Looking out at the Straits of Mona, in a part of Puerto Rico where the curling waves are a surfer’s dream, the Horned Dorset Primavera stands out with its classic neo-colonial architecture. The sprawling grounds are lush: cascades of bougainvillea and hibiscus tumble into the sea. The hotel is spread out on hilly terrain, and features cozy corners for relaxing, such as the seaside terrace bar. The swimming is superb at the lovely beaches, and there are casinos and one of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s favorite golf courses nearby.
None of the 16 suites are completely alike. But while the decor varies between units, all have unfussy furnishings with just a touch of elegance; dark and glossy wood contrasts with pure white veils that envelop four-poster beds. Built on two levels, each suite features a master bedroom with a king-size bed, full-size marble bathroom with walk-in shower and soaking tub, living room, kitchenette, secondary bathroom, and personal plunge pool.
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The aura surrounding the hotel is complete peace and tranquillity. The beaches are great and sunsets are impressive. The funky, laid-back surf town of Rincón is just three miles north of San Juan. Paddle out with the locals, or hang out in the many sandy-floored cafés filled with surfers.
Need to Know
Rooms: 16 suites. From $470. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel has a main, formal dining room called Restaurant Aaron, where guests are encouraged to dress up for four-course meals ordered from an ever-changing menu that reflects what's fresh. There's also a casual dining room, an open-air lunch area, and an outside oceanfront area for breakfast. Spa and gym details: In-room spa services are available, and a small gym is on-site.
Who's it for: Luxury-minded adults who want to unplug and get away from it all. Our favorite rooms: Request an oceanfront room. No other hotel in Puerto Rico has rooms this close to the beach. Explore the sea: The resort's focus on the sea is not limited to the intoxicating views. Guests go whale-watching from January to March; stoke their inner Hemingway on a deep-sea fishing expedition for tuna, marlin, or wahoo; or try to hang ten at Rincón's famous surf breaks. The hotel can organize all of these activities.