I recently had the opportunity to stay and play at the luxurious Ritz Carlton San Juan hotel located on Isla Verde. My family and I wanted to vacation in the Caribbean this year and San Juan was our top choice. With my husband and I having a 6 month old in tow, we needed to make sure that we stayed at a family friendly property that was also suitable for adults with a heavy appetite for relaxation. I originally decided our stay would be at the La Concha Resort, a Renaissance hotel which is a really nice property. This option quickly changed once I compared the two hotel’s amenities and obviously the 5-star rating for The Ritz Carlton was a plus!
Once we arrived in San Juan we took a taxi from the airport which by the way was only a 10 minute ride to The Ritz Carlton! As soon as we arrived to the hotel we were greeted and welcomed like we were royalty. With personal service being a trademark of The Ritz Carlton, I will admit that the impeccable service began as soon as I exited the taxi. The bellman was there to gather our luggage and offer us drinks as we consulted with the front desk to check into our room. Our check-in agent was extremely courteous and explained to us all the benefits we would be entitled which seemed to be everything and more.
The bellman escorted us to our room and gave us a brief rundown on San Juan, with things to do and places to go, while on the elevator which are room key operated. He wore a dual hat for 10 minutes and offered us information that a concierge would typically do, again impeccable service! Our room featured a very comfortable king bed, large seat, and desk with a comfortable chair. The marble bathroom was very large with several mirrors, just perfect for checking out your attire and taking “selfies” of course. It was stocked with Asprey London toiletries and had a separate toilet area for privacy. There was a well-stocked mini bar including coffee and tea just like any hotel would have except they were all organic!
The grounds were well manicured and absolutely flawless. It felt like I was in an enchanted rainforest while walking through the courtyard. There are several dining options suitable for any palate. My favorite place to dine at night was BLT restaurant and The Ocean Bar & Grill during the day, which was conveniently located right on the beach.
Between my dips in the pool and beach tanning I managed to tour the wedding venues and receive some well overdue spa services.
Whether you want to marry on the beach, under the gazebo, on a terrace overlooking the ocean or in a lavish ballroom, The Ritz Carlton San Juan is the perfect place! I’ve been married for 5 years and just touring the venues made me want to renew my vows! I was literally planning everything out in my head. There’s no reason to get bogged down with planning because they are capable of helping you plan your big day from start to finish. From the floral design, music selection, wedding cake, linens, décor, and lighting—they guarantee to craft every detail with your personality and taste in mind.
The spa and beauty services are perfectly convenient for a bride and her party. Not only can you enjoy a nice wedding spa package before your nuptials but you can have your hair and make-up done also! Not to forget the groom who can also be pampered with special spa packages tailored just for him. Feel like getting in that last minute workout? Hit the gym which is adjacent to the spa. There’s a plus side to the gym, they actually offer classes! I thought this was amazing because some people would rather opt out of using the state of the art machinery and join a group fitness class. After touring the property I was able to indulge a little. I received the Oxygen Facial which happened to be the best 50 minutes of time well spent. Relaxed and renewed would be an understatement for how I felt when leaving my appointment.
Although we had everything at our disposal on the resort, spa, pool, casino, and fine dining—we wanted to explore Old San Juan or “Old City” as the locals would call it. Old San Juan was stunning! The small cobble stone streets, and architectural design of the buildings will captivate you with their unique charm. There’s local restaurants, plenty of shopping, and more. You need to designate a full day to explore Old San Juan, a few hours is definitely not enough.
There’s so much to do aside from shopping, and dining.The eastern region of Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque Forest, one of the most accessible rainforests in the world. If you are a golfer you’re in the home of world-class golf courses. In the Central Mountain Range, you can zip-line over tropical peaks! There’s a wealth of activities, unique culture and history—making it a great place to honeymoon or spend your first anniversary.
If you’re looking for the perfect wedding location, honeymoon or just a relaxing vacation, visit San Juan Puerto Rico and afford yourself a stay at the luxurious Ritz Carlton—you will not be disappointed!
By: Sonia Castleberry | Beauty Editor
Sonia Castleberry is the Senior Beauty Editor for World Bride Magazine. She’s a licensed third generation hairstylist that’s well recognized throughout the television, film, and fashion industries. Her passion for hair and all things beauty began at an early age growing up in her family’s hair salon. Her work has appeared in several publications both nationally and internationally. Her industry knowledge and work ethic has garnered her opportunities to contribute to major broadcasting networks, brands as well as feature films. She is the owner of Brides by Sonia Castleberry, a luxury on location bridal agency that brings the salon to you on your wedding day, and Wink Eye Cotoure, a mobile lash and brow bar. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her son. Sonia currently resides in New York City.