Last Friday, I spent most of the day in and out of cars and airplanes headed to a destination I’d only heard about, never visited.
Puerto Rico was calling my name thanks to Hilton HHonors, and it just might be calling your name too. (More on that later)
Along with Emilie from Baby Loving Mama and Jeni from Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog, I arrived at our fabulous destination, the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar – Beach & Golf Resort. It was 7pm and I really thought the weekend itinerary would start Saturday morning. I couldn’t have been more wrong……..the fun began immediately.
Before we even had the chance to put our bags down and grab our cameras (yes, we are totally bloggers), we were given the warmest welcome from what seemed to be the entire staff of the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar – Beach & Golf Resort.
We were even presented with our very own Coco Loco Signature Drink, served inside a coconut and garnished with cinnamon powder, a maraschino cherry, and tiny umbrella. It was then that I had to grab the camera…….we were in paradise.
The Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar – Beach & Golf Resort is located 35 minutes outside of San Juan, in the quaint town of Dorado, Puerto Rico. It’s an oceanfront resort with stunning views of the mountains as well. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet close enough for quick excursions anywhere in the island…….from the historic cobblestone streets to the enchanting rain-forest.
But is was the view from my 6th floor balcony that I was intrigued to see. As I headed up to my room to drop off my luggage, I made a beeline for the doors. I had to see the ocean. It was late and the sun was about set, but the view……well, this is what I had been waiting for. I’d spend much of my downtime out here on the balcony.
The resort offers 174 two-room suites, all with stunning views of either the ocean, sunset, mountain or golf views. You can’t go wrong here.
The staff even provided some “towel art” – an adorable Embassy Suites Elephant greeted me as I entered the bedroom. Yes, the elephant was completely made out of towels. 🙂
Here’s what I love about Embassy Suites in general……two separate rooms. While I was enjoying an amazing vacation type experience, I was technically “working”. Have I mentioned I love my job? 🙂
I had my laptop on this trip and each night had some work to do. It’s wonderful to have all that in a separate room at a desk with perfect lighting, plenty of outlets (for charging phones, laptop, etc), and lots of space. If you have kids, you also can store all the extras you bring along….toys and more, in that front room. You definitely are not lacking for space at the Embassy Suites.
I had a gorgeous fruit plate waiting for me inside the suite. I just have to say it’s a complete work of art and I almost hated to disturb it, but the fruit called my name. Kiwi, mango, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries and sugar made to look like fine sand. Incredible. With a small refrigerator in the room, I was able to keep this to nibble on throughout the weekend.
The fruit plate wasn’t the only way the Embassy Suites welcomed me to Puerto Rico. It’s the small touches like a soft robe, personalized hand towel, and the cute little elephant.
I couldn’t stay to enjoy my room and view too long as I was heading downstairs for the Hilton HHonors Welcome Reception.
The Welcome Reception was held at the Pool Bohio, located in the center atrium of the hotel. The staff of the Embassy Suites joined us for what can only be described as a mecca for seafood lovers. Appetizers featuring the most fresh seafood like lobster, crab, and shrimp, were on display, almost too beautiful to eat.
The Chef outdid himself, and it wouldn’t be the only time. As someone who loves watching cooking shows, I must say the taste was only outdone by the presentation. Stunning.
But it’s what happened next that was a complete surprise…………
We were absolutely thrilled when joined by famous Puerto Rican salsa dancers for a “private performance” at the reception, but you can bet many hotel guests headed on over to watch. Incredible and quite impressive.
We, along with one of our fearless leaders for the weekend (Matt), were invited to join the dancers for our own private salsa lesson. How could we say no, right? When in Puerto Rico………
It was sooooo fun! (I just had to forget about all the people behind me watching.)
TIP: Be sure to avoid tennis shoes while salsa dancing as you can’t turn as easy.
(I’m pretty sure there is video of our salsa dancing….but I’m not telling where – HA!)
I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our trip to Puerto Rico. But you see, we had just gotten started. Next up was a dinner at Paradise Cafe, the hotel restaurant which offers both breakfast and dinner to Embassy Suites guests daily.
A private area was sectioned off for our welcome dinner and the staff joined us for a four-course meal. With a table-scape featuring ocean blue tablecloths and seashells, we were in for a real treat.
Experience Paradise Welcome Dinner at Paradise Cafe
Cream of “Yautia”
Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Mango Relish
Land & Sea Flank Steak & Shrimps in Mushrooms Sauce
Chicken Breast in Creole Sauce
I must say that I fell in love with Puerto Rican food. I had thought the food in Puerto Rico would have a lot of cheese (don’t ask me why?), but in reality, there was very little cheese and it was quite inspired by Latin and Caribbean flavors. Not cheesy or spicy (I was thrilled)!! 🙂
For those of you who are “foodies”:
- The Cream of “Yautia” was similar to potato soup. “Yautia” is a root vegetable with a bit more of a bite to it. Very good.
- Island Mashed – once again made more with root vegetables….a heartier version of mashed potatoes that we are familiar with.
- The Flank Steak melted in my mouth. Enough said. My favorite.
- While not officially on the menu, the plantain for garnish was delightfully yummy!
The conclusion to our meal…..Coconut Pudding, which was not overpowering in sweetness at all. I did opt to try Puerto Rican coffee alongside dessert, and found it is a bit on the bolder side. I was able to bring some authentic coffee home for my husband and can’t wait for him to try it.
As they say in Puerto Rico, “Buen Provecho”……..which basically means “Bon Appetit”!
All this, and we had only been in Dorado for a few hours!
Stay tuned as I share with you all about our Great Getaway to Dorado, Puerto Rico. Coming up……..sailing, spa and more!
Puerto Rico may be calling your name too! Or Hawaii, Florida, even Thailand! The Great Getaway Giveaway is going on right now…..with 3 more days to enter (can enter daily).
Plus, the Hilton HHonors Great Getaway Campaign has amazing deals at Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands. FYI – I spotted prices for the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar – Beach & Golf Resort, where we stayed, from $129 per night (includes full breakfast) as part of the Hilton HHonors Great Getaway Campaign!
Check out my first post, I’m Puerto Rico Bound with Hilton HHonors, for more details!
More Posts on this Amazing Trip:
(This is a sponsored post as part of a campaign for Hilton HHonors. All opinions are my own.)