When you think of Puerto Rico, glamorous is likely not the first adjective that comes to mind. Beachy? Yes. Charming? Definitely. The island’s top hotels, nearly all of which are back and better than ever after sustaining damage from last year’s Hurricane Maria, lean into this toes-in-the sand approach to luxury wholeheartedly, calling on breezy aesthetics that let the glistening views of the Caribbean outside to much of the legwork. This, however, is decidedly not the case at the new O:LV Fifty Five hotel, which has just opened in the heart of San Juan’s buzzy Cornado neighborhood.
The all-suite hotel, a sister property to the O:Live Boutique hotel just down the street, is one of the first new-builds to open in post-hurricane Puerto Rico (following this spring’s opening of the Serafina Beach Hotel). Where O:Live and Serafina build on classic codes of Caribbean design—the former featuring colonial style architecture and modern bohemian decor and the latter a twist on mid-century modern—O:LV has taken a completely different approach. Instead of the breezy blues and cool neutrals, the hotel has gone for Art Deco opulence: Think chandlers quite literally dripping in gold, plush velvet furniture in bold jewel tones, and dramatic dark walls.
Inside its 26 spacious suites, this maximalist approach continues. Floor-to-ceiling headboards are embellished with gilt accents, bathrooms are hidden behind gleaming gold doors, and the minibar is stashed in custom-designed ebony cabinets. And, this being the Caribbean, the top-tier rooms (which we would definitely recommend requesting) are also outfitted with a large L-shaped balcony, offering up views of the capitol and the turquoise Cornado Lagoon. Those views get even better when guests head upstairs to the hotel’s bi-level rooftop. There, they’ll find a sparkling infinity pool fringed by sun-loungers with views over the water and a guests-only solarium complete with a jacuzzi—ideal for catching up on some R&R in between exploring the city.
When they are not out sampling some of San Juan’s top new restaurants, guests can saddle up alongside well-heeled locals at the hotel’s two elegant restaurants, before heading back up to the rooftop for glasses of bubbly overlooking the twinkling lights of the revived city.