The Best Boutique Hotels in Puerto Rico

Condado Ocean Club overlooks the Caribbean in the Puerto Rican capital San Juan
Condado Ocean Club overlooks the Caribbean in the Puerto Rican capital San Juan | Courtesy of Condado Ocean Club / Expedia
Photo of Mariela Santos
27 January 2021

Sandwiched between the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island with a big personality. The colorful colonial houses and cobblestone streets of the capital San Juan give way to rainforest and tropical beaches and it’s suited to all sorts of vacationers, from surf trippers to families to honeymooners. Here’s our guide to the best boutique hotels in the US territory.

Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel

Hotel
Map View
Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel
Courtesy of Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel / Expedia
You’ve a world-renowned surf spot at nearby Domes beach, and a large pool for when you’re not out on the waves, at Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel. You can opt for a simple suite with garden or ocean views or for more space, spread out in one of the beach villas, which sleep up to six. Enjoy live music by the pool on weekends before dining at Déco Fine Cuisine Restaurant, featuring Caribbean specialities from Chef Josué Díaz.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Resort, Chain Hotel, Luxury
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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Courtesy of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve / Expedia

Popular with celebrities, the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve offers a more intimate stay than the chain’s usual offerings. Once owned by Laurance S. Rockefeller, scion of the great US business dynasty, it offers private suites with ocean views, a private plunge pool and walk-in wardrobe. Luxury experiences you can book range from helicopter rides to kayaking through a bioluminescent bay. Top you day off with a glass of white from Puerto Rico’s largest wine cellar.

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Hotel El Convento

Hotel
Map View
Hotel El Convento
Courtesy of Hotel El Convento / Expedia
Located near San Juan Cathedral in Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento was the first Small Luxury Hotel of the World member in Puerto Rico, an exclusive community of boutique hotels across 90 countries. Built in 1646, you can truly embrace the island’s history here. Once a convent, as the name suggests, it was transformed into a boutique hotel in the 1990s and still embraces its Spanish colonial roots inside. You can dip into the rooftop plunge pool on a scorching day before setting out to explore Old San Juan on foot.

Olive Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Olive Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Olive Boutique Hotel / Expedia
The Olive Boutique Hotel was originally inspired by two Puerto Rican travelers and their trips to Morocco, Italy, France and Spain. Guests can book diverse tours through the hotel, for example to El Yunque Rainforest and the combination of an Old San Juan and Casa Bacardí tour. All of the rooms at the Olive Boutique Hotel are suites. The Sage Steak Loft, run by Chef Mario Pagan, mixes classic steaks with island flavors.

Villa Herencia Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Apartment
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Villa Herencia Hotel
Courtesy of Villa Herencia Hotel / Expedia

Follow the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, between San Juan Gate and the Cathedral of San Juan Citadel, and you’ll find this Spanish colonial bed and breakfast. There are just eight rooms and the period features like vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and antique furniture contrast with the bright prints and modernist works of local artists on the walls. The hotel’s tiled private communal terrace has shaded seating areas, outdoor baths and plenty of colorful plants.

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Villa Montana Beach Resort

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
Villa Montana Beach Resort
Courtesy of Villa Montana Beach Resort / Expedia

Stylish guest rooms with Spanish-inspired accents greet you at upscale Villa Montana Beach Resort. Spanning 3mi (5km) of beach, Villa Montana is home to the Eclipse Restaurant, with ocean views and antique silverware, vintage drift wood tables and retro-industrial pieces. Its offering of wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, craft cocktails and fresh-caught fish is overseen by chef Rafael Grau. You can enjoy scuba diving and horseback riding or lounging by two swimming pools and making s’mores by the beach bonfire.

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  • Condado Ocean Club

    Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
    Map View
    condado ocean club
    Courtesy of Condado Ocean Club / Expedia

    Taking design cues from the ocean right outside, Condado Ocean Club in the heart of San Juan offers 96 guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking either the Laguna del Condado or the Atlantic Ocean. Rooms come with Malin+Goetz bath products and plush robes. You can join the daily wine social hour at Jade bar in the lobby, one of three dining options on site, or relax by the infinity pool with a cocktail in hand.

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    Blue Horizon Boutique Resort

    Boutique Hotel, Resort
    Map View
    Blue Horizon Boutique Resort
    Courtesy of Blue Horizon Boutique Resort / Expedia

    Once named among the top 15 small luxury hotels in the Caribbean by Condé Nast, Blue Horizon combines a boutique hotel experience with luxury resort-style amenities. It’s on the oceanfront on the island of Vieques off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast and you can admire the waves from the infinity pool. Restaurant options on site are plentiful – the Carambola brunch is legendary – or you can hire a Jeep and go and find a secluded bay for a romantic picnic.

    El Blok

    Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
    Map View
    El Blok
    Courtesy of El Blok / Expedia

    El Blok hotel in Vieques looks different from your average island resort. Designed by award-winning architects including Nataniel Fúster, the exterior is inspired by the coral reefs just offshore and allows plenty natural light to flow in. No two rooms are the same at this intimate, adults-only hotel. There are three dining options on the property including La Tertulia, a street-level lounge that began life as a place to gather after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017 and now hosts dominos tournaments and some of the best live music on the island.

    Royal Isabela

    Resort, Chain Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    Royal Isabela
    Courtesy of Royal Isabela / Expedia

    Imagine staying in a private, 1,500sqft (139sqm) casita with its own plunge pool, overlooking a cliffside golf course, 200ft (61m) above the ocean – that’s Royal Isabela. On the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, these 20 freestanding villas also have their own terrace and guests have use of a library, tennis courts, a fitness center and two miles of beach. Open air Croquet Bar has golf course and ocean views and serves craft beer, tapas and tropical cocktails, while Jota Restaurant uses the resort’s own herbs, fruits and vegetables in its food and serves cheese from local artisans. Surf lessons can be booked through the hotel.

    Alyssa Morlacci contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on January 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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