Stunning white beaches and warm weather year-round make Puerto Rico a popular and excellent choice for travelers seeking an island getaway. After visiting the top hotels in Puerto Rico, we compared each to see how they stacked up — from the guest rooms to the restaurants and to the beach. So if you’re planning a beach trip and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our top beach hotel picks in Puerto Rico, and get inspired!
The 156-room W Retreat & Spa has a privileged home on Vieques Island's northern coast, well away from any other developments. This secluded luxury property has all of the W brand's trendy, funky twists, and the huge rooms blend boho inspiration with sexy accents like in-room tubs and private balconies. There's a multi-level infinity pool with underwater music, swish cabanas, as well as an indoor/outdoor restaurant and two private beaches. The price tag here matches the exclusive atmosphere, and a daily resort fee covers things like the private airport lounge and free Wi-Fi, but not breakfast.
El Conquistador's reputation tends to precede it. The 984-room cliff-side resort provides some of the most epic views in the Caribbean, and its modern, beach-chic rooms are bright and clean, with plush white bedding, balconies, and sleek, spaciousbathrooms. The hotel's beach is pristine and located on a private island (accessibly by a free ferry). But nightly rates are steep, and the remote location makes it hard for guests to venture off-site for cheaper dining and entertainment options. Guests that don't want to spend all of their time on property should consider renting a car.
The Villa Montana is a well-maintained, low-key property in the northwest corner of Puerto Rico. The rooms and villas are somewhat sparsely decorated, but decidedly nice with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, comfortable bedding and large patios orbalconies. There's plenty of surrounding nature, attractive outdoor pools, and a gorgeous secluded private beach on this 30-acre property. Just keep in mind that while there's plenty of nearby outdoor activity, there is very little to do in the area at night.
The ultra-luxurious St. Regis boasts top-notch amenities, including a gorgeous spa, a huge free-form pool, an outstandingrestaurant, and an exceptional golf course. The rooms are large and decorated with care -- exposed wood beams, big modernbathrooms, and large furnished terraces. It's pretty secluded, at the foot of El Yunque National Forest, which is a plus for some and a minus for others. Also, the beach is not the best in the region, but it's still pleasant and not crowded at all.
The 106-room Copamarina Beach Resort is an upper-middle-range property located along a half-mile stretch of white sand on Puerto Rico's southwestern coast. This peaceful property is reached via a serpentine road, and the remote location means that a car is needed to explore local restaurants and nearby sights such as the Guanica Dry Forest or Parguera’s bioluminescent bay. Rooms open to private terraces overlooking the gardens and the ocean while larger multi-bedroom villas cater to families. The resort has a fitness center, spa, tennis courts, and two restaurants on-site.
The massive, 600-room Rio Mar Beach Resort has sprawling grounds and a wide array of activities and features (including two championship golf courses) -- although a rental car will be necessary for guests planning on venturing off of the resort's premises. With three pools -- a kiddy pool, an adults pool, and the main shared pool -- as well as a big beach on-site, it's a great option for families. As at many other beach resorts, humidity can be an issue, and the resort could use new carpets (especially in the hallways). Rooms are clean, large, and have great views, but are short on local charm. Guests should also be prepared for nickel-and-diming -- just about everything costs extra, from the mini-fridge rentals to the parking to the Wi-Fi.
The upscale, 910-room Caribe Hilton is a lively mega-resort with stunning views of Puerto Rico's Atlantic Coast between Old San Juan and Condado. Yes, it can be crowded and busy, but the cruisers, business travelers, honeymooners, and families that flock here don't seem to mind. The hotel's 17 acres include bird-filled tropical gardens, multiple restaurants, a lively bar, and gorgeous pools. The manmade beach isn't the best, and can be packed, but rooms are modern and comfy, with Hilton's excellent beds, and many have furnished balconies with ocean views.
Situated right on the beach in Condado, the Marriott Resort & Casino is a step above some other hotels in the neighborhood: The grounds and the hotel -- including the pools, the tennis courts, and the spa -- are well-kept, and the upscale rooms feature warm colors, flat-screen TVs, and large bathrooms with granite vanities. Though there is a casino on-site, the hotel also caters to families, with amenities such as a game room, laundry facilities, and a pool with a waterslide. But some have complained of hearing noise from the casino in the rooms on the lower floors, and fees for extras such as Wi-Fi and beach chairs are annoying.
The 39-room Horned Dorset Primavera feels romantic and exclusive, with a remote location in Rincon and white buildingsdotting the lush eight-acre grounds. The suites are adorned with Spanish-Colonial-style decor -- dark wood canopy bedsdraped with sheer white fabric, lots of marble, big freestanding soaking tubs, and exotic Moroccan touches, like intricate glass-and-bronze light fixtures. Luxurious extras include kitchenettes with stainless steel appliances, decks, and private plunge pools. But there's nothing within walking distance of the property, and some of the facilities are underwhelming for the price -- including the small gym and narrow (though tranquil) beach.
The 80-room Water Club offers great value in ritzy Isla Verde, San Juan. It has all of the beach vacation essentials: a location almost right on the beach (you have to take a small pathway by the parking lot), two on-site restaurants, a rooftop pool, and bright rooms. The rooms are contemporary and sparse, with just a blue accent wall and little furniture, but they do have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, and coffeemakers. Hotel features aren't as impressive as at the more expensive properties nearby: the pool and fitness center are both very small, and there's no full spa (although beachside and in-room massages are available). But if your priorities are access to a great beach and solid rooms, it's hard to do much better for the price in San Juan.
The vibe at the 382-room El San Juan Hotel & Casino is that of a fun, self-contained, relaxed party. The property features a lively lobby, a sprawling free-form pool with swim-up bar, and a location right on the clean, white-sand Isla Verde Beach.Rooms are stylish and beach-y, with white bedding and furniture, light wood, bright, tropical accents, and modern touches such as clear lamps and chairs. The bathrooms are modern, too, but aren't exactly spotless or spacious. Just make sure you're happy staying put: There's not much to do nearby, and Old San Juan is at least a $20 cab ride away.
This quaint, 10-room bed-and-breakfast is on Vieques Island is full of the charming, personal touches that so many chain hotels lack. It's an undeniably romantic pick, with phenomenal ocean views from the stone infinity pool and open-air lobby; airy, Mediterranean-style architecture; and wild horses roaming the grounds. Three bedrooms are in the main "inn," and others can be found in various bungalows dotting the property. The clean, lofty rooms are styled with eclectic antiques and tropical flowers -- but they're not quite luxurious and are showing minor wear. The on-site beach is a bit rocky, but some of the best beaches in the Caribbean are a short drive away.