Puerto Rico: Where I Stayed

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I thought that before I forgot all the fun and shenanigans I had in Puerto Rico, you guys might appreciate a couple wrap up posts if you ever consider going yourself. After my friend made the location suggestion, I did a lot of activity and accommodation searching and decided that hostel stays were not going to work for me this trip. The reviews were too iffy, flip flopping between fine to disgusting, and I'm just too old to be dealing with concerns about whether thing are clean or not.

Instead I looked for nice hotels priced at around $100 or under that were near-ish the activities we wanted to do (or just on the beach, since that was primarily our focus). Looking back on my camera I apparently took almost no pictures of the Embassy Suites we stayed in for our last night, lol, but definitely check out their website for more information - it was a great hotel!

Wyndham Garden Palmas Del Mar, Humacao (link)
My friend and I stayed here the first few nights in Puerto Rico (booked through Travelocity) and I loved this hotel/resort/thing. I didn't use the casino and only walked by the pool, but everything was beautiful. Palmas Del Mar is a private section of Puerto Rico on the coast, with a guarded entrance/exit and its own golf course. Everything was impeccably manicured and when I needed something there was always a please 24/hr concierge person available. Even at 2am when we needed directions to the only open food place, lol (Burger King, don't judge).

I loved how easy it was to walk around the corner from the pool to the beach, and right there on the sand was a little bar place where we could buy food and drinks (alcoholic or virgin). And this was in addition to room service, an in house restaurant, and a little cafe/ice cream shop that was open late. Most of the time here I just lazed about doing nothing, helped along by our rental car when we went out at night to find other places for food, but the room was clean, towels were nice, and everyone seemed happy to be there. I do think the locale suited itself to the young and party-minded, just by the look of some of the other people staying there, but it was never truly 'rowdy', nor did I have any trouble getting to sleep at night.

*Note: I originally picked this hotel thinking it was closer to things to do like Fajardo (bio-bays, the Island of Cuelebra) and El Yunque (the National Rainforest) but because the entrance to El Yunque is only accessible going around the rainforest and not through it (despite what your Google maps might tell you) if you're interested in doing those things, staying in Farjardo might make that easier.

Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino San Juan (link)
Despite the fact that I picked this almost solely because of its proximity to the airport, I loved the Embassy Suites (also booked through Travelocity). It was clearly one of the places tourists stayed at because you never really had to leave for anything if you didn't want to, but it was a lot of fun. Bright lights, casino machines, in house restaurants; it has all the perks with some extras that I didn't get at the Wyndham, like hot made to order breakfast made everyday, and a happy hour every evening for guests, with free drinks and light snacks. PLUS it ended up being a couple blocks from the beach with an awesome pool of its own.

The Embassy staff was a bit more laid back than the ones at the Wyndham, but I wouldn't say that was a good or bad thing - just different. I think the number of people inundating the front desk at any one time was much higher than at our previous hotel, so I'm glad I didn't actually end up needing anything. I wish I'd had another night at this hotel though, just because of how comfortable everything was. I'd like to get a better feel for how the night life was and try out the pool bar! I sat next to the hotel pool for an hour or so right before I flew out and it was SO NICE. I could have napped there all day without any problems in the shade of my own personal umbrella.

*Note: The bottom right hand picture is of some decorative pieces on the counter where the hotel had happy hour. My friend and I couldn't decide if the hotel had MEANT to pick pieces that looked liked carrots and turnips, or if they'd just "lucked" out, lol.

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