Pros

  • Prime beach location in San Juan’s Condado district
  • Trendy vibe punctuated by a see-and-be-seen lobby bar
  • Indoor/outdoor dining options with contemporary menus
  • Three separate pools including the adults-only infinity pool
  • Spacious, modern rooms have soundproof doors
  • Rain showerheads and Aveda products
  • Suites have kitchenettes and dining areas
  • Those who pay for ocean views will not be disappointed
  • 24-hour casino with large TVs for sporting events
  • Fitness center and business facilities
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Attached parking garage (with reasonable rates)
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Cons

  • Expect long lines during check-in and check-out
  • Prices for rooms, food and drink are higher than neighboring hotels
  • No spa
  • Drink service, especially poolside, can be slow
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Bottom Line

Not for traditional types, the shining (hotel) star of Condado Beach -- and, arguably, San Juan -- is this buzzy resort from Marriott’s Renaissance series. La Concha attracts a constant crowd of young patrons -- both guests and locals, who come here often, dressed to the nines. The airy lobby is a chic meeting space by day, and is transformed at night with low lighting and hip music. Trendy restaurants have options like sushi and sake or tapas and sangria; the seashell-shaped Perla has a 4,000-bottle wine cellar. The 232 rooms and suites have bright, sleek decor, and many come with floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean (it's definitely worth the price to upgrade). Food and drink service is provided at the beach and at the three outdoor pools. With long lines for the front desk and slow drink service, the resort can feel short-staffed.

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Amenities

  • Casino
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pets Allowed
  • Pool

Oyster Hotel Review

La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort

Scene

With a sexy resort vibe, this property is best-suited for groups and couples.

This beachside hotel might make guests think they've mistakenly arrived in South Beach. Between the slow-moving cars rolling down the avenue and groups of pedestrians walking past this popular stretch of Condado, the white retro entryway is a constant hub of activity. Cars might be pulling around to drop luggage before continuing to the attached garage, or waiting for their turn at valet service. Guests are greeted by friendly staff members, upbeat music, and a soothing fountain before heading through the sliding glass doors into the modern lobby, accented by neon lights and a red abstract ceiling.

To the right is the front desk (expect lines), as well as the 24-hour casino, and a set of elevators to the parking garage. In the center of the first floor is the impossible-to-miss lobby bar. This is the center of action throughout the day, starting with self-serve coffee and pastries in the morning, followed by salads and espresso mid-day, cocktails in the afternoon, and a full-on party scene at night when lights are dimmed and music is cranked up. Dressed-up honeymooners, destination wedding groups, bachelor parties, and girls in stilettos all intermingle while sipping colorful drinks on white leather bar stools, communal tables, and low lounge seating areas. Above the lobby and far from the noise are two sit-down dining restaurants, while to right of the lobby is the outdoor multi-level terrace for tapas and sangria on tables, daybeds, or sofas.

Paths lead to the pools, fitness center and beach and security is present in these areas to keep non-guests from going where they aren't permitted (they are permitted in, and regularly frequent, the trendy restaurants and bars). Though the nightly lobby party rarely rests, romantics can relax while listening to the sound of coqui frogs and waves. Kids, however, unless content to splash around the main pool all night amongst mostly adults, might become bored.

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Location

A landmark hotel in the center of thriving Condado

San Juan is Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city, and the district of Condado lies directly east of Old San Juan. Guests can reach historic sights within a 10-minute taxi ride,  and the airport within 20 minutes (rental cars aren't necessary for visitors staying in Condado). Those planning to explore Puerto Rico can park in the attached garage for a reasonable daily fee.

La Concha is the first hotel in the row on Condado Beach (on its westernmost side) and the wide stretch of sand is cleaned daily by the hotel staff. The resort is well-known amongst tourists and locals as a hot spot in San Juan, and the bar and dining options are popular. Guests will be tempted to dine on-site often, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood as well. Yes, there are some touristy options, but Condado is also a residential neighborhood for young urban professionals, so there are plenty of spots off the beaten track.

Next to the property is a public plaza and fountain with exercise classes and farmers markets. At night, this is popular place to watch the sunset and there are occasional jazz concerts. American names like Starbucks, Walgreens, and CVS, as well as luxury brands like Cartier and Kiehl's, are also within a few blocks of the hotel.

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Rooms

Chic and airy rooms -- many of which have floor-to-ceiling ocean views

La Concha's 232 rooms are mostly situated in two towers, the Ocean Tower and the Suite Tower. Decor throughout is bright and contemporary, if a bit chain-like: Picture blue and green bed runners over plush, white duvets, wall-to-wall gray carpeting, streamlined furniture, and light woods. The Ocean Tower offers short-term accommodations with plush king beds, living areas with sofa beds, work desks, flat-screen TVs, and iPod/iPad docking stations, coffeemakers, empty mini-fridges, and two free bottles of water per day. Bathrooms have blue-lit showers with rain showerheads, Aveda products, and great hairdryers. Many rooms in the Ocean Tower have partial or full ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows with sliding doors that lead out to standing balconies. Cribs are available upon request (babies and toddlers stay for free) but extra rollaway beds are not available for children.

Deluxe Pool Cabanas are in a low-rise building next to the pool, with king beds and balconies. These are closer to the nightlife in the lobby but soundproof doors help alleviate noise.

The Suite Tower offers short or long-term stays, and rooms have kitchenettes (that include full refrigerators, small ovens, and tableware), dining areas, and living areas with sofa beds. Large bathrooms come with showers; some have an additional whirlpool baths designed for two people.

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Features

Daily beach cleanings, three outdoor pools, and cool dining options

Many at La Concha, whether guests are not, come for the impressive food and beverage program. The lobby turns into Aroma Café in the morning with breakfast pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and self-serve coffee that can be charged to the rooms. There are free refills on coffee before 11 a.m. with the receipt. A full breakfast buffet is served every morning on the mezzanine level with views of the ocean, or guests can head to Pinky’s across the street -- which offers a great breakfast spread at a low price.

After 11 a.m., servers start making their way around the lounge to take espresso, cocktail, and food orders through the afternoon and well into the evening. Other restaurants on-site include the 13-seat sushi bar called Komokai, and Solera, the outside tapas restaurant where food is served at both dining tables and lounge areas. Sushi can be ordered both here and in the lobby, as well.

Upstairs on the second level are the more upscale dining options: Voga, an Italian Grill for dinner only, and high-end seafood restaurant Perla, the iconic shell-shaped structure with hand-blown glass lamps facing the ocean. Perla has an extensive wine by the glass menu, and a cellar with over 1,000 labels. After dinner, guests can head back down to the lobby bar, which plays music until late, or hit the casino –- a 15,000-square-foot space open to the public. There are servers offering free drinks for those taking part in games; there are also slot machines here and sporting events playing on one of the large flat-screen TVs.

The adults-only infinity Suite Pool located near La Perla is manned by security in order to keep out non-guests. Two other pool areas are family-friendly, a small infinity pool on the other side of Perla, and a larger multi-tiered outdoor pool that is lit neon colors at night, located next to Solera. Though poolside service is available, it's slow,and guests may have better luck going to the bar themselves for drinks. Rooms are not equipped with pool towels but there is a hut near the fitness center that has towels. The fitness center has a range of cardio and weight equipment as well as views of the ocean. Beach staff members will help guests get set up on white lounge chairs and umbrellas on the wide beach.

Destination weddings are common on the sand during sunset, and event space is available on the first floor and in areas of the restaurants.

Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel, and the common areas have plenty of tables, though not many outlets.

A parking garage next to the hotel is accessed by an elevator from the lobby, and costs a reasonable daily fee.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Beach

  • Business Center

  • Casino

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Full Kitchen

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Supervised Kids Activities

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.