Set in in the heart of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hotel El Convento oozes charm and has seemingly everything going for it: rich history, charming atmosphere, a pervasive sense of place and an unbeatable location. Spanning 80 square blocks of cobblestone streets, fortresses and towering city walls, Old San Juan dates back to 1508, and much of the neighborhood is both a National Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This history sits right outside the door of the hotel, itself a 368-year-old former Carmelite convent — hence the name. It has been fully restored without losing its Old World Spanish colonial charms, resplendent in Andalusian tile floors, exposed mahogany beamed ceilings and hand-carved period furniture.
In guest rooms, ornately carved headboards and wrought-iron balconies with louvered wooden doors encouraging tropical trade winds coexist with new oversized flat screens, modern marble bathrooms and free high-speed Wi-Fi for a best-of-both-worlds experience. El Convento is high on personalized touches as well, and with just 58 rooms, it boasts three very different restaurants, a full-service off-site beach club and a daily manager’s reception with complimentary wines and snacks that has become a favorite ritual of many return guests.