We’re constantly asked about Puerto Rico’s all-inclusive resorts. The “one-price-pays-all” vacation experience is popular throughout the Caribbean, but unfortunately, that’s not so true on this particular island. When it comes to all-inclusive resorts, the pickings in Puerto Rico are slim -- there are a mere two options -- and one doesn’t get many gold stars.
In most cases, your best bet is to choose a hotel offering perks like free breakfast, non-motorized watersports, parking, and WiFi. These places give you a little more bang for your buck -- and we do mean your buck. U.S. dollars are the local currency, and you won’t need a passport, either! Here are some options to consider.Olive Hotel: The stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta came to this cozy, Mediterranean-style boutique spot in the trendy, beachfront Condado section for some R&R. Check-in begins with a gratis glass of water or wine -- your choice. Head to the rooftop -- a lovely, art-filled haven -- to catch some rays after the complimentary breakfast spread or to have sunset cocktails. Those needing to brag about their stargazing, whether it’s of the celebrity or the celestial variety, can spread the news via free WiFi. Low season rates begin at $174 per night.
Wyndham Garden Hotel & Casino at Palmas del Mar: An all-inclusive package has recently been made available at this resort located in the seaside community of Humacao, 45 minutes from San Juan and Fajardo (home of the famous bioluminescent bay.) While reviews on the quality of room and board are inconsistent, we do know that you’ll get internet, all meals at the property’s five restaurants, and unlimited house-brand drinks (alcoholic and non-) at the two bars. What isn’t free is the onsite casino, but with the money you’ve saved, you can probably afford a dance or two with Lady Luck. All-inclusive low season rates begin at $129 per person, per night.
Hyatt House San Juan: In October 2014, Puerto Rico opened its first extended stay hotel and the first Hyatt House outside the continental U.S. The property’s Miramar neighborhood is a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean and a short drive to Old San Juan. Residential-style studios and one- and two-bedroom suites feature full kitchens stocked with appliances and even your favorite groceries, care of the hotel's delivery service. Or, skip cooking in favor of the complimentary hot breakfast complete with a build-your-own-omelet bar. WiFi is available at no charge -- great to use either by the outdoor pool or in the hopping H Bar area where there are outlets aplenty. Low-season rates begin at $159 per night, but we found advance purchase deals for $143 in May.
Meliá Century Hotel: If your travel plans span beyond San Juan, we recommend a stop in Ponce, on the southern coast. There, after exploring both the historical city and the Caribbean seaside beaches, you can lay your head at the Meliá, Puerto Rico’s oldest hotel, built in 1895. Still, 2013 bought plenty of new updates to the property, from the panoramic-view Skylounge, to a coffee shop, bistro, and cigar bar. All-inclusive weekends are occasionally offered as specials, but you don’t even have to wait for those. From now until December 31, $125 per night gets you breakfast, parking, and Internet. Otherwise, regular rates begin at a very reasonable $95 per night, including WiFi.
Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa: Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention what was once called the only “true” all-inclusive in Puerto Rico. Truth be told, reviews over the years have been mixed -- plus its far-flung location in Guánica, a quiet south coast town 90 miles from San Juan, isn’t a huge draw, especially for first-time tourists. However, with the resort’s Air Café package, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at two restaurants are included, as well as house wine by the glass and beer at dinner. A variety of non-motorized watersports from kayaking to snorkeling provide entertainment. If you find yourself in this part of Puerto Rico and you stay here, we’d love to hear your feedback!