Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

March 18th, 2008
My Juan and Only

Where does a girl go when she needs to get away from it all? Where can she find some peace without worrying about her passport? Where can she listen to swaying palm trees and the lapping of Caribbean-blue waters? Puerto Rico is where! I am writing you from the San Juan Marriott Resort right now, overlooking the beautiful turquoise water of the Caribbean.

I’ll be honest, I never really thought about going to San Juan for vacation. I knew that Puerto Rico was part of the American federal system, so I just assumed that just like America, it would be packed with gross fast food restaurants and little culture. I did not want to fly all the way to this remote island for the same stuff I could get a home. Well, I was wrong. Puerto Rico is wonderful! The culture is a spicy mix of Taino Indians, Africans, and Spanish. Their music is also a cocktails of cultures, so if you love Latin and African tribal music, you will love Puerto Rico.

Last night a group of us went out strolling through Old San Juan, which looked like a postcard somewhere in Spain. Old San Juan is a delightful area lined in pastel buildings filled with galleries, cafes, and restaurants. On the first Tuesday of every month, the small city center comes to life with vendors selling everything from original paintings to handmade jewelry. Bands play their Caribbean tunes and kids dance on the street. The official name of the evening is “Noches de Galerias.”

My hotel is also a treat. Because this Marriott is also a casino and a family resort, I was expecting something less inviting. But, much to my surprise, the whole hotel is smoke free and the pool area is very private, so I’m not getting trampled by crazy kids. The hotel is located in a very chic part of town — just minutes from Gucci, Cartier, Dior, and Louis Vuitton! And they have a pretty private beach, so I can chill without people walking all over me. The health club here has an impressive line up of equipment with TVs on all the aerobic machines; so working out is a breeze.
The bed in my room is out of this world. I decided to stay for a few days extra because I have not slept so well in months, and I just don’t want to leave the bed. Lucky for me, everything on the bed is for sale!

Details about the Marriott:

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris® Casino
1309 Ashford Avenue
San Juan, 00907 Puerto Rico
Phone: 1 787 7227000
Toll-free: 888 817 2033

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