Lyrics in the musical West Side Story describe Puerto Rico as ‘a lovely island of tropical breezes’ with ‘pineapples and coffee always growing’. Found in the Caribbean Sea between the Dominican Republic and the British Virgin Islands, the self-governing commonwealth nation is a territory of the United States. Enjoying a tropical climate, it has mountains, waterfalls and rainforests, alongside Spanish colonial architecture, fortresses, castles and some lively nightlife. Colourful and unique, it’s evolved as a place of converging cultures and a leading producer of rum.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Originally established as a reserve by tycoon Laurance Rockefeller, this stretch of land is now a gated community, owned by the Ritz-Carlton group. The resort received a full makeover at the end of the last decade, with two pools, three golf courses and extensive leisure facilities. Bedrooms are decorated in soft hues resembling sea, land and sky. All are equipped with indoor and outdoor rainforest showers and baths and receive butler service, with higher grade suites and villas adding private plunge pools, golf carts and personal chef services. There are three eateries; the Coa grill with its extensive wine cellar, Positivo for Asian seafood and the family-friendly Encanto.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Once a sugar cane and coconut plantation fronting a two-mile stretch of white sandy beach, The St Regis Bahia Resort is now a manicured 139-bedroom hotel. Designed by Puerto Rican interiors expert designer Nono Maldonado, the bedrooms are elegant and contemporary. Guests can chill out at the Iridium spa, play a round or two at the esteemed world-class Robert Trent Jones Jr. 18-hole golf course, swim in the curved pool and dine in one of three eateries; Seagrape, Paros and the St Regis Bar. The resort is also a wildlife reserve — you’ll likely be able to spot some of the island’s colourful parrots.
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico
Stay in a seaside suite perched beside Coco Beach. The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve is in Rio Grande, close to the capital of San Juan for historic sightseeing, but backs onto the lush El Yunque rainforest for nature exploration. It’s a great choice for families, with villa accommodation options, watersports provided on the beach, multiple restaurants, a huge lagoon-style pool and four built-in hot tubs. Plus there are two Tom Kite-designed 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts, a gym and a spa.