Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

November 29, 2021
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Puerto Rico from $75 a night

VIEQUES This island is the answer to beach seekers who also crave seclusion. At 34-kilometres long and eight-kilometres wide, this Eden-like escape, 11 kilometres from mainland Puerto Rico, has everything that you’d expect in the Caribbean — minus, for the most part, chain hotels and resorts. B&Bs and inns reign here, like Casa de Amistad in the small town of Isabel Segunda. In business since 2002, this “House of Friendship” is “eclectic bohemian” in style, as described by owner, Owen Smith. The guesthouse has seven rooms, each with AC, a bar fridge and its own bathroom. Common rooms include a full kitchen and a living room with both satellite TV and books that you can enjoy poolside. Rooms start at US$75, double occupancy. Room three ($100) can accommodate up to four people. (787) 741-3758.

FAJARDO This coastal town of about 40,000, in northeastern Puerto Rico, has beaches and boats; it’s a divers dream (at least on the mainland) and home to the largest marina in the Caribbean (the ferry to Culebra and Vieques is here). Fajardo is also home to the Passion Fruit B&B. Its large rooms are clean and comfy, albeit decorated quite simply. Each honours a famous Fajardeño; as a doc, you may want to doze off in the Antonia Coello de Novello room, named after the 14th surgeon general of the US. The rooms don’t have telephones, but all have satellite TV. There’s a charcoal grill outside and a pool. Rooms start at US$85 including breakfast: fresh fruits (some from their garden) cereal, eggs and baked goods. (800) 670-3196.

SAN JUAN This city is a conference hot spot (for a list, go to and no wonder. The capital city is coated with beachfront hotels, casinos and nightclubs, while on the flip side, the old town is a treasure trove of cobblestone streets, colonial townhouses and plazas. After a day discovering the best of both worlds, consider crashing at another best, the Coral Princess Inn in Condado. Renovated in 2002, the Art-Deco inn has 25 large rooms, all with AC, TVs, high-speed Internet and bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs. Although they’re decorated simply — dark furniture, muted tones — they’re accented with artwork by local painter Mara Torres. There’s also an outdoor pool. High-season rates from November 15 to May 15 start at US$125, double occupancy, including continental breakfast. (787) 977-7700.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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