Take a look at the best all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Rico.
This upscale 392-room holiday complex makes an immediate memorable impression, with its wave-like architecture and colorful, quirky decor and murals. Sitting atop a terraced cliff and offering sweeping views, the Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel has two infinity pools and a 20,00 square-foot spa with a range of hydrotherapy treatments, and a fitness center. Rooms are spacious, and all but a few have views of the sea. The all-inclusive option, which some guests say is impractical and confusing, is not mandatory, and the town of Puerto Rico, which offers many other eating choices, is less than a five-minute drive away. Or, guests can take the glass lift down the cliff to the promenade -- though this isn't an option at night.
The ClubHotel Riu Vistamar is an all-inclusive, 475-room family-focused, mid-range resort perched on a cliff top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Puerto Rico Bay. The cliff that provides those stunning panoramas can mean lots of steps, although the hotel does provide a shuttle bus. Most of the rooms have sea views, but rooms and bathrooms, along with other parts of the resort, such as the lobby and bar, look dated. Its all-inclusive rates are a good value, though -- but that means crowds in the summer and at other peak times.
The Revoli Aparthotel is an upper-mid-range, 181-apartment property built near the bottom of the mountainside that overlooks Puerto Rico Bay. Its bottom of the hill location means easy access to Puerto Rico's town center and the sandy beach, though this also means the views aren't as spectacular as they are from other hotels higher up. Most of the clean, modern apartments have balconies with views of the sea. They all come with kitchenettes -- but Wi-Fi and TV usage cost extra. While the Revoli is a decent choice, there are less-expensive hotels in the area with about the same level of services, so travelers might want to compare rates with the Hotel Riosol or ClubHotel Riu Vistamar.
The 90-unit Altamadores Apartamentos clings to the side of a steep valley looking toward the sea, which gives every patio, terrace, and guest-room balcony an unobstructed panoramic view of the island and the water beyond. The apartments and grounds are unpretentious and extremely well-maintained, with plenty of space for quiet relaxation and a wide variety of planned activities for more energetic vacationers. However, decor is stark and the hotel lacks amenities such as a fitness center. The Altamadores has a large number of repeat customers, which is always a good sign.
The 116-unit, mid-range Eden Apartments was built in 1986. Everything is clean, but the hotel needs an update and though it feels and looks like a budget property, prices can be high. The Eden offers basic one- and two-bedroom apartments that sleep up to six. Decor is simple, but all apartments have kitchens and balconies or terraces. Guests have the option of all-inclusive, bed and breakfast, or self-catering. Guests remark that the buffet is unmemorable. The immediate area, on the outskirts of Puerto Rico, is nothing but hotels and mountainside, so stepping out for a meal requires a rental car. Therefore, foodies might want to stay elsewhere.
The Hotel Altamar is a 257-unit, mid-range apartment complex clinging to a mountainside with spectacular views of the sea and valley below. The whitewashed buildings, sunny terraces, stair-step architecture (and unlimited sangria) give the all-inclusive Altamar a laid-back, island holiday vibe, especially suited to families and large groups. Rooms, each with a big terrace, are large enough to accommodate longer stays. The bay beach is a 20-minute walk downhill, and Europa Center is a two-minute uphill climb. However, this budget property's common spaces and rooms may be clean, but could use an update; decor is minimal and stark.
This mid-range, reasonably priced, 387-unit apartment complex is perched on a steep hill that overlooks Puerto Rico Bay. The well-maintained property underwent a renovation in 2009, which added an adults-only terrace with whirlpools and daybeds -- a nice touch for this level of hotel. There's an outdoor pool complex, and playgrounds for children, though be aware that not all apartment units have sea views. An all-inclusive option is available, which can make the Servatur Aparthotel even more budget-friendly, but watch out for extra charges like Wi-Fi and use of the in-room safe.
The Colina Mar Apartments is a budget-friendly, 184-unit complex built in the late 1980s -- and it shows its age. The resort, though, is generally well-maintained, the staff is friendly, and the hilltop setting provides some stunning views. The apartments are basic, but come with kitchenettes and terraces. While the facilities are extensive, the pools do get crowded during the summer, and there's no fitness center or AC in the rooms. Bed-and-breakfast or half-board options are available, making this a particularly solid value option.
Guests would be hard-pressed to find cheaper accommodations than those at Nido el Aguila Lara Apartments, but facilities and amenities are thin and apartments are basic, though all include kitchenettes and terraces. An on-site mini-market is convenient and families appreciate the option to book all-inclusive meals at the hotel's restaurant and bar. The hotel is within walking distance to Europa Centre and there's a nearby bus stop bringing passengers to the beach is about five-minutes. Views from the pool are pretty but are far from the best in the area. A 2014 renovation could bring updated facilities and more amenities.