Island inns welcome guests for Memorial Day weekend
By John McPhaul
The members of the Puerto Rican Inns and Small Inns Association announced Tuesday that they are ready to receive the thousands of families that frequently stay in the inns during the long Memorial Day weekend.
“This year 2022 is very special for everyone, as we continue to learn to live with the (COVID-19) virus, and get closer to normality,” said Xavier A. Ramírez, president of the association and co-owner of the Combate Beach Resort on El Combate Beach in Cabo Rojo. “This long weekend begins the summer vacation, which runs until the second week of August, and we have prepared our facilities to provide the quality and service that distinguishes us. We have strengthened our hygiene protocols and contingency systems to mitigate any failure of electricity, water or communications. We want to provide the best possible experience for our guests.”
Ramírez said the pace of reservations for the upcoming long weekend has been accelerated, and there are still rooms available in the vast majority of inns, known locally as “paradores.” In addition, the Parador Villas Sotomayor has space for up to 150 camping huts at its agrotourism farm of over 100 acres.
“The number of local families, from the Puerto Rican diaspora, and North Americans who are coming to the inns, looking for reliable accommodations to vacation in Puerto Rico, is very encouraging,” Ramírez added. “Although a few visitors from Europe and South America are also arriving.”
For the high summer season, the inns in the association expect more guests than they experienced in 2021, which is why they have made substantial investments to prepare their facilities.
“We want to ensure that our guests enjoy themselves to the fullest, in a safe and worry-free accommodation,” said Christian Rivera, vice president of the association and co-owner of Parador Guánica 1929 in Guánica.
The inns have different types of rooms and amenities to accommodate all tastes and budgets. They can usually accommodate between two and six people per room, and the El Buen Café, Guánica 1929 and Villas Sotomayor inns offer packages that include food and snacks.
Ángel “Cucho” Rodríguez, co-owner of the Parador Boquemar in Boquerón, recommends that at the time of booking, guests choose an accommodation certified by the island Tourism Co., and ask about the amenities, pool hours, nearby attractions and restaurants, Wi-Fi and parking services, along with the security protocols and contingency equipment available at the island’s country inns.
The owners of inns called on the Puerto Rican people to enjoy the thousands of beautiful views of the island, while maintaining health measures and being selective in the accommodations they choose. They also extended an invitation to consider stays from Sunday to Thursday, when rates are usually lower, and access to attractions and restaurants is more comfortable.
The Paradores de Puerto Rico program was created in 1973 by the Tourism Co. to distribute tourism throughout the 78 municipalities and promote Puerto Rican culture, history, music, gastronomy and hospitality. The inns are inspected twice a year by the Tourism Quality Division, and they are annually evaluated by the Health Department and the Firefighters Bureau. Those standards assure the guest that they have appropriate quality and safety systems, along with trained personnel to support them in case of an emergency.
“We are waiting for you with the best Puerto Rican experience,” Ramírez said. “We are Puerto Rican families, serving other families in the world.”