Ocean Home

April/May 2012

Ocean Home magazine is for people who love the luxury oceanfront lifestyle, from home design and decor to world-class beach resorts, villas, hotels, and destinations.

Issue link: http://digital.oceanhomemag.com/i/57834

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Page 54 of 116

TRAVELER | DESTINATIONS paradise island: In Puerto Rico, visitors can explore Cayo Diablo Island, Old San Juan's nightlife, and Sun Bay Beach in Vieques, or go kayaking on Bio Bay. Puerto Rico Pride A quick trip from the U.S., Puerto Rico is brimming with upscale hotels, divine restaurants, and beautiful beaches. By Lisa Rogak Puerto Rico is often overlooked as a warm-weather getaway, which is unfor- tunate, because it's an easy jaunt from most of the United States. Plus, you can leave your passport at home. This unincorporated U.S. territory offers a multitude of diversity to visi- tors, from the salsa-infused energy of San Juan to the ultra-laid-back beach culture of Vieques. And at only 100 miles long and 35 miles wide, it's small enough that you can cram three dis- tinctly different vacations—city, beach, and resort—into a week (or less), as get- ting from one place to another won't eat up a lot of your precious vacation time. Start in San Juan, the capital. Old San Juan has a clearly European flavor, with wrought-iron balconies and Easter egg-colored houses, where residents call to one another above the cobble- stoned streets. Browse the shops, soak in the history of a 500-year-old fort or 17th-century cathedral, or sit on a bench to take in the sights of the city and enjoy its people's energy. Next, grab a short 25-minute flight to Vieques, an island that is largely un- 52 oceanhomemag.com april + may 2012 spoiled and undiscovered…for now. Until 2003, the island served as a vital Navy outpost, which kept Vieques relatively undeveloped. With the arrival of the W Resort in 2010, more people flocked to the island, yet the downtown area and roads that crisscross the island remain largely unchanged. Activities cater to outdoors lovers—biking, horseback rid- ing, kayaking—and it's not unusual to spend hours pursuing these endeavors without encountering another person. To wrap things up, opt for classic luxury at El Conquistador, a Waldorf- Astoria property. Located in the northeastern corner of the main island, the resort makes a great jumping-off point for all of the activities that are packed into this small corner of the island. Plus, guests at the resort are al- lowed the opportunity to spend the day at Palomino Island, a private 100-acre reserve with horseback riding, snor- keling, windsurfing, and sailing--or just relaxing on the beach. Of course, while you can easily experience all three vacations over the course of a week, you can just pick one and still get the full flavor of Puerto Rico. seepuertorico.com. the essentials puerto rico 1 Where to Stay The Hotel El Convento is a beautiful Spanish Colonial building. 100 Cristo Street, Old San Juan 00901; 787-723-9020; elconvento.com. The W Retreat and Spa Vieques will make you feel like you're lazing on your own private island. State Road 200, Vieques; 787-741-4100; wvieques. com. El Conquistador Resort is perched high above the ocean on a cliff. 1000 El Conquistador Avenue, Fajardo 00738; 787-863-1000; elconresort.com. 2 Where to Eat Augosto's Restaurant is one of San Juan's best restaurants, offering contem- porary French cuisine and impec- cable service. Courtyard Marriott Miramar, Avenida Ponce de Leon 801, Miramar, San Juan; 787-725-7700; marriott.com. Pikayo at The Con- rad Condado Plaza offers dishes that fuse cuisines from Eastern Europe and Africa with traditional Puerto Rican flavors. 999 Ashford Avenue, San Juan 00907; 787-721- 6194; condadoplaza.com. 3 What To Do The Museum of Art of Puerto Rico contains artifacts from the 16th century. Ave- nida De Diego 299, Santurce, San Juan, 00909; 787-977-6277; mapr. org. El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. Rio Grande, 787-888-1880; fs.usda.gov/ elyunque. Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century fort near Old San Juan, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Norzagaray St., San Juan 00901; 787-729-6777; nps.gov.

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