Very close to the airport, a boon for catching early/late flights
Bus stop in front of hotel gives easy access to Old San Juan
Some noise complaints of planes at adjacent airport
Car or taxi needed to access other areas of San Juan
Daily and valet parking is pricey
Guests complain dining feels overpriced
The upper-middle-range Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is a compact, high-energy property set on a beautiful, deep stretch of beach considered one of San Juan’s best. A 2016 overhaul has given its 260 rooms and suites a fresh new look with chic coastal elements that feel more "boutique" than "chain hotel." They also come with balconies, microwaves, and mini-fridges which guests appreciate. All windows are soundproofed, yet some guests are bothered by plane noise overhead -- the airport is virtually across the road. The Marriott crams in plenty of features with two 24-hour pools, a casino, a decent 24-hour fitness center, live entertainment, plus several dining and drinking options, although many find the food overpriced. Travelers looking for a beachfront location away from the airport could try the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.
A Marriott property -- overhauled in 2016 -- with an energetic pool scene and lovely beach
Still fresh from a full overhaul in 2016, this Marriott property packs in quite a lot between its pools, beachfront, casino, and multiple restaurants and bars. And while its grounds aren’t overcrowded, it certainly is a high-energy hotel, particularly given the pools are open 24 hours and the swim-up bar is open late. The beachfront is long, wide, and uncrowded with calm waters, great for swimming, and standing hammocks placed between palms. A seamless interaction between resort grounds and the beach effectively makes the property seem larger. Relaxed bar and lounge seating spill outside and onto the beachfront, where guests sip on cocktails, read books, and work on laptops beneath shade umbrellas. The crowd here is mixed -- couples of all ages, some business travelers, and families. Adjoining freeform pools, set just off the beach, are surrounded by landscaped gardens and lush tropical palms like a pretty little oasis. Marring this perfect resort scene is the regular roar of planes taking off overhead, a given as the hotel is incredibly close to the airport, but it's an interference most guests easily ignore.
On the beach in Isla Verde, just a few minutes from the airport
The hotel sits right on one of Isla Verde's famous wide, white-sand beaches. It's also blocks away from Isla Verde Avenue, the neighborhood's main thoroughfare. This boulevard, lined with luxury hotels and numerous restaurants, takes guests straight to the glitzy Condado area and historic Old San Juan to the west; and to Juan Munoz Marin International Airport to the east. Guests can reach Condado in around 10 minutes by car, while it’s 13 minutes to Old San Juan, and just three minutes to Luis Munoz International Airport.
Chic, coastal-inspired rooms with microwaves, coffeemakers, iPod docks, and balconies
The Marriott’s rooms come as a pleasant surprise -- there’s nothing chain hotel-like about them. Thanks to a 2016 renovation, they've been revamped as fresh, contemporary, and boutique hotel-esque, with coastal inspired hues and decor. Soft grays, deep ocean blue, and bold pops of aqua are simultaneously modern and beachy. Clean-lined furniture, including sleek cabinets concealing microwaves and mini-fridges, also feel refreshingly stylish. Rooms are also nicely sized, especially suites, with huge open-plan layouts. Amenities include coffeemakers, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, safes, irons, ironing boards, and extra blankets. Plenty of plug outlets also come in handy.
Bathrooms are just as stylish, with full-width granite vanities, rectangular sink basins, shower/tub combos, and mosaic tiling detail framing huge mirrors. Hairdryers and a small selection of individual toiletries come standard.
All rooms step onto private balconies -- and those with ocean views take in sweeping vistas of the water. With sliding doors open, the roar of planes taking off can be heard, but the glass is double-glazed which blocks the noise incredibly well. However, some guests are still bothered by it.
A choice of eateries, two pools, a fitness center, a casino, and a beautiful beach
The Marriott's beach is far and away its top highlight setting the tone for the property as a whole and giving a spot for guests to relax in hammocks. Just off the beach sits the two 24-hour pools and a whirlpool that sit side by side. A swim-up bar and grill fuels swimmers late into the evening. Plans for a new sundeck were also in the works during our visit.
There’s a choice of on-site dining options catering to guests. Open for lunch and dinner, Sirena focuses on seafood with outdoor terrace seating and a tapas/cocktail area. There’s also Papaya Oceanfront Grill -- poolside eatery and swim-up bar; Picante Lounge -- cocktails and live music in the lobby; and Bananas Café -- a casual snacks option, also in the lobby. A range of breakfast options are available, for an additional fee, but guests are treated to free welcome drink vouchers. An in-house casino is accessed through the lobby, too.
The Marriott offers a state-of-the-art fitness center open 24 hours, which is a boon for anyone looking to maintain their workout routine. It’s a good size and equipped with plenty of cardio and weight-training equipment. Other perks include free Wi-Fi, coin-operated laundry machines, and self or valet parking -- though extra charges apply.
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