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wrigley32 Jan 15th, 2007 10:17 AM

San Juan - best place to stay for a couple nights?
My fiance & I are thinking about spending a few nights in San Juan before heading back to the U.S. from our honeymoon in Grenada.

I've read several of the posts and can't quite decide what sounds the best - we'd like to be near Old San Juan, but still on the beach. Some people have said Isla Verde is too far away and recommended Condado instead.

What are your thoughts? And specific hotels? Preferably less than $250/night.

Thanks in advance for your help!

ccrosner Jan 16th, 2007 01:37 AM

I don't know when you are going so budget is hard to know, but we enjoyed a brief stay at the Marriott Stellaris in Isla Verde last year. Nice rooms, great pool with swim up bar and a spot on the beach. If I recall it was about 10 to 15 minutes by cab to Old San Juan (farther than I had expected but not a problem).

I would guess that your stay in Puerto Rico would be much different than your time on Grenada--busier, louder, more crowded--but I did enjoy our stay there. Be sure to eat at the Parrot Club.

And congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Callaloo Jan 16th, 2007 03:24 AM

We typically overnight in San Juan after a trip to Grenada as well. Although I love the buzz of Old San Juan (and would stay at El Convento), we typically stay in Isla Verde -- I'm just not prepared to give up the beach! Besides,unless it's rush hour, it's only a few minutes' cab drive to OSJ.

Last time we stayed at the Ritz Carlton, which miiiight be in your budget depending on the season -- but be aware of the approx. 10% resort fee added to the room rate. We've also stayed at the Water Club, which might fit the bill.

ejcrowe Jan 16th, 2007 04:17 AM

We spent one night in old San Juan last year on the way home from a different island and we plan to do it again on the way home from Grenada in May.

We actually enjoy being in the middle of Old San Juan because we feel it eases the transition of laid-back Grenada with the faster pace of our real lives. we stayed at El Convento last year and if we can get the same good rate wil do it again in May.

Also, we just spend one night in town. Coming from Grenada, we arrive so early in the day and with our departing flight to the east coast the next day, it's more like a full day and a half which is the perfect amount for us. Otherwise we would just be wishing ourselves back in Grenada for an extra night!

There are so many things to see in OSJ--museums, art galleries, shops (both high end and *extremely* tacky), architecture, plus the pier and all of the people watching. We were only there for one night and didn't miss the beach at all. El Convento is a beautiful, charming, and historical place to stay.

tom42 Jan 16th, 2007 09:08 AM

just an fyi - the Marriott Stellaris is in Condado, not Isla Verde.

juliaelzie Jan 16th, 2007 10:36 AM

Have you looked into El Convento? It is a former convent, located in Old San Juan, very historic and romantic!

Best Regards,

wrigley32 Jan 17th, 2007 12:12 PM

okay - so the fiance wants to be in the city. after 10 days on the beaches of grenada, i think that's okay. and it should be a good transition back to chicago!!!

if i can afford el convento, it sounds fabulous!!! thanks so much for your advice everyone!

MIM04 Jan 17th, 2007 12:52 PM

Yes definitely el convento, even if you have to cut out a nicer dinner along the way. I think OSJ would be a perfect end to your honeymoon. Plus the rates include unlimited coffee, tea, bottled water (in your room) and managers reception. Most manager's receptions are really lame. This one has good wine, drinks and cheese / crackers / grapes, etc. on the terrace. We stay there for 5 days last month and went to this each night (which normally I would never do) but it was really nice, because of this we ate pretty small dinners so they were not too expensive. Plus we were not starving so we were able to eat later than we would at home. Many of the restaurants in OSJ are tapas style so they serve smaller portions anyway. Considering the ambiance of the hotel its worth every penny.
Have a fantastic time! :)

Curt Jan 17th, 2007 01:00 PM

Unless your heart is set on being in the city I could suggest the Westin Rio Mar - very nice resort on nice stretch of beach but about 30-40 minutes from downtown San Juan.

LA_FadeAway Jan 17th, 2007 03:41 PM

Just as an FYI, you can get amazing deals through Priceline for the Marriott and Hilton in San Juan. Rooms go from about $70/nt - $125/nt on there all the time.

marbleheadguy Jan 19th, 2007 04:12 PM

Stay at Caribe Hilton where J Lo and Marc Anthony do---beach-romatic and secluded.


Nomandie Hotel...

Condado is across the bridge.

wrigley32 Feb 5th, 2007 02:43 PM

thanks so much for your advice, everyone! we have made reservations at el convento (my fiance wants to stay in the city) and are very excited about it!!!

MIM04 Feb 5th, 2007 04:27 PM

You will LOVE it. El Convento is the best! Have a great trip. :)

Bob_Dobbs Feb 6th, 2007 07:28 AM

I like Coral Princess Inn. It is in condado and is a boutique hotel across the street from the Marriott and the beach. It is very nice with marble baths and is only 3-4 years old (post renovation). They have a great website.

I like ajili mojili for a restaurant. They have great puerto rican food. Also, try Yerba Buena for good cuban-style food and great Mojitos. Parrot Club can be amazing, but it is kind of pricey and the quality from night to night can fluctuate quite a bit.

Can't go wrong with the Marriott if the price is good.

wrigley32 Feb 6th, 2007 07:39 AM

ooh - love mojitos! thanks for the recommendations, bob!

tom42 Feb 6th, 2007 10:04 AM

Sounds like fun. Try Dragonfly for dinner in Old San Juan. Very cool and good food.

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