Culture

20 Best Hotels & Resorts in Puerto Rico

Let’s be honest, with everything that the beautiful Caribbean island has gone through, there really is no better time to support Puerto Rico and it’s economy. What better way to do so than heading to the island and spending your vacation time at its beautiful beaches and investing in it’s local businesses. For your next big getaway plan a trip to these hotels and resorts in Puerto Rico!

1. El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Located in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, this alluring luxury resort will bring you brilliant ocean views from exquisite villas and rooms. The resort is divided into five villages that will prove to be an essential getaway from the world. 

2. Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

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Located on a beach lined with beautiful palm trees, this sheltered resort and spa will be the perfect place for the guest looking for relaxation time. The resort is home to 12 restaurants that offer the best cuisines including authentic Puerto Rican food, Asian tastes, Italian and Tex-Mex.

3. The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan

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Escape to paradise at the Ritz-Carlton based in San Juan. The hotel boasts 4.5 stars on Google reviews, a spa and fun casino.

4. Olive Boutique Hotel

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This “art de vivre” inspired hotel grants visitors a unique experience of luxury and intimacy. The boutique hotel provides areas with unique stories inspired by special regions including Morocco, Spagna, Italy and France.

5. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

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Set on the backdrop of a coconut farm, the resort is nestled between water and sea and brags sprawling golf courses and spas.

6. W Retreat and Spa, Vieques Island

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Embrace your vacation with a luxury trip to the W retreat where palm trees flank every view and spas will be your greatest escape. Enjoy access to fun water sports and world-class cuisines at sunset.

7. InterContinental San Juan

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This beachfront luxury resort as lagoon pools, spas, and gardens for your pleasure. Close to Old San Juan, the financial district, and the international airport, you will not visit this resort and miss out on its charms.

8. Hotel El Convento

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This grand destination setting will sweep you away with its splendorous views and cuisine. Located in San Juan, this small luxury hotel is one of the oldest members of Historic Hotels of America.

9. CasaBlanca Hotel

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This 4.5 star rated hotel is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Guests will be b=pleased to find themselves in a hotel at the center of the city.

10. La Terraza de San Juan

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This luxury hotel located in the heart of historic Old San Juan offers beautiful suites and luxury dining.

11. Condado Vanderbilt Hotel

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Located in Condado, this hotel is home to beautiful beachfront views and is in the city center of Condado Beach, San Juan.

12. Verdanza Hotel San Juan

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Rated 4.7 stars, this luxury hotel is a favorite of TripAdvisor users visiting Puerto Rico.

13. Villas Opal Anfi Tauro

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The Villas Opal property features a luxury spa just 9 miles out from the Playa del Ingles property. Enjoy wonderful golfing opportunities and luxury views.

14. Marina Suites Gran Canaria

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Located in the heart of Puerto Rico, this luxury hotel offers cheap rates and rooms rated with 4.3 stars.

15. Servatur Casablanca

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Comfort, uniqueness and design. These are the features, guests of Servatur say you can expect at this hotel located in Puerto Rico Gran Canaria Las Palmas.

16. Morasol Suites

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Located just 8 miles from Playa del Ingles the hotel is yacht-lined and set up against the marina.

17. Gloria Palace Amdores Thalasso & Hotel

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With a property that is only a 6-minute walk from the beach, guests with sea legs will love the ocean views and luxury that this cliff top located hotel provides.

18. Hotel Altamadores

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This contemporary apartment-style hotel is just a 15-minute hike out from Amadores Beach and 5 km from Anfi Tauro. The hotel offers sweeping views of the ocean and great rates.

19. Marina Bayview Gran Canaria

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At around $233 per night, Marina Bayview is for the visitor ready to splurge. This gem of a hotel provides special touches, pool areas, and comfy rooms.

20. Holiday Club Puerto Calma

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This breezy resort is located just 20 min away from Playa de Puerto Rico and features amazing balcomes with sea views and a beautiful sauna and fitness center.


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Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

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Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

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