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Puerto Rico as 1st leg of honeymoon? Have a few questions...

Puerto Rico as 1st leg of honeymoon? Have a few questions...

Old Sep 24th, 2003, 10:30 AM
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autumngirl
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Puerto Rico as 1st leg of honeymoon? Have a few questions...

I posted a question earlier asking which 2 islands I should pick for my honeymoon in August (was hoping for 1 romantic, private locale and 1 more action-filled island.) Including Puerto Rico (San Juan)as 1/2 of the trip is pulling up the cheapest flights, naturally. How do you all feel about PR? Would it meet the criteria in my earlier post? Looking at the Wyndham El San Juan -- any opinions? Is there lots to do (shops, restaurants, history, day trips) within walking distance? Is the beach nice in PR -- have heard mixed opinions. Thinking maybe Anguilla or St. John would be a nice compliment to the trip as the more private and romantic 1/2 of the honeymoon.
 
Old Sep 24th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Wyndham El San Juan is a great choice. It would fit anyone's criteria. It has great restaurants and stores.
The hotel is pretty close to the airport and the most touristy areas in San Juan, including Isla Verde and Condado. It's also a 10 minute drive from Old San Juan.
You should try to go to Old San Juan. Lots of shopping to do, historic places to go and exciting restaurants and nightlife.
The beaches in the Isla Verde area are good, but the ones on other cities could be better. If you do have the time, go to Culebra island. The beach is unbelievable! It is far though (a 45 minute drive to Fajardo and then a ferry to Culebra). If you plan to stay in the San Juan area, the beaches at Isla Verde and Ocean Park are great choices.

Enjoy Puerto Rico!
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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The El San Juan would be a good choice. It has a magnificent lobby with lots going on at all times, especially weekends.The beach is more than adequate. The hotel has some fine shops,all expensive. Not much high end shopping once out of the hotel, You can take day trips to Old San Juan, the Rain Forest and the Caves. You could also take an all day snorkling trip. Enough choices of restaurants at the other hotels. Ritz Carlton, Embassy Suites, Water Club and the Intercontinental are the high end hotels within walking distance of the El San Juan.
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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Ditto to above. Also consider the rain forest (el yunque) and the Spanish forts, esp. El Morro, the Bacardi factory as fun stuff to do. There is a beach area called luqillo or something like that which is one of the best on the island. Cheers, Larry
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 03:28 PM
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Well, it sounds like the Wyndham El San Juan gets good reviews for the San Juan area from you all.

Where would you suggest we stay if we wanted to stay out of San Juan? We are resort people, so big pools and excellent beach for swimming are important to us. Any of the other Wyndhams worth looking at?
 
Old Sep 25th, 2003, 04:55 PM
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Re autumn girl:

Wyndham El Conquistador Resort. It's in Fajardo (45 minutes from San Juan). It has many pools and your own private island with an unbelievable beach. I think it would be an ever better choice for a honeymoon than El San Juan. It's very close to El Yunque Rain Forest and to the Fajardo port where you can take a ferry to Vieques or Culebra.

Also, you might consider Wyndham Martineu Bay in Vieques, which recently opened. I haven't been there but people here in Puerto Rico speak highly of it.

Enjoy!
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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PinkFloyd18: Thanks! I have read conflicting reports about the beach at El Conquistador (Palomin Island?) I have read many reports where people complain about having to take a boat to the beach -- is it a long trip? How does the hotel itself compare to the El San Juan? Are you basically isolated and confined to eating there? I would also love to hear more about Vieques and Culebra and what there is to do/see there. Thanks!
 
Old Sep 25th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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If you're staying in SJ I think the Wyndham is the best choice: shopping, beaches, nightlife. But El Conquistador is an even better choice, the ferry to Palomino isn't longer that a 10-15 mins. ride, and it's definetely worth seeing, even better if you can get to Palominito which is a smaller, prettier, more private version. The best beaches of PR will be found at the small islands around. Culebra has one of the best beaches in the world is in the Travel Channel's top 5 (Flamingo beach).
So when you think about coming here have in mind near-coast hotels (the nearer the better).
Happy honeymoon!
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 08:54 PM
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Re: autumn girl
If you stay at El Conquistador you might want to consider eating at one of the many restaurants there. There are other popular american restaurants and fast-foods at the area but none at a short walking distance. You might need a car, which might be helpful for visiting what the east coast of PR has to offer (i.e. El Yunque)

Regarding Vieques and Culebra: Vieques gets more tourists than Culebra nowadays because of the new Wyndham hotel. Both islands are great and worth the trip. You will have better beaches than in the San Juan area for water sports or just for relaxing with your hubby.

Visit www.gotopuertorico.com
or www.travelandsports.com
They might be helpful. Enjoy!
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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 04:04 AM
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If you stay at the Conquistador you will need a car to get around if you want to try restsaurants off the hotel grounds. Of course you could always use taxis. The Conquistador is a resort spread over many acres. The El San Juan is in an urban area and much smaller in size.
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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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You've received some good information here. If you like large resorts, with big pools and good beaches, you should definitely look into El Conquistador. It is true that there is no beach right at the hotel -the hotel is perched atop a cliff and affords some very nice views. The ferry to the island is actually kind of cool - like a previous poster said it's no more than a 10-15 minute ride. The only drawback is that you need to plan a little - it's not like having a beach right at the hotel and you can just leave and come back whenever you want to. I did have one mishap when I stayed there - one of the ferries broke down while I was on the island - had to wait (along with many others) for over an hour for a ferry to take us back (at that point I felt like my brain was being fried, sitting on the dock in the hot sun).

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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 06:12 AM
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You have all given me wonderful advice on PR and the resorts, so I thank you again. A couple of questions:
Has anyone stayed at the new Wyndham on Vieques (Martineau Bay)? Are the beaches there very superior to the Wyndham El San Juan? We are definitely swimmers. Also, what is the island of Vieques like -- quiet or busy? Would you need a car there, or is there plenty of restaurants within walking distance? And how long does it take to get there from SJU? What sort of things are there if we want to venture away from the beach and resort? I've have heard about the glowing bay -- sounds magnificant!
And, about San Juan, what is the city itself like? How "safe" is it? How do the beaches compare to the rest of the Caribbean?
As I mentioned, if we can manage we would like 2 islands for our honeymoon, 1 private and romantic and 1 that's a bit more busy. It sounds like PR might fit either category -- San Juan for the "busy" part of our honeymoon or Vieques for the more quiet part. Am I correct in assuming this?
 
Old Sep 26th, 2003, 06:56 AM
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I think you are correct in saying that Puerto Rico could fit either criteria. In fact, I would consider visiting only Puerto Rico and doing San Juan for the "city" part and Vieques for the private, romantic part. It really would feel like you are visiting two separate Caribbean islands. I haven't been to the Wyndham on Vieques but it is very new and looks very nice.

As far as the beaches in the San Juan area - they are clean and the water is clear but they are not like some other Caribbean beaches that have white sand and crystal clear waters. The sand is light brown and there are some small to medium size waves at the Isla Verde beach (that's where the El San Juan is located). It's a nice walking beach - very long, lots of people watching on the weekend. Definitely a developed stretch of beach with several hotels and several more condos. Although I haven't been to Vieques, I would guess and I have heard that the beaches there are significantly better than the San Juan area.

As far as the "city", there are three main areas in San Juan - Isla Verde, Condado, and Old San Juan. Old San Juan is where you would do your sightseeing. It's about a 15 minute cab ride or 1/2 hour bus ride from Isla Verde. That is where you will find your historic sights as well as shopping. Isla Verde isn't really an area where you would walk around and sightsee - very commercial, traffic, fast food places, and a few hotels.

If you're staying at the El San Juan, there is much to do at night - from about six restaurants right on premises, an amazing lobby bar, live music, nightclub and casino.
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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 08:44 AM
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Tom42: You've been very helpful about El Conquistador and also about the San Juan area, thank you!

Has anyone been to Wyndham Martineau Bay or the Vieques are that can answer my questions about that?
 
Old Sep 28th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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Can anyone help me re: Vieques and the Wyndham there? What is the island and the resort like? Looking for nice resort with pool, beautiful white sand beaches, good swimming and snorkeling...
 
Old Sep 29th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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I haven't seen the Wyndham Martineay Bay, but I've heard it's beautiful. Have you checked their website (martineaybay.com)? It's my impression, though, that it's somewhat isolated. If you prefer to see more of the island atmosphere you might want to stay somewhere else. Check innonthebluehorizon.com. I stayed there years ago & enjoyed it a lot. Now it's more upscale & looks even more beautiful. It is closer to the Esperanza boardwalk area, where there are bars, restaurants & little bit of nightlife. For more info on Vieques, check enchanted-isle.com.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 06:22 AM
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sorry, it's martineaubay.com. I misspelled it.
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