Tuesday, July 31, 2012

san juan, puerto rico: intercontinental resort/isla verde beach

I wasn't sure if I should have lumped Isla Verde beach in with the InterContinental Resort, where Kris and I stayed, however, since both were pretty much in the same place, it seemed to make sense. Anyhow, looking at these photos makes me a little sad that it all happened so fast, our stay at this beautiful place.  Still, I'm very happy that we were fortunate to have been here in the first place. I've never been much of a resort fan, for reasons I won't get into here, however this was also the first time I actually stayed at one, and since I let Kris choose where we were staying, why not enjoy the ride, which I must confess, wasn't a difficult thing to do in the least bit.

More than anything, I was grateful for the gorgeous weather we got, despite a much different forecast. It seemed like the rain and storms they called for all happened in the very early morning hours, making for some ideal tropical temperatures and sea breeze later in the day.

The resort was really nice and I think we got a little too accustomed to this kind of living, especially eating at their excellent breakfast buffet, which was included as part of our vacation package. There were some very good dining options in and around the resort, as well as a casino, if you're into that kind of thing. I'm not a gambling kind of man, but we did have fun one morning playing the cheap machines and winning absolutely nothing.  I'll post more shots later this week of the casino, among other things in Puerto Rico, as part of a miscellaneous post.  One thing I was very impressed with was the gym, which I ended up using on five out of the six days we stayed at the InterContinental. It was in very close proximity, had lots of new machines and free weights, as well as an amazing view of the beach and ocean. So yeah, I had no problem working out in there almost every day, which in all honesty, was not part of the plan in any way whatsoever.

What I liked about where we stayed was that it had a very natural feel to it, and going to the beach from the resort was a smooth transition. Kris and I didn't swim in any of the nice pools they had at the resort, since we've got a great one where we live. Instead, we opted to hit Isla Verde beach, relax under a big umbrella in the sand, then swim in the ocean for extended periods of time.  There's nothing like the sight and sound of the tides coming and going, feeling the sand at your feet and tasting the salty water in your mouth. While there was a fair amount of folks on the beach, especially on the day some big salsa dancing festival was taking place at the resort, it never felt like we had no room to breathe.

Perhaps our favorite time was when evening began to fall, especially while walking along the shore. The sky naturally took on a magical presence, as did the air and the ocean. Outside, back at the resort, you could hear the sounds of nature come to life, as exotic bird calls mingled with those of local tree frogs, while human voices played in the pools below. There's no music better than what the natural world has to offer, and we could have listened to those amazing sounds all night long.

Both Kris and I were very pleased with our stay at the InterContinental in San Juan. Some things that people might not have liked about the place were the TVs were older models (not flat screen), which I didn't mind, since I sure wasn't there to watch TV. Also, you had to pay fifteen bucks a day for internet service, which didn't go down too well with Kris especially. Again, I was more than happy to disconnect, however, if you were there on business or had to be online every day, over an extended period, the cost could really add up. Hopefully that'll change soon. The plus side was the service and proximity to the beach, especially. There was plenty to do and experience at the resort as well. The people who worked there were also genuinely kind and helpful and went out of their way to make it a pleasant stay. I'd have no issue with coming back again. On that note, I'm hoping to do a miscellaneous P.R. post tomorrow or Thursday, so stay tuned!