The El San Juan: Nice way to stay
The El San Juan is pure magic. This hotel has done everything right. First and foremost this is more like a resort than hotel. It's not just beds and room but they have the most magnificent lobby and casino that completely fill up with locals and tourists alike starting on the Thursday night, getting bigger on Friday night and totally full Saturday night.
This lobby though is first class and its not a frat party either. they have two bars, a casino and a full night club for those who want a little more party. It's elegant and everyone is spectacular. no t shirts, no shorts, no flip flops (during the day, beach attire is fine, but on weekends a no no directly in the lobby).. on the weekends in the lobby the hotel is transformed!
On the other side of the hotel .. is just amazing. Out the back door and there is a large outdoor bar connected to the restaurant and the one lavish pool after another after another all the way to the direct beach access.
The back of the hotel drops you right off at the start of Isla Verde beach, one of hte most talked about beaches in Puerto Rico and certainly San Juan. Its kid friendly (i don't have any kids but..) security was everywhere, cops everywhere and all of the water was roped so no one can float off.
The rooms are a bit odd, just not what you are used to seeing and if anyone in the next room even coughs loud, you hear it. Lord forbid you get a room near the elevator deck.. but who's sleeping anyway!
Downstairs they have a whole shopping arrangement where you can get just almost anything you need.
within walking distance is a walgreens, a cock fighting ring and some really good food. Right next door to the cock fighting (walk out hotel front, turn left on ave isla verde, cross street, two blocks down on right) is the best food i had almost anywhere (except for Fajardo Bay)
Isla Verde Blvd is busy and bustly, just walk. Just get out and turn right or left and walk. You will find all kinds of things. Food, Cabs, Cigar store, Cock Fighting just everything.
The hotel is amazing. Anything you want, period, you got it in five minutes. Even a doctor, which we needed, he was there within 20 minutes in rush hour friday!
As long as you do not plan to spend all of your time in your hotel room, everything about this place is magic. This is not a cheap hotel, this is a 5 star resort so take some decent clothes and enjoy!
Ask for a taxi driver named Michael. He specializes in driving to places on the island OTHER than the air port. A tour guide taxi if you will. He's drive you anywhere on the island you want to go, even overnight and guides along the away, and for not a lot of money.
Oh certainly the magical lobby, casino, beach access and location.