The people of Puerto Rico, an island ravaged by hurricane damage, are resilient as they slowly recover and rebuild. For a place that relies heavily on tourism, it is a long, slow road to normal operation. Some hotels remain closed as electricity and water systems are being repaired, but it would be a mistake to overlook Puerto Rico as a popular destination this spring and summer. Now, more than ever, it’s time to support the island. So that you can save your cash to spend in restaurants and shops, we outline which hotels are open and their point redemption opportunities.
Don’t forget about the various transfer partners that come with credit card point programs, which can help fill your balance if you are short on points. Airlines are also beefing up their previously reduced schedules, and if you book early enough, you can score mileage redemptions starting at 25,000 miles. If you have a hard time finding space, consider booking one-way mileage tickets flying in and out on different airlines for more flexibility. For example, the island’s smaller airports like Aguadilla and Ponce can provide further options.
Best Western Rewards
The Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn and Suites is one block from the beach in the heart of the popular Condado area. At the moment, Best Western Rewards is offering a promotion until April 29 for a $10 gift card with each stay, but you have to register before you arrive. If you’re looking to redeem points, it costs 28,000 points per night. Don’t forget about the popular elite status match program that Best Western Rewards offers with a no-questions-asked elite status bump if you show status with another hotel chain.
Families will do well redeeming points at either of the Embassy Suites properties in San Juan thanks to dual-room suites with sofa beds, free cooked-to-order breakfast, and evening snacks and cocktails included in the rate. Starting from 50,000 points per night, the value is incredible, although there is still restoration work taking place until later this year. The Condado Plaza Hilton is open to relief and government workers with limited services, but it will open for everyone else later this year.
Isla Verde, the area close to the airport, is rich with resorts on the water. A wonderful deal is the Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan, which like the Embassy Suites, offers free breakfast, two-room suites, and a hosted evening reception. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan starts at 60,000 points per night and gives guests access to a beach club with chairs, umbrellas, bikes, and towels. The real bargain is in Ponce where the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort starts at only 40,000 points per night. El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, remains closed for renovations.
Before any stay, be sure to register for the unlimited bonus points promotion, which continues until the end of April.
IHG Rewards Club
Also in Isla Verde, the InterContinental San Juan has a fantastic stretch of beach and is only a short drive to the airport for 50,000 points per night. Sign up for the lucrative Accelerate promotion, which delivers tiered bonus points for completing different stays across different brands between now and the end of April. The Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado will remain closed until the summer.
La Concha, A Renaissance Resort, is a trendy retreat with a fashionable pool area, chic lobby bar with live music, and impressive dining, including the iconic seashell-shaped, waterfront restaurant. Scoring a room for 40,000 points is a steal. The nearby Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is also 40,000 points per night, while the Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort close to the airport goes for 35,000 points per night. The stretch of sand in front of the Courtyard is wide and often uncrowded. However, both Ritz-Carlton properties on the island remain closed. Earn a 2,000-point bonus beginning with your second stay at any Marriott family hotel between now and mid-April by registering for this promotion.
Starwood Preferred Guest
Despite being part of the Marriott family, the program still operates separately with a large number of hotels in Puerto Rico. Its ever-popular W Retreat & Spa on Vieques island will remain closed through the end of the year due to hurricane damage. St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort will not open for reservations until October. But San Juan hotels are up and running with the popular Sheraton Old San Juan near the cruise ship port and old town going for 10,000 points per night. Sibling Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino has a gigantic swimming pool and starts at 7,000 points per night.
World of Hyatt
The Hyatt Place San Juan City Center is only 12,000 points per night, and its guest rooms come with sofa beds, making them ideal for families. Take advantage of World of Hyatt’s current promotion to score bonus points with any paid stay between now and mid-May.
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Ramsey Qubein Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.