Where to stay in Puerto Rico

The Big Six: From a former convent to a luxury spa

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The Independent Travel

El Blok, Vieques

El Blok is the perfect haven for the intrepid – and hungry – traveller. The inn, which opened in late summer, describes itself as a "restaurant with rooms attached". It is set on the seafront on the offshore island of Vieques and offers simple, stylish rooms decorated with traditional hidraulico tiles, polished concrete and local wood. But it's the restaurant that's the real pull, serving a twist on Puerto Rican cuisine such as bacon-and-egg empanadas and rotisserie-cooked lamb and pork, all rustled up by award-winning chef Jose Enrique. Although it feels remote, El Blok is only a 20-minute flight from San Juan.

158 Calle Flamboyan,Vieques (001 787 741 6020; elblok.com). Double rooms from $360 (£225), room only.

Casa Sol, San Juan

This quirky little B&B in Puerto Rico's capital was once a base for Spanish soldiers from the nearby fortress of San Cristóbal. The cosy house, which has been carefully restored, is decorated with local art; the brightly coloured bedspreads, wardrobes and lamps have been crafted by Puerto Rican artisans. It has only five bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, and is within walking distance of local attractions, including the Museo de las Americas.

316 Calle Sol, San Juan (001 787 980 9700; casasolbnb.com). Double rooms from $188 (£117), B&B.

Hix Island House, Vieques

If you're desperate to escape the buzz of modern life, visit Hix Island House – 19 apartments set within 13 acres of woodland, with no televisions or phones, allowing visitors to make the most of the peace and quiet. You can even take part in yoga classes in the grounds. Solar panels power the resort's electricity and hot water, and the water collected in showers and sinks is recycled and used to water nearby guavas, bananas, papayas and lemons.

HC 02 State Road 995, Vieques (001 787 741 2302; hixislandhouse.com). Doubles from $135 (£84), B&B.

El Convento, San Juan

This 360-year old Carmelite convent housed nuns for more than 250 years until 1903. The building has since served as a shop, a dance hall and, for 40 years, cheap lodgings without running water, sanitary facilities or electricity. Fortunately, times have changed and El Convento has been restored and now offers 58 elegant rooms for guests who want to soak up a bit of Puerto Rican history. It also has free Wi-Fi, three restaurants and a beach club linked to its sister hotels on the seafront.

100 Calle del Cristo, San Juan (001 787 723 9020; elconvento.com). Doubles from $190 (£119), room only.

Olive Boutique Hotel, Condado

For art lovers, Olive Boutique Hotel is the ideal choice. The hotel is decorated with the work of artists from Provence and Tuscany; the result of the owner's travels around southern Europe. Each floor is decorated to reflect either France, Spain, Italy or Morocco. Visitors can expect fresh Mediterranean cuisine, complimentary tea in the garden, and a collection of photographs displayed throughout the property.

55 Aguadilla Street, Condado (001 787 705 9994; oliveboutiquehotel.com). Doubles from $278 (£174), B&B.

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques

W Retreat & Spa offers visitors luxury from the moment they step off the plane, whisking them into the W Airport Lounge before transferring them by 4x4 to the beach resort, which features colourful designs by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola. Rooms also have unique bathtubs designed by the architect. There are tennis courts, a spa overlooking the ocean, a gym, and yoga classes on the sun-drenched terrace. Ocean-view rooms provide panoramic vistas across the island.

State Road 200 KM 3.2, Vieques (001 787 741 4100; wvieques.com). Doubles from $360 (£225), room only.

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