Small Caribbean Hotel of the Week: An Essential Puerto Rico Stay
While Puerto Rico has been seeing dynamic tourism growth since the pandemic, that wasn’t the case a decade ago.
That was when hospitality stars Loisse Herger and Fernando Davila took a chance and opened an innovative new boutique hotel in the heart of the Condado district of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Inspired by their travels across the Mediterranean, when the O:live Boutique Hotel opened back in 2012, it completely changed the hotel landscape in the capital; it was a message that, yes, San Juan was a hip, cool city that was a place for a stylish, inventive, artful boutique hotel, one that came with beautiful interiors and a rooftop deck and club that immediately became one of the city’s biggest hotspots.
In the years since, the couple has added two more properties: the nearby OLV 55, a sleek, sexy, higher-rise hotel in Condado, and, more recently, the new Aire de O:live, a re-imagination of the former San Juan Water and Beach Club.
But the O:live is still the original and still essential, a must for any traveler looking for the cutting-edge San Juan experience.
Where is it? The hotel is about 15 minutes from San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, directly on the edge of the Condado Lagoon.
What to know? There are 15 rooms at the hotel, tucked at the edge of the Lagoon, a block away from the Condado Vanderbilt. They range in six different categories, from the Petit Suite to the Gran Cru Honeymoon Suite. All of the rooms are stunning, with Nespresso machines, mini bars, rain showers and smart TVs. The hotel’s hub of activity is the rooftop, which boasts spectacular views of the Lagoon, a pool, terrific food and outstanding cocktails. There is also a restaurant on the ground floor, Sage Italian Steak Loft, led by arguably the top chef in Puerto Rico, Mario Pagan.
Which room to choose? The Gran Cru honeymoon suite is worth the splurge — it includes an outdoor shower and tub and a veranda with a dining table.
What do we like best? This is a hotel that does everything well, but the rooftop club and deck alone makes it worth the reservation. It’s your own private club for the extent of your stay. Beyond that, the culinary offering is outstanding, including Pagan’s steakhouse.
This is as unique and creative a hotel as you’ll find in the Caribbean, and it’s a portal to a different side of San Juan.
For more, visit the Olive.