What is a tropical island without a roaring nightlife? Thankfully, Puerto Rico will never need to answer that question. Clubs, pubs, casinos, discos, lounges and live entertainment make the night air pulse until dawn. When it comes to lounges, the seven on this list will help you chill out all night long.
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The ultra-stylish Water & Beach Club Hotel in Isla Verde has one of my favorite options for nightlife seekers. Mist is an Island-Italian-Spanish restaurant that doubles as a nocturnal rooftop hotspot. Come for the signature cocktails and the "socializers" menu, chill out at the lounge, and enjoy a night under the stars on a comfy day bed, if you can grab one. It's a cool place to kick back and bask with all of Isla Verde and the ocean spread out below you.
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Anchoring Fortaleza Street, Dragonfly is a dimly lit, intimate place even for dinner; at night, it turns into a velvety cool lounge, and one of the city's most desirable nighttime destinations. The Asian-inspired food, drinks and decor help set an exotic tone that's far removed from the Caribbean, and it attracts a well-heeled clientele. You'll regularly find long lines of eager Sanjuaneros and tourists waiting for a chance to get in, and the everybody is dressed to impress; in fact, if you have the gumption to wear shorts here, the staff at Dragonfly will promptly put a sarong around your waist. It doesn't stay open as late as some of the clubs around town, but hey, that's what the after-hours places are for.
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Straddling the main road between Punta Las Marias and Isla Verde, Q Lounge is located in a squat black building that positively oozes a funky Goth vibe. Inside, the theme continues with some unorthodox Virgin Mary paintings, black-and-white checkered dance floor, and the dramatic love seat that looks like it will be welcoming Dracula anytime.
It's a cool place that's very popular with the locals. It should be with tourists as well ... especially with the kitchen serving Puerto Rican food until the wee hours.
Q Lounge is located at 2480 Isla Verde Avenue and is open Thursday to Saturday from 9 pm to 5 am.
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Bed and Lounge have almost become synonymous terms. After all, from South Beach to NYC to San Juan, hip club-owners have been inviting their guests to hang out in bed. The Bed Lounge in Isla Verde follows suit, but it wisely divides its two floors into the VIP beds on the second floor and a series of small rooms to dance, hang out, and snack on the late-night menu on the ground floor. In fact, if it's not a weekend night, you might find the bed level closed off entirely, but the place still draws a happy crowd. The music ranges from hip hop to pop to reggaetón.
The bed is located at 5930 Isla Verde Avenue and is open Monday from midnight to 6 am and Wednesday through Saturday from 9 pm to 6 am.
Contact: 787-253-1700Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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At the El San Juan Hotel & Casino, there are many places to hang out late at night. The lobby has a hopping vibe at all times, with a beautiful bar and live band. The casino is a perennial favorite. But the newcomer, Koco Restaurant, Rum Bar, and Lounge, might just take the cake. It's cool green and brown natural hues, comfy rooms, and funky bar have attracted a hip crowd.
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Rounding out my list is a relative newcomer to the late-night scene. The lobby-level Eternal Lobby Lounge at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel is one of the hottest places in San Juan to grab a drink, catch a live DJ on weekends, or relax on the outdoor terrace with a drink or two. The lounge combines a few environments; the open-air terrace overlooking the ocean, a funky-looking bar with plush seating and spacious booths, and additional seating spilling over into the lobby itself. Last time I was there, the crowd was lively, the music was thumping, and the outdoors provided a welcome reprieve from the energy of the club. I look forward to going back.