San Juan Journals

San Juan for Business

A January 2007 trip to San Juan by MKtravel

Quote: San Juan is not the most luxurious of vacation spots, but it has some highlights worth seeing.
Quote:
The Caribe Hilton is a very popular hotel. It is a mix between a resort and a conference center, there were a lot of business folks and a lot of families with kids. The grounds are clean and are right on the beach. The pool area is great and the service is very friendly. We stayed in the Main Tower and really enjoyed our view. Our first night, the walls seemed rather thin as we could hear everything said by the teenagers in the room next door. We didn't have the problem the second night though, so it could have just been that they were loud. The Executive Lounge for Hilton Gold members had a good sized breakfast and was stocked with snacks and drinks throughout the day. The location is about a 1 mile ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

Caribe Hilton
Calles Los Rosales
San Juan, Puerto Rico ACH FRONT
17877210303

Cafe Puerto Rico

Restaurant

Quote:
This little cafe was serves typical Puerto Rican fare. Portions are good sized and the food is made fresh. Entrées come with your choice of two sides and are decently priced. The food was cooked well and was not dry. I ordered the grouper and was surprised by how much fish they gave me. Their mixed drinks aren't that great, but are only $6.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

Cafe Puerto Rico
Calle O'Donnell 208
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 724-2281

Barrachina

Restaurant

Quote:
This is one of the so-called birthplaces of the piña colada. They give out free samples to anyone who walks to the back of the restaurant. Take a free sample, but skip a meal. We dined here with some friends who are locals. They explained what the dishes were supposed to taste like when prepared properly. After eating some hard plantains (they're supposed to be soft), I actually started to have stomach pains. I managed to stay at the table for the rest of the meal, only to taste some very dry chicken. This is more of a tourist trap than a good restaurant.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

Barrachina
104 Fortaleza St.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
(787) 721-5852

Café Berlin

Restaurant

Quote:
Outside of the US, it can be impossible to find good vegetarian food. Cafe Berlin in San Juan is like an Oasis in the carnivore desert. My wife and I both ordered off the vegetarian section on the menu. We got Tofu entrées and the food was delicious. It's very rare to find a restaurant that has actual vegetarian dishes, as opposed to just not including meat in their regular dishes. The food tasted wonderful. They also gave us complimentary cocktails and had very friendly service.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

Café Berlin
Plaza Colon 407
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 722-5205

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Currently the entrance fee is $3 per adult. For that price you get to see an old fort that has survived multiple attacks over hundreds of years. The fort and the amazing views are really all there is to see. The park service has added some explanatory signage and historical information, but most of it talks about the same few battles. It's not as inspiring as some other historical sites and it does not have the same level of safety precautions as I'm used to in the US, so keep a hold of your young children. For the price, it's a good way to spend an hour and take some pictures.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

El Morro/Castillo de San Felipe del Morro
On San Juan Bay Calle Norzagaray
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
(787) 729 6960

Quote:
Bacardi is one of the oldest and best selling rum manufacturers in the world. The Puerto Rico facility is their flagship. Unfortunately, the tour is not of the facility, but rather of a visitor center they have designed to include historic memorabilia and replicas. The tour is free and is educational and somewhat entertaining, it also includes two free drinks. Getting there from Old San Juan is easy, just take the $0.50 ferry to Catano and then take a $10 cab from the parking structure to the right of the harbor. If you have nothing else to do, or if you're interested in rum manufacturing, then go for it. If not, stay on the beach and enjoy yourself.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 10, 2007

Bacardí Rum Distillery
Bay View Industrial Park Route 165, Km. 2.6
Catano, Puerto Rico 00962
(787) 788-8400