• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Looking for suggestions on the cheapest time of the year to visit Puerto Rico. We are considering an all-inclusive resort but open to other suggestions. Also, any ideas of the best areas of Puerto Rico to stay. We are a family with young kids, so are looking for beaches and other fun, cultural stuff to be highly accessible. Thanks!

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Sorry I forgot to quote in my post. The hilton Caribe ... Im thinking abt booking through Priceline where they dnt revea... (more)

xRubyx (Mar. 05, 2010 @ 11:31a) |

Re: Caribe hilton

I stayed there about three years ago - had to book a last minute stay in the high season when hotel occ... (more)

myadvice (Mar. 05, 2010 @ 12:54p) |

Resort San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
Don't remember the exact price but it was around $120-$140 /night (f... (more)

breaux124 (Mar. 05, 2010 @ 3:26p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

I am not sure you will find and good quality all inclusives in PR. There are none that I am aware of.

Best deals for AL would be DR, Jamaica and Mexico.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the info Wiseguy!

ok- how about a hotel or resort that is not too far from San Juan airport, offers plenty to do and is very family friendly (young kids ages 2 &4). We are choosing Puerto Rico so we don't have to get passports.

Thanks!

Dates? Budget? # of nights? Ages of kids??

There is something called Sol Melia Resorts near San Juan (15-20 mins drive from the airport) and it is a 5-star resort and well worth the money. They have a timeshare offering which is pretty good...around $99.00 for 4 night stay for a couple and 1 or 2 kids. I did this and was very very pleased with the amenities and they do not force you to buy the timeshare. Just a 30 min or less tour of the place.
you could try that. I booked through www.eztravelusa.net

We booked through Priceline, the bidding side and got a great price on the Marriott Resort in San Juan
Better Bidding

From there we took a taxi to Old San Juan and just used the free shuttle that drives around the entire area. We had a great time there and loved all of Old San Juan.

I have friends on the island and have visited the island a few times per year for the past several years.

There are no inclusive hotels that I am aware of on the island, though many hotels will include breakfast (and some even dinner) in your rate if you want them to.

The most expensive time to visit is Jan-April.

June is actually a good time to visit. July-Sept are the usually months when the hurricanes/tropical storms hit. In June you will get afternoon showers for an hour or two most days, but things will clear and dry up fairly quickly. The hotels generally drop their rates in June to try to attract local guests. October, November, and December are pretty inexpensive times to visit as well.

The beaches in San Juan are not the best on the island, but they are convenient. In San Juan, the two major areas where there are a lot of hotels and are near the beaches are Condado and Isla Verde (which is where the airport is). In my opinion, Condado is more expensive/upscale. Isla Verde is better for kids (fast food and family friendly restaurants within walking distance). Plus IMHO the beach is better. Inexpensive chain hotels within a block of the beach in Isla Verde include the embassy suites and hampton inn. (There is also a grocery store within walking distance from these hotels.) In Condado, there is a Holiday Inn Express near the beach, but it doesnít have any parking. You can also save a lot of money on lodging by staying in a guest house or Parador (a small inn). But your will have to adjust your expectations. These places are generally pretty simple and sparse. Think single diamond. There are also some decent larger hotels that arenít affiliated with chains.

Unless you intend to spend the whole time at the beach, consider renting a car and exploring the island somewhat (though with kids it will be tough to really explore!) You can also save money by staying in places other than San Juan (in Mayaguez, or Ponce for example) or stay at better beaches (Cabo Rojo, Rincon, Luquillo or the Islands of Vieques and Culebra). If you will share the type of vacation experience are you looking for, I can give you some additional recommendations.

myadvice said: July-Sept are the usually months when the hurricanes/tropical storms hit.

Here is a link to a neat history graph about when prior hurricanes and tropical storms hit San Juan.

I'm also looking to go to Puerto Rico as well with my wife, who is almost 4 weeks pregnant -- no kids currently. I'm looking for somewhere generally quiet with a nice beach. From myadvice's posts, it looks like staying in San Juan is probably not what we're looking for?

Been looking on cheapcaribbean as well, checking out stuff on tripadvisor.. which is a bit unnerving. I'm starting to feel paralyzed in the decision because of the risk of having a bad trip. :\

I would recommend El Conquistador resort. It has like 23 restaurants and shops on the resort itself, excellent beach and private island. http://www.elconresort.com

best place to stay is Gran Melia...cheapest rates are on their web site..the web site and the resort are exactly the same..the place is as nice as it seems

Puerto Rico is really a great place to visit. I understand what you mean about the TripAdvisor Reviews. IMHO TripAdvisor in many vacation destinations is littered with reviews from people with unrealistic expectations in terms of both cost and service. Don't let those reviews scare you away. In general service in Puerto Rico tends to be slower than what it is in most areas of the states and that is what many of the complaints on trip advisor are about. Just expect that it will take you twice as long to eat, to get checked into your hotel, etc and donít worry about it.

The beaches in San Juan where the hotels are, are fine, but they are urban beaches and not particularly scenic. In some areas the water can be too rough to get in and other areas dead calm. Thatís fine if all you want to do is sunbathe and be within easy access to the resorts poolside bar, but that is really not my cup of tea. Iíve stayed at many hotels in San Juan Ė the two better full-service places that Iíve stayed at are the Renansance and the Marriott (I would rate them four diamond), but they tend to be expensive. Iíve stayed at the Condado Plaza (Now a Conrad) and Caribe hilton in the past and found them to be ok Ė (three diamond). The Caribe hilton was like being on an island Ė there was very little within walking distance and if you didnít have a car, you paid a lot of $ for taxiís to take you elsewhere. The beaches at both places were ok, though I preferred the beach at the hilton over the Condado Plaza. Iíve also stayed at the Holiday Inn in San Juan (now the Verdanza) and itís kind of a two diamond place that I doubt I will ever return to. Out of all the hotels that I stayed at in the San Juan area, Iíve found the embassy suites to be the best value overall. Itís not luxury (Iíd call it three diamond) but the service there had the same feel as other embassy suites that Iíve stayed at.

Going to Puerto Rico and just visiting San Juan is kind of like going to the USA and only visiting New York. If your ideal vacation consists of drinking, dancing, shopping and sunbathing, stay in San Juan. If you want to get a broader view of Puerto Rico, spend a few days outside of San Juan. You wonít be able to see everything in a few days, but here are a few ideas. In Rincon, there are excellent surfing beaches if that is your cup-of-tea. There are a few large hotels in the area, but I donít think they are affiliated with any chains. There is a small zoo in Mayaguez that the kids may enjoy. In south-west Puerto Rico there are also great beaches, but if you want to stay there you will be staying in guest houses and Paradors. In Guyanica there is a dry forest that is pretty neat and a resort called the CopaMarina set on a very calm, shallow beach. It is great to kayak at and there is a boat that will take you to Gilliganís Island which has a better beach, more appropriate for swimming. In Ponce there is a hilton that is set on one of the worst beaches in Puerto Rico (IMHO) but there is a large golf course and tennis courts and other activities at the resort. In Fajardo as well as the Island of Vieques there are bioluminescent bayís that you can go kayacking into at night - that is a fantastic experience that I highly recommend Ė just be sure to schedule your trip when there is no (or very little) moon. A moderately inexpensive (but can be a hard place to find) place to stay at in Fajardo is the Fajardo Inn. Between San Juan and Fajardo is the rainforest (El Yunque) and Luquillo (which has a decent beach.) The beaches on the offshore islands of Vieques and Culebra are fantastic, but again your lodging choices pretty much consist of guest houses and paradors. Another thing that I should mention is that the further that you venture away from the tourist areas of San Juan, the some knowledge of Spanish will be useful to help you communicate.

So enjoy your trips. I hope you find my experience helpful. If you need more information, just post or feel free to send me a PM.

Not sure if anyone mentioned it, I just skimmed the posts... but the Fajardo Inn in Fajardo has been excellent for us in the past. It has been very clean and the pool area is wonderful. The onsite restaurants aren't that great, but there are other places to eat nearby. It is also very close to the ferry that runs to Culebra and Vieques Islands. There are kayak trips local on the bioluminescent bay, too. I highly recommend it. It was a trip to San Juan for a day - about 1 1/2 hours if I remember right? But the hotel is quiet and away from all of the "action"

three trips to Puerto Rico this past year. Stayed at the hilton San Juan and the Mariot in San Juan. You didn't mention the kids ages; if grade school I'd recommend the hilton in San Juan or the Gran Melia. The Gran Melia really is kid friendly. If you stay at the Marriott skip taxis into San Juan. The bus stop is just outside the Marriott. A dollar ride to the end of the line takes you to the bus terminal near the cruise ship stop and you're at the base of old San Juan. There is a free trolley that you can take up hill (old San Juan is on a hill area) to the Fort San Cristobal. Tour the fort and then walk downhill as you explore old San Juan. If you can, take the Segway tour of old San Juan. Really well run and casual and safe, even for 10-12 yr olds. Bythe time you get back downhill take the taxi back to the hotel.

mcl9699 said: Not sure if anyone mentioned it, I just skimmed the posts... but the Fajardo Inn in Fajardo has been excellent for us in the past. It has been very clean and the pool area is wonderful. The onsite restaurants aren't that great, but there are other places to eat nearby. It is also very close to the ferry that runs to Culebra and Vieques Islands. There are kayak trips local on the bioluminescent bay, too. I highly recommend it. It was a trip to San Juan for a day - about 1 1/2 hours if I remember right? But the hotel is quiet and away from all of the "action"

The Fajardo Inn is one of the few places that I know of where you can rent a room with three queen sized beds. Might be useful for those with kids. It's been a while since I was at the hotel, but my recollection is that the hotel was like a 2.5 or 3 diamond place, but the pool was like a pool you would find at a four diamond resort.

The ferry to the offshore islands is also interesting. If I recall correctly, it takes about an hour and was dirt cheap -- only a few bucks/person. But if you see that the ocean is very choppy - like a storm was coming - I would recommend skipping the ferry. You can also fly to the offshore islands in a small prop plane, If I recall correctly it was about $50 round trip from Fajardo and maybe 2-3x that amount from San Juan.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful destination. My family & I were there for only 2 nights before our cruise (Royal Carri bean) arrived to take us out on our journey for 1 week. They have the world's smallest and most beautiful flower there. Another great choice that's very jungle like is Puerto Vallarta. Beautiful island, it is where they filmed the famous "Predator" of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Can u pls share how much u paid? We're looking to book this hotel .. If i book thorugh Priceline, i can get a nice deal which includes airfare BUT they won't reveal the travel times until I pay. Is that worth it? TIA

if you get a chance, take the ferry boat to culebra and spend the day there! the beach is amazing. Also don't forget to hit up the bio bays and El Yunque.

xRubyx said: Can u pls share how much u paid? We're looking to book this hotel .. If i book thorugh Priceline, i can get a nice deal which includes airfare BUT they won't reveal the travel times until I pay. Is that worth it? TIA

Which Hotel?

myadvice said: xRubyx said: Can u pls share how much u paid? We're looking to book this hotel .. If i book thorugh Priceline, i can get a nice deal which includes airfare BUT they won't reveal the travel times until I pay. Is that worth it? TIA

Which Hotel?


Sorry I forgot to quote in my post. The hilton Caribe ... Im thinking abt booking through Priceline where they dnt reveal the room type and flight times till you pay. I wantd to know if it's worth it .. I'll pay $1500 for 4 night stay + airfare + rental car through Priceline's package. Separately it'll cost me around $2200. Thanks!

Re: Caribe hilton

I stayed there about three years ago - had to book a last minute stay in the high season when hotel occupancy was very high. IIRC I ended up paying ~ $300/nt. I've seen the room rate typically fluctuate between $150-$250 depending on the season.

One thing to look out is that the hotel charges a resort fee. Sometimes resort fees are not reflected in the Priceline rate. If it is great. If not, be prepared. IIRC the resort fee was around 14%, parking at the Caribe was ~$20/nt and Internet access was about $15/nt.

xRubyx said: Can u pls share how much u paid? We're looking to book this hotel .. If i book thorugh Priceline, i can get a nice deal which includes airfare BUT they won't reveal the travel times until I pay. Is that worth it? TIA

Resort San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
Don't remember the exact price but it was around $120-$140 /night (for Nov 2007), on Priceline's name your own price.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014