El San Juan Hotel & Casino, San Juan $$$$
Puerto Rico 00979
Tel: 866 317 8935 (toll-free)
Tel: 787 791 1000
Fax: 787 791 0390
Concierge.com's insider take:
The El San Juan Hotel was designed to remind wealthy travelers of the pleasure palaces of Havana, and it's still turning heads. The mahogany-paneled lobby, with its red marble floors and centuries-old tapestries, no longer gets all the attention. Now the main attraction is the curvaceous pool that meanders past four-poster daybeds perfect for lounging, as well as air-conditioned cabanas that have nearly as many amenities as the guest rooms. A 2007 makeover also gave the 382 rooms a new look, their white-on-white scheme livened up with bursts of citrusy orange and lime, and playful Philippe Starckstyle ghost chairs. We like the ultramodern furnishings, but if you're more traditional, opt for one of the oceanfront lanai rooms. These suites, in a separate building, have kept their plantation-style charm—a look that, like the old-school glamour of the lobby, plays nicely with the contemporary gloss of the white rooms and pool. The eight on-site restaurants also offer a little something for everyone, from sushi to Starbucks to Brother Jimmy's, a rooftop barbecue joint. But the real action is on the weekends, when the hotel's nightlife scene, including live salsa bands in the lobby and the pulsing in-house club Brava, never stops.
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