Where to stay in Puerto Rico

Two chic beachside retreats in sunny Puerto Rico.

Dorado Beach

What's so special

There's no resort quite like Dorado Beach. In the 1950s it was Rockefeller's, an eco-hotel that played host to Joan Crawford and President Eisenhower in the days when Puerto Rico was the place to go. Now it has been refurbished by Ritz-Carlton Resorts and offers luxury eco-living with rooms right on the beach.

How they rate it

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

For its latest incarnation, "no trees have been cut down, buildings are below the tree line and the original hacienda, Su Casa, has been restored and is now the hotel's smartest villa", says Cond Nast Traveller. It's one of the "must-see resorts for travellers in 2013", says Annie Fitzsimmons in Forbes. "Why? All you need to know is Ritz'. And that every room and suite sits directly on the beach." If you can afford to stay in the original villa, "I've heard Su Casa constantly being talked about as one of the great new accommodations in the world".

The menu

Chef Jos Andrs, who "runs a popular empire of restaurants" in America, serves up Spanish tapas-style dishes alongside local seafood.

The cost

Doubles start from around £540. For more, visit www.doradobeachreserve.com, or call 00 1 787 626 1100.

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island


What's so special

Offshore from mainland Puerto Rico lies Vieques, a sleepy, tranquil island that provides an ideal escape from the increasingly built up main Caribbean islands. W Retreat & Spa is a resort offering all the cool, modern luxury for which the brand is now well known.

How they rate it

The hotel has "a boho-chic style", says Tom Chesshyre in The Times. The public areas have "L-shaped day beds, peculiar abstract art, and multi-coloured guitars marked with Love Sweet Love' (for guests' use)". Chesshyre's bedroom had "funky style" with a circular sofa and a giant bed surrounded by a decorative curtain. "The property feels outfitted for a world-class party," says Frommers.com.

"Rooms and suites have warm, natural interiors that still manage to feel cutting edge." Outside you can "lounge on the small beach areas or by infinity-edge pools (which buzz underwater with tunes)". After dusk guests "gather around a fire pit for long conversations while sipping rum cocktails". Staff will arrange snorkelling trips or "kid-friendly excursions by taxi".

The menu

Sorc serves up local delights such as yellowtail red snapper and Alain Ducasse's miX on the Beach' is a short walk away.

The cost

Prices start from $320 for a double room. See www.wvieques.com, or call 00 1 787 741 4100.

The three best hotels in Los Angeles


Film fans should head to the Hollywood Roosevelt, says Leo Bear in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "This hotel is the stuff of legends the very first Oscars ceremony was held here." It is still a great place to spot the stars: Kirsten Dunst, Nicki Minaj and others favour its Tropicana Bar. The rooms are "sleek and masculine in chocolate tones, and if you can afford it, it's worth booking a Cabana room overlooking the pool with its David Hockney mural".

Rooms start from £185, room only. See www.thompsonhotels.com.

Families will love Casa del Mar in Santa Monica (pictured). There's "lashings of old-world charm, including four-poster beds and sweeping Mesoamerican staircases, at this 1920s beach-club-turned-hotel". The best thing about the hotel is its location, right on the beach. Activities include surfing lessons or bike hire with child-safe tow pods. You're only a few steps from the historic Santa Monica Pier, "with its flashing gaming arcades and giant pretzels, which the kids will love".

Doubles from £300, room only. See www.hotelcasadelmar.com.

For foodies there's Chamberlain West Hollywood, says Bear. Dine in the well-regarded Art Deco bistro downstairs, or head out for dinner Nobu and Koi are minutes away. There are log fires in all of the rooms and there is a rooftop swimming pool.

Prices from £170, room only, for a double. See Hamberlainwesthollywood.com.