- Gallery Inn at Galería San Juan (San Juan; tel. 787/722-1808): The most whimsically bohemian hotel in the Caribbean sits on a coastal bluff at the edge of the historic city. Once the home of an aristocratic Spanish family, it is today filled with verdant courtyards and adorned with sculptures, silk screens, and original paintings of artist Jan D'esopo, who, along with husband Manuco Gandía, owns the inn. Many of the rooms have dramatic views of the coast, with two historic Spanish forts framing the view. Staying in one of the comfortable rooms here is like living in an art gallery.
- At Wind Chimes Inn (San Juan; tel. 800/946-3244 or 787/727-4153): This renovated and restored Spanish manor house, a favorite with families, is one of the best guesthouses in the Condado district. The inn, which offers spacious rooms with kitchens, lies only a short block from one of San Juan's best beaches. There's also a pool and a nice restaurant/bar catering exclusively to guests. The nearby sister property Acacia Sea Side Inn is another good option, and guests at the Acacia can use the Wind Chimes' pool and get access to its bar/restaurant.
- Copamarina Beach Resort (Caña Gorda; tel. 787/821-0505): In an undeveloped coastal area of Guánica, at the edge of the Guánica Dry Forest, this resort was once the private vacation retreat of local cement barons -- the de Castro family. Today it's been converted into one of the best beach hotels along Puerto Rico's southern shore. In fact, its beach is one of the best in the area. Set in a palm grove, the resort is handsomely decorated and comfortably furnished, with a swimming pool and two tennis courts.
- Casa Isleña Inn (Rincón; tel. 787/823-1525): Located on a beautiful beach in the Puntas sector of this west-coast surf capital, this casually elegant inn is a great value of surprising quality. A contemporary Ibero-Caribbean theme runs throughout its rooftop, beachfront and garden terraces, and inspires its colorfully painted architecture and the furnishing of its spacious, comfortable guest rooms. The only drawback is you might find it difficult to ever leave here, since it has one of the best pools in town in front of some of the nicest beach. But with a new tapas bar now open, you might not have to. The last time we visited was in the off season, in early summer, when the place was left blissfully to ourselves and a handful of other guests.
- Crow's Nest (Vieques; tel. 787/741-0033 or 741-0993): Sixteen suites with kitchenettes and lounging/reading areas are spread out across this sprawling property in the lush Vieques countryside. The pool and its beautifully tiled terrace are surrounded by tropical plants and the green hillsides of this island paradise. The staff is extremely helpful, and the restaurant, Island Steakhouse, is top notch (with enough seafood and other nonsteak fare to please everyone). Its country-home setting off the beach is in fact a unique and charming part of the typical Vieques vacation experience.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.