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San Juan Isn’t Just For Lovers

April 26th, 2012 · No Brilliant Opinions · International Travel, Travel Tips

It’s such a dreary, cold day in NYC.  I’m wearing a turtleneck sweater *shakes head* .  Just a mere 2 weeks ago I was enjoying 85+ degree weather in Puerto Rico.  After leaving Vieques (cue sad trombone) we headed to San Juan for a few days of citified fun.

Kite flying at El Morro

This was the first time family trip to Puerto Rico.   San Juan became one of my favorite destinations after I flew there for a destination wedding several years ago.   I have also flown down to Puerto Rico solo for vacation.  When in San Juan, I usually stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in Isla Verde. It’s on the beach, has a casino and is 3 miles from the airport.  They even provide massages on the beach.  I was in search of a suite and none were available at the Intercontinental.

 We ended up staying at the San Juan Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino.  I’m not giving it a ringing endorsement. Check-in was at 4 pm and I think I got the room key at 3:55.  Granted we arrived a bit early but deep down inside I felt they were just being mean.  The room was large and very clean but it was not a suite.  When I complained I was told I could upgrade to the Presidential suite for an extra $200/night.  There was one bathroom – which could only be accessed via the master bedroom. The kids had a sleep sofa – which didn’t bother me – but the lack of privacy did.  Lets say I want to have a little Mommy/Big P time – oh wait – someone has to enter my bedroom to use the potty.  I was not digging the Marriot.  But if you’re a nun or a monk you may love it!

What did I like about the Marriot?  The oceanview balcony was great. (The beach looked beautiful but the water is rough. Kids may like it but not nervous mothers.)  I also got in a workout at the gym which was spacious and clean.  Would I stay there again? Hell no!

Since I had Big P and the kids in tow, I kicked into mommy concierge mode.  “Lets see the rainforest and explore Old San Juan.”    OMG – how could I have been to Puerto Rico twice before and missed these gems? ( Girlfriends + Pina Colada= No sightseeing!)  While we explored the old castles in San Juan, I mentioned to my daughter that although I didn’t know much about Puerto Rican history – these castles, the huge stonework – spelled slave labor and the evils of colonialism.  My daughter turned to me and said, “Stop being a Debbie-Downer.”

If you haven’t been to Puerto Rico – Just.Do.It.   I know in another life I was Puerto Rican.  I must have done something pretty darn awful to end up in NYC.  Oh and to my peeps at the Marriott Stellaris, I think you should use the title of this post for your advertisements#justsaying.

Has a hotel ever sucked the romance out of your vacation?


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