Welcome to the luxurious El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria property in the middle of Puerto Rico in an area called Fajardo, which is about an hour’s drive from the main airport. They offer free shuttles to and from the airport although if you want to speed up the process, you can always take a cab or order a dedicated shuttle.
Below is the stunning view of the resort from our hotel room as the main part of the property is dramatically set on top of a 300 foot bluff on the eastern tip of Puerto Rico. El Conquistador Resort itself is the main part of the resort where the bulk of the hotel rooms are, the gym, the spa, pools and hot tubs and outdoor bars and cafes, as well as four fine dining restaurants.
The resort and the nearby Las Casitas Village (which you can walk to or simply take a golf cart if you want to get there faster), spread across 500 acres overlooking the converging waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and of course, Palomino Island, a stone’s throw away.
As you walk through the main property, you’re struck by the size of the place, from the gardens to the cultural statues and art.
The views are simply stunning from wherever you are, as you are always faced with the beauty of the Caribbean skies, palm trees and Atlantic Ocean views.
Below is on the main property between the two main pools — the stairway takes you from one (lower level) to the other (upper level), where you’ll have one hot tub and an outside bar (which you can swim up to btw). Here, you can also order fresh cocktails, snacks, sandwiches, salads and burgers.
This platform is where you take the stairs down from the outside Cafe Bella Vista to the main pool.
From the below level of the resort, where yachts pull up and park for the night – here, you can also catch ferries across to Palomino Island.
The grandeur of the place tells you that this isn’t just a resort for romantic getaways or family retreats although it is a great option for both. Because the property is so large and they have a massive amount of space for meetings, many corporate retreats are held here, as well as weddings as you can see from the perfect setting below. It’s quite majestic while maintaining true Caribbean character in the heart of Puerto Rico.
Private cabanas surrounding one of the main pools…
The pool area of the main resort…
At night, cocktails at the ever so festive Ballyhoo Bar & Grill, which is a lovely place to catch the sunset…
A view from one of the hot tubs at the main property….
Views from our room — a closer look than the first photo. Here, you can see boats coming in and out and the surrounding property where you can dine and get drinks…
To get to the lower level, you need to take a cable car, but….it’s quick and it’s fun! Below is a shot taken while I was on the cable car that regularly goes down to the lower part of the resort (pictured above) and only takes a few minutes. As noted above, this is where the ferries transport you over to Palomino Island. The boats only take around 10 minutes to get across so it’s well worth doing for a day. See my write-up with stunning photos on the island.
View of some of the rentals from the bottom of the resort near the water…
Guestrooms and suites are divided into five villages, including Las Casitas Village, which is set up as colorful condos that you can rent for reasonable rates, a great choice for families, or if you are interested in more space for longer stays. While it’s part of the resort, it is in a separate area and offers one, two and three bedroom style villas as well as 24 hour resort butler service. There’s private pools here, tropical decor, sophisticated furnishings and secluded balconies.
One of their infinity pools is an easy walk from the condos and has stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby islands.
Panoramic views of the infinity pool taken on my iphone….
After having a leisurely swim at the infinity pool one afternoon…
Flowers near the condos and breakfast the same morning at Ventana Del Caribe.
Fruit by the pool with a Pina Colada of course.
On the lower level, there’s also a water park with 3 different slides, one which is an easy and slow slide which is great for small kids (doesn’t require a tube), an intermediate one which does require a tube (you can go single or double here) and a fast slide that is more advanced and leaves you in the main pool itself after an invigorating ride. Its 253 feet of speed, thrills and sensational splashes, especially the massive vertical drop slide.
We particularly loved tubing our way through what they refer to as the Lazy River, which makes its way around the pool, specifically serving the water slide itself. You pass under bridges, lovely vegetation and luscious flowers.
There’s another infinity pool at the water park, which has more stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean but from a different side.
There was also a beautiful rainbow one afternoon when I was there, just minutes before we had a light late day shower. Below is a shot taken from the edge of the infinity pool (above).
There’s also an award-winning par 7 Arthur Hills 18 hole golf course. The AAA Four Diamond resort offers 23 restaurants, bars and lounges on-site (you almost feel like you’re on a cruise), from gourmet to casual, many with ocean views, including the sultry Chops Steakhouse, where we had a fabulous meal one night (below). I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fabulous food as well as their 26,000 square foot spa with 25 treatment rooms.
See my write-up on Puerto Rico for Foodies and the El Conquistador Spa, which not only includes info on treatments, but their fitness facility, meditation sessions, aromatherapy, yoga and more. Also be sure to read about our fabulous hike in the El Yunque Rainforest and my fun stylin’ time with Jockey on-site.
The El Conquistador Resort
A Waldorf Astoria Property
1000 El Conquistador Avenue
Fajardo Puerto Rico 00738
Note: I was hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.