The ease of traveling to Puerto Rico from the mainland United States (no passport or foreign currency) has made the island more a mainstream getaway than an exclusive haven. But a string of new resorts, some with a nod to the island’s storied past in tourism, have opened in and around San Juan. The Condado Vanderbilt, a stately 1919-vintage hotel on the oceanfront in San Juan that had been closed since 1993, opened an upscale restaurant called 1919 in October. Its 323 rooms, spread between the historic building and two new towers, are expected to open by this summer.
About 20 miles west of town, the Ritz-Carlton’s new Dorado Beach opened last month with 115 rooms all facing the ocean, 11 miles of walking and biking trails, a spa with treehouse massage pavilions and a restaurant from the chef José Andrés. The hotel occupies the footprint of a hotel of the same name that was owned by a Rockefeller. Another resort that evokes the spirit of an earlier era is the 426-acre golf club Royal Isabela, which just opened 20 one-bedroom casitas, each with a private pool, offering nonmembers access to its restaurant and cliff-top golf. (source: www.nytimes.com, Elaine Glusac)