May 11, 2017

Viva Travels: 6 Things to do at Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico


I recently had the opportunity to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico thanks to Caribe Hilton, which hosted me along with five other journalists. This was my third time visiting Puerto Rico, but my first time staying at the hotel. As soon as I arrived at San Juan airport and told my driver I was staying at Caribe Hilton, he couldn’t resist sharing some fun history about the hotel, including that it’s the place where the iconic Piña Colada was invented. How cool is that? I quickly realized there was so much history to this beautiful hotel, which first opened its doors in 1949. The hotel itself is modern and ranked among some of the top luxurious hotels in Puerto Rico.

The Room: My room was spacious, super clean and had the most beautiful views overlooking the ocean. I was also greeted with the most delicious fruit platter filled with lychees, starfruit, grapes and berries---so yummy.




{My view from my room}

In case you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico soon, here are 7 things to do at Caribe Hilton:

1. Take a walk through their luscious gardens: Caribe Hilton has a beautiful tropical garden with peacocks, swans and so much more. I loved going here for a walk in the morning before starting my day.




 2. Go snorkeling or snuba diving: I’m always up for an adventure when I travel, and the best part is you don’t have to go too far at Caribe Hilton. They have onsite snorkeling and snuba diving. It was my first time going snuba diving and I really enjoyed it. We got to see (and touch) some pretty cool animals such as sea urchins, a starfish and a sea horse.



3. Relax at the pool: No beach getaway would be complete without spending time at the pool. This is always one of my favorite things to do. You can layout in one of their many poolside beds.



4. Squeeze in a workout at the gym: Alright, so maybe it’s just me, but I always like to squeeze in a workout during my travels, which is why the hotel gym is really important to me. I was really impressed with the fitness center at Caribe Hilton. It had everything from weights, cardio machines, to even a smith machine. It was also really spacious and they even offered free classes like yoga, ab workouts…etc.



5. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at their amazing restaurants: The food at Caribe Hilton was soooooo good. They serve up everything from Puerto Rican cuisine, fresh seafood, Italian classics and much more (they also have a Morton’s on-site). We got to meet with the executive chef, who had prepared some amazing dishes for us, including sweet plantain escabeche, chicken pinchos with a guava spiced rum bbq to a Tahiti lime mousse. What I really loved is that they source a lot of their ingredients from local farms and use several organic ingredients! Every morning I would have breakfast in their Palmeras restaurant, which had the most amazing fresh juices (from watermelon, soursop, tamarind to guava). I was in juice heaven.







6. Grab a piña colada: Oh and you can’t leave without trying a piña colada in their Caribar. You can try the original recipe which was created right there at the hotel in 1954 to global variations.


{Caribar}

Nearby entertainments/restaurants: A short one-minute walk away (literally) you’ll find Paseo Caribe, it’s a shopping plaza filled with restaurants, bars, boutiques and live entertainment. On one of the nights we got to enjoy a live concert and then grabbed dinner at Touro (a tapas restaurant) followed by some dancing. You can also grab a taxi to El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) which is about 5-10 minutes away)



Overall, the feeling you get from this hotel is passion, family and love. Seriously, everyone there is so nice and friendly. I got to hear some beautiful stories, from “Pitito” the man that has been working there for 70+ years to the executive chef who first started at the hotel when he was in his teens and worked his way up. Not to mention, I got to make some beautiful friendships during this trip. Thank you SO much Caribe Hilton for having me. I enjoyed every minute of it.

{The Executive Chef with "Pitito"}




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