Perhaps the easiest Caribbean destination to get tothere are nonstops from an array of U.S. cities and theres no need for a passportthis lively, late-night-loving city makes for a breezy and affordable couples escape if the romance you crave is more sizzling than sedate. Still, where you stay in San Juan will have a major impact on the kind of experience you have. Heres the scoop on three top tourist areas:
Condado This upscale neighborhood, flanked by a golden beach and linked to Old San Juan by the Dos Hermanos Bridge, is ideal for couples seeking a mix of sun, fun and easy access to historic sights with a little high-end shopping thrown in. All this is easily yours if you stay along resort- and boutique-lined Ashford Avenue. Two great options: the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, where 525 recently renovated rooms and suites feature buttery décor and extra-large step-down balconies (splurge on an Oceanfront), the Ristorante Tuscany serves exquisitely prepared Italian specialties, and the lobby lounge outside the bustling casino becomes salsa central after 10:00PM (from $245), and La Concha: A Renaissance Resort, where the vibe flips 180-degrees toward twentysomething Latino chic, with 248 contemporary rooms towering above a stunning retro-urban architectural showpiece that feels plucked from South Beach, a lushly landscaped pool, and the sea-shell-shaped floating restaurant Perla (from $289).
Old San Juan Couples who love to explore on foot and would rather spend their days sightseeing and their nights savoring San Juans flavor should consider a stay in the atmospheric historic heart of the city. Youll trade the sand for shopping (dont miss the Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren outlets) and strolling (take your camera along for your walk along the scenic Paseo de Princesa) as well as bountiful dining on everything from fine Italian at Il Perugino to trendy Latin-Asian fusion at Dragonfly to touristy but satisfying mofongo (mashed fried plantains) at Raices. Stay at Hotel El Convento, a magically romantic 58-room gem (opt for a Queen Vista since some Superior and Deluxe rooms are snug) that was originally a 17th-century Carmelite convent and is now showcase for beautifully restored Spanish-Colonial architecture (from $213).
For more trip-planning information, see our San Juan Travel Guide.