Your first impressions of Puerto Rico, especially if you’ve lived or traveled in the Continental United States, may give you a familiar but nagging feeling that something’s different at the same time. This U.S. Territory in the Caribbean has definitely distinguished itself for its vastly Spanish roots, with a very strong US influence. When you arrive at Condado, the hip & more modern part close to San Juan, you’ll definitely feel a vibe going on: big hotels and resorts dot the area, with chain brands that definitely feel like you’re back in the US, and the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is no exception.
Puerto Rican hospitality at its finest
As soon as your taxi or your private transportation goes up the driveway, you’ll be greeted by Puerto Rican hospitality. Someone from the hotel will gladly open your car door and help you immediately with your bags. Your first view of the hotel will be the well-stocked and contemporary bar at the front, with the reception desk at the side. The bar area is lively at night, with live music and laughter being heard all night. This hotel can get pretty popular, so there may be a line to check in. If you’re part of Marriott’s reward program and considered an elite member, you’ll be awarded with a designated line just for you. After you check in, the hotel gives you a free drink to have at the bar, and a few casino credits to use.
Your home away from home
As soon as you step in the room, you’ll realize how well-lit it is. That’s because of the balcony that every room has, overlooking various areas of the hotel. The cheapest option will be a street view, which gives you an interesting look at Condado and see the people walking up and down the street, and in and out of the hotel. You’ll see the traffic building up in the morning, and the darkness of the evening. The hotel provides you with a bathrobe and slippers, so you can just chill out and relax in the relative safety and comfort of your room.
In addition, the room has a good LCD TV, with many cable channels (including HBO), a spacious bathroom with Thann soaps and shampoos, and a bathtub for some late-night relaxation.
A whole floor for fun and fitness
This hotel is pretty big. At the lower ground floor, there is a pool area with a swim up bar and a small kiddie pool that’s a great area for adults to chill out too. There are plenty of deck chairs for everyone, and a private beach access to Condado Beach awaits you. Do note that the beach access does close in the evening, and there are several flags that state the status of the waves as advised by the lifeguard. The waves get pretty big and rough, so do be careful when you go swimming.
There are several very good on-site restaurants, one of which is La Vista Latin Grill. Try the delicious Sofrito Chicken, which includes a side of yucca fries and vegetables. Alternatively, you can visit the Red Coral Lounge, where you can indulge in a nice serving of Singapore Style Rice Noodles at the Wan Chai Noodle Bar.
Of course, we cannot omit mentioning the on-site casino! If you wish to get lucky or simply wish to play the odds, drop by the casino and play blackjack, poker, roulette, baccarat, or, if you want to keep it simple, the slots! The casino is smaller than a typical Las Vegas casino, but it’s enough to keep you entertained for hours.
Contemporary comfort by the beach
The Marriott Stellaris Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a wonderful, modern hotel with all types of luxury amenities: a casino, several pools, a swim-up bar, fine on-site dining, and impeccable service. As a guest, you will be catered to at every opportunity, whether you need to book a bio-bay excursion, require transportation to Old San Juan, need recommendations on local restaurants. Perhaps the greatest image of this hotel’s service level is that moment in the night when you’ve come back from a long, hot, tiring day, and you wobble toward the hotel entrance, and, without asking, one of the staff opens the door for you, smiles, and wishes you a good night: a simple gesture that carries tremendous emotional power.
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