The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino ★, Av. de los Gobernadores 6961, No. 187, Isla Verde (tel. 787/253-1700), set a new standard of luxury in San Juan hotels. That special treatment is no more evident than at its spa, with state-of-the-art massages, body wraps and scrubs, facials, manicures, pedicures, and a salon guaranteed to make you look like a movie star. In an elegant marble-and-stone setting, there are 11 rooms for pampering, including hydrotherapy and treatments custom-tailored for individual needs. The 12,000-square-foot (1,115-sq.-m) spa features a 7,200-square-foot (2,195-sq.-m) outdoor swimming pool, male and female steam baths, a sauna, and a whirlpool. There’s also a complete fitness center with free weights and weight machines, cardiovascular equipment and aerobics, and personal trainer services. Treatment specialties include the latest in skin, touch, and soak therapies, and wellness salon services. Caribbean fruits and flowers, and botanical treatments culled from El Yunque rainforest are employed in the treatments. Two house specialties are the detoxifying coffee body scrub and coconut milk moisturizing session, or a rainforest stone massage with passion fruit oil. Specialty sessions range in price from $130 to $275, depending on length and technique.
The 12,000-square-foot (1,115-sq.-m) Olas Spa at the Caribe Hilton, Calle Los Rosales (tel. 787/721-0303), offers everything from traditional massages to more exotic body and water therapies, using such products as honey, cucumber, sea salts, seaweed, or mud baths. You can choose your delight among the massages, including one called “Rising Sun,” traditional Japanese shiatsu that uses pressure applied with hands, elbows, and knees on specific body points. Among the body wraps is Firm Away, a super-firming, brown and green algae body cocoon therapy for a soft, toned, and smooth skin. Other services include manicures and pedicures, a full-service hair salon, and many day-spa packages. There’s also an adjacent gleaming and modern health club with machines, weights, all sorts of classes, and everything else you might need, with in-house personal trainers. The spa is in a really beautiful setting.
The InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino, Av. Isla Verde 5961 (tel. 787/791-6100), also has a plush spa adjacent to its beautiful pool area that has breathtaking ocean views. The masseuses trained locally and throughout the world, are among the best in San Juan, with the spare tropical setting as mellow as the house Swedish massage. The Caribbean Wrap aims to improve skin condition over the long haul, while the After Sun Pampering Massage looks to improve its elasticity and smoothness. There’s also a 24-hour health club and gym with the usual top notch equipment and services, plus those beautiful ocean views.
El San Juan Hotel & Casino, Av. Isla Verde 6063 (tel. 787/791-1000), offers a stunning panoramic view of San Juan and a relaxing environment offering fitness evaluations, supervised weight-loss programs, aerobics classes, a sauna, a steam room, and luxury massages. A daily fee for individual services is assessed if you want special treatment or care.
Another option is Zen Spa, Av. Ashford 1054, Condado (tel. 787/722-8433), which has a full range of massages, facial treatments, body wraps, and therapeutic services. It’s open 8am to 7pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm weekends. Specialty massages, which start at $55 for 25 minutes, include a detoxifying massage and a combo Swedish and Shiatsu massage.
International Fitness, Av. Ashford 1131, Condado (tel. 787/721-0717), is air-conditioned, well equipped, and popular with residents of the surrounding high-rent district. Besides weight and cardio machines, there is TRX, zumba, pilates, spinning, body combat, and other fitness classes. Entrance costs $15 for a gym visit, $18 to take a class. A 3-day visit is $40, 5-day $65, or $80 for a week. Hours are Monday to Thursday 5am to 10pm, Friday 5am to 9pm, and Saturday 9am to 7pm; closed Sunday.
Liv Fitness Club, at Gallery Plaza, Calle Loiza, Condado (tel. 787/998-4553), is 1 block away from the oceanfront. This stylish, popular health club with a view charges $25 for walk-ins. There are free weights, machines, rows of cardio equipment, and studios hosting 50 classes weekly, like yoga, kickboxing, and sheer spinning insanity, included in the price of admission.