Luxury, amenities abound at El San Juan resort

Luxury, amenities abound at El San Juan resort

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If the newly warm weather has you itching for a beach getaway, a trip to Puerto Rico’s capital city may be just the ticket.

San Juan is just a four-hour trip from Philadelphia but its expansive beaches, crystal-blue water and perfect fusion of old- and new-world charm will make you feel worlds away.

Among the gems of San Juan is El San Juan Resort & Casino, a sprawling complex in the Carolina section that offers a vacation steeped in luxury and relaxation, with enough amenities and activities to suit travelers of all backgrounds and interests.

The 15-acre beachfront property offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the white sands of the Isla Verde Beach — largely considered the most picturesque beach in Puerto Rico — where guests can lounge in resort chairs or rented cabanas to soak up rays or sip cocktails.

Steps from the beach is the resort’s expansive pool area, featuring three distinctive pools, including one with a swim-up bar. Cabanas, a sundeck and lush gardens border the pools, and visitors can take a respite from the tropical heat in hammocks strung from palm trees.

After a dip in the pool or a day on the beach, El San Juan’s stylish and well-appointed rooms are a welcomed place to cool off or chill out. The resort is home to 386 guest rooms, as well as 22 suites. Rooms in the resort’s tower each come equipped with a flat-screen TV, an iHome, free WiFi and sensor-activated air conditioning, among other amenities — all presented in accommodations that are open, airy and make exquisite use of white and bright colors for a chic beach feel.

If you want to spend a bit extra for even more luxury, El San Juan offers a number of separately housed rooms in the Garden Lanais, with about 450 square feet of modern accommodations, including a private balcony overlooking the gardens and pools. The Oceanfront Lanais span up to 650 square feet and feature glass-enclosed showers, Jacuzzi baths and separate sitting areas, as well as balconies that open onto stunning ocean views.

If you can pull yourself away from the pools and guestrooms, El San Juan has myriad other offerings to keep you busy.

The resort houses nine restaurants, comprising tastes from Italian to Caribbean to Pan-Asian, and which range from casual poolside eateries to upscale fine dining.

El San Juan features 15 bars, clubs and lounges throughout the complex, including bars designated for specific drinks, such as a rum-focused area. Evenings bring throngs of vacationers from the resort and elsewhere in San Juan to the lobby for live music, cocktails and conversation. Or, guests can take in the sights and sounds at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, an 8,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor sports bar and grill, located high atop the tower, overlooking the ocean.

Or, if retail therapy is more your speed, the resort is also home to the Shops at La Galeria, a maze of boutiques that include a beauty salon and designer clothes and jewelry stores.

Before guests visit the shops to stock up on souvenirs for their loved ones (or themselves), they can try to line their wallets with winnings from the resort’s casino. Located adjacent to the lobby, the casino features state-of-the-art slots, as well as games from blackjack to baccarat and everything in between.

After a night of partying, guests can treat themselves to a morning at the spa, which offers the full gamut of body and skin treatments. And, once rejuvenated, they can set off to enjoy all the area has to offer.

The adventurous traveler can partake in an array of water sports or hike through El Yunque Rainforest, about an hour’s drive from the resort.

For a dose of history, travelers can make the 7-mile trek to Old San Juan, a 16th-century town rife with close cobblestoned streets, impressive architecture and forts that have overlooked the ocean for centuries. Amid the archaic buildings, however, is a sea of modern restaurants, boutiques, galleries and museums.

San Juan has a flourishing LGBT scene, and El San Juan is among the venues opening its doors to the community.

The venue can serve as a perfect getaway for couples looking for a romantic respite, especially for a honeymoon, or for groups in search of a fun atmosphere with a diverse set of opportunities.

Regardless of your vacation interests, El San Juan can offer a top-notch, unforgettable experience.

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