Luxury resorts,the beach and nightlife describes the region of Isla Verde in Puerto Rico in a nutshell. The misleadlingly named Isla Verde which literally translates to ‘Green Island’ is a hip, hot and happening getaway for the rich and famous. If your pocket allows it, Isla Verde would be the perfect destination for some clubbing, good resorts and celeb spotting. The beautiful crescent shaped shoreline allows you to switch settings between seaside and big city in no time at all.
Deriving its name from the tiny 0.6 acre island north of Punta Medio, Isla Verde is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the North, Condado, San Juan in the West, Santurce, San Juan in the South and by downtown Carolina in the East. Book a trip to this Puerto Rican paradise to experience a day in the life of a fat walletted jet setter.
Take a cab from the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport which should cost you around $10 to $20 depending on the destination. Tipping the taxi driver is customary here so keep a little spare cash at hand for the same.
Although Isla Verde is most famous for its luxury resorts, accommodation is available in various price ranges.
For a relatively inexpensive stay, book a room at the Coqui Inn with its friendly staff and good facilities. The Boriquen Beach Inn offers budget accommodation in the vicinity of the beach.
The well located Courtyard by Marriott offers moderately priced accommodation and is a great family style hotel. ESJ Towers allows you to rent one or two bedroom apartments right on the beach at a moderate price.
If you’re willing to splurge, the El San Juan Hotel and Casino is one of the best casino hotels in Puerto Rico, perpetually bustling with activity. Another option for the large budget is the Water and Beach Club, a super stylish, hip and sexy boutique hotel. If you have cash to burn, you can check out the Ritz Carlton which boasts a superb casino, an enviable spa and gorgeous, elegant rooms.
If you’re looking to try local Puerto Rican delicacies, Isla Verde isn’t really the best place to be. It tries to cater to the dietary needs of international clientele and sees a lack of businesses serving an authentic Puerto Rican platter. Certain restaurants like Platos are your best bet to try local dishes with a unique spin.
La Piccola Fontana is popular for authentic Italian cuisine. Ceviche serves internationally acclaimed Peruvian cuisine specialising in seafood. Tangerine at the Water and Beach Club is an excellent option if you’re looking for some place stylish, expensive and sexy to grab a bite.
Espana Bakery has been touted the best place to sample authentic Spanish cuisine in the area. Taste the delectable pastelitos, Fabada Austriana, Caldo Callego, sandwiches and cafecito- the local coffee drink that this 30 year old bakery has to offer.
Relative to other neighbourhoods in San Juan, Isla Verde doesn’t boast bustling bazaars and shopping destinations. Tourist stores are found along the main street of the area. Puebla can be viewed as a Puerto Rican take of a supermarket. There are haute couture and high end jewellery stores at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino and the Ritz Carlton. Algo d’Aqui is a popular tourist store on Isla Verde Avenue for distinctive souvenirs.
Spend a day sunbathing or swimming at Isla Verde Beach or Carolina Beach, the latter offering more amenities. You can also take a dive in the clear, blue waters of the area. San Juan Waterfun at Isla Verde Beach organises activities like boating, parasailing and other water sports.
Take a gamble at one of Isla Verde’s several quality casinos. For an unusual spectacle of cockfighting, head to Club Gallistico de Puerto Rico.
Any trip to Isla Verde is sorely incomplete without a night out at one of its many nightclubs. An international party hub, the area never fails to impress with the sheer excess of its nightlife. Party among the affluent at Club Brava, the hottest club in San Juan at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino. Visit Wet at the Water and Beach Club for the impressive rooftop setting. Lupi’s on Isla Verde avenue is popular among the younger clientele for its affordable Mexican fare and generous drink portions.
To wind down and relax after a big night out, head straight to Isla Verde’s superb spas. The Edouard du Paris Spa at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino is a popular favourite. Visit the spa at the Ritz Carlton for local ingredients, essences and aromas. The spa at the Intercontinental boasts treatments, facials and body wraps by Elemis.
Want to be King for a day? Jet around between the best of hotels? Party like there’s no tomorrow? Sip pina coladas while watching the world carry on? Get a suntan amongst the most expensive string bikinis in the world? And find leisure and solace while you’re at it? Save up and head to Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. It may burn a hole in your pocket, but its well worth it.