When you travel to a tropical island, gorgeous sand, leafy palm trees, and warm, azure ocean are probably top of your list of must-haves. For Zickie and me, it’s the same thing. Give us a stunning view, and it’s bliss as far as these Island Runaways are concerned.
(Condado Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo (c) Zickie Allgrove)
Throw in a handsome, cool hotel? Then we really feel spoiled! Fortunately, on our trip to Puerto Rico together, the resort we booked into surprised us not only with delectable views from every vantage, but also chicly modern architecture and a range of bars, pools, and dining options.
The place is called La Concha (or La Concha Renaissance Resort, which is a bit more of a mouthful). You’ll find this white oasis in Condado, the beach mecca not very far from Old San Juan. Zickie and I checked into our waterview room, and immediately checked out the balcony. What a vista! Blue waves against clean, beige sand. Perfection, as far as we were concerned.
(View from our room. Photo (c) Zickie Allgrove)
Of course, like two kids we had to go exploring right away. We discovered not one, but three pools: one on the beach, one set in an interior courtyard next to little bars, and another one overlooking the beach, reserved just for adults. Talk about choices. This being Puerto Rico, famed for its rum, the bartenders at La Concha took the art of cocktail making seriously. Zickie discovered that they could deliver an exceptional mojito. I tried something a little different…
(Photo courtesy of La Concha Resort/Facebook)
One signature of the hotel is their restaurant La Perla, shaped like a seashell. It overlooks a standing pool, so that inside you feel as though you’re floating on water. A very cool effect.
(A view of La Perla and the beach. Photo (c) Zickie Allgrove)
What else did we like about La Concha? All throughout the hotel, there were little areas to sit, chat, and relax, when you needed a break from the tropical sun. The floors, of white marble, were kept totally spotless. The staff greeted us at every turn, and were helpful and friendly. Our room itself, a standard room, was not huge, but its contemporary furniture, awesome bathroom, and convenient (but discrete) kitchenette made us feel right at home.
(Leafy atrium at La Concha. Photo (c) Zickie Allgrove)
Housekeeping did a good job each day. Another interesting fact? Despite it being a rather large property, we never felt crowded. The way the spaces were scattered all throughout the hotel’s footprint meant that you didn’t have a lot of guests in any one area. In some ways, the experience was more of a boutique hotel than a resort!
(The courtyard pool area, which never felt crowded. Photo (c) Zickie Allgrove)
At the time of our stay, I didn’t realize that in fact La Concha is quite well-known on the island as being a fine example of “Tropical Modernism” architecture. The original core of the resort was built in 1958, but you would never know it was that old, given the refurbishments and contemporary vibe of the property.
Old San Juan was an easy taxi ride away, and the attendants always got us a cab in seconds. I might like to stay in Old San Juan itself another time (since Zickie and I are both history buffs) but I have to admit, returning from sight-seeing and being able to relax on the beach…was pretty special.
Would we return to La Concha? Definitely. From the warm welcomes to the beautiful design, the resort exceeded our expectations. And isn't that always a fantastic surprise on any Caribbean getaway?
Have you ever stayed at La Concha, fellow island lovers? Or other San Juan hotels? Don't forget to share your Island tips with our contact form. Thanks so much!