Earlier this month Jose and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary! Traditionally, that calls for a gift made of cotton… Last year for our first one, I gave Jose a sold out, first edition, signed copy of a photo book he wanted; because the first year gift is paper –traditionally. Well, this year we threw tradition out the window and gave each other a mini vacation to Puerto Rico! My sister and brother-in-law joined us too and we had a blast. We pretty much had piña coladas and mojitos all day, every day!
Here’s a quick rundown of some highlights from San Juan:
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel: This was the Vanderbilt’s summer home… And, wow! What a home it must’ve been. There are many remains from its Art Deco past, so I was clearly inclined to stay there. Decor plays a huge part for me in deciding where I want to stay when I travel. We got an amazing deal on Booking, BTW! I also love the location on Ashford Avenue, which is like a mini version of Miami’s Ocean Drive. There’s even a beautiful architectural jewel of an apartment building called the Miami (see photos below). It’s only a five minute walk from the Condado Vanderbilt.
Caribe Hilton: Not necessarily a recommended hotel –I wouldn’t know because we didn’t stay there– but definitely a place to visit if you want to try an authentic Piña Colada. This is where it was invented!
El Hamburger: Local’s love this spot for a great burger and fries! It was packed. It’s situated right on the waterfront between Condado and Viejo San Juan. We parked our rental car at El Hamburger and walked off our meal all the way to Viejo San Juan. It can be difficult to find parking space there so we decided to walk from there, it was only about 15 minutes and there are some great government buildings along the way with interesting architecture.
Caficultura: a good cup of coffee in Viejo San Juan.
Collective Request: small but ultra cool little boutique with emerging designers and labels.
Concalma: another great little boutique founded by a RISD alumna, selling fair trade designer goods.
La Taberna del Lúpulo: Beer fans will want to stop by here for a drink!
La Mala Vida: Right across the street from Taberna del Lúpulo is another great little place for drinks and food.
Jose Enrique: This is THE place to eat in San Juan. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a table! It’s first come, first serve and the place was packed when we got there, with no available tables for the rest of the night.
La Casita Blanca: Another great place to eat Puerto Rican food.
Dorado Beach: A Ritz Carlton hotel and ultra posh beach resort; worth the short drive to take in the sights of the beautiful beachfront community, originally developed by a Rockefeller. There’s also a pretty good restaurant in the hotel: Mi Casa by José Andrés. Or, of course, you can also stay there if you want to splurge 🙂
Have any of you guys been to Puerto Rico? What were your favourite spots? I’ll be posting a second round-up soon, featuring our highlights from Vieques Island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, where we spent a few days during our trip.
Thanks for reading!