By Katrice L. Mines, Senior Editor
My friends ask me often: “Where are you headed next?” Puerto Rico is atop of everyone’s favorite list of places to retreat. My destination mid-May – San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in the trendy Condado Beach neighborhood was, as well. Half of the people I mentioned the resort to had stayed there already and talking about it made them instantly nostalgic to return. That was a good sign. I looked forward to the balmy, warm air that greeted me, relieved to have escaped the unseasonably rainy spring weather in Atlanta for a few days; and I had just a few pursuits in mind – lounging by the pool, scouting good food and a stroll through the historic colonial district. From the moment you enter San Juan Marriott’s property, you are met with the sights, sounds and aromas of the tropics. Business and leisure travelers comingle in the oceanfront lodging on the famous Condado Beach, steps from the water and near popular attractions like Old San Juan, Old San Juan Forts and the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
Each of San Juan Marriott’s spacious, relaxing rooms offers luxury bedding and a private balcony with striking views of Puerto Rico’s capital city. Ocean Club Wellness Center combines a state-of-the-art fitness facility where classes are available with the offering of spa services, and lazing all day is easy between the resort’s heated outdoor pool and beach. Like the rest of the island, sun and the soothing clatter of the ocean are plentiful and so replenishing is the utmost objective from which everyone staffed to aid in that goal takes their cue. Just one block from the hotel, a cooking lesson at Atelier Cocina Abierta is a must if you’re looking for an experience to add some dimension to your getaway.
The Atelier at Cocina Abierta is an interactive space for the development and enjoyment of food, wine and spirits and an apt meeting point where culinary enthusiasts come together to explore the world through its cuisine. There is also no shortage of classic Puerto Rican fare back at the hotel with choices like Red Coral Lounge just off the lobby, La Vista Beachside Grill, La Isla Beach Bar, Coffee Merchant Treats To Go and more. San Juan Marriott is an ideal home base to see and do it all – including try your hand at the Roulette table in Stellaris Casino – in full relaxation mode.