Topic Wiki

Info for the jewish traveler
http://www.chabadpr.com/


Hotels   (feel free to add suggestions)
   Before booking any hotel check the Chabad website they have very good rates for the popular hotels that are close to them

   Ritz Carlton

   http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SanJuan/Default.htm
        DDF'r Hotel Review
        http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg462832#msg462832
   St. Regis
   http://www.stregisbahiabeach.com/
       DDF'r Hotel Review
       http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg161581#msg161581
   El San Juan
   http://www.elsanjuanhotel.com/default-en.html
   Gran Melia
   http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/puerto-rico/coco-beach/gran-melia-puerto-rico-golf-resort/index.html
         DDF'r Hotel Review
         http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg927319#msg927319


Preferred Car Rental
   http://www.chabadpr.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2370163/jewish/Charlie-Car-Rental.htm


Kosher food
  Old San Juan
   Kosher in Paradise, Israeli style. With panini, falafel and more.  They can deliver to your hotel for a fee
   261 Fortaleza Street.
   787-244-3399
   Chabad (next to The Ritz and El San Juan)
   http://shop.chabadpr.com/   (please someone add info regarding this)


Things to do

   Bioluminescent Bay
   http://www.pureadventurepr.com/adventure_trips/bio_bay_lagoon_tour_excursion/
 
   El Yunque rainforest
   http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147324-d1448148-Reviews-The_El_Yunque_Rain_Forest-El_Yunque_National_Forest_Puerto_Rico.html

   ATV/Horseback Riding
   http://www.carabalirainforestpark.com/atv.php

   Casa Bacardi Distillery Tour- Rum Factory
   http://www.casabacardi.org/

   Explore Old San Juan-
   Castillo de San Cristobal- Old Forts in Old San Juan

   http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm

   Vieques and Culebra
    2 small islands with fabulous beaches that, IMHO are more interesting than the main island. (and Vieques has its own biobay)

  Mini Boat Adventure
  http://www.kayakingpuertorico.com/pages/island_hop_snorkel.html


Trip Reports:

   http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg651144#msg651144

   http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg1063469#msg1063469

Author Topic: Puerto Rico Master Thread  (Read 154911 times)

Offline E-MAN

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #120 on: July 31, 2013, 10:48:55 AM »
Anyone going to be interested in a TR of the St Regis?

Please let me know.

Always interested in a TR!

Offline Dan

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #121 on: August 02, 2013, 12:36:51 AM »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MEIR613

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #122 on: August 02, 2013, 01:45:33 AM »

Offline DP7

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #123 on: October 06, 2013, 12:50:00 PM »
Allright.

TR coming up.

Where can I find this?

Offline myb821

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #124 on: October 06, 2013, 12:51:08 PM »
Where can I find this?
I havent had tome to write up a TR but if you have any questions feel free to ask

Offline jack

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #125 on: October 06, 2013, 01:26:48 PM »
For starters GPS had the wrong address before u leave do urself a favor and print verified directions (or don't rent a car!)

Offline MEIR613

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #126 on: October 06, 2013, 08:53:40 PM »
Where can I find this?
Sorry, been very busy and didn't have a chance to write this up.

I will give you a brief summary now, but not sure how much it will help.

I flew Southwest straight from BWI to SJU. It was our first flight with our 2 month old and b"h it was great. We were able to get bulk head, even though we boarded after "A".

I rented a car from National which was around $45 a day. I reserved an economy and they upgraded me to a Rogue (an older model). I also had a ressy be Hertz which I went to see what they would give, but seems like status doesn't matter there.

We stayed at the St. Regis, which is a 45 minute to an hour drive from the airport. Even though we didn't leave the hotel once, it was still cheaper to rent a car then to take a taxi.

At the hotel, we were upgraded to a Suite. I called before and requested an upgrade which was granted at check in with out a problem.

We brought our own food, which we were able to heat up in the microwave. The hotel itself is stunning and service was amazing. My wife and I were able to go swimming at night as there was no one at the pool. During the day we went to the beach which was also completely empty.

I would suggest the St. Regis if you want to just relax and enjoy the magnificence grounds and relax by the pool and beach.

At night, they have torches that light up the entrance of the hotel, which is pretty cool.

Sorry for not the most detail report.
Please ask any questions and I will try to answer.

If anyone wants a more detail report about the flights and hotel, as we didn't do much in PR itself. Please let me know I will try to write it up.

Thanks for reading.     


Offline AJK

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #127 on: October 07, 2013, 08:21:36 PM »

If anyone wants a more detail report about the flights and hotel, as we didn't do much in PR itself. Please let me know I will try to write it up.


Duh, of course.
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Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #128 on: October 08, 2013, 08:11:31 PM »
Any recommendations of a hotel that has suites for 3 people?  I'm travelling with my mother and sister so a 1 BR suite with a sofa bed in a separate living room is fine. So far I'm just coming up with the Embassy Suites.  I'd like to use points if possible; I have UR, TY, and I think some Marriott points.  Probably some others I'm forgetting too.

Also, does the Chabad offer food during the week, or just on Shabbos?

Offline mek

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Offline alpicone

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #130 on: October 10, 2013, 11:27:01 AM »
I rented a car from National which was around $45 a day. I reserved an economy and they upgraded me to a Rogue (an older model). I also had a ressy be Hertz which I went to see what they would give, but seems like status doesn't matter there.

Thanks for the TR. I am going to PR tomorrow morning. Going to be the first time flying SW with my CP  ;D

I found that the best rates for car rentals in PR were with Enterprise. You can also use your National account for the rental credits but you don't get the benefits of the National status.

We will be staying by the El San Juan since I wanted to be near Chabad for Shabbat.

Offline myb821

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #131 on: October 10, 2013, 12:31:59 PM »
anyone who goes to puerto rico should go to the Bio Bay it was absolutely amazing.

Offline Dan

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #132 on: October 10, 2013, 12:36:41 PM »
anyone who goes to puerto rico should go to the Bio Bay it was absolutely amazing.
Start a Wiki?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline alpicone

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #133 on: October 10, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
anyone who goes to puerto rico should go to the Bio Bay it was absolutely amazing.

Would love to except I am going with a 2 year old which rules the Bio Bay out. Also going during the full moon which is the worst time to go.

I guess with us not being able to do the Bio Bay, El Yunkque or the Forts in Old San Juan (both closed due to the govt shutdown) we have a good reason to go back again.

Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #134 on: October 10, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »
Thanks for the TR. I am going to PR tomorrow morning. Going to be the first time flying SW with my CP  ;D

I found that the best rates for car rentals in PR were with Enterprise. You can also use your National account for the rental credits but you don't get the benefits of the National status.

We will be staying by the El San Juan since I wanted to be near Chabad for Shabbat.

Let me know how the EL is.  I've heard reports ranging from horrible to excellent.  It looks like we're going to stay at the Embassy Suites, as of now.

Offline MEIR613

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #135 on: October 10, 2013, 08:52:21 PM »
Round two.

As I needed to be in Baltimore Monday night and back for Shabbos, I decided to take my first vacation with our 2 month old. We wanted to go somewhere short and direct. As I've been to Florida many times I wanted something more exotic. I checked Southwest website and found direct flights from BWI to SJU.

The cost of the ticket was about 14,000 Southwest miles per a person and since PR is part of the US, a lap child is free. Also, Southwest allows you 2 free suitcases, but we only ended up taking one each.
,
As far as the hotel was concerned, I looked around and it seemed that most people stay the Ritz. The Ritz is right near the airport and  Chabad. Since we were travelling with our baby, I wanted to stay some where real nice. As we weren't really going to leave the hotel that much. So even though the Ritz was a better location and was only $200 a night plus taxes, I still wanted to stay at the St Regis as the grounds were a lot nice, it would be more relaxing and a lot better chance of getting upgraded. I don't remember the exact cost, but with the AAA rate, double take promo, 500 points booking with SPG app and all the SPG points I would be earning during my stay (including valet parking and $60 resort fee) the total price came out to around $350 a night which is a bargain compared to the 30k they charge a night not including parking and resort fee. Trust me, it was worth every penny. I'm sure there a lot nicer hotel out there, but for only traveling 4 hours away, I don't think you can beat it (CMIAAW). I will try to give more detail about the hotel later.

We had a 8:00am flight, departing from BWI, so we decided to stay at the Aloft near BWI for 2,000 Starwood points plus $40. I decided since I wouldn't have to pay for parking and I would get stay credit etc. it was worth it. We didn't end up checking into the hotel till 1am and needed to get up at 5am, to daven etc. Since it was our first time flying with our daughter, I wanted to be at the airport extra early. The airport shuttle comes around the hotel every minutes and I believe we ended up leaving the hotel 6am with the hotel shuttle.

The night before I freaked out, as I thought we left our daughters birth certificate at home, till my wife realized it was buried in her wallet. I called up Southwest and they told me all I need is some type of document with her birth day and I will be fine. I ended up giving them the copy of her birth certificate (which they asked for), but not sure if I needed it. On the way back, I gave them her insurance card with her birthday on it, which they told me they need the birth certificate. So I'm not completely sure (CMIAAW), but when going to PR I would suggest taking your kids birth certificate.

Check in and security went as smooth as possible, as the UBV is breeze to take apart and put through the X-ray machine. With plenty of time to kill we sat around by the gate, as the lounge is in a different terminal, we has no patience to start schlepping around. We bought some Bagels from Goldbergs New York Bagel shop the day before (my favorite bagel store), which were amazing (as usual).

Southwest doesn't work like most airlines, where each person is assigned a seat. They divide everyone into 3 groups "A", "B", and "C". You are able to check-in online 24 hours before your flight and they start putting you in group "A" and once "A" is full then "B" etc. So Even though we were in group "C", meaning the last group that boards. Since we have a child under the age of 4 we got to board right after group "A". Since it was a full flight they made us gate check our car seat, which we brought up till the plane. Surprising, the first 2 seats (bulkhead) were empty, which the extra leg room helped having a lap child. All in all the flight was a lot better than I and my wife thought it would be. Our daughter only cried for a minute or two during the whole flight (that's what happen when you hold her the whole time). 

To be continued...
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 09:46:40 PM by MEIR613 »

Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #136 on: October 10, 2013, 09:11:26 PM »
I was waiting for your TR, Meir :)

Offline myb821

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #137 on: October 10, 2013, 09:13:38 PM »
the ritz with spg color me confused

Offline Ergel

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #138 on: October 10, 2013, 09:37:14 PM »
the ritz with spg color me confused
+ a million
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Offline MEIR613

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #139 on: October 10, 2013, 09:54:43 PM »
the ritz with spg color me confused
Fixed it.

Let me know if I should still touch it up.

Sorry, I'm not the best writer in town.