Photo credit: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel

As the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan is a hub of history, architecture, dining and shopping—but it still offers plenty of island bliss. While many of its hotels are smaller than big resorts in other parts of the island, staying in San Juan gives you convenient access to beaches as well as walkable neighborhoods, museums. And don’t miss Old San Juan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site rich with Spanish Colonial Architecture, forts, and cobblestone streets. Here are the best hotels in San Juan.

Condado Vanderbilt Hotel (1055 Ashford Ave.; 787-721-5500) Condado

This Spanish Revival landmark hotel dates back to1919, and today offers the modern luxuries of four pool and a spa. The “pink-marble, Art Deco lobby sweeps you into a bygone era in Condado, the neighborhood where San Juan’s elite once summered,” writes Condé Nast Traveler.

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“The hotel was renovated and reopened in 2014, with two additional towers…and it still reigns as San Juan’s premiere stay.” One Tripadvisor user says “This hotel is amazing—from the gorgeous beachfront rooms, beautiful beach and pools, five-star spa to the spectacular service. Worth every single penny.”

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan (105, 3529 Avenida José de Diego; 855-605-0318) Condado

You’ll get easy access to the sights of San Juan as well as those classic Doubletree cookies at this 184-room branch of the chain. “Many restaurants are located within walking distance of hotel,” says a Google user, and “a large supermarket is right across the street. If you are looking for large rooms this is not your place, but most don’t go to stay in rooms anyway.” On Trip Advisor, a user commends the hotel for having “everything you need… shuttle to beach, bicycles, 24-hour pool access,” though another user points out that “the ‘beach club’ is not a club. It’s a very nice staff member with a pile of chairs and umbrellas. It’s a public beach that is beautiful and clean.”

The Tryst Beachfront Hotel (One Vendig Street, 1 Cll Vendig; 787-965-5239) Condado

This 44-room boutique hotel on Condado Beach offers sleek but compact rooms, as well as apartments with up to three bedrooms and a kitchen. A Google user likes that “It was right on the beach, convenient to local stores, restaurants, and bars (all within walking distance), and the staff was super attentive—anything you want was an easy text message away! ” A Yelp reviewer agrees, adding that “The rooms are small but good enough. Beach chairs and umbrellas are included in your stay at the Tryst which is a nice touch. We felt very safe walking the surrounding area late at night. There is so much life to this part of San Juan.”

La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort (1077 Ashford Ave.; 787-721-7500) Condado

Fodors says that this 483-room resort with seven restaurants, two outdoor pools and a casino “epitomizes the chic Caribbean resort,” and its open-air lobby and bar are “a center of social life in San Juan for both travelers and locals, including politicians and celebrities.” A Google reviewer calls it the best balance of things to see, do, play, eat, work, and sleep. Really enjoyed the peace and quiet, listening to the ocean. When it was time to venture out, there is plenty to offer. The beach is beautiful.”

Hotel El Convento (100 C. del Cristo; 787-723-9020) Old San Juan

This bright yellow, 16th century convent-turned hotel “offers a real sense of hushed reverence,“ writes Condé Nast Traveler, thanks to “mahogany beamed ceilings and conquistador-era furnishings and art. It’s blessed reminder that there’s much more to San Juan than piña coladas on the beach.” Amenities, though, include a restaurant, bar and rooftop pool. One Tripadvisor user says that “the pool is small” but “the views from the pool and the terrace, are beautiful…The location is perfect if you are a sightseer and the atmosphere is understated luxury, not over the top.”