Recently, I ‘ve been asked the same question over and over again: “Where should I stay if I go to Puerto Rico?” Since I was writing so many emails on the topic, I decided to create a post with some of the information that I’ve shared with friends and family. I’ve stayed in hotels in from west to east: Mayagüez, Dorado, Condado, Isla Verde, and Rio Grande and I’ve lived in apartments in Condado and Hato Rey.
Here are my opinions, based on archives of emails:
I’ve either stayed at or done business at the Caribe Hilton (very nice!), the La Concha (also nice!), and the Conrad Condado Plaza — this is ok. The prices can be expensive depending on the time of year that you travel. I’ve seen the lowest rates in September and October. These hotels have lots of taxes … room tax, resort tax, etc.
If you want a nice hotel to relax in, chill out in, etc., then you may have to spend some $$, and consider the La Concha or the Caribe. The Caribe is a resort, so there is a resort fee, but it is worth it. There are restaurants within the hotel, it has its own beach, and you can get to old San Juan via taxi for less than $15.
The La Concha is great if you like the beach because you will have plenty of beach to enjoy! The La Concha is a Marriott property which is more expensive, but it is beautiful. http://www.laconcharesort.com/. The beach is peaceful and nearly endless. There are also many restaurants within walking distance, a Walgreens, and lots of shops. Taxi rides to Old San Juan are cheap — $12-$15. If you feel adventurous, you can walk, but it will take about 45 mins – 1 hour.
If you just want a clean spot to lay your head and you don’t care about the view because you’re going to go out daily or go to the beach every day, then you can go to the super-cheap, but clean Holiday Inn Express in Condado, or the Comfort Inn San Juan. The Holiday Inn Express is around the corner from the La Concha, the beach, the shops, etc. It is about $137 now, and can get down to $119, maybe lower. It includes continental breakfast. Parking is tough though because these hotels, right next to each other, are in a residential apartment neighborhood. I’ve lived near both of them in an apartment.
Lots of people like staying in Condado for the convenience … close to Old San Juan, close to food, close to the beach!
I’ve stayed in Dorado (Embassy Suites), that’s nice if you want seclusion. It is in the middle of the Island. I’ve also stayed in Rio Mar, on the East side of the Island, it is also nice … but isolated which is nice if you don’t want to go anywhere except the hotel. The hotel (Wyndham Rio Mar) is beautiful.
The hotel at Fajardo is very nice, but again, it’s good for isolation and relaxation. I’ve eaten there, but haven’t stayed there. I’ve been to an event at the Ritz Carlton, and I can tell you that the food is good and that the hotel is simply gorgeous, but I haven’t stayed there. I like Condado because I can walk to get what I need. I’m 4 minutes from the beach, 7 minutes to Walmart, and 20 minutes to the grocery store … all on foot.
Are you looking for absolute quiet? If so, Condado may not be the place because it can get active — Island version of city living. the Caribe Hilton is quieter, but close to Condado, you can still cross the bridge on foot to get to shops, and Old San Juan is still close … a long walk or short cab ride.
I’m not a casino person and prefer beaches to pools. My favorite hotel for value and amenities is the Caribe Hilton. I’ll post some of my favorite pictures of this hotel in another post when I have more time.