Hello, I am going to San Juan for 2 nights before my cruise we arrive at 3am the first night and staying a second night, I am partial to Marriott hotel brands but know I will not be in my room except for sleeping well in San Juan and want to get to Texas De Brazil steakhouse, Senor Frogs and maybe some shopping, if anyone can make a recommendation between these two great properties which both have great reviews on trip advisor I am torn and cannot decide which property is right.
Having stayed at both and the Courtyard Isla Verde I would ask how you plan to get around, what amenities are important to you and how far you want to be away from things.
I will toss out that of the 3, the Isla Verde is pretty close to the airport and is a nice property. It's right up the beach from the full service property and while it offers a beach, casino and other things, its not the same level you'd expect from the full service resort. It is still a Courtyard after all but it's got a great location . A little more in taxi rides perhaps to get down to old San Juan or other places and perhaps a little more airport noise at this one. I've used it before to do what you are doing and it's worked well.
If you are looking to save money getting around and aren't afraid to ride a city bus, go with the Courtyard Miramar. It's fairly close to the cruise area, offers very easy reach to most places in old San Juan via bus/taxi and the property is pretty nice. It is NOT going to give you the beach that the other two will though. Miramar is in the city area so you have less stuff to do at the hotel. The buses though are ridiculously cheap, I was there a year or so ago and think it was like 50c to get down to old San Juan where Sr Frogs and other great places are located. You can pretty easily get to/from old San Juan and the hotel at all hours via the bus but you'll want to make sure you know what bus number you need, or speak pretty good spanish when it gets later at night. FWIW, this is now my "default" property when I am stopping over in San Juan for things. It just works for me and its pretty cheap points/cash wise compared to others. Plus I don't feel like everyone has their hand in my pockets like I do at beach properties.
The full service property has the beach, casino and other things you would expect from a full service property. Its very nice but also a bit more per night. Its a little farther away from things but not so much that you are going to pay a mint to get around. You mentioned you are going on a cruise so not sure if you want to have a few beach days/resort days prior to that or not. If you do then here or Isla Verde, heck consider the La Concha Ren which is right down the road from the Marriott and has that little extra Renaissance flavor If on the other hand you want an inexpensive, easy to get around quality room without the beach, Miramar is the way to go.
Hope you have a great time!
I just returned from a ten day business trip to San Juan. Since I was chasing the best rates, I stayed at three separate properties. I started off at the Courtyard Miramar. While it's an older building, dating back to around 1967, it's in good shape. The room was a fairly decent size but there was no self-park and street parking is iffy.
The hotel has an excellent French restaurant in the lobby, by the way.
The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way with the Courtyard was the "resort fee" that they charged, and it wasn't a flat $25/day either - it's 18% of the room rate which I felt very unfair. One night I paid $110 for the room and the next $185, which means I paid a resort fee of $21 one day and $33 the next. What do you get for that fee? A bottle of water. Since we elites get free internet anyway (the other "benefit"), you are paying for expensive water. Let me also remind you that this is not a resort hotel either. It's just your garden variety Courtyard.
Next I stayed at the Renaissance La Concha. This is all the way at the foot of Ashford Street and is a very nice resort. The main building was built in the 40's I believe and was left to whither away over the years until it was shut down. Several years ago it was resurrected and they did a very good job at it, while adding a new tower which contains only suites. As a Platinum I was given a high floor oceanfront room. Renaissance has done a good job at making this a really hip place to be. Be prepared to pay a resort fee based on the room rate.
My last stop was the Marriott, which is down the street from the La Concha. This was my favorite of all 3 because it's in an area with lots of restaurants. The property is in great condition and just like La Concha, is on a nice stretch of beach. The same resort fee scheme applies here.
Hope this was helpful.
Please, please, please do not go to Texas de Brazil or Senor Frogs. You can do that in the US and should check out some of the local places. Ashford Avenue by where the Stellaris is has a lot of nice little shops and restaurants. It is 10 minutes from where you'll get the cruise ship.
I spent a lot of time in San Juan, I didn't stay at the Courtyard due to the area. I was told by friends it wasn't the best place to be around for safety reasons.
The Stellaris is know by the locals for a famous fire years back, which didn't give me a great feeling to hear since I like being up on a high floor. I also didn't like that the carpet smelled wet all the time and the place was starting to look dated. The La Concha (my profile pic is from my suite) though that isn't on your list, it is worth the extra money if you have it. It has a much nicer resort feel and look to it. Almost like a Ritz (almost).