Puerto Rico Travel Recap

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We spent a long weekend in Puerto Rico and this was my first time staying there! We had stopped in San Juan, Puerto Rico years ago on our way home from a cruise, but I had never stayed on the island.

We stayed in Dorado for 3 nights & 4 days and we spent most of it at the resort and the beach! But we ended up wandering into Old San Juan for dinner one night, which was so fun. I should mention, this was our FIRST trip with the baby (2 months at the time) and it was also his first flight. So we made sure not to plan too much and to just go with the flow. Since this was a quick trip, I am doing a quick recap, in case anyone else is planning to head there. We had a great time! Here is what we did:

DORADO BEACH

I absolutely loved Dorado Beach! But when I looked on Pinterest, I couldn’t find much information on that area. The beach is gorgeous and the properties feel a bit more secluded than in the San Juan area.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Dorado and the resort was great! Family friendly, huge pool, pool bar, and beach access directly from the pool. As far as resorts go, it was nothing fancy, but it had everything you need including a small gym and a spa. The hotel had just undergone some renovations from the hurricane and the building is a bit older, but overall - very enjoyable stay (and GREAT prices)!

We were surprised that the resort fee INCLUDED breakfast every morning (with a made-to-order omelet bar) and cocktail hour every afternoon (with drinks and snacks). So we were on our own for lunch and dinner.

The pool at Embassy Suites, Dorado Beach.

The pool at Embassy Suites, Dorado Beach.

Taking in the palm trees at Dorado Beach at Embassy Suites.

Taking in the palm trees at Dorado Beach at Embassy Suites.

We spent Thursday and Friday at the pool just lounging while the baby napped. It was MUCH needed R&R for us new parents :) Plus my parents were there to help out, so we took turns bringing the baby into the AC of the hotel room. We at lunch pool side and there was a server walking around to the lounge chairs, taking drink orders. Strawberry daiquiri? Exactly what the doctor ordered! Plus, Remy had his first swim - well, first dunk.

Remy’s first swim!

Remy’s first swim!

One night, we decided to head to a nice dinner at the Ritz Carlton. And we were in for a treat!

DORADO BEACH - A RITZ CARLTON RESERVE

Oh my gosh, you guys. This deserved it’s own section because, even though we didn’t stay here, it was the most gorgeous property we have ever seen! I mean, Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve is honeymoon, anniversary, proposal, babymoon worthy! And let me tell you, it starts from the drive in. We booked dinner at one of the restaurants on-site called Coa.

We arrived on property right at sunset. Driving in, the foliage is so lush, you feel like you are ACTUALLY in Jurassic Park. No joke. There are also large sculptures and pieces of art placed throughout the property, which are gorgeous in their own right. I am pretty sure we were late for our reservation because we were driving - no, crawling - so slow down the winding path to the entrance of the hotel. Just taking it all in.

One of the main entry ways at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve.

One of the main entry ways at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve.

Family photo at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve - our only group shot the whole weekend :)

Family photo at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve - our only group shot the whole weekend :)

Once we valeted the car, we started walking through the hotel to get to the restaurant - which was beach front. The hotel itself was STUNNING. The outdoor lobby. The large couch swings. The shops. The infinity pool. The landscaping with exotic birds chirping. A crab even scurried down the pathway. It was ah-mazing.

Amazed by the view at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve.

Amazed by the view at the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve.

The pool and beach at the Dorado Ritz Carlton Reserve.

The pool and beach at the Dorado Ritz Carlton Reserve.

When we finally finished ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the hotel, we wandered into the restaurant - Coa - and had the best meal! The service was great and the food was even better. I got scallops, the husband got a wood-fired ribeye. The baby slept the entire time! Then the waitress took us on a tour of the wine cellar - the largest selection of wine in the Caribbean! After dinner, we headed back to our hotel, but loved making the 10 minute drive to check out this resort.

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OLD SAN JUAN

One afternoon we decided to head into Old San Juan to walk around and grab dinner. We spent a few hours just walking the streets and taking in the old buildings. It is such a pretty town! Everyone is on foot, there are tons of shops, and all of the restaurants seem to have good drinks and patios galore. It felt like vacation and the vibe was fun.

Admiring the buildings in Old San Juan.

Admiring the buildings in Old San Juan.

Walked past this gorgeous restaurant in Old San Juan - La Lanterna.

Walked past this gorgeous restaurant in Old San Juan - La Lanterna.

More gorgeous buildings in Old San Juan.

More gorgeous buildings in Old San Juan.

After wandering around town for awhile, we decided to stop into Barrachina for dinner and drinks. This is apparently the birthplace of the Pina Colada. I got the house red sangria and it was really yummy!

The family at Barrachina in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The family at Barrachina in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

House sangria at Barrachina in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico!

House sangria at Barrachina in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico!

We shopped a bit more after dinner and found the “umbrella street” and took some photos! Then started the drive back to our hotel (about 30 minutes to Dorado from Old San Juan, depending on traffic). But we didn’t head back without grabbing a few cigars for the guys and ice cream for the walk back. It was the perfect end to the evening! The next morning we headed back to Chicago after a few hours in the sun.

Umbrella Street (aka Fortaleza Street) in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Umbrella Street (aka Fortaleza Street) in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Panama hats in Old San Juan.

Panama hats in Old San Juan.

And that concludes our trip to Puerto Rico! It was quick, but we had a great time and we will be back.

Happy Travels!