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El Conquistador Resort, The Waldorf Astoria Collection, Fajardo

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Puerto Rico, Caribbean: are seven pools (plus a water park) at the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico,
1000 Avenida El Conquistador
Puerto Rico 00738
Tel: 866 317 8932 (toll-free)
Tel: 787 863 1000
Fax: 787 863 6500's insider take:

This hotel looks like a million bucks—$120 million, to be exact. That's how much Hilton Hotels put into renovating El Conquistador, one of the biggest resorts in the Caribbean and now part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection. The 984 guest rooms are clustered into separate "villages," some in the main hotel building, others perched high on a cliff, still others scattered around the marina below (Las Casitas Village, a cluster of villas with butler service, are the top of the line). The remodeling, completed in 2008, nixed tired wicker and pastels in favor of light wood and a neutral palette with splashes of cobalt blue, crimson, and marigold. There are plenty of high-tech touches, like flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and docks for your iPod. Also on the scene is the Coqui Water Park, which includes three slides that drop you into different pools. If that's not your idea of fun, there are seven other pools, including the free-form main pool, with a killer view. There's no beach at the hotel itself, but a fleet of catamarans will ferry you to its private island in eight minutes. Activities include horseback riding, tennis, and water sports; a 26,000-square-foot Golden Door spa, an 18-hole golf course, and a casino round out the on-site offerings. The dining options have improved with the addition of the Strip House, but the "restaurant row"—tucked away on the dark second floor—still feels like an afterthought. Many people prefer alfresco eating at the casual Café Bella Vista.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.