What We Love
- Daily continental breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- From sweet plantains to fresh fruit, almost all produce is grown on-site
- Refrigerators are stocked with free snacks, soft drinks, local beer and Puerto Rican coffee
- Impossibly beautiful golf course, complete with caddies, is set on high bluffs above the surf
What To Know
- A daily $30 resort fee and a 10 percent service charge will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Lots of daytime activities, but virtually no nightlife, with few guests, no town and just one restaurant
- Rental car is recommended for exploring nearby beach towns
- There is a local airport, but the drive from San Juan is all highway and much easier than it looks on paper
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Modern 18th-century Caribbean. The ruin-like tower on the golf course and the castle-like stone main building, “La Casa,” are so convincing you might think this was an old sugar plantation in Jamaica or Barbados, but everything is brand new. The hotel occupies just a small portion of the property’s 2,000 acres; Royal Isabela’s greatest design element is open space. From the moment you enter, through a huge stone arch that connects one garden with another, most of the resort space is outdoors, including a circular open-air stone palapa bar with tremendous sea and sunset views and a restaurant with an outdoor dining terrace. Likewise, the casitas are individual compounds indoors and out, with huge terraces, plunge pools and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows. These are terraced into a lush hillside of streams and waterfalls surrounding a large central free-form swimming pool, all of which sits above a private beach.
Bed and Bath
Each of the 20 casitas is terraced onto a hillside just above the Caribbean, with a split-level layout. The interiors feature tile and wooden floors, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto private terraces with plunge pools. Four-poster beds are draped with decorative netting, while separate living areas are well equipped with coffeemakers, WiFi and refrigerators full of free snacks, soft drinks and Puerto Rican beer. The bathrooms are a highlight, done up with long double vanities, tubs made for two and walk-in rain shower rooms that have mirroring sets of controls, myriad nozzles and a second door that opens directly to the outdoor plunge pool.
Royal Isabela’s 18-hole oceanfront golf course is a showstopper, with even the inland holes, including a terrific island green, supplying an inspired game for both pro and novice. In the main house the single restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an emphasis on local produce (much of the food is grown in the property’s own gardens), seafood and inventive twists on traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Otherwise facilities are limited; there’s a library, an outdoor bar, tennis courts and a private beach at the base of the cliff. Across the highway is the rest of the property, a family farm in a river valley, where guests can hike, bike and kayak.
In the Area
This corner of Puerto Rico is one of the world’s hotbeds of surfing; Kelly Slater sealed his 10th world championship here during the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search. Neighboring Aguadilla and nearby Rincon are both famous surf spots, and have more developed towns with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. The resort can arrange lessons or you can try the Rincon Surf School. In Aguadilla, Aquatica Dive & Surf offers surfing lessons as well as scuba diving and standup paddleboard rentals. For a change of pace from resort dining, don’t miss surfer favorite One Ten Thai in Aguadilla, which also grows most of its own produce and combines Puerto Rico’s most authentic Thai cuisine with its largest selection of craft beers, plus frequent live music.
How to Get There
Beautiful and awesome resort to spend a weekend. Very quiet and peaceful. If you enjoy playing golf they have a beautiful golf court with a georgios view. The food in the restaurant is so good with a great service. I really recommend this resort.
My family and I visited Royal Isabela in February, 2019. The resort itself is vast and scenic. The Casita was large and had its own plunge pool. We ate in their restaurant daily and the food was excellent, the staff and the Chef were very attentive to our dietary requests. The staff, through out our stay were pleasant and tried their best to make our stay with them as enjoyable as possible. Special thanks to David and Dorcas at the Jota restaurant, and Ishmael at the front desk. We will definitely be back.
Awesome place! Very beautiful and relaxing. Casita was very nice. This was our second stop out of three resorts in Puerto Rico. The rooms at Royal Isabela were not as modern as the other two but that's not what Royal Isabela is about. The casitas are still Beautiful and you can't beat the peace and quiet on your patio with the outdoor plunge pool. Our casita also had a second deck down the hill with two chairs and a Beautiful view. I only left the casita to eat. My husband played golf. They don't have a spa but they do have someone who will provide services in your casita. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the restaurant and all three were delicious. Customer service in restaurant was great. Customer service at resort did not wow me. We stayed at Condado Vanderbilt for two nights before arriving here and then went on to The St Regis Bahia Beach Resort after leaving here. Customer service at both of the other resorts was much better. Would I return to Royal Isabela? In a heartbeat!
This property is gorgeous and the casitas are really world class. While the property is quiet (only 20 casitas) the services and beach are world class. Yes, the beach is a hike but for those willing to make the walk its also a little slice of paradise. Golf course has some of the most picturesque holes you will find anywhere. A great place for a romantic escape or couples golf trip.
Most peaceful and relaxing resort you will ever visit. Well appointed large private casitas with private plunge pool. Was lucky enough to reserve the Presidential casita that has a walkout to spectacular views (picture provided). Perfect place to enjoy morning coffee. Rooms have full size living room/sitting area, a small refrigerator and coffee maker. The bathroom is massive with double sinks and soaking tub. Doors open up to your private patio. Like showering outdoors. So why the 4 star? Our casita was in need of a little maintenance. We brought to the attention of management. They were aware of the issues but had not fixed yet :(