by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson
El Canario by the Lagoon is a small, well-equipped hotel located just one block from the world-famous Condado Beach and near Ventana del Mar, an oceanfront park. The hotel offers affordable accommodations, with value-added amenities including a free continental breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Our Editor Loves
- Central location
- Complimentary breakfast
- Self-serve laundry
- Free Breakfast
I read the reviews of El Canario by others and decided to take my chance since I liked the location of the hotel. I'm not the typical "American" traveler that need to stay at an all inclusive resort with high end toiletries, turndown service every night, and quirky animal shaped towels on their bed. I want something economical, convenient, comfortable, and centrally located and that's what I got at El Canario. I go on vacation to explore not to lay up and warm up 10,000 thread count sheets!!!
The desk AND housekeeping were VERY friendly and I had absolutely no problem catching an Uber to my destinations from the hotel. But the best part about this no frills hotel? IT'S ONLY 2 BLOCKS FROM THE BEACH!!! Yaaaaas, trust me when I tell you that this is where you need to stay!! I was there on my B'Day on the 17th (yaa, Happy Birthday to ME!!) and stayed for 3 wonderful nights. I must add that I am a Solo traveler and at no time did I feel intimidated or threatened, but then again I am from Chicago so I know how to put on that "mean mug" face that says "you don't want to try me and have problems".
So the final question is, would I stay again? Yes!! I will be returning as I have decided that this will be an annual trip for me and I will be staying in Room 307 of El Canario!!
My mother and I stayed at this hotel from Oct. 3-7. As it was our first time visiting Puerto Rico, I had done a lot of research on the different areas in San Juan and decided that Condado was were we wanted to be as it was very central, close to Old Sand Juan and the beach. I looked at many different hotels in the area before deciding on this one, which had a great location and fit our budget. To be honest, one of the main reasons I chose it was because their rooms have balconies and no others in our price range offered this. Another key point was that they also offered luggage storage (again something other hotels didn't) which was key for us as we wanted to be able to wander around a bit more after checkout and before we had to make our way to the port to catch our ferry. I was a little nervous choosing a smaller hotel with an unfamiliar name (vs the Holiday Inn or Comfort Hotel) but we couldn't be happier with our choice!! Everything went perfectly! The staff are absolutely amazing, from reception to cleaners and everyone in between! They were so incredibly accommodating and helpful and made us feel right at home! We can't say enough about Monica (reception) as she was a wealth of knowledge and always willing to answer our questions (of which we had a million haha!) and gave us great recommendations which helped us to save some money too by showing us how to get around on our own by marking out places on a map for us!
The hotel itself is nothing super extrodinary, meaning if your looking for 5* luxury and opulence this is not the place for you. But it was absolutely perfect for us as again we were looking for location and budget friendly, and weren't planning on passing the day in our room. The photos on their website are accurate. The rooms are basic, but they are spacious, very clean and well maintained and had everything we needed! The beds were very comfortable and the maid passed daily. Tons of channels to choose from on the TV while relaxing before bed. The hotel is very clean and well kept! They have breakfast included (which unfortunately we didn't take advantage of as we were late risers haha) and there is a beautiful little garden area with tables for you to sit and enjoy your meal, and a roof top patio as well to enjoy the sunset over the lagoon. The location is absolutely perfect!! Right by Condado Lagoon, less than half a block off of Ashford Ave (which is the main street and full of great restaurants, shops and the larger hotels), literally a 2 min walk from the beach, 10 min max by taxi to Old San Juan (and the cruise ship port), and only about 15 min taxi from the airport.
We can't say enough good things about this hotel and the staff there, and we thank them again for their amazing hospitality!! We are so incredibly happy with our choice and will definitely stay there again the next time we go to San Juan, PR!