10 Best Hotels in San Juan
Luxurious oceanfront resorts, cool boutique hotels and historic retreats, San Juan boasts a diversity of accommodation options for every budget.
Following extensive renovations in the wake of Hurricane María, Puerto Rico is now home to some of the most modern, swanky and original hotels in the Caribbean. Whether you are looking for an amenity-rich family-friendly resort, a hip boutique hotel or an intimate colonial guest house, here are our top picks for the best hotels in San Juan.
Built in 1919 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, the Condado Vanderbilt is San Juan’s most historic hotel. It played host to heads of state, royalty and Hollywood glitterati for over a century. Impeccably restored in 2014, it stays true to its 1920s heyday. Plush, gilded furnishings and flamboyant decorative touches include a shark-filled aquarium in the Art Deco lobby. The vibe is bold and sophisticated, especially suited to couples looking to combine beach access with ample on-site amenities and swift access to the cultural attractions of San Juan.
Characterful rooms (starting at 300 sq. ft./28 sq. m) are richly appointed with period furnishings and marble bathrooms. There’s a 24-hour casino on-site, three swimming pools, a beach club and San Juan’s best spa. Myriad restaurant options include the famed 1919 restaurant helmed by Michelin star-rated Executive Chef Juan José Cuevas and the chic VC lounge with breathtaking Atlantic views.
A luxe beachfront retreat, the Fairmont stays brand-true, providing impeccable service and a surfeit of amenities. It’s located in Isla Verde, just 10 minutes from the airport. The hotel recalls its glamorous 1950s heyday when it hosted legends Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. In the lobby, the centerpiece oval chandelier—the third largest of its kind in the world—reflects the hotel’s iconic status. Following a complete renovation in 2018, public spaces exude polish and purpose—everything aims to dazzle and please. Families will appreciate the landscaped grounds with four pools equipped with sun lounges and luxury cabanas. At the 2-mile (3km) white sand beach which fronts the hotel, teens can try their hand at myriad watersports: kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing and hobie cats.
Tasteful, spacious rooms start at 445 feet (135m) and have ocean, pool or city views—rooms in the Grand Tower have a separate seating area. Generously proportioned pool-side villas feature marble bathrooms and have terraces and patios. There are five restaurants, including an outpost of the Miami-based Meat Market Steakhouse and casual, child-friendly fare the al fresco Aquarelle. There’s also a wine bar, rum bar and a laid-back beach bar/restaurant.
Within walking distance of Old San Juan, this classic resort—built in 1949 as the first Hilton outside the mainland U.S.—is renowned as the birthplace of the piña colada. A city landmark, instantly recognized by its iconic neon sign, the Caribe is fresh from a multi-million-dollar renovation. The hedonistic ‘50s verve has been traded in for a more family-centric vibe. With over 900 rooms, it’s a behemoth for sure, but 17 lush acres of gardens and ponds, several swimming pools, a (virtual) private beach and nine restaurants allow room to roam and relax. Well-appointed rooms are light and airy and offer a modern twist on the beachy theme with playful white on blue decor. Child-friendly amenities include a kids club, playground, sheltered beach, a roster of daily activities and children’s menus.
One of the first hotels built after Hurricane María, this stylish, adult-only oceanside retreat channels a breezy tropical vibe. Sleek white-on-white rooms are impeccable and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, ocean views, an array of well-conceived amenities and state-of-the-art technology. A laid-back Miami vibe radiates through the hotel’s high concept public spaces designed for lingering. The casual-chic restaurant SOCIAL specializes in international fusion dishes, while mixologists at the stylish lobby bar conjure inventive rum cocktails for guests lounging by the photogenic infinity pool. With just 96 rooms, the hotel cultivates a clubby ambience, and amenities are limited to a small gym and a boutique. At the epicenter of Condado, the location is hard to beat—everything is on your doorstep, including Next Surf Caffè, a craft cocktail bar from the owners of La Factoría (lauded as one of the “World’s 50 Best Bars”).
At the heart of Ocean Park—a short stroll from the beach—this immaculate boutique hotel combines a holistic, wellness concept with easy access to San Juan’s cultural attractions. An ethereal aura permeates every space with incense burning, dreamcatchers at every turn, and creative displays of indigenous artifacts and contemporary art works. Each of the 12 intimate, themed rooms (Poet, Gentleman and Muse, etc.) is bright, chic and tastefully appointed with crisp cotton sheets, natural furnishings and muted tones. Soul-satisfying, 100 percent vegetarian fare is served in the farmhouse-style restaurant with chef-driven, seasonally inspired menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offering yoga classes on the beach, bicycle rentals, snorkeling excursions and adventure tours, the hotel delivers an immersive lifestyle experience. Welcoming staff demonstrate superior attention to detail.
Housed in a beautiful colonial-style building in Old San Juan, this eclectic hotel offers character, comfort and convenience. Located on vibrant Calle Fortaleza—dotted with shops, bars and restaurants—the hotel’s lobby and restaurant are decorated with an artful fusion of contemporary artworks, antique furniture and Moroccan design tropes. Pristine rooms, starting at 170 feet (52m), range in size and decor but are all equipped with air conditioning and richly appointed with classic furnishings; superior rooms and suites are brighter and more spacious, and some have a terrace. Superior suites have a king size bed, balcony and second bedroom with twin beds. The sun deck is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset cocktail and take in sweeping views of Old San Juan and the San Cristóbal Fort.
Originally built in 1651 as a Carmelite convent, El Convento oozes history and style. Following a meticulous restoration in the 1960s, it was reborn as a luxury hotel and celebrity hideaway. It became the hotel of choice for visiting artists, writers and actors including Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote and Rita Hayworth. One of Latin America’s most historic hotels, the craftsmanship and detailing is exquisite—arched doorways, soaring ceilings and antique furnishings. Each of the 58 rooms affords views of either Old San Juan or the bay and marries a refined, traditional aura with contemporary élan. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and Bose radios. An array of onsite amenities include a small plunge pool, Jacuzzi and 24-hour fitness center. Helmed by renowned local chef Antonio Pérez, the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant Santísimo serves contemporary, locally sourced Puerto Rican cuisine. Guests mingle and exchange travel tales over complimentary wines and hors d’oeuvres served on the sun-soaked terrace.
An exquisite, adult-only haven overlooking Condado Lagoon, O:LV Fifty Five comprises a series of grown-up, chic spaces with an accent on high style and exclusivity. Swish rooms luxuriously decked out with marble, brass, leather and gold are appointed with bespoke furniture and artful decorative flourishes. The most coveted suites have balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows as well as generously proportioned spa bathrooms with soaking bathtubs and his and her sinks. The rooftop bar AYRA is a destination unto itself with dazzling views of Condado, expert mixology and a centerpiece DJ booth fashioned from a vintage Rolls Royce. Mario Pagán’s superb Asian-Caribbean fusion restaurant RAYA finds a suitably stylish home here on the first floor. The infinity-edge pool overlooking the lagoon is another masterpiece of style and substance.
In the historic kernel of Old San Juan, La Terraza de San Juan embodies 500 years of history. Spanning two artfully restored buildings and flanked by private residences, this welcoming boutique hotel immerses guests in the city’s authentic charms, history and culture. A paradigm of Spanish colonial architectural style and detailing, the lobby exudes old-world charm with crystal chandeliers, shuttered windows, hand-painted frescoes and checkerboard tiles floors. The impeccable attention to detail extends to the comfortable rooms which preserve the building’s historic integrity with quirky dimensions, exposed beamed ceilings and tiled floors. A home-from-home vibe is cultivated; guests meet and mingle on the inviting rooftop terrace which has a small infinity-style plunge pool and sweeping city panoramas.
The moment you enter this stunning hotel, you’ll understand why it made our list of best hotels in San Juan. Lauded as one of the best boutique hotels in the Americas, the design artfully blends European elegance and Caribbean exoticism. Decor was inspired by owners Loisse Herger and Fernando Davila’s vacation in Italy. Each of the 15 spacious suites are washed with a muted color palette and beautifully appointed with natural wood, high-spec details and playful stylings. Beds are piled with crisp linens and modern tiled bathrooms feature rainforest showers. Overtures to luxury and exclusivity abound, including plush robes, slippers, L’ Occitane bath products and Nespresso coffee makers. The larger suites feature separate living spaces, outside showers and large bathtubs. Local chef Mario Pagán helms the acclaimed onsite Italian restaurant Sage showcases freshly sourced ingredients. The hip rooftop is a popular venue for an aperitif overlooking the Condado nature preserve. For travelers looking for a stylish, intimate retreat at the center of everything, this is hard to beat.