During our last Spring break in sunny Puerto Rico, we stayed at Caribe Hilton for part of the time we spent on the island. We greatly enjoyed this family-friendly resort; so much so, in fact, that we will definitely be back when we visit the beautiful and vibrant island of Puerto Rico again. Here are 10 reasons our family loved Caribe Hilton:
JUST A SHORT JAUNT FROM THE AIRPORT
I’m sure you have taken those trips where after a long plane ride you land, eager to finally begin your vacation, only to have to endure another long ride in the taxi or a shuttle bus in order to get to your resort. You won’t have this problem with Caribe Hilton! Before our eyes, weary from the long Chicago winter, could adjust to the bright sunshine of Puerto Rico, we were already at our resort. In all seriousness, it took less than 15 minutes from the time we jumped into our taxi to the time we were being welcomed in the Caribe Hilton lobby. In no time we were poolside, smiling with tropical drinks in hand.
PROXIMITY TO OLD SAN JUAN AND THE CONDADO AREA
Another bonus point for this resort’s location is its proximity to Old San Juan, which you will certainly want to visit during your stay on the island. Our taxi ride to the Plaza de Colón, which is a good starting point for exploring the old town, took less than 10 minutes.
In the other direction from Caribe Hilton, across the bridge by the Laguna del Condado, is the contemporary Condado neighborhood, known for restaurants, shopping and its beach. For those who enjoy nightlife, Condado also boasts many dance clubs, bars and casinos. Depending on your destination, this area is within walking distance or a very short taxi ride from the resort.
KIDS ARE CELEBRATED GUESTS
As a mom, it obviously matters to me that any resort destination we travel to is family friendly. This was certainly the case with Caribe Hilton. For starters, every guest 12 and under receives a surprise welcome gift of several beach toys.
Kids under 5 eat free and kids 6-12 receive 50% off or they can choose from the kid’s menu. Cribs and highchairs are always readily available for the smallest guests and there is a very nice playground just east of the main pool. For older kids, there is a game room and video arcade when they want a break from the hot sun (and perhaps their parents).
Every day there are plenty of fun activities by the main pool and beach area to keep even the busiest kids happily occupied. Sand castle building, fish feeding, bingo, goofy games or scavenger hunt (you won’t want to miss this one!) are just a few. Finally, there is also a free Kids Club, but truth be told, we were enjoying ourselves by the pool and on the beach so much, we never checked it out.
PRIVATE LAGOON AND BEACH
The ocean and the surf surrounding Puerto Rico can be rough, but you don’t have to worry about this at Caribe Hilton. We loved their private lagoon with a lovely sandy beach! Younger children will like playing in the sand and splashing around in shallow waters while older kids. Teens may prefer exploring the lagoon on kayaks (available free of charge to resort guests) or enjoying the underwater world by snorkeling just off the beach.
Speaking of snorkeling… have you tried snuba yet? Snuba, best explained as a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving, is a great way to explore the under water world without scuba diving experience or certification. Lucky for us, Aqua Adventures, one of Puerto Rico’s leading diving and snorkeling companies, offers snuba in the shallow lagoon of Caribe Hilton. We had to try it! We loved their friendly crew and had a great time observing fish and other marine life. We definitely recommend snuba to other families.
PALM TREE GROVE WITH SWINGING HAMMOCKS
Who doesn’t enjoy chilling in a hammock, ideally with a good book on your lap and a tropical drink in your hand? Add the soothing sound of breaking waves mixed in with lovely calypso music coming from the bar area and I can be happy for hours. The relaxing and shady palm grove area of Caribe Hilton offered a welcome break from the hot Puerto Rican sun and was probably my favorite area of the resort.
STARBUCKS IN THE MAIN LOBBY
Caribe Hilton boasts nine restaurants, but discovering there was a Starbucks in the main lobby and a small stand by the pool put an even bigger smile on my face. Laugh all you want or call me a caffeine addict, but it was nice to have a quick grab-and-go option on those mornings when instead of an elaborate breakfast buffet, all we wanted was a muffin or a bagel and a cup of coffee. In the afternoon, our kids ran into the coffee shop to get a giant chocolate chip cookie for a snack while their parents happily enjoyed a refreshing iced latte.
SUPER FRIENDLY STAFF
Everybody we encountered at the resort was super friendly and made us feel very welcome. I especially have to single out the fitness and spa manager Miguel and his wonderful team. Throughout our stay at the resort, we observed them making sure that there were always plenty of fun activities for the kids and that the adults were enjoying themselves. Their efforts ensured that everybody had a wonderful vacation.
HELPFUL CONCIERGE DESK
A great concierge can help make a vacation extra memorable. The concierge desk of Caribe Hilton was eager to answer our questions and help us plan a great itinerary even before we arrived in Puerto Rico. For example, if it weren’t for Eric, the head concierge, we would have never found a wonderful breakfast and lunch café in Old San Juan, Caficultura. (Do check it out!) From tips on great local restaurants and recommendations for day trip excursions to suggestions on the best running paths, they were there to help us in any way we needed.
SO MUCH HISTORY
Those who enjoy history will have another level of appreciation for Caribe Hilton. The resort is practically touching Fort San Gerónimo, which was built in the 17th century as the first line of defense against the British. The fort is unfortunately closed to visitors, but depending on the location of your room, you may be able to enjoy a great view of it from your balcony.
Caribe Hilton is also considered a birthplace of the famous Piña Colada, which was originally created by one of Caribe Hilton’s bartenders, Ramon Marrero, back in 1954. If you want his original recipe, ask anybody at the hotel and they will be happy to provide it. You can also find it on the resort website.
As an interesting side note, Caribe Hilton was the first facility operated by Hilton Hotels outside of the continental United States, making Hilton the first international hotel company. Since then the resort has had a long list of famous guests who stayed here, including Hollywood celebrities, famous sports figures and teams. We’re happy to be added to the list, as well!
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.