/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

Golfing Puerto Rico

WHERE TO STAY

HOTEL EL CONVENTO
100 Calle Cristo, Old San Juan; 787-723-9020, elconvento.com. Rooms: $255-$415. Suites: $500-$1,750.
The nuns left a century ago, and the building was almost demolished, but in 1997 it reopened as a luxury hotel. Today, the smallish rooms may offer a sense of convent life, though it's unlikely the sisters ever envisioned the cocktail hour on the terrace overlooking the city.

HYATT DORADO BEACH RESORT & COUNTRY CLUB
Highway 693, Dorado; 800-233-1234, doradobeach.hyatt.com. Rooms: $200-$660. Suites: $400-$2,040.
Laurance Rockefeller, who founded the place, was the conservationist of his clan. The hotel's understated elegance reflects this. Look for the discreet bronze plaques that note which world leader stayed in which room during the economic summit of 1976.

PARADISUS PUERTO RICO
Coco Beach, Rio Grande; 800-336-3542, paradisus-puerto-rico.com. Rooms: $425-$695. Villas: $1,250-$1,500.
If you like lots of marble and Doric columns rising from the swimming pool, this is the place for you. The "all-inclusive" tab does not include golf. It does, however, include all the piña coladas you can drink, which might be comforting after a tough round.

PONCE HILTON AND CASINO
1150 Caribe Avenue, Ponce; 800-981-3232, hiltoncaribbean.com/ponce. Rooms: $240. Suites: $365-$440.
The place to stay for golf on Puerto Rico's south coast. For extra amenities, ask for a room with access to the executive lounge. It offers evening cocktails and high-speed Internet access.

WESTIN RIO MAR BEACH GOLF RESORT & SPA
6000 Rio Mar Boulevard, Rio Grande; 800-474-6627, westinriomar.com. Rooms: $425-$700. Suites: $700-$3,200.
Rio Mar has the two aforementioned golf courses, a long stretch of beach and just about every other amenity a traveler in Puerto Rico could want, from a casino to a dozen eateries, lounges and entertainment areas.

WYNDHAM EL CONQUISTADOR RESORT & GOLDEN DOOR SPA
1000 Conquistador Avenue, Las Croabas; 787-863-1000, wyndhamelconquistador.com. Rooms: $279-$779. Suites: $1,129-$2,179.
Another big, all-encompassing resort with a casino and sports bar, the Wyndham occupies a dramatic bluff overlooking the sea.

WHERE TO EAT

DRAGONFLY
(Latinasian) 364 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan; 787-977-3886. $$$$
Items such as "Peking duck nachos" may seem unlikely fusions, and the label "Latinasian" might seem a bit precious. Then again, eight years ago, so did "Cablinasian."

EL NUEVO HORIZONTE
(Cocina Criolla) Kilometer 8.8, Highway 901, Yabucoa; 787-893- 5492. $$$
As you sip your post-round drink, watch squalls drift over the Caribbean Sea while the chefs in the kitchen prepare Cocina Criolla, the traditional hearty cuisine of Puerto Rico.

EL TENEDOR
(Cocina Criolla) 1 Calle Emilia Principe, Juncos; 787-734-6573. $$
Located in the shell of an old rum distillery, El Tenedor offers both island flavor and fine grilled sandwiches.

LA FONDA EL JIBARITO
(Cocina Criolla) 280 Calle Sol, Old San Juan; 787-725-8375. $$
This soul-food joint in Old San Juan is simple and good; particularly tasty are the grilled shrimp, rice dishes and fried plantains.

MARK'S AT THE MELIA
(International) 75 Calle Cristina, Ponce; 787-284-6275. $$$$
A nouvelle take on Puerto Rican fare, featuring such offerings as Caribbean shrimp with mofongo. The desserts—blends of ice cream and liqueurs—are best nixed if you need to putt well on the morrow.

PUERTO RICO PLUS

ORIENTATION
There are nonstop flights to the Luiz Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan from many North American cities, making Puerto Rico a very convenient destination. From that airport, Dorado, Rio Mar, Coco Beach and Bahia Beach are each about a half-hour drive. Palmas del Mar is an hour away and Ponce is about an hour and a half.

NIGHTLIFE
If you'd like to inject a little of Puerto Rico's throbbing nightlife into your golf holiday, you'll have to leave campus and head for San Juan. Once there, you would do well to start the evening by braving the line to get into and wine and dine at Dragonfly in Old San Juan. Many of the capital's beautiful people will be there.

After dinner, you might be in the mood for music, and there's a good place across the street: the Parrot Club, with live music on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights—from Latin jazz to fusion to salsa.

If you want to dance, you have a myriad of options. One of the best is to hop a cab to the Wyndham El San Juan, in the Isla Verde section of town. The Club Babylon is a two-story disco that draws a chic crowd dancing to everything from salsa to trance, and the El Chico Lounge in the same hotel has bands playing salsa music.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Some of the highest peaks in Puerto Rico are in El Yunque National Forest, within sight of San Juan, which makes for a fine hike. One of the best trails leads to the summit of Mount Britton, with views of the city, the sea and several golf courses. Along the way, you'll see jungle streams, hummingbirds and tropical flowers.

If your off-course tastes go in more urban directions, try Old San Juan, which mixes the ambience of an old Spanish Main port with a Middle American shopping mall. If you can, visit the first Tuesday of the month, when the galleries stay open long into the night.

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace