Goin' to Isla Verde--Help


Mar 5th, 2000, 06:51 PM
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Goin' to Isla Verde--Help

I am going to the Ritz in PR in two weeks. I have read posts about the proximity of the Isla Verde hotels to the airport noise. I am going anyway. Now that I am going, please help me with info concerning nightlife, restaurants, snorkling (where) and cautions. This is my first trip to PR and need whatever help you can. Thanks.
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Mar 7th, 2000, 04:45 AM
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We stayed there 2 years ago. Yes the airport noise is loud but you only hear it when you are outside by the pool or on the beach and it quiets down at night. Incidentally, safety is a major issue. The beach is patrolled and ok in front of the Ritz. Be careful elsewhere. Don't go on beach at night.
The concierge at the Ritz can recommend restaurants to you. Short cab ride to either old town or Condado. Two outstanding ones we went to are Ajili Mojili and Compastella.
The hotel can arrange trips to the rain forest (El Junque), worth a trip and by all means go into old town and walk around (it's touristy and safe) good shopping. The snorkling is not good because of the murky waters. Night life is good but take cabs and get hotel recommendations.
(cabs are cheap, don't need to rent a car).
Good luck.
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Mar 8th, 2000, 10:07 AM
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The previous post gave some good advice. I second Ajilli Mojilli for good, Puerto Rican food. I would also check out some of the restaurants at the El San Juan, which is an easy walk from the Ritz (Backstreet Hong Kong, La Piccola Fontana and The Palm are all excellent restaurants). For cheaper eats, try the Metropol for good Cuban/Puerto Rican food. It's a short walk from your hotel - atmosphere is casual, food is cheap and it's always crowded (with many locals - which is always a good sign).

As for nightlife, the Ritz has a very nice casino but is otherwise pretty quiet. If you want some activity, again I highly recommend that you go next door to the El San Juan - they have a great lobby area with several bars, live music, and a great crowd, especially on weekends. Just a caution - shorts are not permitted at night. There is also a very nice casino and a nightclub (called Babylon) on the premises. If find yourself in Condado at night, the Marriott has a very good lobby bar going also - with live music and a fairly small casino. Also, Condado Plaza has a large casino (by Caribbean standards) and also a decent lounge.

As far as snorkeling is concerned, there really is none to speak of in your immediate area. But, if you want to go on a 1/2 day or full day excursion, the Ritz will be able to help you out. There is good snorkeling around the Fajardo area (around the El Conquistador resort) which is about an hour or so away from San Juan.

I wouldn't say safety is a "major" concern but you do need to be aware of your surroundings as you would in any city. I agree that you probably shouldn't be walking the beach at night (other than right in front of your hotel).

I stayed at the Ritz last summer and loved it. It's a beautiful hotel, great pool area, and terrific service. I'm sure you will have a great time.
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