San Juan Journals

A Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

A November 2004 trip to San Juan by FSO_Michael

Waldorf El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa Photo, Fajardo, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: For Thanksgiving 2004, we embarked on a new tradition: sun, sand, and surf in beautiful Puerto Rico. An amazingly short four hours away from New Jersey, we enjoyed relaxation and recreation at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort and Spa - a little piece of heaven on earth.

A Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

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Overview

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Puerto Rico is a must-see destination in the Caribbean, especially since U.S. citizens are free to travel between Puerto Rico and the mainland without documentation like passports or birth certificates. For first-time visitors, I recommend the following: Old San Juan - Once you enter Old San Juan, you feel like you’ve stepped into a Colonial Spanish town, which is what San Juan started as nearly 500 years ago. You can walk the narrow cobblestone streets and enjoy a stunning architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries. Our favorite activity in Old San Juan is shopping. We particularly enjoy the various arts and crafts stores, such as Olé, located at Calle Fortaleza 105, with its...Read More

Waldorf El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa

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Hotel | "El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa"

Waldorf El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa Photo, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
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TO THE HOTEL: The majority of the route to the hotel was on multi-lane highways; traffic was no problem at all. It would have taken about 50 minutes to reach the hotel; however, I did have problems with the driving directions listed on the hotel website. After calling the concierge and getting better directions, we finally reached the hotel (lost about 20 minutes of driving multiple times past the turn-off point into what is a residential area. All told, I probably should have gotten more detailed directions before I left. My bad. CHECK-IN: As a Wyndham By Request member, the express check-in took a total of 5 minutes, including time waiting in line. For a busy holiday weekend, I thought this w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 17, 2005

Waldorf El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa
1000 El Conquistador Avenue
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
787-863-1000

Isabela's Steak House & Grill

Restaurant | "Isabela's Steak House"

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Isabela's normally functions as a steak and seafood restaurant. Since we arrived on Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant was serving a special Thanksgiving dinner buffet. The food was well-prepared, and the presentation was spectacular. For the cold buffet, there were multiple prepared salads, as well as peel-and-eat jumbo shrimp, grilled asparagus, and more. For the hot buffet, there was turkey (of course), but with special Puerto Rican touches, such as tropical salsas and other spices that made it a little more than just a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. There was also a roasted pork that was absolutely delicious. While the meal was no doubt pricey ($55 for adults, $25 for our 5-year-...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 17, 2005

Isabela's Steak House & Grill
El Conquistador Resort & Country Club
Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646
787/863-1000

Blossoms at El Conquistador Resort

Restaurant | "Blossoms"

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Blossoms was the site of our last dinner at El Conquistador, and what a fitting finale! We had the teppanyaki service. For anyone not familiar with teppanyaki, it is an experience not to be missed. Half of the meal is all about witnessing the chef's skill in chopping, slicing, dicing, cooking, and presenting each person's meal. We all found this to be hugely entertaining, particularly a "volcano" made out of a stack of onion slices. For my meal, I had the filet mignon, my wife had scallops, and my son had a half-order of shrimp, which was free because of our resort package. My filet was tender and melted in my mouth. My wife's scallops were firm, yet tender. To accompany the main d...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 17, 2005

Blossoms at El Conquistador Resort
1000 Conquistador Avenue
Fajardo, Puerto Rico 00738
(787) 863-1000

Sliding Maniac Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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One of the highlights for me and my son were the swimming pools at El Conquistador. There are six pools in all, and we spent time in most of them. My son truly enjoyed the pool slide and easily spent 1-2 hours at a time just on this one activity. We also spent time on inner tubes (free to rent) just floating around in the water. On the weekend, there were evening movies shown poolside, while hotel staff delivered drinks and popcorn to the children. The atmosphere was extremely relaxing.