Delivering high-class relaxation for an affordable price, The Copamarina Beach Resort is a find amidst Puerto Rico's many spots to worship the sun and enjoy beach culture. The newly renovated grounds show off the resort at its best, bringing an authentic touch of Puerto Rican life to the Caribbean shore -- to the town of Guánica, to be more exact. Here's what we found when we checked in.
What’s Hot: With all of the resort’s 106 rooms offering an oceanview, you’re always just steps away from the private, serene beaches along the shoreline. It’s all about relaxing in comfort amidst the mom-and-pop atmosphere, starting from the welcoming management all the way to ever attentive staff members. We suggest taking advantage of one of the cabana roofs positioned in the shallow, clear waters -- lounge chairs can be brought for cool and comfortable beachside reclining under the thatched-roof shade.
Best Feature: At a resort prized for its tucked-away private beach, it’s a welcome surprise that Chef Maria “Cita” Hernandez brings top-of-the-line cuisine to the remote location. An upscale meal at Alexandra Restaurant features locally sourced meats and vegetables, with an inspired fresh take on Puerto Rican cuisine. Entrees hover in the $20 to $30 range.
The Rooms: Copamarina’s rooms are all spacious, clean, and simple -- and they all come complete with a patio or balcony. Choose from standard rooms to villas, which encompass three bedrooms and two full baths as well as a kitchen and a living room with a home theater system.
The Food and Drink: The drinks flow freely late into the night at the resort’s outdoor Las Palmas Café, where a custom craft cocktail is always ready. For more casual dining, Hernandez continues to extend her influence with signature dishes such as Churrasco steak ($20) and tostones rellenos de ropa vieja, or fried green plantain stuffed with shredded creole beef ($9).
The Spa: For complete relaxation, spend some time in the resort’s newly renovated spa facilities. Thought the spa is on the smaller size, there are plenty of pampering amenities, including an outdoor shower, a sauna, and various treatment rooms where travelers can enjoy a top-notch massage.
Who Will Love It: Thanks to its far-flung locale, the resort is great for the couple that seeks sun and sand in a remote-yet-connected resort -- there' excellent WiFi service throughout the beach. Honeymooners looking for an affordable week away, or laid-back families looking for a more off-the-beaten path and local resort experience, will also be happy here.
Who Might Not: Copamarina really specializes exclusively in beach-y relaxation, so those seeking an adventurous vacation filled with watersports, hikes, and more will likely find the pace here too slow.
Nearby: You need a car or taxi to leave the grounds. Nearby, hiking the Guánica State Forest, exploring the Rio Camuy Caves, and scuba diving The Wall at Playa Santa rank among the area’s most popular activities for the active set.
Rates, Deals, and Special Offers: Rooms start as low as $165 a night. For 2015, Copamarina’s Paradise is for Couples promotion starts at $288, covering duos with a host of romantic activities including a couples massage, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine, and other inclusives such as a one-hour kayak ride and dinner at Alexandra restaurant. Get details for that and other offers on the Specials & Packages page.
Connect: Twitter: @Copamarina
Getting There: Flying into San Juan, Copamarina is a two-hour drive southwest, with a fascinating ride through multiple terrains, including mountains and desert. Arrange for a transfer with Copamarina before you arrive or rent a car at the airport.