The Rise of Puerto Rico’s Bed and Breakfasts
PHOTO: San Sebastian Bed and Breakfast dining room. (photo by Brian Major)
Puerto Rico is well known for classic and modern luxury hotels of the cosmopolitan island’s Condado district as well as the stately boutique properties found in historic Old San Juan. But the diverse destination recently embarked on a new chapter for its hotel industry with the launch of the first bed and breakfast (B&B) hotel in the municipality of San Sebastian.
San Sebastian Bed and Breakfast is located in the town’s historic center and offers four bedrooms featuring a Creole-inspired design including antique and contemporary furnishings. Rates start at $99 per night. The property is the latest B&B certified through a Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) plan launched in 2013.
Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, PRTC’s executive director, called San Sebastian B&B owners Yaiza Arvelo Serrano and Edwin Cortes Seguinot “new entrepreneurs in the tourism industry,” who “believed that tourism development could blossom with the first two bed and breakfasts certified by the PRTC program.”
The PRTC program is designed to support Puerto Rico’s emerging B&B properties, defined as lodging accommodations of at least three rooms but no more than six. The resident of the property acts as a host and provides breakfast services, which is an essential part of the per-night rate.
The program is designed to encourage visitors to discover local culture and visitor attractions while experiencing intimate, specialized accommodations. Other certified B&Bs include Casa Sol and Casa Castellana in San Juan and Dos Angeles del Mar in Rincon.
The San Sebastian B&B offers guests personalized service and breakfast featuring local produce, including a stuffed ham and cheese pocket produced in La Esperanza, natural fruit juice, fresh fruits and gourmet Puerto Rican coffee. The B&B also offers free Wi-Fi access and cable television.
Visitors in San Sebastian can tour the century-old historic church in the town’s center as well as the History Museum of San Sebastian and City Hall. San Sebastian also features numerous bakeries, pizzerias and Creole eateries.
Local natural attractions include the Gozalandia waterfall and Lake Guajataca, and the Rio Camuy Cave Park, Arecibo Observatory and Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park are also located nearby.
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