IC is a great hotel, no matter what room you get. The beach is also great. Most people go in the morning so you can secure beach a chair, but I've never had a problem getting one during the day.
As far as restaurants, definitely try Metropol, which is a 10-15 minutes walk to the left of your hotel's entrance. Lupi's in that same direction is also great. And if you ice cream, you won't want to miss Piu Bello gelato (also in that same direction).
A must see is Old San Juan.
About to post the same thing; looking forward to more replies! When are you going? We're going the end of October
I second the suggestion of Metropol. The food is fantastic.
That being said, Lupi's Mexican restaurant is a fav, you can sit outside and people watch.
At the IC, down on the beach is restaurant, and it's very good, basic, but I love it.
Also, (sort of) across the street from the IC is a strip mall with Subway, and another little diner near it. That little diner is a reasonable place to try the native dish of Monfongo.
The Chili's nearby even serves plantains! So even if you go to a "chain", you can most likely try the native dishes.
Even the street side rooms have great views!! It's a very unique hotel.
"Metropol is ethnic food"
What's that supposed to mean?? I can confirm that Metropol serves authentic PRican. Some Cuban dishes are also served.
The fact that I was born and raised in PR, lived in PR for the first 25 years of my life, still visit my family in PR at least twice every year, and staying at a hotel in San Juan for a portion of each of my visits, very well qualifies me to proviode accurate suggestions.
Also, regarding your "Puerto Rican food is NOT like Cuban or Mexican food" remark... Again, I've spent more time in PR than you have. But if you read the original post carefully, you will notice that the OP is requesting restaurant suggestions, not necessarily authentic. This is why I recommended Lupi's.
In the future, unless you have proof that I'm horribly mistaken, please do not try to contradict my suggestions. Thank you.Edited: 29 July 2014, 20:10
The diner place mentioned on the above post is "Mi Casita"place. Yes, their mofongo is really good. they also have reasonable priced breakfast items. They have that very local taste, just like a diner in US. Also they make our local "aranitas" (fried spyders) made out of plantain; very tasty and cryspi.
The IC has a large pool.
Just don't forget to go to OSJ, and visit the forts. At least one day trip can cover OSJ. And try our local ice cream, called "helados" in coconut flavor. You will see many small vendors in OSJ streets pushing a yellow cart, and ringing bell calling out "Helado!"
A couple thoughts Drink prices are, well, Hotel prices. Walk across the street and get your beverages. Get a softside cooler to use as your carryon, fill it with ice and head to the beach. You can drink openly on the beach and all beaches are public. Please no glass. Lots of places for food. Me, well I'm happy with a bucket from KFC on the patio the first night. Ocean view room is nice, but so are the city and mountain view. There is a charlie car rental office in Isla Verde, rent a car for the day and drive to the E Yunque National forest. Nice drive. You can follow the coast (187) if you like and stop in Pineones and at some isolated beaches.
Hi NOLA, Other restaurant choices include Plato's on Isla Verde Ave and La Playita Cafe located at the near end of the beach. The Intercontinental has one of the better Ruth's Chris steakhouses on site and the El San Juan has some very good restaurants as well including Koco's, Meat Market Miami and Il Piccolo Fontana. Also the Pizza restaurant in the ESJ is a good inexpensive all night alternative. To venture out to more interesting upscale restaurants you might try Xandu in the Condado or Santaella in La Placita ( res, rec'd) among many others.
Not to highjack, but I didn't think this warranted a new thread. We will be staying at the IC and I had a couple of questions.
1. I saw the recommendation of purchasing alcohol off-site. I see there is a Pueblo near the hotel. From the looks of Google Maps, you can cut through the parking lot across the street from the IC and end up at the back of the Pueblo. Is this true, or am I just better off walking the sidewalk route?
2. I saw recommendations for a few El San Juan restaurants. I was curious for opinions on Brothers Jimmy's BBQ. This popped up on my radar when doing initial dining searches. The location/view is nice, but from the reviews I read, the food is not.
1. Walk in the sidewalk.
2. Brother Jimmy is a chain from NYC, but the local version is not good and food is overpriced. Skip.