I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico for eight days. The resort is situated on a secluded peninsula with stunning views of a cerulean-blue Atlantic Ocean. Accompanied by my husband, daughter and daughter’s boyfriend, all four of us enjoyed the many amenities this Caribbean resort had to offer.
The Hilton brand is our first choice when booking a room, regardless of whether the stay is for business or personal vacation needs. The chain offers an excellent loyalty program; being Hilton Honor gold members, we have benefited from our loyalty to this brand. Aside from points collected that have given free night stays, our room is often upgraded and we appreciate a faster check-in line for members. During this stay, we received a complimentary continental breakfast each day, which we upgraded most mornings to the full buffet for only $10.00 per person. A delicious deal! The Caribe Hilton also has a tower set aside for Hilton Honors members, which made us feel special.
Our room on the 19th floor came with a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean and the historic ruins of Fortin de San Geronimo. After lounging on the private beach, swimming in the salty ocean or the pool, we were delighted to return to our room and shower in our five to six foot wide marble space! The matching mirrors and faded blue sinks in the bathroom were a little dated, but the bed was comfortable and we slept well.
While my husband attended business meetings the first three days of our stay, the family worked on their tans, swam in the ocean, walked along an ocean rockway, gazed at tropical fish from a wooden pier, visited animals in the garden or walked along the private beach. With a reef break protecting the shoreline from a stronger current, and perhaps sea creatures too, we swam in mild waves. We never grew too warm with the wind gusting sea spray on our bodies to cool us down. (In fact, the wind may be the only shortfall of San Juan, Puerto Rico, which a tour guide did confirm is constant all year long.)
I didn’t mind the wind, as the breeze offered a cooling effect in temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 28 degrees Celsius. Sunscreen is mandatory. You don’t even realize your skin is burnt until you see the red image in the mirror.
If you’re like this family, you visit beachside resorts to recline in a lounge chair with the pleasure of the ocean in front of you and a drink held in your hand. At the Caribe Hilton, there is ample space to find a lounge chair, whether on the private beach or poolside. One night, I especially enjoyed resting in a hammock that stretched between the palm trees. You might enjoy renting one of the many private cabanas, and resting in luxury.
The Caribe Hilton has several restaurants. In the morning we ate at the Palmeras, which had an ample buffet with omelets, Belgian waffles, or French toast made to order. For those that want a smaller breakfast, Starbucks is on the property and their cinnamon roll is delicious. We had most luncheon meals, as well as Margaritas and Pina Coladas at the Atlantico Bar and Grill. At night, we enjoyed a cheese plate at the Oasis Bar, which interestingly enough is the birthplace of the Pino Colada; made famous by Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero Perez in August 1952.
One of our favorite spots at the Caribe Hilton was the garden. On a windy day, the pool next to the garden is sheltered, so we found this space a good escape from the wind. The garden is home to turtles, iguanas, lizards, black and white swans, ducks etc. We enjoyed this peaceful oasis and thank the staff member who gave our daughter lettuce to feed an Iguana.
We enjoyed our stay at the Caribe Hilton and would stay again. Thanks to all the staff that made this business vacation restful and enjoyable.