Where To Stay In San Juan, Puerto Rico: A Review Of Condado Ocean Club

March 23, 2024
condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

Review of Condado Ocean Club Hotel (San Juan, Puerto Rico) | If you're planning a trip to San Juan and looking for a hotel with a great pool and beach, then Condado Ocean Club may be for you...here's my detailed review, including rooms, service, pool, & more! Where to stay in San Juan, the best hotels in Puerto Rico, what to do in San Juan. #sanjuan #puertorico #hotelreview

I legitimately can’t get tired of that view.  When my mid-winter beach trip craving hit this year, I decided it was time to venture back to Puerto Rico for the first time in almost a decade.  For the first half of my trip I really wanted the full “lay out by the pool and read my Kindle” experience, so after quite a bit of research, I booked in at Condado Ocean Club.

It’s one of the new kids on the block, the first new hotel to open after the 2017 hurricanes (and previously called Serafina).  Its claim to fame is a location right on the beach, with a a beautiful little infinity pool looking at at the ocean…which made it exactly what I was looking for.

Review of Condado Ocean Club Hotel (San Juan, Puerto Rico) - the pool and beach together are gorgeous

Disclaimer:  I did not receive anything from the hotel, & fully paid for my stay.  All opinions are, as always, completely my own.  This post does contain affiliate links…I may earn a small commission from any qualifying purchases through clicks on these links at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate you supporting me by booking and buying via these links, it’s what keeps the site running!  Learn more in my Disclosure Policy.

My TL;dr review of Condado Ocean Club

I’ve got a much more detailed review of the hotel below, including lots of photos, but if you’re in a hurry here’s my “short and sweet” version.

I also always recommend you check out the detailed reviews on both Booking.com and TripAdvisor, they’re super helpful!  I booked here for easy management, comparison, and flexibility.

Let me start by saying…I struggled with finding a hotel in San Juan that had the things I cared about and also got good reviews (especially around service, value, and the overall experience).  So my feelings on Condado Ocean Club are a bit mixed (relative to cost)…

BUT this seems to be a common issue in San Juan and not unique to this hotel, so I’ll share my pros and cons but I feel like comparable to similar hotels in San Juan that Condado Ocean Club was still a pretty great choice for what I wanted, and versus the other options available.

  • The hotel is adults-only, which is always a plus when you’re talking this price point and a tiny pool.  The biggest draw is the combination of pool and beach, which is much harder to find in San Juan than you’d expect.
  • As you’ve already seen in the pics, the pool and beach together (from the right angle) are GORGEOUS.  The pool is very small and there aren’t a ton of chairs so snagging a chair in the sun can be tough.  Also, the pool area only gets sun in the morning (the beach gets it most of the day).
  • Our ocean view room was airy and comfortable, with great full-length windows looking out on the water.
  • The resort is pretty, clean, and well-located on the Condado strip, with
  • Service was mostly fine but hit-or-miss…there was one bartender at the pool in particular who was awesome as was my lunch server, so friendly and welcoming.  Front desk was very hit-or-miss, particularly the people who checked me in (not helpful or welcoming).
  • My only complaint is the cost (relative to value/the experience).  I felt the cost for the amenities and experience provided were a bit expensive, but then there are a lot of other fees that drive it up considerably further.  Again, this seems like a San Juan thing in general.

I’d definitely stay at the Condado Ocean Club again, but there was a shortlist of other options I strongly considered.

For other beach-and-pool options, check out the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel next door (luxury, more resort-like) or La Concha Renaissance.  Or if you’re looking for the more historic Old Town vibe, look into Decanter Hotel (rooftop bar!) or Hotel El Convento (boutique hotel housed in a former convent).

You might also like:  The Ultimate Beach or Pool Vacay Packing List

The view from my room at Condado Ocean Club

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What to expect at Condado Ocean Club

Okay, let’s get to all the nitty-gritty details and—most importantly—more pics!

The hotel is located in Condado (as the name may suggest), a narrow strip of land that’s across a small bay from the Old San Juan peninsula.  It’s a pretty easy jaunt from the airport (about 15-25 minutes depending on traffic).

There are a number of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops within easy walking distance, but you’ll want to take an Uber to the historic Old Town.

It was a really interesting crowd in terms of who stayed there, but generally really friendly, chill couples and friend groups across a wide swath of ages.

A stormy afternoon at Condado Ocean Club, San Juan - a detailed review of this Puerto Rico hotel

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Check-in & service

I forgot to take a pic of the lobby, which is really pretty.  I rolled up midday, and knew there was a chance my room wouldn’t be ready.  Condado Ocean Club has a 4:00pm check-in time, which is insane!  But it’s also par for the course in San Juan from what I could tell.

I found service a bit mixed throughout my stay.  The person who helped me at the front desk was not very helpful or warm, and sadly my room wasn’t ready.  I came back a few minutes before 4:00 and he told me it wasn’t ready, but then someone else chased me down a few minutes later to tell me they’d found me a room.

I also came back later when someone else was at the desk to ask about restaurant options, Wi-Fi, breakfast, and the possibility of a late check-out on our last day.  That person was great!

On the other hand, the server I had at lunch and the bartenders at the pool were great, very friendly and helpful (despite one of them dealing with a ridiculous wannabe influencer who couldn’t be satisfied).

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

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The room (and view)

We’d booked a Premium Ocean Double Queen and our room was on the 9th floor.  The room felt very open and airy, definitely dominated by the two queen beds.  There was a counter (like a long desk) and chair for working, and a cute bar armoire that also housed the minibar/fridge.

The bed has lots of pillows to sit and read propped up (yay!).  I didn’t find them to be great pillows for sleeping though (personal preference)…some variety would have been helpful.

The room is quite spacious but we did have some trouble figuring out where to keep our suitcases for easy access, not a lot of logical places for that.

My room at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review

My room at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review

My room at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review

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This view is a huge part of the draw here!  This particular type of room has a huge window that looks out on the ocean.

The ocean view from my room at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

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There was quite an extensive minibar, including some higher-end liquors, a few snacks, and an intimacy package for couples.  The cabinet itself was really cute.

You can also see what the bathroom looked like below.

the mini bar in my room at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

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The pool at Condado Ocean Club

We spent as much time at the pool area as we could in our short stay.  That small infinity pool is a huge draw of this hotel, particularly when paired with the beach.

But do be aware that the pool area is very small…photos on the hotel booking sites are taken from the most flattering angles and so I hadn’t quite expected how small the pool itself and the lounge chair area would be.

That said, it’s still beautiful and if you can snag a chair (easier said than done), a great place to while away the day.  The pool technically opens at 8:00am but there were no towels or anyone to help til like almost 10:00am…I finally had to go into the lobby and ask for a towel.

The infinity pool at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

The infinity pool at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

The infinity pool at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

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PRO TIP:  The pool area doesn’t get much sun after around noon or 1:00pm, so get there early and enjoy the morning!  The chairs by the pool get sun first, then the ones perpendicular (by the shaded lounge beds) get the last rays of sun before it goes behind the building in early afternoon.

There is a bar out at the pool and the service was really friendly (just takes a while).  My pina colada was delicious, and the Hunch Punch pretty good.

The infinity pool at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

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These pictures hopefully help give a better sense of perspective, of the size and space at the pool area and the beach.

The infinity pool at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

The pool area at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

The pool & beach at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

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My first afternoon I missed the sun altogether and then it clouded over, so finding a chair wasn’t that hard.

The pool area at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

The pool area at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

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The beach

I didn’t spend much time on the beach, but wanted to give it a shout-out…it’s so beautiful!  Laying by the pool and just hearing those waves crash constantly made me so happy.

The beach at Condado Ocean Club - a detailed review of this San Juan hotel

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I got out early one morning to catch the tail-end of sunrise…highly recommend!!  *heart eyes emoji*

Sunrise on Condado Beach

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

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The food & drinks

We mostly ate elsewhere, but I grabbed a quick lunch upon arrival at Social, the Condado Ocean Club’s in-house restaurant.  Their lunch menu was fairly limited and kind of expensive, but the service was really friendly and the burger and fries were edible (fries were pretty decent, burger kind of meh).

I’ve already mentioned my thoughts on the drinks at the bar, and I grabbed a drink at the bar inside the restaurant too…to take up to my room and read my Kindle in bed 🙂  It was fine, just got a gin and tonic as they had a pretty interesting gin (my cousin got a sangria that she said was pretty good).

condado ocean club,where to stay in san juan

So that’s my detailed take on Condado Ocean Club!  While it wasn’t perfect, I still very much enjoyed many elements of my stay, and I think it has a great offering compared to similar hotels in San Juan.  You definitely should check it out if you’re looking for a pool/beach hotel in San Juan!

Other great hotel options for sun & relaxation:

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Review of Condado Ocean Club Hotel (San Juan, Puerto Rico) | If you're planning a trip to San Juan and looking for a hotel with a great pool and beach, then Condado Ocean Club may be for you...here's my detailed review, including rooms, service, pool, & more! Where to stay in San Juan, the best hotels in Puerto Rico, what to do in San Juan. #sanjuan #puertorico #hotelreview

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