For paradise-seekers, there's nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic for an hour after landing at the airport before you actually arrive at the destination. Good thing, then, that Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is just a few miles from San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín Airport. Having recently undergone a 10th anniversay renovation to the tune of $32 million, the resort feels fresh and luxe -- but remains affordable in all its great convenience and prime beachfront locale. Here's our report.What’s Hot: It’s all about the beach here. Hammocks line the sand and plenty of lounge chairs are scattered throughout the beach and pool, meaning you'll have countless options for spending time in the sun. Easygoing waves and warm water make for a pleasant dip in the Atlantic, too.
Best Feature: The recently expanded beachside pool has truly come to live with a hopping swim-up bar, Papaya, and an endless playlist of Caribbean beats that set the atmosphere.
The Rooms: The 260 guestrooms and suites have been updated to include new almost everything -- from the furniture and bedding to the bathrooms with glass-walled showers and over-sized sinks. The neutral, airy palette makes the rooms feel even more spacious, with pops of color adding a touch of fine tropical sophistication here and there.
The Food and Drink: The oceanfront, open-air eatery Sirena brings typical American-inspired cuisine to lunch. Come nightfall, the dinnertime menu features a sophisticated offering of steaks and fresh fish that hover in the $20s range -- not bad for a beach resort.
Who Will Love It: Couples looking for beach fun within an easy 15-minute drive from the culture of Old San Juan and families looking for an all-inclusive resort that doesn’t break the budget will both enjoy the convenient, well-equipped property.
Who Might Not: Those seeking a lower-key, simpler vacation might be turned off by the resort’s high-energy, party atmosphere.
Nearby: Spend an afternoon exploring the riches of Old San Juan, where tons of fun shops and restaurants cater to travelers with authentic cuisine and culture. For a more beach-centric scene, head to Condado Beach, where locals blend with the tourists weaving throughout all the beachside mega-resorts.
Rates: Rooms start at $143 a night.
Getting There: Fly into San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín Airport. From there, Isla Verde is just a 10-minute cab ride.