Puerto Rico - Where to Stay

Old Dec 13th, 2011, 07:20 AM
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Puerto Rico - Where to Stay

I am really confused. Been looking at Tripadvisor for a Puerto Rico resort to stay a few nights in February with my wife. It seems that every hotel has issues. Many of the resorts/hotels appear to be past their prime and have not been updated.

Really just looking for a clean place with really nice pool and beach on the premises. We are flying into San Juan.
We are not adverse to a reasonable drive from San Juan.

Looked at the El Conquistador but even there people had issues with the cleanliness of the beach and the noise in some of the rooms

Thanks
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 08:35 AM
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What is your budget? There are some really nice hotels which meet your requirements -- the Ritz Carlton in San Juan, and the Horned Dorset Primavera in Rincon -- but they are pricey. The Marriott Stellaris in Condado is a bit dated, but clean, with a pool and beachfront. Haven't stayed at The Water Club in a while, but it's stylish and smart, with fairly small rooms, in Isla Verde.

As for El Con, it's clean but it's a GIGANTIC and busy place, and doesn't feel (at least to me) very Puerto Rican. Taking a ferry to the beach is a pain.

Those are all of the hotels I've stayed in personally; can't speak to any others.
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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The budget was about $300 a night
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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February is high season, so the more posh hotels will be out of your range. I've heard good things about the Marriott Courtyard, on the beach, in Isla Verde. (The Marriott Stellaris might be within range as well.) If you're interested in the El Con, you might be able to get it on Priceline (I got it once, over President's weekend, for $99/night -- at which price a broom closet would have made me happy! But I actually got a decent oceanview room in the Las Olas section.)
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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What are the more posh hotels
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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Actually, even though February is high season, $300/night should be enough to get you into almost any hotel in Puerto Rico. For instance, I just plugged in to Expedia Feb 9-13 and you can get a room at La Casitas Villages (at El Conquiostador) for $247.

Hotels in the San Juan area that I know hav been updated recently include: Condado Plaza, El San Juan Hotel, and The Renaissance (built a few years ago). I believe El Conquistador has also been renovated recently but I am not 100% sure. What are you looking for? El Conquistador and the Wyndham Rio Mar are large self contained resorts a good distance from Old San Juan. Do you want the seclusion? Or do you want easy access to Old San Juan and lots of dining options?

(Horned Dorest Primavera in Rincon will be outside your budget and the Ritz Carlton in San Juan might also be just outside the $300/night).
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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We will be there 5 nights. We were going to spend one day in Old San Juan and one day going to the rain forest. The other days were open but probably will be spent at the beach/pool. My wife will probably want to do some shopping as well. I will be the chauffer/bag carrier. I don't mind driving if the traffic is not too bad.

The Ritz Carlton was about $600 a night when I checked.
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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I would have to agree that every single property I got interested in had issues of one sort or another. We will be going after the Christmas Holiday but still close enough that no hotel is at their best. We decided on El Convento (and now I find out it is under construction) and Las Casitas. I would look at Las Casitas over El Conquistador which really has some bad reviews. But all in all I'm not sure I really found what I was looking for. And all the resort fees etc, take the rates really high for hotels with so many issues. Good Luck.
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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We went to Puerto Rico last year and loved it. Now I will be honest, I could only handle San Juan for a day or two. See the fort, drive around and see the old area (Stay away from La Perla), and then spend the rest of your time somewhere else on the island. We went to Fajardo (though I have also heard Ponce is very nice). We loved Fajardo. We stayed at El Conquistador - had absolutely no problems at all. It is a gorgeous resort with really nice amenities. You do have to take the ferry to the private island to enjoy the beach. The trade off of staying at a place where you have to take a ferry to the beach are the FABULOUS views. It is a cliff side resort so you can see forever, and it is gorgeous! And the ferry ride was fun to us, not long at all. The private island is amazing, the water is crystal clear , the sand is soft and white. We loved it. The pools at El Conquistador are very nice, clean and big. In Fajardo you can also kayak the bioluminescent bay and you can take a day trip to Vieques or Culebra Island. We chose Culebra. it was voted the most beautiful beach in the world in 2002, and I could definitely see why. it was gorgeous! The ferry ride was there made me a little sea sick, but my other four family members did fine. It looked like Giligans Island to me! Take a dramamine if you are prone to sea sickness, but definitely go! It's beautiful. I would also suggest that on the way from San Juan to Fajardo you stop off at the rain forest. It is really something to see! And stop at the kiosks at Luquillo beach and have lunch. the kiosks looked a little scary, but it was really a fun stop, and the food was great. We ate at #23. The lady who runs it was the sweetest person we met the entire trip. You will love Puerto Rico if you don't stay in San Juan the whole time (No offense San Juan, I just prefer a tropical vacation and San Juan is a busy city). At El Conquistador the pizza by the pool is really good, cheapest meal there and my personal favorite. Also, if you can get your breakfast worked into the price of your room you will be glad you did Have fun!
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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One more thing,,,fill up before you leave San Juan and fill up before you leave Fajardo. It's harder to find gas stations in Puerto Rico than it is at home.
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Old Dec 16th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Thank you all for the advice.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 04:51 AM
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Hi Marsha,
Did you rent a car when you were in PR?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Our advice? Speaking non-bias. Be CAREFUL. Read in USA Today Newspaper of a paradiseno.com Link so you can see for yourself if you like: http://www.paradiseno.com There is murder everywhere in Vieques. I read it was land of alcoholics on the run from the usa. WE saw the bio bay and we were held up going back to our car last year. We have police report to prove it. Stay on the mainland! Any search will prove this. That's how we did. Enjoy! We are going to Antiqua next month. Any recent member trips have any input to safety there?
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Old Jan 24th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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I stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan for a couple of days. it was nice, clean, pool on roof, and casino on ground floor. I had no issues there. i had a room facing the water (view of cruise ship).

I also stayed at the Gran Melia. It was also nice and the grounds are expansive. It was close to Luquillo beach.
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