Al Dente is one of the loveliest places in the Old City, offering exquisite Italian cuisine in a colonial Spanish setting. This unpretentious restaurant has a decor that evokes a trattoria similar to those found in Palermo, Italy. One might sample the scallops on a bed of spinach, gnocchi with pesto, or well-seasoned calamari. The chef also makes his own desserts, including cheesecake, tiramisu and chocolate tortes. More
Here's a cool promotion for the budding, amateur or expert filmmaker in you: the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has launched a new service for guests that invites them to record their best experiences on the island and submit them for a chance to be featured on the hotel's YouTube Channel. Here's how it works:
- As a registered guest, you can get "U Shoot, We Share" instructions upon check-in, including suggested "U Spots," or choice backdrops for filming.
- You can also get a one-hour GoPro camera rental from 9am-5pm. Also available are free tutorials by the recreations staff at no extra cost.
- When you're done filming (your video should be no longer than 50 seconds), email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "Video Post Card from [Your First and Last Name]
- The good people at the Marriott will insert your masterpiece into a professionally created opening and closing sequence.
- Check the hotel's YouTube page (there are already several guest videos up) within 24-48 hours to find your video.
And that's it! It's an original and fun way to record a few special memories and share them online with friends and family. Book now and get ready for your GoPro debut! (Of course, you can also use your smartphone, video camera or personal film crew if you like.)
Attention MasterCard users: when you pay with your MasterCard, you can enjoy all kinds of savings and specials at participating hotels, restaurants, boutiques and activities. Check out the full list of offers here, which includes deals like:
- 50% at the bar or a free dessert when you dine in at Meat Market Restaurant from Monday-Wednesday, 5:30 - 7:00pm.
- $100 debit card, 20% off car rental, 20% off Dragonfly Adventure outing, Plaza Las Américas discount book, and buy one get one free breakfast entreé when you stay a minimum of 4 nights at The La Concha Resort. Use MasterCard® Adventure reservation code UBXL when booking.
- 2 pastas for $22 at Blonda when you pay with MasterCard® Black, World Elite or Platinum.
- 20% off the room rate, $50 resort credit for every 2 nights, 20% off poolside massage, 20% off at the nearby Zen Spa, and $25 casino match bet coupon per adult when you stay a minimum of 4 nights at the Condado Plaza Hilton. You must pay with a MasterCard® Black, World Elite or Platinum to take advantage of the deal.
- 15% off the room rate, free buffet breakfast per paying adult, and $25 casino match bet coupon per adult when you stay a minimum of 3 nights at the El San Juan Resort & Casino. You must pay with a MasterCard® Black, World Elite or Platinum to take advantage of this deal.
As we all know, taxes are due in just a few days, and I, like so many others, am waiting until the last minute to file them. But tax day doesn't have to be bad news. In Puerto Rico, a few hotels have taken it upon themselves to offer a few unique tax breaks and ways to enjoy yourself on the 15th. Here are the details.
- Spa Treatments at the W Vieques - The lovely W Retreat on Vieques Island is offering guests complimentary signature AWAY Spa 10 minute and 40 second spa treatments by the pool area on April 15. And they'll chip in a complimentary green cocktail as a toast to "green" returns from Uncle Sam.
- Butler-Delivered Tax Returns at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort - Enjoy a complimentary rum punch and hand your tax return to your friendly St. Regis butler, who will hand-deliver your package to the post office free of charge.
- Relax at the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa - With happy hour specials all day long and all week long, guests can enjoy Medalla Mondays ($4), Tequila Tuesdays ($5), Whiskey Wednesdays ($5), Tropical Drink Thursdays ($5), Flavored Rum Fridays ($5), Sangria Saturdays ($5) and SKYY Vodka Sundays ($5).
Heads up, foodies! Saborea is just around the corner. Puerto Rico's premier food festival, and one of the preeminent events for gourmands and gourmets in the Caribbean, is just over two weeks away. I've been to Saborea a few times and enjoyed every second of the experience.
Saborea gives you front-row seats to chef battles in the kitchen stadium, access to sunset parties, a giant tent filled with food stations and freebies from more than 30 restaurants and food purveyors around the island, and of course the chance to a few of your favorite chefs. This year, I don't see guest chefs and TV personalities of the caliber I've seen in the past, but Saborea tends to bring a festive and ready-to-party community of fellow foodies, so I wouldn't be surprised to find one or two celebs in the mix.
With new properties like the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado and the St. Regis Bahía Beach, Puerto Rico is becoming an elite destination for luxury travel. And now, it's poised to enhance its luxury offering with major investments of more than $450 million devoted to the development of elite properties around the island.
About $200 million will be invested in a luxury beach and marina community on the east coast of Puerto Rico, which includes the Punta Candelero Beach Resort and Solarea Beach Resort luxury condominiums, as well as the Marina at Palmas del Mar and The Yacht Club Marina.
Add them to properties like the W Vieques Retreat and the Horned Dorset Primavera, to name a few others, and you've got a range of outstanding hotels that range from boutique elegance to exclusive resort. With a new marina resort on the way and the hallowed Vanderbilt soon to reopen its doors, Puerto Rico will be more attractive than ever for those seeking an escape to Caribbean luxury.