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Review of La Concha, A Renaissance Resort

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Review posted 4/30/2008 view all
Jeff Fillion from Lansing, MI
Beautiful Hotel, Unbelievable Service!
I spent a week at La Concha (February 24-March 2) celebrating my 40th birthday, travelling with my best friend of nearly 20 years. I booked the hotel through Marriott's website, knowing that it had just reopened and that all aspects of the hotel were not fully completed.

My first impression upon walking into the hotel lobby was that it was MUCH larger in person than I envisioned from the photos that I had seen online. It's very modern and hip, with contemporary decor and furniture, and the music playing was very cool--it reminded me very much of a W Hotel.

Our room wasn't ready when we checked in, but the front desk attendant checked our bags and took my cell phone number and told me that she would call when our room was ready. We decided to have lunch in the hotel pool restaurant (Solera) and enjoy the warm weather (we both ordered the Latin Sliders and they were wonderful!). During lunch the front desk attendant did call to ask me a question about my room preference. It took a couple hours before the room was ready, but when it was, our bags had already been delivered upstairs.

We had a corner suite (Room 701) on the west end of the hotel and I was absolutely amazed upon walking into the room. We walked into our living room that was very bright and airy. It had very modern furniture and the south wall was a sliding door that opened up completely. Off of the west side of the living room was a balcony with table and chairs. A short hallway led to the bedroom featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. When both sets of windows were open, there was an amazing cross breeze through the entire suite, and we left the windows open for the entire week.

My friend had been in touch with the hotel concierge the week prior to our arrival, and we had a packet of information in the room that contained some maps, restaurant directories and spa menus, along with a nice birthday note from Michael, the head concierge.

We had a beautiful view of the ocean from the bedroom and a view of the pool area from the living room. From our balcony we had views in three directions (north, west and south).

The hotel is centrally located in Condado, and there are many great restaurants and shops within walking distance. Directly across the street, there are a few very upscale shops (including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier and more). In regard to places to eat close by, we enjoyed Di Parma (Italian), Tequilla's (Mexican), Cherry Blossom (Sushi) and Pure & Natural (great for carry-out lunch to take back to the pool).

Most evenings, the Lobby Bar is THE place to be. Every Sunday they host a fashion show in the pool area and there is a DJ in the Lobby Bar. The week we were there, there were two huge parties in the hotel and pool area, packing the Lobby. We were told that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights the hotel bar was very popular (and indeed it was). Each of those nights featured a DJ and locals mixed with hotel guests.

The staff at La Concha was extremely friendly and welcoming. Over the course of the week, we got to know many of the hotel staff in the Lobby Bar and in Solera, as well as at the concierge desk. Of note: In the Lobby Bar, bartenders Carlos, Melissa, Richard, Jaime, Jorge, and Javier are wonderful. And Jessmarie (one of the Lobby Bar waitresses) was very sweet. In Solera, Carmen was truely delightful, along with Jeannice, Ines, Lorraine and so many others. Each and everyone of these people and all of the others for whom I don't know names were very friendly.

One person who deserves an extra special mention is Louise, the assistant concierge. From day one she was AMAZING. Greeting us by name, making arrangements for spa treatments, recommending restaurants and making reservations, printing boarding passes, etc. There really was nothing she wasn't willing to help us with. On my birthday, she even baked me a cake with candles and brought it in from home. I stay at Marriott hotels all of the time, and that goes above and beyond the best service I've ever received. (I also should mention that Carmen sent a bottle of wine, a plate of fresh fruit and a handwritten note to my room the evening of my birthday).

The property is currently building a casino/spa and condo tower adjecent to the hotel, but I was never bothered by the construction or noise (but we were on the far west end of the hotel), and with the breeze off the ocean, I didn't hear much else other than crashing waves.

This is already an amazing property, and I suspect that, when it's completed, it will be even more so. Although there were some families with young kids staying here while I was here, I would think there are better family hotels in the area. In my opinion this is a wonderful hotel for couples and singles. It has a very festive, party-like atmosphere, yet is still a very upscale hotel. And everyone was very gay-friendly.

Out of the entire stay, there were only a couple issues, primarily with the timeliness of housekeeping. It was often very late in the day before our room was made up, but since we didn't spend too much time in the room throughout the day, it wasn't that big of a deal. One other thing would be that the elevators did seem to be a bit slow at times. Even though I mention those things, I really wouldn't consider them to be major problems.

I had an amazing vacation at La Concha and I'm already planning a return trip for my next birthday. I'm anxious to see how the property has grown as well as visit with some familiar and friendly faces.
Month and year of stay:
February 2008
Length of stay:
7 nights
Recommend hotel for:
singles,couples,young
Describe the hotel:
Mixed gay/lesbian/straight
Would I stay at hotel again?
Absolutely
My ratings on the following categories:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Rate the reservation process, either on-line or by phone.
Were the staff helpful and welcoming?
Exceptional
CURB APPEAL AND LOCATION
Was the property well located and externally attractive?
Exceptional
CHECK-IN
Was it welcoming, informative and painless?
Were the staff able to devote time to answer all your questions?
Good
COMFORT AND CLEANLINESS
Was the bed comfortable, and the room and bathroom
well appointed and clean?
Good
STAFF
Were the staff friendly, helpful and efficient?
Exceptional
DINING
Did the quality of breakfast or other dining services
meet your expectations?
Good
DETAILS
How were the little personal touches that make all the difference?
Exceptional
VALUE FOR MONEY
Was your stay appropriately priced for what you received?
Good

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