San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
What it is
An eye-popping, 388-room seafront icon five minutes from the airport.
What it isn't
Tired. The hotel just had a $65 million redesign.
What we think
Ordinary resort developers will tear down everything in their paths to erect whatever they please. Not so Miami Beach starchitect Morris Lapidus, who designed this timeless beauty in 1958 around a 300-year-old Banyan Tree, among the most photographed sights on the property. Once a key stage for boldface names like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, the Fairmont hotel is now the star itself, thanks to its numerous on-site restaurants and bars (plus the showstopping BRAVA nightclub, where locals beeline for DJs spinning into the wee hours); the cabana-lined pools (where butlers will bring you a fresh pina colada whenever you like); and a 24-hour tri-level gym with boot camp classes for working off your mofongo. Even the most basic room is an unbelievable 445-square-feet, with Sealy Posturepedic Lovell Plush mattresses, gratis WiFi, and views of El Yunque Rainforest.
You're here because
You like easy access dining options, and Fairmont El San Juan Hotel has them in spades, including a literal meat market where Executive Chef Sean Brasel and his team will whip you up a white truffle kobe tartar, Scottish salmon cooked in cedar paper, or churrasco steak with marrow butter.
It’s not often you want to get dirty, but the Purification Ritual in the on-site spa twisted your arm—and exfoliated it (and the rest of your bod) with black silt clay and coffee arabica. Then, your masseuse plied your skin with shea butter and bergamot, gave your road-weary toes a rubdown, and sent you on your merry way to the beach—feeling fresh as the seagulls soaring in the salty air above.
Restaurants & Bars
- Aquarelle On The Beach - Poised along the shore of San Juan’s lively Isla Verde Beach, featuring water-to-table seafood and inventive cocktails
- El Bistro - Located in the lobby of El San Juan Hotel, El Bistro features daily breakfast, lunch and late-night offerings
- Caña by Juliana Gonzalez - Discover the inspired cuisine that put the Island of Enchantment on the culinary map, seamlessly blended with authentic Puerto Rican flavors by Chef Juliana Gonzalez
- Meat Market - A truly inspired steakhouse, Meat Market boasts a sophisticated ambiance, sizzling with Miami and New York City-style energy
- Il Sole Pizzeria - Tucked in The Shops of El San Juan, Il Sole Pizzeria serves classic pizza, salads, and sandwiches reimagined to satisfy a more modern palette
Set on an immaculate two mile stretch of Isla Verde Beach, but just a fifteen-minute drive from the sherbet-hued, cobblestoned streets of Old San Juan.