I'll be honet; when it comes to staying in San Juan, I tend to steer people toward the delightful boutique properties of Old San Juan (top choice) or the idyllic beaches of Condado, Ocean Park and Isla Verde. The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino has neither breach or colonial majesty at its doors; but I would still recommend it.
This is a sleek, modern property, its 500 rooms placing it among the largest hotels in the capital. And while it's a short drive from the glories of the above-mentioned neighborhoods, it's got something the others don't: the Puerto Rico Convention Center, just steps away. That's just one of the reasons why I think this is the best business hotel on the island. But this hotel mixes business and pleasure quite well.
The hotel is the flagship destination for the Convention Center crowd, and its 503 rooms can accommodate a function of any size. The hotel has 25 meeting rooms totaling more than 40,000 square feet of flexible function space, including a dedicated conference level on the hotel's second floor. Add a full-service business center, numerous catering options, and the Link@Sheraton computer hub, and this hotel can easily cater to your business functions. (The island itself is an ideal place to host an event or function.
Pleasure Equally First:
Whether you're here for business or pleasure, the comforts at the Sheraton are an attractive draw. The open-air infinity pool, with lovely views of the elegant facade of the convention center and the lights of San Juan across the bay, is a pleasant escape. So is the tranquil and relaxing Zen Spa, where I was treated to a terrific massage.
And then there's the 24-hour Casino Metro. With more than 400 slot machines and table games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, pai gow poker and three-card poker), it's the largest in San Juan. The chandelier bar and live bands add to the ambience here, and when you're done gambling, the social Metro Lounge invites you to linger at the bar and relax with a cocktail or retreat to a booth.
And if you happen to be a meat-lover, The Sheraton Puerto Rico will be your friend. Because here is where you'll find the Puerto Rican franchise of the popular Texas de Brazil chain of churrascarias, a steakhouse where waiters dressed as gauchos parade past your table with in an endless procession of roast meats including filet mignon, beef ribs, lamb chops, and my favorite, the top sirloin cut known as picanha.
As for the rooms, you'll find them modern, comfortable and spacious. Many have unobstructed views of the city and bay, and I love the fact that every room is equipped with complimentary high-speed Internet access. Each room also has a 40" flat panel television, iPod docking station and Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed.
Finally, travelers with pets will find this hotel to be a friendly a haven. Your dog will be welcomed with a dog bed, bowl and mat, and pet welcome kit.
So we come back the question of location. True, there is no beach right outside the doors of this hotel; the colonial majesty of Old San Juan is a short drive away. The good news is, you can catch a city bus right in front of the hotel that can take you to Old San Juan or Condado for a pittance (of course, taxis are readily available).
For comfort, quality, service and amenities, the Sheraton Puerto Rico offers plenty of value for the money. Its biggest drawback -- its location -- is a huge benefit to business travelers, and shouldn't deter those who don't mind a short drive to get to the best of San Juan.