Best location for lodging in P.R.

Old Jul 17th, 2001, 06:47 PM
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Best location for lodging in P.R.

Wife and I want to go to San Juan next spring(read late April or Mid-May. Want to do the beaches, a little nite-life, visit vieques, maybe hop over to the Virgin Islans. Will plan on a week. Would like a nice place to stay with pool yet close to beaches. Don't want to have to mortgage "the farm" but don't want something poor either.
Your help greatly appreciated.
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 06:51 AM
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Hi Jon! Low season starts around May(depending on the hotel it will start after mid-April, some start their low season on May 1, it varies a bit). This means that you will probably be able to get low season rates, which are about 30% less than Winter rates. I would recommend splitting your time - staying 4 nights in San Juan and 3-4 nights in either Vieques or Culebra. During your San Juan stay, you can visit El Yunque rainforest (about 45 minutes from San Juan), Old San Juan, the Camuy Caverns (1.25 hours from San Juan to the west). Rent a car for a couple of days while in San Juan to do the Yunque and the Caverns day-trip. San Juan offers great nightlife - in Isla Verde, bar-hopping in Old San Juan, great dining everywhere. Then, take a puddle-jumper to either Vieques or Culebra (you can choose to stay in one and take a day-trip to the other via ferry). Rent a car there and visit the awesome, pristine beaches. Both places have a variety of inexpensive lodging. Check out and It's for a laid-back few days, nothing fancy.

Regarding accomodations, try and They have description of places to stay and special offers. Good luck!
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 05:30 PM
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Thanks for info. do you have a favorite or two hotels in San Juan?

Old Jul 19th, 2001, 05:33 AM
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Was in PR on business in 1996. I know it's been a while, but we stayed at the El Condado Plaza, right on the main strip that runs through town. It's a few minutes from Old San Juan, but it's on the water. Very small beach, nice pool, wasn't too expensive. Daily continental breakfast (included) was great. Entertainment in the evenings on some nights, and a casino. Nice rooms, right on the water (water is beneath your balcony). Staff was friendly and helpful. I'd consider staying there again.

There was a new (in 1996) Marriott down the street. Very nice, more $$$, with a casino, also on the water. You might check that out, too.

I heard that the hotels on Dorado beach were pricier (e.g., the Hyatt) but very nice.

If you want suggestions for some great restaurants, let me know. I was lucky enough to have a corporate escort that took me to some of the finer establishments there. It was fun!
Old Jul 19th, 2001, 09:20 AM
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Here are my choices for San Juan area hotels:
1. El San Juan Resort and Casino (Isla Verde)
1. Ritz-Carlton (Isla Verde) (tie)
3. Marriott (COndado)
4. Condado Plaza (Condado)
5. Intercontinental (Isla Verde)

While these are expensive hotels, especially the El San Juan and the Ritz-Carlton, if you go during low season, you can usually get a pretty decent promotion or package deal.
Old Jul 19th, 2001, 11:55 AM
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Hi Jon! In San Juan, I have only stayed at the Ritz Carlton, however, I lived in San Juan for many years so I know all the major hotels. I don't know if it's in your budget, but I went to the Ritz Carlton in the low season (end of May) and the rate was reasonable, but not cheap (I think it was around $200 a night in a Club room with oceanview including tax). The Club-level was really nice and the breakfast that was included was great.

I have visited the lobby and beaches of all the other major hotels in San Juan. I mostly agree with Tom, except my order would roughly go like this (caveat - these are my impressions and opinions, and they may vary from others)

1. El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan -located in Old San Juan, no beach here, but it's a beautiful boutique hotel that transports you to a different era. It's very close to great restaurants, museums, and bars.
2. Ritz Carlton - The beach is wide and long and completely uncrowded. Nice pool, excellent spa, and the staff is very nice.
3. El San Juan (Wyndham) - Fantastic club, lobby bars, casino and restaurants right at the hotel. This would be either #1 or #2 for those seeking nightlife. Beach is very nice, but more crowded than the Ritz Carlton's.
4. Caribe Hilton - great location, close to Old San Juan. Private beach. Great lobby bar.
5. Intercontinental - Same beach as the El San Juan. It's proximity to El San Juan means that you can easily go there for nightlife.
6. Marriott - Good casino and lobby bar, some good restaurants nearby.
7. Condado Plaza - Small beach, very calm water, can get very crowded during the weekends.

Cheaper Options:
A good option might be The Regency Hotel, which is next to the Condado Plaza. Their rates during the low season are very reasonable and, while they don't have a beach, they have a pool, and you can use all of the facilities (pool, beach loungers, etc.) of the more expensive Condado Plaza next door. The restaurant at the Regency is excellent (not that well-known though), it serves continental food.

I have also heard good things about the smaller guest houses in Ocean Park. They are all withing a short (1 block) walking distance to the beach. As far as I know, none of them have a pool.

Other good options would be any hotel located directly on Isla Verde beach, as this is a nice beach.

Outside of San Juan, there are country inns called Paradores. They are nothing fancy, but always clean and very reasonably-priced. The website has them.

Good luck!
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 08:09 AM
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Since others have rated PR hotels let me add my comments. El Convento does not head my list nor is it on my list.I go to PR for the sun and the beach. You are nowhere near a beach when in Old San Juan.

Heading my list for hotels in Isla Verde is the Ritz Carlton followed by the El San Juan. The Ritz is more laid back than the El San Juan and that suits me. Both are near the airport so airplane noise can be intrusive particularly at the Ritz when at the pool or the beach. . Both have excellent beaches but the beach at the Ritz is less crowded. Third choice would be the Intercontinental.

In the Condado first choice would be the Marriott followed by the Condado Plaza. Reason -the beach at the Condado Plaza is not a very good one.
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 09:27 AM
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I forgot all about El Convento but it is a pretty cool hotel. I wouldn't put it on my favorites list because I like to be on the beach. But if that's not important to you, I would have to agree that El COnvento might be an interesting place to stay.

Also, Mariarosa mentioned the club level at the Ritz-Carlton. I was just comparing standard rooms. If we're talking club level, Ritz-Carlton wins. It is great -five presentation of food and beverage throughout the day. As a matter of fact, i am going in a few weeks and will be staying 3 nights at EL San Juan and six at the club level in the Ritz-Carlton. All of this talk about it is getting me very anxious to be there.
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 05:38 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your timely esponses
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 05:22 AM
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has anyone been to the hilton since the renovation? my husband and i have never been to PR and we are considering a trip of 2 nights PR 4 nights st thomas. we will be staying at the ritz in stt, i wanted to go to the hyatt dorado, my husband doesnt feel its worth the trip over we narrowed our choice down to the ritz, hilton, or marriott! any comments on the rooms? are these hotels walking distance to eachother? please help!!! thanks.

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