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Travel + Leisure readers name top 5 resorts in Puerto Rico

The Fairmont El San Juan Hotel is the top choice in the 2024 World’s Best Awards survey.

Travel + Leisure readers have selected five resorts in Puerto Rico for their “private beach access, spacious villas, and impeccable service” in the annual World’s Best Awards survey for 2024.

The Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in San Juan was voted the winner with a score of 92.87. The St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort in Río Grande followed closely with a score of 91.38. The Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, was ranked third with a score of 91.33. The Grand Río Mar Rainforest Beach and Golf Resort came in fourth place with a score of 91.08, and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel scored 90.95.

The travel magazines noted that Puerto Rico is home to 36 nature reserves, 19 state forests, three bioluminescent bays and nearly 300 miles of coastline “dotted with pristine beaches.”

Travel + Leisure conducts the World’s Best Awards survey annually, asking readers to evaluate their travel experiences globally. Participants are asked to rate “top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.”

In the 2024 survey, more than 186,000 readers participated, casting more than 700,000 votes for more than 8,700 properties. Reader evaluations are based on factors such as room/facilities, location, service, food and value. They vote whether these were excellent, above average, average, below average or poor.

Three local hotels made a return to the top five list, while the St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort (No. 2) and Wyndham Grand Río Mar Rainforest Beach and Golf Resort (No. 4) were the newcomers.

One reader praised Bahía Beach, stating, “Many locations with hotels and resorts set themselves apart from the rest, this is one of them.” 

Another reader commented on the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, saying, “As big as it is, you feel like it’s your private oasis in beautiful villas with plunge pools, and it doesn’t feel crowded.”

T+L readers said The Condado Vanderbilt ocean-facing infinity pool, “friendly staff, excellent food, and personalized butler service,” were their favorite assets.

“If you’re going to be in the city, this is the place to be,” a voter said. 

The Fairmont, which was originally built in 1958, was described by the magazine as a “hotspot for celebrities and affluent jetsetters.” 

The publication said that the “beachfront property jumped four spots from its 2023 ranking thanks to a number of unique onsite experiences, from cabaret-style performances at a secluded speakeasy to dining beneath a towering 300-year-old Banyan tree.” 

It added that the hotel provides a “quintessential Caribbean vacation experience” with “four pools, nine dining destinations, spacious villas, and frozen daiquiris and piña coladas galore — which are best enjoyed on a floaty by the swim-up bar or in a private cabana at the adults-only pool area.”

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  1. Julie Atwell July 10, 2024

    Puerto Rico does not have any ‘private beaches’

    1. Michelle Kantrow July 10, 2024

      You’re right. But they referred to private access through the property itself. Thanks.


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