Visiting Puerto Rico for the first time has been a dream come true and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to begin the year! We spent four days at Fairmont’s El San Juan, and felt so safe and taken care of during our stay.
The Fairmont El San Juan Hotel is located in the municipality of Carolina located in San Juan on the north side of the island. The hotel is directly on Isla Verde Beach and you will catch the most dreamy sunsets every night! It’s also a 2 minute drive from the SJU Airport and a 10 minute drive to Old San Juan.
If you are looking for a place to stay in San Juan, look no further! Fairmont El Hotel San Juan is it.
These Covid rules and regulations are based off of our trip in January 2021– please double check that the information is still relevant during the time of your visit via the CDC and Puerto Rican Tourism website.
Prior to entering Puerto Rico, you’ll need to take a Covid PCR Test and provide negative results via a Travel Declaration form within 72 hours of entry. Once your results are accepted, you’ll receive a QR code to exit the airport. Without a test or providing results, the government will require you to quarantine for 2 weeks or until you can provide results. From my understanding, getting a test in PR can be challenging if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, so better to take care of this beforehand.
Once we were in Puerto Rico, we got text messages every day asking us how we’re feeling and if we’re experiencing any symptoms. Every restaurant, grocery store, cafe, and hotel will do a temperature check, require a face mask, and ask you to sanitize your hands upon entry.Overall, we felt incredibly safe our entire trip (at times even safer in PR than California).
From poolside and oceanfront villa rooms, to guest rooms immersed in the lush landscape throughout the hotel, every step around the hotel is a reminder of the beautiful island culture of Puerto Rico.
The highlight of this hotel truly belongs to the outside property— with two beautiful pools and a swim up bar, to wooden doors that lead to the award winning Isla Verde Beach. You can spend days soaking up the sun here and never want to leave.
THE CABANA & RESTAURANTS
Seaside Cabanas are also available for rent all day as well as Grand and Lux Cabanas that fit larger parties! The Seaside ones are my personal favorite, as they face the ocean. You can rent jet skis and paddle boards right on the water and buy fresh fruit from the local vendors. All of the cabanas and poolside chairs are catered food from Bar Americana. Our favorites were the tamarindo lindo margarita and the pina coladas, as well as the Yucca Fries and mahi fish and chips!
The onsite restaurant at El San Juan Hotel, Caña by Juliana Gonzalez, serves authentic Puerto Rican food. Each dish is one of a kind and celebrates San Juan’s traditions. Our favorite was the Taste of Cana six course meal, which includes small portions of six individual Cana dishes to try! Let your server know if you have any dietary restrictions, and whatever you do, make sure you try the Pulpo! Among the best dishes I’ve ever had!
SURROUNDING AREAS- OLD SAN JUAN
Fairmont El San Juan Hotel is a quick ten minute drive from the iconic Old San Juan, which is a National Historic Site that dates back ot the 16th century. Here, you’ll find brightly colored houses with lined cobble streets, with tons of delicious Caribbean restaurants and bars. If you are here, make sure you eat at Raíces Restaurant for the Mofongo, which is smashed plantains. We ordered garlic shrijmp Mofongo and pulpo stuffed avocado, and it was to die for! Also stop by El Hotel Convento for a drink!
SURROUNDING AREAS- EL YUNQUE NATIONAL FOREST
El San Juan Hotel is also located 40 minutes away from El Yunque National Forest. You’ll need to buy an admission ticket and time slot to enter, but can stay until closing regardless of the time you drive in. There are three major waterfalls– La Coca, Juan Diego Falls, and La Mina. It is a perfect day trip, but make sure you have bug spray! We spent about 6 hours at the forest door to door, and returned in time for a late lunch. There’s also an Enterprise right across the street from the hotel so you can walk over and grab a car before you head out!