Parrots and Peacocks and Geese, Oh My! (Or more accurately: The Caribe Hilton, My Favorite Home Away from Home)

Do you have a hotel that just feels like home to you?  We have had a couple over the years.  One being Fess Parker’s Doubletree in Santa Barbara and the other being the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I could go on for hours about both, but I suppose I should focus on The Caribe since, well, you know, it’s in the title!

caribe-hilton

Our first experience at the Caribe was a potential disaster.  Long story short, we checked in at 2am, at the end of an extremely rough travel day, and we were put in a tired, not-quite-clean-enough room.  If you happen to have some extra time on your hands, you can read the details here in my “Ode to Cafe con Leche and Mallorcas” post.  Fortunately, the wonderful guest services staff remedied the situation the next day and we were able to enjoy the renovated room that we had booked.  And through the duration of our 5-night stay, we realized that this lovely resort was the hotel for us!  We have since stayed at the Caribe several times and we have never been let down!

But enough about MY stays there.  Let’s move onto all of the reasons that YOU should be staying at the Caribe…

The Lobby:

The first thing you will notice is the open lobby at the Caribe.  It is so bright, airy, and tropical.  There are a couple of parrots there to greet you (and by “greet” of course I mean either squawk loudly or completely ignore you! 😉 ) and some infused waters to refresh you after your travels.  To your immediate left is the front desk and then you can head straight down to the bar and then out to the pool area.  There is also a Starbucks and a couple of restaurants in the lobby area.  You can get an idea by the pictures we have taken in the lobby–clearly we enjoy Puerto Rico during the Christmas season!  🙂

The Rooms:

After checking in and soaking up a little of that relaxing Caribbean atmosphere in the lobby, you will probably be heading to your room.  From my personal experiences in various rooms at the Caribe, I have found that the rooms are all decorated with nice, fairly modern décor.   And no matter what room category you are in, your room will have standard Hilton bedding, which–in my opinion– is extremely comfortable.  I almost always sleep well at a Hilton!  But beyond those basic appointments, it seems that the rooms will vary.    We’ve had standard rooms and executive rooms; panoramic ocean views and partial ocean views; recently renovated rooms and rooms in need of a sprucing.   There are also different sections in which you can stay: the executive tower, the main tower, the garden wing, and the lagoon villas.  But truly, other than our very first night in a shabby room (which, let’s face it, may have been less shabby than it seemed through our “cranky at 2am after bumped flight & lost luggage” goggles), we have always been happy with our accommodations at the Caribe.  Just be sure to check out the descriptions of the categories that you are booking and it should work out just fine!  Here are a couple of pictures of one of the rooms:

And here are a few pictures of the amazing views we have had from our rooms:

The Pools and Beach:

The Caribe has some pretty awesome resort amenities to enjoy.  There are a few pools, loungers, hammocks, and a private beach with a deck.  There is bar service (food and drinks) at the pool and it is always wonderfully relaxing out there.  There is not much else to say other than, “Here, see for yourself!”

More of the Grounds:

If you can tear yourself away from the pool and beach area, there is more to explore at the Caribe Hilton.  There are gardens, a koi pond, and even the remains of a fort! No matter how many times I have stayed here, I still love to wander the grounds and enjoy the natural beauty.  And did I mention the birds?  There are peacocks, swans, geese, and ducks that live in the garden!

Are You Convinced?

If you’re not sold yet, here are a few more things that I think set the Caribe Hilton apart:

  • Location: The Caribe is ideally located!  It is not in a busy or crowded area, but it is still close enough to anywhere you might want to go in the San Juan area!
    • 15 minutes from the airport
    • 10 minutes from Avenida Ashford in Condado (or 25 minutes walking–not bad!)
    • 5-10 minute drive to Old San Juan
    • 45 minutes to El Yunque
    • 10-15 minute taxi ride to the Pan American Pier
    • 5 minute walk to the bus stop
  • Claim to Fame: The Caribe Hilton claims to be the originator of the piña colada! There is one more restaurant making this same claim, Barrachina.  Here is an article I found from USA Today that breaks down the facts.
  • Good Fitness Room: if you haven’t sweat enough by just stepping outside, there is a nice fitness room on the property. There are several cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and mats.
  • Plenty of Food Options: There are a couple of small restaurants in the lobby area as well as a Morton’s Steakhouse and the Piña Colada Club on the property.  There is also a Starbucks in case you want some coffee and snacks that make you feel at home.
  • Shopping: you can do some pretty good shopping without ever leaving the resort.  There are the typical sundries, souvenirs, and some nicer, higher end jewelry, shoes and clothing.
  • Car Rental Desk: you can rent a car right there at the Hilton.  Super quick and easy!

A Few More Pictures:

Next Up:

We are between trips right now, so I will be recalling some of my favorite destinations and travel anecdotes.  🙂

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