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About San Juan

San Juan has two sides to it: the gracefully restored colonial capital and the more modern, easterly areas, with their glossy bars and boutiques and lively nightlife. The best places to stay in San Juan are spread through both, from beautiful old mansions to ultra modern beachside resorts.

San Juan is old. It was only the second European founded settlement in the Americans - built around 500 years ago on a little islet which guards its perfect natural harbour and lagoon. The historic part of town, Old San Juan is rich with centuries old architecture, starting with Spanish forts. The most famous are Heritage Listed "El Morro", El Castillo de San Cristobal and the Castillo de San Jeronimo, which repelled an attack from Sir Francis Drake in 1595.

One of the main jobs of ports was to trade, and San Juan's markets hark back fondly to these times, with an abundance of local produce. The Santurce Mercado is a fun, and delicious place to be at almost all hours of the day and night.

San Juan also has a number of fascinating museums.

As well as San Juan's wonderfully colourful history, and colourful culture (and nightlife), this city also has some near-perfect beaches. There are all kinds, from the exclusive stretches of white sand on Isla Verde to the party beaches at Condado. So whether you're here for culture or simply a beach break, the best places to stay in San Juan should satisfy all.

For a beach break

  • The Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico 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 San Jaun if you want to do Puerto Rico in style.
  • The Olive Boutique Hotel is another five stay property, this time opulent in design, and right by the lagoon. The hotel is adults only, and they have lots of fun touches like spa showers and sleigh beds. They also have a rooftop terrace and extensive spa.
  • The Water Beach Club is a very modern, even minimalist, hotel, right on the beach. Its windows are large and there's a fantastic roof terrace and a large pool. They also have a cocktail bar and a Spanish restaurant. Slick and trendy.

For a city break

  • The Gallery Inn is a boutique hotel converted from a beautiful, historic mansion. They've kept many of the antiques, tapestries and artworks, and this hotel has bags of character. There's also an excellent array of tapas on offer in the opulent dining room.
  • El Convento is one of San Juan's most regal hotels, with opulent, colonial style decor and an excellent tapas menu.
  • The Cervantes Hotel is an elegant hotel decorated in a contemporary style with Puerto Rican artworks. There are just 12 rooms, but the gourmet restaurant is very popular with local people too, so it feels quite buzzy in the evenings.
  • 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.

For great value

  • The Hosteria del Mar is a family friendly spot, right on the beach, offering a choice of rooms or apartments, complete with full kitchens and dining areas. The atmosphere is laid back and there's a beachfront bar and restaurant with great food.
  • Dreamcatcher Guest House is an eclectic property close to the coast. Rooms are filled with vintage treasures, the terraces are hung with hammocks and there's yoga classes on site. It's also great value, starting from only £49 per night.
  • The Canario Boutique Hotel is also close to the beach. An intimate B&B with simple, Spanish style rooms, the Canario is also close to all San Juan's main attractions.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in San Juan for you?

  1. Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in San Juan,
  2. expand your search to include the best places to stay in Puerto Rico,
  3. or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in San Juan

  • Hosteria del mar 23 rooms from £76

    San 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 ages
    Great walks  -  Through Barbosa Park
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
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  • Canario Boutique Hotel 25 rooms from £73

    San 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 beaches
    Surfing  -  World-class surfing at Rincón, Puerto Rico
    Great walks  -  'La Ventana al Mar' ocean front park
    Sights nearby  -  Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
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  • Dreamcatcher Guest House 10 rooms from £61

    San 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 from
    Local markets  -  In Old San Juan, a ten minute drive
    Full of character
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
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  • El Convento 58 rooms from £127

    San 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 dining
    Sights nearby  -  San Cristobal Fortress
    Sailing  -  San Juan Nautical Club
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
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  • Cervantes Hotel 12 rooms from £120

    Old 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 galore
    Local markets  -  Arts and crafts, and you can find plenty of options in Old San Juan
    Sights nearby  -  Castillo de San Cristóbal, El Morro and La Fortaleza
    Designer  -  Contemporary luxury designed by Nono Maldonado
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
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  • Hotel Milano 30 rooms from £73

    San 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 nightlife
    Great walks  -  Historical and art walking tours of Old San Juan can be arranged
    Sights nearby  -  El Morro and San Cristobal
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
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  • The Gallery Inn 20 rooms from £104

    Puerto 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 mansion
    Great walks  -  From the hotel's Beach House in La Perla
    Sights nearby  -  Castillo de San Cristobal
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers
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  • Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico 416 rooms from £207

    San 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 service
    Romantic Break  -  Superb beach side pool, excellent spa with couples' treatments, romantic creamy bedrooms and dining for two
    Kids Club  -  Supervised activities for children from 5-12 years.
    Local markets  -  In Historic Old San Juan
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
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  • Water Beach Club 78 rooms from £114

    San 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 too
    Local markets  -  In Old San Juan, 15 minutes away
    Sights nearby  -  Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
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  • Olive Boutique Hotel 15 rooms from £123

    San 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 cuisine
    Sights nearby  -  Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and Plaza del Mercado
    Local markets  -  10-minute drive from San Juan’s Old Town
    Restrictions on children  -  Over-18s hotel
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet, Frommers
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