WHERE TO PLAY Puerto Rico is known for inspiring beaches: from the wild surf of West Coast towns like Aguadilla to the remote sandy stretches of Fajardo on the east coast. In between, you’ve got San Juan found along the island’s northern shore.
WHERE TO STAY In San Juan, beaches are primarily located in two spots: El Condado, the peninsula dividing the Atlantic Ocean from the Condado Lagoon, and Isla Verde, a massive band of coast known for its local marine reserve. The Caribe Hilton brings together the best of both worlds for couples who like city excitement and the total relaxation of a beach getaway. The property sits on a long, secluded stretch of golden sand just outside downtown San Juan, where the waters are calm thanks to a small rock-wall jetty. The property also boasts several pools, acres of cabana-style beds and loungers along the ocean and a fi tness center with sea views. El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Fajardo, boasts a private white-sand getaway on Palomino Island, and offers a host of water toys, including wave runners, banana boats and Hobie Cats.
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It’s also a base for snorkeling, windsurfi ng and horseback riding on the beach. For couples looking to relax, spend the day lounging by the sea, while indulging in rum cocktails and grilled churrasco wraps. Then retire to the main property, which houses the 26,000-square-foot spa, a water park and an 18-hole golf course.
WHERE TO PLAY If you’re a couple that pursues culture, San Juan has no shortage of it. Downtown Old San Juan, with cobblestone streets and music wafting into the night air, makes for a flirty, inviting setting you can easily explore on foot. WHERE TO STAYThe Old City has irrefutable charm, plus homemade Puerto Rican cuisine and a booming nightlife. Most hotels in San Juan are merely fi ve minutes by cab from the heart of the action. Head in for a meal, the bar scene and perhaps some dancing, then stroll back to your hotel for a view of city lights. Just ask the locals: El San Juan Resort & Casino is the place for a nightcap as well as a trendy lounge scene and dance club. She may want to cozy up over champagne at The Rose bar, a warmly lit space with candelabras and intimate seating. He might be drawn to the 13,000- foot casino with blackjack, craps and roulette.
But Club BRAVA is where you’ll both agree to dance late into the evening, or chill in the Ultra Lounge with table service. Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is as much of a culinary destination as the city of San Juan. Executive chef Juan Jose Cuevas – former sous chef at Ducasse and chef at Blue Hill – oversees Ola, Ocean Front Bistro, dishing up mussels in coconut and limoncello, and meatballs in a citrus-tomato sauce. And at 1919, he offers both a la carte and four-course prix fi xe dining experiences, including seared tuna with a truffl e-hazelnut dressing and the venison with caramelized eggplant.