San Juan, Puerto Rico – Stranded in paradise…Mojito’s for everyone!
The cruise may have been over, but the vacation was going strong for a few Team Cocktail members. Most of the Team Cocktail cruise group flew out the Saturday that our ship docked back in San Juan. Some of us were able to spend a few more hours basking in the sun of San Juan before a late afternoon flight. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, everyone flying out on Saturday was able to make it out before the winter storm made its way across the country. This was not the case for two Team Cocktail members. After reading the blog below you will see why were were all very jealous of veteran cruisers ACO1 and Malibu Sue. See what they did as they were “Stranded in Paradise!”
The adventures of ACO1 & Malibu Sue:
As seasoned traveler’s, we always check the weather back home (South Dakota) to be sure we won’t be stranded in an airport, especially when we are at a great resort in the Caribbean. Compare Chicago O’Hare with a blizzard coming versus San Juan, Puerto Rico with 82 degree sunshine. Since a harsh winter storm was making its way across the Midwest we opted to change our flights and spend some extra time in San Juan. We were stranded in paradise, don’t you feel bad for us?
We were staying at the Intercontinental Hotel on Isla Verde in San Juan. This resort is located on a beautiful 2 mile long beach. Like most resorts in San Juan, the Intercontinental has a great pool and several good restaurants. We hooked up with the Concierge Nestor and he took great care of us. This was one of our first experiences using a concierge. Never underestimate the power of a great concierge. They are working for you.
Now on to Team Cocktail’s favorite experiences…eating & drinking! We ate a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse attached to the hotel and it was as good or better as any of their other restaurants. Of course, the company of Al and Tracey from Jessup, Md. made this night extra special. We also enjoyed sushi at Momoyama. We highly recommend sitting at the sushi bar where you can watch them make the rolls right in front of you. The sushi chef’s were very friendly and entertaining.
We headed to the beach everyday in typical Team Cocktail vacation fashion. Very convenient, the beautiful Isla Verde beach is right outside your door. We snagged a couple of beach chairs and soon Jose from Ciao Mediterranean Café came by to take care of us. We enjoyed a delicious Banana Daiquiri (breakfast), a spicy bloody mary (snack) and a great Medalla Beer with lunch, it was a great cocktail filled day. Also, we love Cubano Sandwiches and this place had great beach food.
Off to the Splash Bar. This is a fun pool bar (with a swim up side) and a great staff. Awesome drinks from Margaritas to Mojitos. Rosie made us her special recipe No Muddle Mojito. This was awesome, especially if regular mojitos are too sweet for your taste. Thanks Rosie!
(Watch video above for the recipe & to meet Rosie)
Want some nightlife? We suggest Old San Juan. What can we say? This is a very special city. We love everything about it. Narrow streets, tons of traffic, great bars and restaurants and a vibrant feel. It is so fun, we went twice. We headed to Restaurante Raices. This is one of Old San Juan’s hottest restaurants. Fortunately for us it was Saturday night and we had a wait to be seated at Raices so we went next door to Al Fredo, and we had one of the best traditional mojitos ever. I don’t say that lightly. Next time, we will be sure to eat at Al Fredo. Raices has excellent traditional Puerto Rican food in a fun atmosphere. We’ll be back again.
Our other favorite in Old San Juan is The Parrot Club. Great food, fun and some of the best people in San Juan. They also serve great mojitos, the food is excellent and the atmosphere is outstanding. Ask to sit upstairs which is quaint outdoor, partially covered patio. I ordered a red snapper, this fish was great and he was looking at me, all curled up and fried in a delightful batter. What a great night.
On our last night in San Juan we headed over to another great hotel, the El San Juan. Which is next door to the Intercontinental. That night we visited the Palm Restaurant. We felt like we stepped into the NYC Palm Restaurant. Steven the bartender and Tony the Maître De welcomed us. We had a great evening, wonderful food and awesome martinis in a New York style steakhouse. NY and Puerto Rico share some great chemistry.
Some of our last thoughts. Be “adventurous”. Travel is more fun when you break out of your normal pattern. Strive to “ travel global and drink local”. And always check the weather at your connections, you never know where they will lead you.
ACO1 and Malibu Sue.