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Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino 3.0

Ponce, Puerto Rico

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Situated on Highway 2, a 15-minute drive to Ponce's historic zone
  • Overlooking the Caribbean, a 10-minute drive to La Guancha boardwalk
  • Spacious rooms with air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs
  • Many rooms have small terraces or balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea
  • Restaurant plus a lively bar with live music on select nights
  • Large, private pool with plenty of lounge chairs and sea views
  • Small fitness center with limited modern cardio equipment
  • Free breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, toast, and coffee
  • On-site casino open 24 hours plus a game room for kids
  • Small business center with a few computers
  • Lots of free parking available on-site
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel

Cons

  • Not much within walking distance of the hotel
  • Generic style verges on dated in some areas

Bottom Line

This property was impacted by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. We will update our review as soon as we have more information. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the mid-range Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino has stunning sunset views. The hotel is situated on Highway 2, leading to both Mercedita Airport and the city of Ponce, making it ideal for business and leisure travelers. The 116 rooms are spacious and reasonably modern, and many have balconies with spectacular views of the Caribbean. With a large pool terrace, 24-hour casino, bar with live music, and restaurant serving breakfast and dinner, the hotel ticks plenty of boxes. Unfortunately, its location makes it difficult to walk to any nearby attractions. For travelers looking to be closer to the city, check out Ponce Plaza Hotel and Casino for many of the same amenities at consistently lower rates.

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Scene

Laid-back hotel with plenty of quiet areas and a lively bar scene

From the street, the Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino is set high up on a hill, secluded from busy Highway 2 and the buzz of Ponce. In fact, this semi-sequestered vibe is one of the hotel's main draws, allowing guests privacy and seclusion at the pool terrace, away from the hustle and bustle of the casino and bar. Areas like the game room, business center, and even the bar have glass doors keeping each area quiet and separated from the rest of the hotel. With live music some nights at the hotel bar, this can be a blessing for those who wish to have a quieter, more intimate dinner at the adjacent restaurant. Given the frequent entertainment, the bar has a lively social scene, with guests hanging out at the bar socializing or listening to music. Some rooms have patios out onto the pool terrace, so it’s not uncommon to see families having dinner by the pool. During the day the pool is often busy, but rarely overrun. The style throughout the hotel is fairly typical for a mid-range chain -- the lobby is done in lots of earth-toned tiling along with leather seating, for a look that's generic and verging on dated, but pleasant enough. In any case, everything is well kept, and the hotel draws a wide swath of guests, including business travelers and those on vacation. 

Location

A 15-minute drive to Mercedita Airport and Ponce's historic center

Located right off Highway 2, the hotel is well-situated for those traveling on business, as it's a 15-minute drive to Mercedita Airport. For those traveling to the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in San Juan, allow at least 90 minutes of drive time. Not much is within walking distance of the hotel, but Ponce's charming historic zone -- packed with Art Deco and colonial buildings -- is a 15-minute drive from the hotel as well. There are plenty of restaurants and shops downtown, as well as the Ponce Museum of Art and Guadalupe Cathedral. La Guancha, the nearest beach boardwalk, is a 10-minute drive from the Holiday Inn, and has a small beach, kayaks, live music, and plenty of restaurants and food kiosks.

Rooms

Spacious rooms, many with balconies that have stunning sunset views of the Caribbean

Picking a room at the Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino determines the view -- and that's no small decision, since many have stunning sunset views over the Caribbean. While other rooms lack views, they may offer more spacious patios leading directly out to the pool terrace. Across all categories, rooms are spacious, with plenty of square footage to navigate around the beds and space for storage as well. Those familiar with the Holiday Inn brand won't be surprised by the decor, which includes simple -- but relatively modern -- wood-veneer furniture, gold armchairs, and beds with beige bedskirts that look a little dated. Walls are yellow, and a bit of tropical art hangs on them, helping give the rooms a little local character. Standard features include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, air-conditioning, and coffeemakers. Bathrooms range from moderately sized to spacious, and most feature shower/tub combos and generous granite vanities. Toiletries, wall hairdryers, and plenty of towels are provided.

Features

Restaurant and bar, spacious pool terrace with sea views, small fitness center, and free Wi-Fi

There are a good number of features at the Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino to keep everyone happy. The spacious Restaurant Tanama is open for breakfast and dinner in a laid-back space. A daily free breakfast is provided, and includes a choice of eggs, toast, pancakes, fruit, and coffee. Travelers can expect international cuisine with Puerto Rican staples like root vegetable soups and mofongo on the dinner menu. Bar La Vista is situated adjacent to the restaurant, and serves the same menu. It has a sunken bar allowing guests an unobstructed view of the pool terrace and the Caribbean Sea. The vibe is lively, but relaxed, and live music happens on occasion.

A large pool terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea is a nice draw, and has plenty gray mesh lounge chairs and a handful of white plastic tables. The terrace is roomy enough to never feel crowded, and there's a large main pool plus a small adjacent kiddie pool. The game room is a nice feature for families, and the hotel has a popular 24-hour casino as well. A small fitness center has a handful of cardio equipment and is fine for a basic workout. The business center and coin-operated laundry room come in handy, and free high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. Parking is also free.

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Address

3315 Ponce Byp, Ponce 00728-1502, Caribbean

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