Hotel Check out - AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan
AC hotels, part of the Marriot family of brands, began in Spain and are the brainchild of founder Antonio Catalán. Aimed at Generation Y travelers, the AC brand features minimalistic, but comfortable design, tapas-style food served in the trendy lounge, craft cocktails and attentive staff. On a recent trip to San Juan, I decided to try out this new brand. Initially, I wasn’t sure if the style would appeal to me. In short, I should have stayed longer!! AC Hotel San Juan – photo courtesy Meg Ryan I’d just debarked from a cruise that departed from San Juan and I arrived at the hotel before 10 AM. I was happy to learn that my room was ready and that I’d been upgraded to a suite with a partial ocean view. My room was very clean, spacious and comfortable with 2 big HDTVs, a living room, balcony, stylish bath and super comfy bed. AND the a/c was nice and cold, though it did seem to shut off at night. Many energy efficient hotels now utilize motion sensors linked to the HVAC units. If these sensors don’t detect movement, the air (or heat) will shut off. I woke up several times, moved around and the air turned right back on. Lobby, AC Hotel San Juan - photo courtesy Meg Ryan Instead of a traditional closet, the hotel had small rack that also held a mini fridge with 2 bottles of water and a safe. Even though the hotel is not a “resort” per se, they do add on a daily resort fee which covers bottled water, WIFI, 2 welcome cocktails (rum punch or scotch, I think) along with use of the pool and beach at the nearby San Juan Marriott Resort. AC Hotel San Juan – Guest Room – photo courtesy Meg Ryan The hotel has a very nice rooftop pool, a lounge on the 1st floor serving drinks and tapas, a "library" sitting area, with a couple PCs, an attached cafe and a bar and breakfast restaurant near the pool. Additionally, there is a small but nicely equipped gym, and a yoga studio. Rooftop pool – Photo courtesy Meg Ryan While rates at the AC San Juan do not include breakfast, you can purchase a European style, enhanced continental breakfast buffet for $18. Featuring cold cuts, Serrano ham, a few sliced frittatas or quiches, some pastry and breads, along with juice and coffee, I thought the price was sort of high. I ate breakfast in the attached café - scrambled eggs and ham with toast, a guava pastry and coffee, for about $9. (The café, called Sobao, also serves sandwiches, specialty coffees and desserts. It’s a separate business but you can enter without leaving the hotel. Prices are very reasonable for this area!) The hotel bar serves a selection of tapas rather than full dinner service, and their hand-crafted cocktails are delicious. The bar staff was very friendly – they even mixed up one of the signature cocktails as a demonstration, and provided samples of the completed beverage! Cab fare from the hotel to the airport was about $21 and that included the charge for 1 suitcase in the trunk of the cab. The AC hotel is located within walking distance of many restaurants, shops and the San Juan Marriott Resort (which also has a large casino). It’s also a short ride to Old San Juan and the cruise pier. While the hotel is not a resort, but rather a business-type hotel, it’s very comfortable with a friendly staff, clean rooms, a nice pool and terrific location. I wish I’d stayed there both before and after the cruise! I got the best night’s sleep of my whole vacation at the AC Hotel. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the AC Hotel San Juan and I would happily return in the future. This hotel is perfect for a quick pre-or post cruise stay or just a relaxing getaway. While it is not a big resort, having use of the facilities at the San Juan Marriott is a nice benefit for those staying in this hotel. The Condado provides plenty of dining and shopping options within easy walking distance. Next time your travels take you to San Juan, check out the AC Hotel!