when you are ready to return to "real life" hop on the boat and away you go. Last boat off the island leaves at 6pm.You need to spend at least one full day here.
Coqui Water Park
Block out an entire day to roam the Coqui Water Park! You must purchase special passes, however, depending on your hotel package purchase, passes might be included. This 2.4-acre water park is a state-of-the-art water playground is for everyone! There are 2.4 acres to explore with three high-speed slides (one with a 40-ft drop- El Gigante Dormino), plus, an 8,000 sq. ft. lazy river and the the coolest infinity-edge pool I have ever seen. You will definitely not get bored.
Waldorf Astoria Spa and Ki' Spa
A new program added to the Caribbean's largest spa, is focusing on the youngest spa-goers, the Ki' Spa. This program invited children ages 14 and under to endulge with Mom or Dad in a spa treatment side-by-side with Mom or Dad, that incorporated products indigenous to the surrounding rain forest. The "Tripple Chocolate Layer Soap" and the "Banana Massage Lotion" were our favorites! My daughter and I had side-by-side treatments and she was never out of my site. The room was fun a relaxing. For her first spa experience, I know that the this was one she will definitely remember.
With 23 different restaurant, bars and lounges, you and your kids will never go hungry. From fancy options for special occasions, to budget friendly choices. Depending on what you are in the mood for, options are available 24 hours a day. And even a Starbucks will have you feeling "regular" each morning, however, I would much rather sit on the terrace of the Las Brisas Restaurant with the ocean view I will always remember. A few favorites for dining with kids were Chops Steakhouse or Stingray Cafe for dinner. Both offered many kid-friendly options while also offering unique Latin fusion menu items that blended traditional dishes with local Puerto Rican flavors. Their restaurants will not disappoint and offer a wide variety of world flavors for what you might be in the mood for that evening.
Sports and Activities
If you are feeling like getting active, there is the Arthur Hills designed 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, plenty of water sports, Family Aqua Parkour Classes, FootGolf lessons, or exploring the resort in search of the ScoutAbout points of discovery. There is also Camp Coqui for kids that happens each day! For kids ages 4-12, you can choose a half or full day of adventure for your kids with friendly and fun staff members that have a planned schedule of activities for that day! (Additional fees apply dependent upon half or full day/ lunch or no lunch.)
Off Site Excursions
If you are interested in seeing the El Yunque National Forest or canoeing in the Bioluminescent Bay, there is a concierge desk with tours that can assist you in your adventure. There are many that will begin right at the hotel, but there are a few excursions that are definitely worth doing while you are in Puerto Rico.
We had an unforgettable experience on the enchanted island and most in part to our stay at the El Conquistador Resort. The "True Waldorf Service" is everything they say it is. Puerto Rico will forever be a place I long to return to visit. Bring the kids. Bring the whole family. You will have an unforgettable island vacation along with memories to last a lifetime.
I was hosted by the El Conquistador Resort. All opinions are my own.