November 19, 2019
Recently I had the amazing pleasure to travel to Caribe Hilton in San Juan Puerto Rico. It was AMAZING! Puerto Rico is a lush tropical location that was only a quick flight from Atlanta. It’s also part of the USA so no passport is needed, making it a super easy destination to travel to when you are in need of a tropical escape.
We went in October and the weather was absolutely perfect. It was warm and sunny without being overly hot and humid. Caribe Hilton is the birthplace of the Piña Colada. It is one of the original 5 star hotels on the island and recently underwent a 150 million dollar renovation after the damage caused by the hurricane. You’d never know it was ever hit because it was 100% gorgeous and restored. I adore the open air lobby that is so common on most tropical resorts. The breeze that flows through is warm and inviting with the perfect hint of the tropical salt air.
There is a beautiful reception area and the Caribar right in the lobby area where you can find all the Piña Colada goodness you could ever desire. Believe me when I say I drank my fair share of every kind of Piña Colada on the menu. The hotel had a luxurious pool with a swim up bar that overlooks the only private beach on the entire island. It was literally a slice of paradise.
There are lots of activities for the whole family. Whether you’re on a relaxing couples escape, a family vacation or a girl’s weekend there is something for everyone. There are yoga classes on the beach, games and programs for families with kids, and fun lawn / sand games. There is an ice cream station right by the kids area of the pool as well. They have a concierge station with towels, sunscreen, and pool floats as well should you need any. The poolside service is great as well – no matter if you sit in the bar or in the pool deck there is a wait staff that will come by and take your order for anything you might need!
Bagua is the name of the poolside swim up bar and we definitely visited it as much as we could. It provided fun drinks, snacks and some shade when we needed it. There were these amazing poolside lounging stations that were basically big flat beds to lounge on in between taking a dip in the pool. Also the perfect spot for a luxurious poolside photo!
The rooms were lovely and spacious with beautiful views of the coastline. We stayed in a double queen room that could totally accommodate a family of 4 or friends! There was really good AC so we were nice and chilly in our beds while we slept. We also ordered room service a time or two and they were open really late and had yummy dessert options we may or may not have had a time or two. But important to note that the bar closes at 11pm so you can only order drinks via room service until then.
They did a fabulous job with having several certified Gluten Free dining options on site. One of the restaurants, Mojitos, had gluten free flat breads that were out of this world yummy. Also, the plantain and yuca chips that they serve with most everything are also certified gluten free because they have an entirely separate fryer and prep station when you request Gluten Free. So many Celiac friendly options at the resort . It was definitely harder when we went out to eat in the city, but while on property at Caribe I felt totally safe and had many options for food. THANK YOU Hilton for making that a priority for your hotel. I was beyond impressed.
We were just a short $5 uber ride to the Old San Juan historic area and got to go on food and history tour. We had a blast taking photos, eating, and learning about the history of the city as we toured our way through the old city. I LOVE learning about the history of the places I visit because it is so important to me to understand the places I travel to and understand exactly what I am looking at and experience the history and culture of the place I am in. So needless to say, I had a blast! We ended up chatting with the owner of the food tour and it turns out she’s from my hometown and we went to the same college! Seriously a small world!
The food, the culture, and DEFINITELY the Pina Coladas stole my heart, but I truly have to say that staying at Caribe Hilton was the best experience I could have asked for as a newly diagnosed person with Celiac disease. I think their attention to detail and providing so many 100 % Gluten Free options for their guests just speaks to their greater level of attention to detail as a whole. The team at Caribe Hilton is excellent at excellence. From the check in process to the little things, like providing sunscreen for those who forget it, to the top level poolside service, the multiple accessibility apparatuses to make sure any one can get to and enjoy the full resort ( pool lift included!) and beautiful grounds – it was an amazing experience and I am yet again extremely impressed by the Hilton hotel brand.
And OMG THE SPA. If all of the restaurants, bars, beautiful rooms and pool wasn’t enough, they have an AMAZING spa!
The Zen Oceana Spa was absolutely beautiful. Literally one of the prettiest spas I’ve been to. The decor was on point and I really wanted to take home most of the decor accessories they had in there. The oxyzen facial I got was amazing and I definitely left feeling dewey and glowing. It was a full service spa with steam room, dry sauna, and whirlpool. We had a good time enjoying those before our treatments. It also overlooks the green space area that also then overlooks the ocean so it is pretty hard to beat a view like that, and you can even get a massage in an ocean view room! There was a great fitness center and tennis court facility attached to the spa and you had access to those on the day of your treatment or could buy a day pass to use them as well. Click here to see my instagram stories about our spa adventure and the trip!
All in all, I will 100% go back with my husband as soon as I can. I need to book activities to do on the island to make me get off the resort property! It was so great that we literally spent 85% of our time at the resort and didn’t feel the need or desire to leave! But I know that Puerto Rico offers so much adventure and beauty to be discovered so next time I will just have to book a longer trip so I can get my fill of time in the resort and make myself go on an adventure! The flights are literally about the same price / time as from Atlanta to New York… what are you waiting for?!
Have you been to Puerto Rico before? If so, let me know what were your favorite parts of your time there? I need to start adding to my Return to Puerto Rico bucket list!