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Yay! Puerto Rico's Olive Hotel Isn't the Pits

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  Site Where: Aguadilla #55 [map], Condado, Puerto Rico, United States, 00646
July 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Is The Olive Hotel Spicy Enough For You? A HotelChatter Review

Nearly a year ago to the day we wrote about a new boutique hotel coming to Puerto Rico and we were super excited. It had been a while since the popular island introduced a new development, so it was most welcome. Since then, the Olive Hotel has remained one of those hidden secrets, which we can appreciate. Still, people ought to know more about this sexy spot that was recently visited by brunette bombshell Roselyn Sanchez, who just launched a television series produced by Eva Longoria and starring Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz and Susan Lucci, called 'Devious Maids'. Oh, and we stopped by, too.

Lobby Layout: Upon walking in the Olive, you get the feeling youíve just stepped into someoneís living room. And in a way you have. The small, but heavily decorated space is filled with treasures from the owners travels. We were looking right, left, up and down at the paintings and unusual artifacts. It also happens that the Olive has a sister hotel, the budget-friendly HosterŪa del Mar, where you can find more of the owners eclectic collection.

Checking In: Check-in was swift and accompanied by a glass of wine (hola!), which we werenít mad at. We were handled an old-fashioned tasseled key and led via elevator up to our room.

Room Reaction: When we first mentioned the opening of this hotel and showed the first images, we thought the rooms would be huge. Well, our room was a mite smaller than what we expected. In fact, it was called a petit chambre . One could touch the shower wall from the bed, and the sink was outside of the toilet. Definitely the European style the website described, still, the open-design did take us off guard at first.

Amenity Madness: LíOccitane products are in the bathroom. The Grandstream GXV3175 video-phone tablets are programmed with Pandora, YouTube and Google.

Internet Connect: WiFi was free, although it kept cutting off way too many times for us in the room. The connection on the rooftop was a lot better.

Other Amenities: Complimentary afternoon tea is served. Rooms also have DVD players, though for the life of us, we can't remember the last time we've played a DVD.

Dining In/Out: The hotel has a small restaurant called O:liva. In the morning itís the setting for the free breakfast the hotel hosts. Youíll see a good buffet of breads, cheeses, meats, and more. At night, it morphs into a cantina-like space, where the tables are filled with hotel guests and a surprising amount of locals who come to taste Chef Nicolas Gomezís hearty Mediterranean cuisine. We adored the linguine a la pescatore with mussles, shrimp, clams, baby squid, and king prawns. For lunch youíre on your own, though, so plan on heading out to explore the neighborhood Condado restaurants, or head on over to Old San Juan.

Location, Location, Location: The Condado area is akin to New Yorkís 5th Avenue, but the Olive is hidden away on a quiet, residential side street. Meaning, if you didnít know if it was there, you wouldnít know it was there. Thatís a plus and a minus. Our taxi driver had to figure it out that the hotel was the non-assuming building on the corner of a dead end street. However, itís an easy walk to shopping and the beach, and youíre not subjected to any of the noise on the main street, so thatís a plus.

Liked: The rooftop is a truly gorgeous space. During the day we stayed up there for a loooong time with our laptop working and trying not to be distracted by the view of the marina. We felt like we were in another world. At night it transforms into a members and guests only bar/lounge where we enjoyed watching Puerto Ricoís beautiful people sip cocktails and chill on the comfy, white couches.

Didnít Like: Weíre not really fond of the glass shower in the room. Itís just part of a trend that we canít get with. While it looks very pretty, reality hits when itís actually time to take a shower and you have someone in the room. The Swiss shower is boss and one tends to enjoy themselves while experiencing them. So do you ask your room mate to leave? Avert their eyes while the multiple jets are hitting you at all angles? We were alone during our visit, thank goodness, but we could envision a hella awkward convo concerning private shower time.

Bottom Line: A petit chambre room at the Olive starts at $179 in July.

[Disclosure: Chanize was a guest of The Olive Hotel while on assignment for another publication but all opinions expressed here are her own.]

[Photos: Chanize for HotelChatter/Olive Hotel]

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