Sunday, June 29, 2008

Casinos in San Juan

I really can't think of anything I care less about in this world than gambling and casinos, but I am noticing that if you like casinos or just the fancy pants feel of blackjack tables and high rollers, San Juan is a pretty good choice for a vacation destination. Are you listening, parents? Visit your daughter, she's desperate!!
These blurry photos were taken inside El San Juan Resort and Casino, which has to be one of the coolest places I have ever been. You should really appreciate these because I got yelled at twice for having my camera out. Anyway, if you are coming to San Juan with some money to burn, you will probably want to stay either on Ashford Ave in Condado or Isla Verde in Carolina. There is also one casino in Old San Juan, but Old San Juan doesn't seem to be the place where the serious gambling happens. My experience at the El San Juan Resort Casino in Isla Verde was brief but pretty amazing. Sometimes when I walk down the Isla Verde strip at night, I think to myself, "This place is kinda dead tonight," but turns out, anybody who is anybody is inside of El San Juan, gambling, sipping drinks at some of their very upscale bars, or listening to live music. I felt like I walked into a different world because it was so beautiful and elegant inside. Quite a change from chasing iguanas out of your hotel room with a beach towel (don't ask).

So since I am such a thorough (albeit scatterbrained) blogger, I have decided to provide you with what I believe to be a pretty complete list of the casinos in/around San Juan, Puerto Rico. All of them are attached to a hotel of some sort, and I have categorized them both by location and by an arbitrary scale I will call "the fancy pants scale." This is my own personal scale that I am using to rate the level of fancy pants-ness of each casino, and takes into account data from personal experience, word-of-mouth, pictures on websites, and an inverse statistical calculation of my possibility of ever affording to stay at its hotel. So I think it's pretty accurate. But I would love to hear any feedback from those who have more first hand gambling experience!

Click on the hotel name to visit its website!

Scale legend:
*Not so fancy pants
**A little fancy pants
***Super fancy pants

Old San Juan
Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel**

Ashford Avenue, Condado
Condado Plaza Hotel and Casino***
Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel and Casino*
San Juan Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino**

Isla Verde, Carolina
Best Western San Juan Airport Hotel and Casino*
Intercontinental San Juan Resort Spa and Casino**
El San Juan Hotel and Casino***
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Spa and Casino**
Embassy Suites Hotel and Casino**

Happy Gambling! Don't forget to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em!

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