Puerto Rico Hotels › Historic Hotels
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Hotel El Convento

Hotel El Convento Rating: 4.0 Pearls

There is nothing quite like European-style El Convento in the medieval city of Old San Juan. It was a convent for 252 years, and today it's the neighborhood's principal upscale hotel, offering 58 elegant rooms and suites filled with Spanish antique treasures and modern amenities. Its history is present everywhere, from the exposed wood beams to the 350-year-old Nispero tree rising high above the romantic courtyard. A nightly wine and cheese reception takes place on the terrace, allowing guests (mostly couples) to mingle while overlooking views of San Juan Bay. The main restaurant offers al fresco fine dining in the courtyard; other features include the beautiful sun terrace and small outdoor pool. Service is a priority here, and it shows.
Hacienda Tamarindo

Hacienda Tamarindo Rating: 3.0 Pearls

This 17-room bed & breakfast on a secluded part of Vieques island, near the town of Esperanza, is owned by Vermont couple. It was decorated by the missus -- a former interior designer -- who keeps historic aspects in tact, like the nearly 270-year-old Tamarind tree at the center of the property. The New England influence is felt in the antique decor and the huge country-style breakfast portions (included in the price). An elegant outdoor pool is a point of pride for the mister with a pretty terrace and vistas of the ocean beyond. After a day in the sun, self-serve drinks can be prepared in the air-conditioned library for a low-key evening with only the sound of tree frogs as they sing their evening chorus. A car is recommended to get to beaches, and restaurants, as well as a grocery store for stocking in-room coolers (there are no mini-fridges).
The Gallery Inn

The Gallery Inn Rating: 3.0 Pearls

Owned by the same couple for decades, the historic Gallery Inn is run like an informal B&B -- guests are greeted by name, much of what the restaurant serves is grown in the garden, and no two rooms are the same (though they do share lots of Spanish-style charm). Also like a B&B, the hotel lacks amenities such as TVs and a fitness center. The property's main draws include the convenient Old San Juan location, ocean views from the wine deck, and the artsy, laid-back feel. The innkeepers are both artists, and it's evident they put thought into every detail of the restoration -- expect beautiful old-world details like brick floors, wood beam ceilings, rich rugs, sculptures, and antique knickknacks.
Villa Cofresi Hotel

Villa Cofresi Hotel Rating: 2.5 Pearls

This family-operated 111-room hotel opened in 1965 sits inches from Rincon Beach on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Today, four very involved siblings keep the family traditional going, attracting (no surprise here) other families with kids who run back and forth between the swimmable beach and outdoor pool. Grown-ups will likely love the adjacent and lively bar, and the indoor/outdoor restaurant serves gourmet cuisine including a standout Red Snapper. All rooms have mini-fridges while some units -- like the two-bedroom apartments -- have fully equipped kitchens. Decor throughout is clean, but in need of some updating. This may not be the best option for romantics, especially those staying in rooms close to the bar noise, but low-key wedding groups are common. Wi-Fi is free.
Hotel Plaza De Armas

Hotel Plaza De Armas Rating: 2.0 Pearls

This 52-room budget-friendly hotel -- a former Howard Johnson -- has just enough character to fit in with the Old San Juan's historic vibe. Rooms (many without windows) have basic wood furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and air-conditioning units. Suites facing the street have charming French doors that open up to cobblestone views. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby and atrium lounge (and will be in rooms soon, too). The hotel does not have a restaurant or bar, but a European-style bakery, Le Sucree, is next to the lobby offering espresso and homemade pastries. There's a free trolley and taxi stand out front, or ask the hotel about its recommended parking garage -- the cheapest in the district. Make sure to experience the 1920s elevator at least once, though stairs are quicker.


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  • Air Conditioner
  • Balcony
  • Business Center
  • Cabanas at Pool
  • Cable Television
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