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About Puerto Rico
People come to Puerto Rico to do anything and everything, from relaxing to exploring to learning. And surfing. And the best places to stay in Puerto Rico reflect this diversity of travellers perfectly.
A U.S. Commonwealth territory, Puerto Rico was one of the earliest sources of Caribbean island daydreams. Bigger than its neighbours, so a bit easier to travel to, Puerto Rico has the beautiful stretches of white sand, tropical interior and a dramatic colonial history that gives it kick as well as colour.
Puerto Rico has some of the Caribbean's wettest and driest forests, which are home to some of the world's rarest birdlife. But it's also got San Juan, a congested capital of condos, casinos and beautiful colonial architecture - which is actually one of the oldest European-founded settlements in the Americas.
One of the glories of Puerto Rico's cities, towns and villages is their Puerto Rican-ness in the face of an invasion of the high street stalwarts of mainland America. This country has seen Spanish invasion, dramatic revolutionaries, the growth of the free market and plenty of cannon fire. And yet its own colours still shine through the layers of invader cultures.
Of course most people are here for the beaches. A number for the incredible surfing conditions, some for the golf, or horseback riding and some for the diving and snorkelling on Puerto Rico's impressive coral reefs.
One of the great, often unexpected sights of Puerto Rico are the bioluminescent bays, which glow wonderfully at night - best seen by kayak on a moonlit night.
The Hotel Guru's picks of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico offer something for everyone, whether you're here to soak up the culture in San Juan's old town or to explore one of its lesser known islands (Culebra and Vieques to name but two) off the eastern coast.
For a beach break
- Copamarina Beach Resort on the island's south coast is a beautiful, mid-size beach resort. It's large enough to have two outdoor pools, a spa and gym and its own watersports centre. But it's small enough to feel friendly. And it's great for kids.
- Parador Villa Parguera is a friendly, good value, beachside hotel with classic Caribbean features like bamboo furniture and sea-views, in a laid-back spot on the island's south coast. The 74 rooms start from just £59 per night.
- The W Retreat on Vieques Island is a gorgeous, five star, 15 room beach resort with bright, contemporary decor and every activity you could wish for. Including a library and superb Puerto Rican menu.
For a city break
- The Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico in San Juan offers five star luxury right on the beach. There are also resort style facilities, like pools and tennis courts and several restaurants and bars. Certainly one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico if you want to do San Juan in style.
- El Convento is one of San Juan's most regal hotels, with opulent, colonial style decor set in a converted palacio in Old San Juan, and an excellent tapas menu.
- San Juan's Hotel Milano is a charming old hotel offering colourful rooms and a rooftop terrace with spectacular city views. It's also well located for the main sights, and for the nightlife of San Juan. And it's very reasonable, so great for groups.
- Hix island House on peaceful Vieques Island is a square, granite affair with slick decor and outdoor showers surrounded by jungle. Stunning and secluded, these 19 rooms also have their own full kitchens, so you can hideaway from everyone if you so choose.
- Club Seabourne also offers tropical island peace, this time on Culebra Island. This collection of 12 rooms and suites is 3kms from the main town, but just a stone's throw from the beach. The hotel itself is surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens and there's a dynamic Caribbean restaurant.
For great value
- The Dreamcatcher Guest House is an eclectic property close to the coast in San Juan. Rooms are filled with vintage treasures, the terraces are hung with hammocks and there's yoga classes on site. It's also very friendly and great value, starting from only £49 per night.
- The Canario Boutique Hotel is also close to the beach in San Juan. An intimate B&B with simple, Spanish style rooms, the Canario is also close to all San Juan's main attractions.
- If you're looking for a reasonably priced rural escape, then try the Hacienda Gripinas, a charming hotel in the mountains, converted from an old coffee plantation. Rooms start from £55 per night.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Puerto Rico, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively widen the net by checking out all our Caribbean recommendations.
Best Hotels in Puerto Rico
La Jamaca 13 rooms from $73Colinas La Parguer, Puerto Rico
Contemporary hotel. Rooms have wooden beam ceilings, modern furnishings and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool, garden and terrace. Great regional small dishes from restaurant, and low-key bar. Perfect base to explore the beaches from.Beach Life - Tropical outdoor pool, chic contemporary rooms, and close to all the region's beautiful beachesSights nearby - Playa Sucia and Cabo Rojo LighthouseGreat walks - Along Cabo RojoSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Hotel Belgica 20 rooms from $75Puerto Rico
Family owned, charming city B&B in the heart of Ponce's historic district. Elegant rooms have tiled floors and wrought iron furniture, some with balconies. Excellent location and value.City Style - Just minutes from the city's hot spots, and with charming sunny terraces, an ideal spotSights nearby - Catedral Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe; Parque de BombasGreat walks - To Paseo Tablado La Guancha (La Guancha Boardwalk)Local markets - Good for local colour.
Wildflowers Guest House 8 rooms from $75Puerto Rico
Welcoming guesthouse in Mayagüez. Large rooms have dark wood furniture, private bathrooms, balconies and some kitchen facilities. Great base for exploring the surrounding area as well as the beaches. A good value choice for younger groups.Local exploring - Perfect for younger groups to explore the island's third largest city from, and close enough to beaches for day trippersSights nearby - Cabo Rojo Lighthouse
Dreamcatcher Guest House 10 rooms from $79San Juan, Puerto Rico
Eclectic guesthouse close to the beach. Rooms are filled with vintage furnishings, hammocks and terraces. Yoga and meditation classes held in hotel; excellent vegetarian breakfasts. Bohemian, friendly and laid-back.Groups - Eco hotel with focus on vegetarian food and meditation classes, ideal for younger groups to explore city fromLocal markets - In Old San Juan, a ten minute driveFull of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Frommers
Hacienda Gripinas from $89Puerto Rico
Charming hacienda in the mountains. Rooms are elegant with antiques, wooden floors and large verandahs. Outdoor pool, manicured lawns, terrace. Vintage decor in the restaurant, serving excellent regional dishes. Secluded, historic and friendly.Hideaway - Hidden away in a coffee plantation. The Hacienda offers an old world feel with rocking chairs and friendly serviceGreat walks - In nearby Dona Juana parkSights nearby - Museo del CemíSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Canario Boutique Hotel 25 rooms from $95San Juan, Puerto Rico
Intimate B&B close to the beach. Simple rooms have Spanish style furniture and large bathrooms. Sit out terrace and elegant lobby lounge. Excellent value and location.Local exploring - Great value hotel, with easy access to all of the city's sights and historic old town, as well as beachesSurfing - World-class surfing at Rincón, Puerto RicoGreat walks - 'La Ventana al Mar' ocean front parkSights nearby - Museo de Arte de Puerto RicoRecommended by - Frommers
Hotel Milano 30 rooms from $95San Juan, Puerto Rico
Charming hotel in old town. Rooms feature colourful prints and tiled bathrooms. Rooftop terrace with city views. Good international cuisine in the restaurant. Great choice for younger groups to explore the city. Excellent value for money.Local exploring - Perfect location to see the historic sights, plus enjoy the restaurants and buzzy nightlifeGreat walks - Historical and art walking tours of Old San Juan can be arrangedSights nearby - El Morro and San CristobalRecommended by - Frommers
Parador Villa Parguera 74 rooms from $96Puerto Rico
Friendly beach side hotel. Rooms have sea-facing balconies, colourful prints and bamboo furniture. Outdoor pool, terrace, direct beach access. Laid back international cuisine in restaurant, outside bar. Relaxed, and a lovely choice for a great value seaside weekend.Beach Life - Ground floor rooms open onto the beach, and plenty of water sports available, as well as the lovely Cabo Rojo LighthouseSights nearby - Playa Sucia and Cabo Rojo LighthouseFishing - Nearby Puerto Real fishing villageDiving - With West Divers
Hosteria del mar 23 rooms from $99San Juan, Puerto Rico
Family friendly hotel on the beach. Spacious rooms have Balinese furniture, large bathrooms and some open right onto the sand. Great international cuisine at the beachfront hotel. Laid back atmosphere with plenty of attractions close by. Apartments are ideal for families.Families - Larger apartments have full kitchens and dining areas, beach on the doorstep with activities for all agesGreat walks - Through Barbosa ParkSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.On the beach - In front of the hotel.Recommended by - Fodors
Copamarina Beach Resort 106 rooms from $100Puerto Rico
Beautiful resort on the beach. Large rooms have plantation style shutters, bamboo furniture and verandahs. Two outdoor pools, gym, spa and water sports centre. Sublime Puerto Rican nouvelle cuisine and friendly beach bar. Low-key, idyllic and family friendly.Families - Excellent kids club, villas come with plenty of living space and kitchens, one child-friendly pool and spa for parentsDiving - At the Wall at Playa Santa, a continental shelf dropping more than 1,500 feet.Great walks - To Rio Camuy CavesSights nearby - Gilligan's IslandRecommended by - Fodors, Frommers
Cervantes Hotel 12 rooms from $147Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Elegant city hotel. The contemporary rooms are in cream, with Puerto Rican artworks and lovely balconies. Outstanding gourmet menu in the popular restaurant. Chic, boutique and intimate.Local exploring - Ideal location to explore the old town, with the port close by. Art galleries and historic features galoreLocal markets - Arts and crafts, and you can find plenty of options in Old San JuanSights nearby - Castillo de San Cristóbal, El Morro and La FortalezaDesigner - Contemporary luxury designed by Nono MaldonadoRecommended by - Frommers
Hacienda Moyano 4 rooms from $125Naguabo, Puerto Rico
Friendly self-catering apartments on the edge of the El Yunque National Forest. Rooms have tiled floors, colourful furnishings and modern kitchens. Outdoor pool and seating areas, garden and sun terrace. Ideal for groups, and a real sense of seclusion within the beautiful park.Great walks - Through El Yunque National ForestSights nearby - La Mina Falls and La Coca FallsDiving - From nearby Luqillo beachSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Hix island House 19 rooms from $135Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Granite hotel within tropical trees on Vieques Island. Rooms are contemporary with slick lines, chic bathrooms, full kitchens and outdoor showers. Outdoor pool, yoga terrace and abundance of lush jungle surrounds. Stunning, intimate and secluded.Hideaway - Set within lush jungle foliage, with outdoor showers, huge terraces and open wallsGreat walks - Through surrounding 13-acre natural refuge of native trees, tall grasses, birds and butterfliesSights nearby - Island Adventures offers trips to bioluminescent bayViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Fodors
The Gallery Inn 20 rooms from $135Puerto Rico
Boutique hotel within historic mansion. Rooms are filled with antiques, tapestries, four poster beds and artworks. Outdoor pool, leafy courtyards and roof terrace. Superb Tapas cuisine in opulent dining room. Quirky and full of character with excellent service.Romantic Break - Eclectic mix of antiques, tapestries and courtyards in this boutique and romantic hotel in 200 year old mansionGreat walks - From the hotel's Beach House in La PerlaSights nearby - Castillo de San CristobalFull of characterRecommended by - Fodors, Frommers
Water Beach Club 78 rooms from $149San Juan, Puerto Rico
Contemporary hotel on the beach. Rooms have minimalist furniture, enormous windows and ipod docks. Roof terrace with outdoor pool. Gym and direct beach access. Excellent modern Spanish cuisine, trendy cocktail bar. Modern, chic and perfect for younger couples.Romantic Break - Slick decor, swimming pool and roof terrace with outstanding views, beach a few minutes away and romantic dining tooLocal markets - In Old San Juan, 15 minutes awaySights nearby - Jose Miguel Agrelot ColiseumGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Fodors
Crow's Nest 17 rooms from $153Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Charming rural B&B with fabulous views. Rooms have wooden shutters, colourful lounges, and full kitchens. Outdoor pool and terraces surrounded by pink bougainvillea. Family-friendly, secluded and good value.Families - Large living areas and full kitchens, outdoor pool and plenty of outdoor fun nearbyGreat walks - Around Fort Conde de Mirasol and Isabel Segunda HarborSights nearby - Bioluminescent BayViews - Great views from hotel
Olive Boutique Hotel 15 rooms from $160San Juan, Puerto Rico
Opulent 5* hotel by the lagoon. Elegant rooms have enormous spa showers, sleigh beds and antique touches. Roof terrace, outdoor plunge pool, spa treatments available. Sublime pan-Mediterranean cuisine, atmospheric bar lounge. Grown-up, chic and very romantic.Romantic Break - Adults only hotel with spa showers, roof terrace to enjoy champagne, plunge pool and superb cuisineSights nearby - Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and Plaza del MercadoLocal markets - 10-minute drive from San Juan’s Old TownRestrictions on children - Over-18s hotelRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet, Frommers
El Convento 58 rooms from $165San Juan, Puerto Rico
Regal hotel in Old San Juan district. Decor is opulent and colonial with Andalusian floor tiles, mahogany furniture and enormous beds. Outdoor pool, gym, library and sun terrace. Both excellent gourmet and tapas menus, elegant bar. Luxurious, chic and historic.City Style - Walking distance to many of the city's sights, opulent interiors, pool, terrace and excellent diningSights nearby - San Cristobal FortressSailing - San Juan Nautical ClubFull of characterRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
Club Seabourne 12 rooms from $169Culebra, Puerto Rico
Chic hillside hotel on Culebra Island. Rooms are contemporary with sleigh beds, large private verandahs and white shutters. Outdoor pool, enormous tropical gardens, library and massages available. Dynamic Caribbean cuisine in outdoor restaurant. Stylish, quiet and boutique.Hideaway - Hammocks within the tropical gardens, individual villas for real sense of privacy, easy access to nearby white beachesLocal markets - 3 km from Culebra Pueblo town centreSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Blue Horizon Boutique Hotel 10 rooms from $250Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Plantation style hotel on the beach. Decor is Caribbean with mahogany four posters, colourful walls and antiques. Outdoor pool, gym, spa treatments, tennis courts and garden. Great Caribbean cuisine in ambient restaurant. A grown-up boutique hideaway.Beach Life - Stunning ocean views, plantation decor, vast sun terraces and white sands on the doorstepGreat walks - Along Black Sand Beach, Sun Bay, and Media Luna BeachSights nearby - Faro Punta Mula, a Spanish-built lighthouseRestrictions on children - Children over 16 welcomeRecommended by - Fodors
Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico 416 rooms from $269San Juan, Puerto Rico
Luxurious 5* hotel on the beach. Creamy rooms have silk furnishings, marble bathrooms, contemporary furniture. Outdoor pool, beach access, tennis courts, gym, spa and full casino. Outstanding Italian, Tapas and American cuisine; elegant bar. Opulent, exclusive and idyllic.Beach Life - Hotel leads right onto the white sand beach, with pool close by, and palm trees keeping you company alongside superb serviceRomantic Break - Superb beach side pool, excellent spa with couples' treatments, romantic creamy bedrooms and dining for twoKids Club - Supervised activities for children from 5-12 years.Local markets - In Historic Old San JuanRecommended by - Fodors
W Retreat 15 rooms from $399Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Gorgeous 5* resort on the beach. Decor is contemporary, with muted furnishings and colourful details; enormous bathrooms and sundecks. Outdoor pool, gym, spa, tennis courts, library and private beach. Superb Puerto Rican menu using local grown produce. Luxurious, chic and cool.Beach Life - Every activity you could wish for is available, as well as turquoise pool & white sand beach with full hotel serviceRomantic Break - Couples' spa treatments, romantic decor and enormous bathtubs in rooms, sunsets from poolside cabanasKayaking - With Black Beard SportsFull of characterRecommended by - Kiwi Collection, Fodors
Horned Dorset Primavera from $470Puerto Rico
Opulent beach front hotel. Rooms are decked in creamy marbles, mahogany furniture and private pools; larger suites have kitchens. Outdoor pool, yoga terrace, beach access, gym and spa treatments. Gourmet menu from the glamorous restaurant. Superb service, luxurious and chic.Romantic Break - Couples massage, sunset horse riding and private pools for ultimate seclusionDiving - Concierge can set you up with a local diving shop which provides trips to Desecheo Island for a day of world class divingLocal markets - Sunday morning is the Rincón Farmer’s MarketSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Fodors, Kiwi Collection