O:live Boutique Hotel opened in 2012 in Condado, the stylish quarter of San Juan, and has already been touted as one of the world's best small boutique hotels. The owners dreamt up the idea for the 15-room hotel while honeymooning on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, and they've created a place that embodies the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. Design elements reflect the cultures of Italy, France, Spain, and Morocco.
Pretension is utterly lacking here, amid rustic elements, exquisite food, and relaxing yet luxurious accommodations. While Condado's iconic beach is just over the road, O:live focuses on the lagoon.
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Condado features boutique stores and luxury brands such as Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. The hotel's lagoon faces Santurce, the once gritty inland neighborhood that is now home to San Juan's best—and most authentic—restaurants, cafés, nightlife, and galleries.
Need to Know
Rooms: 15 rooms and suites. From $275. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The rooftop bar has a beguiling view of Condado Lagoon. Guests can sip cocktails and enjoy their tapas while relaxing at the pool. The restaurant, O:liva Dieta Mediterránea, specializes in Mediterranean recipes and dishes, cooked with local Puerto Rican products. Spa and gym details: A variety of Med-inspired rooftop massages include elements like oils, herbs, hot stones, and acupuncture. Guests can also use a nearby full-service gym.
Who's it for: Romantics who want a boutique escape with a European vibe. Our favorite rooms: The Veranda Suite feels like a private Mediterranean villa. The suite's private outdoor terrace, sheathed in stylish Spanish tiles and restored woods, features a dining area for two and lounge sofas. Good to know: The photos hanging on the walls were taken by the owners, Loisse Herger and Fernando Dávila, and chronicle their travels—including that fateful trip to the Amalfi Coast.