Puerto Rico is known as the Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean. And one of it's shining stars is the award winning El Castillo Restaurant and it's Executive Chef, Alexander Saez. While here you will enjoy some of the finest International, Caribbean and Puerto Rican cuisine on the island, From Spanish Paellas to sumptuous Nouvelle Cuisine.
Our Chef invites you to enjoy our local cuisine. Contrary to popular belief, our cuisine is not spicy-hot, but exceptionally tasty. If you have a heart for spicy meals, or local "pique" native hot sauces are available for the asking.
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Memorial Day is coming, a long weekend dedicated to honoring those who serve in the U.S. armed forces. In Puerto Rico, a few hotels are going out of their way to welcome members of our military - past and present - with special discounts.
- The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino offers rates as low as $195 when you book on their website by selecting "Government Employee" under the rate preferences, or by calling 877-822-0000 and mentioning the "GO" rate plan.
- The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort offers rates as low as $299; similar to the Sheraton, just select "Government Employee" under the rate preferences on their site, or call 877-782-0106 and mention the "GO" rate plan.
- The Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa has rates starting at $139 for military and government workers through December 23, 2013. Use the rate code GOVGEN when booking on their website.
- Last but certainly not least, the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques offers rates starting at $254 when booked online. Select "Government Employee" under the rate preferences, or call 877-822-0000 and mention the GOFLOAT rate plan.
With all of these deals, you'll need to show a valid government ID when checking in.
It seems that Mother's Day brunch has been around as long as Mother's Day itself. I don't exactly know or when it became the go-to meal to show Mom how much you care, but I do know that several Puerto Rican restaurants are going all out for your moms this Sunday. Here are a few choice options:
- The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino is rolling out a grand spread from 11-4 with a breakfast station, seafood station, seafood station, mofongo station (that sold me), and a carving station including roasted rosemary leg of lamb, NY strip, malanga-crusted Mahi Mahi and manchego-stuffed pork loin.
- At the newly reopened Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, Chef Juan Jose Cuevas invites you to indulge in a brunch that can be buffet style or a la carte, with artisan cheeses, charcuterie, fresh seafood, and traditional brunch dishes with a twist.
- Casa Lola - Chef Robert Treviño invites you and Mom to a champagne lunch with dishes like tropical jumbo shrimp with risotto, chocolate cheesecake with honey truffle oil, and more.
- Finally, Mares Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, San Juan has a brunch that includes a gazpacho and sorbet station (sold), a raw bar, cheese and charcuterie selection, breakfast station, and a carving station with roast prime rib, roast turkey with pumpkin pudding, and sweet plantain and herb-crusted salmon. A la carte menu also available.
Mother's Day is a week from now, and it's as big a deal in Puerto Rico as it is on the mainland. And if you really wanted to spoil Mom, a weekend in Puerto Rico is a pretty good way to show your love!
Of course, whether you're here for Mother's Day or not, a family trip to the island is always fun; my family has planned numerous vacations on the island Â over the years, and we've always had a blast. And a major reason why we always have a good time is because there is always something new to do in Puerto Rico.
That made me think of a few ways we could spend Mother's Day in Puerto Rico. From the food (and if Mom's never tried a good mofongo before, I suggest you start there) to the historic and natural wonders of the island, there are many ways to indulge our moms next weekend... even if it's just a little retail therapy she's looking for (I would take my mom to Lisa Cappalli's boutique in Old San Juan). Â Added bonus: If you shop for your Mother's Day gift at Plaza las AmÃ©ricas, the largest mall in the Caribbean, you can enter to win a $5,000 shopping spree in Plaza gift cards.
Of course, the one thing Mom will always appreciate is a spa, and Puerto Rico happens to have some terrific ones at some of their best hotels and resorts.
And finally, there will be plenty of special Mother's Day menus on offer around the island. Stay tuned to this page; I'll be adding a few tasty choices this week.
Who doesn't want to be in Puerto Rico this May? Comiccon is here (and so is Hercules, a Power Ranger, wrestler Kevin Nash, and more)! Two superstars of Latin music will serenade their legions of fans at the Coliseo in San Juan. Restaurant Week offers bargain meals at some of the best eateries in the city.
Throw in a funky dance festival (the first of what is hoped to be an annual event), a marathon and half-marathon around the capital, and patron saint festivals, and you've got a full-of-fun May Calendar.
One of the highlights of the April calendar of events is the reenactment of a historic battle in Old San Juan, which takes place this weekend. Here's the rundown of what took place in the past, and what's taking place in the present.
The setting: Castillo San Cristóbal, the mighty fortress that guarded the city of San Juan from attack against the east.
The year: 1797.
What happened: A large British force of more than ten thousand troops, led by Sir Ralph Abercrombie, launched a massive (and final) offensive against Puerto Rico. At the time, the island was essentially the military muscle of the Spanish empire, guarding a key waterway from the Old World to the New.
Knowing that a naval attack was futile against the heavily defended city, the British planned a land assault, and Castillo San Cristóbal was essentially all that stood between them and victory. Spanish soldiers defended the citadel and, although heavily outnumbered, repelled the attack.
What's happening: This weekend, (April 27-28), you can catch military drills, firing demonstrations and educational programs at the fortress. "Soldiers" in period costumes will be visible on the ramparts and walking through the fortress, and and ranger-led programs will be offered at both Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal.
Check out the tentative schedule of events and relive history in Old San Juan this weekend!