You’ll find clusters of hotels throughout Greater San Juan, but for visitors only two areas make sense: Old San Juan, which has the most historic accommodation and contains the city’s best bars, restaurants and sights; and the beaches, which have less character but boast a decent range of eating and drinking options in addition to the obvious attractions of surf and sand. Condado (the closest to Old San Juan) and Isla Verde are more developed resort areas, with Ocean Park in between offering a quieter experience without the choice of amenities. The newly renovated Condado Vanderbilt Hotel ( at Avda Ashford 1055, is a magnificent Spanish Revival villa built in 1919; it’s one of the best hotels in the city.

For longer stays or larger groups, consider renting apartments or villas via agents such as Caleta Realty (, which has several smart properties in Old San Juan, or PR West (, which also rents places in Condado and Isla Verde.

Taxes and charges added to the price of a room are outrageously high in San Juan, sometimes increasing the bill by as much as 25 percent: check the total price before agreeing to pay. Depending on the size of the hotel, mandatory government taxes range from 7 to 11 percent, and anything in excess of this has been levied as a service charge. Some hotels charge a resort fee of 10 to 15 percent to pay for things like use of towels, pool and spa.

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