El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa: Background
This Caribbean beach resort (which is not an all inclusive resort) has 500 acres, a private island, a water park, and a kids club.
Location is in Fajardo in Puerto Rico, about 50 minutes drive from the airport. Visitors can visit historic "Old San Juan" a walled city and major tourist draw. The Old Town is about an hour and fifteen minutes from the resort; meanwhile it takes about 30 minutes to reach the El Yunque Rain Forest. Puerto Rico is east of the Dominican Republic; A big plus for visitors from the U.S. is that U.S. citizens can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport.
"El Con" is part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection of hotels and resorts, the luxury brand of Hilton Worldwide. A top feature of this property is the on-site Coqui Water Park (named for Puerto Rico's Coqui tree frog.)
As these photos show, the El Con has a Marina level, and an upper level at the top of a 300-foot bluff; the two levels are connected by a funicular. The Las Olas ocean-view rooms are built into the side of the bluff; guests take the funicular up or down.
Coqui Water Park Features:
- 2.4 acres
- location by the sea
- speed slide, tube slide, kids slide, lazy river, jungle river with fog
- large main pool, kids pool, large pool deck, dining area
- guests pay for entrance (approx. $20/adult, $15/child*)
Another major feature at the El Con resort is this 100-acre private island for resort guests, which offers a lovely beach, scuba and fishing excursions, and activities such as waverunning, windsurfing, sailing, horse-riding. Beach-lounger types will like that waiters come around and serve your drinks; there's a cafe and bar too.
Guests reach the island on high-speed catamarans, an 8-minute ride.
Other Features at El Con:
Guests find a premier golf course, a 26000 sq. ft. Golden Door Spa, a casino, private marina, and eight outdoor pools. Watersports include snorkeling and scuba diving.
A sister property -- Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort -- shares the grounds and amenities.
Possible outings include El Yunque Rainforest and Luquillo Beach, Rio Camuy Cave Park and Aercibo Observatory, walking tours of Old San Juan.
- a kids club is available (cost approx $45/child for 1/2 day, $75 full day*)
- family activities are offered, such as "Family Olympics" and parent/child 9-hole golf tournaments
- families seeking luxury can stay in Las Casitas Village in secluded villas with up to three bedrooms, a stocked kitchen, and butler service round-the-clock. (Butlers are trained by the The Guild of Professional English Butlers, no less.)
Keep in Mind about the El Conquistador:
- This property is big, so expect to do a lot of walking
- Remember, this is not an all inclusive Caribbean resort!
- Pool noodles, balls, towels, etc. are complimentary
- Many guests comment on the high prices for meals and for bottled water in the guestrooms. (Some guests with rented cars preferred to do their own provisioning).
- Though it's possible to walk some distance to local restaurants, basically the resort is located on its own
- U.S. visitors don't need passports to visit Puerto Rico
Find Out More about the El Conquistador:
- continue to PHOTOS
- see the El Conquistador site
- check visitors' comments at a site like TripAdvisor
- Check prices at Kayak.com
This brief profile is meant to introduce this resort to family vacationers; please note that the writer has not visited in person.
* Always check resort sites for updates.