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San Juan, Puerto Rico’s The Dreamcatcher, the city’s only vegan hotel, features nine rooms and four suites, all uniquely decorated. This charming property has received numerous awards, from TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice and Certificate of Excellent awards to Fodor’s Choice and’s Top 10 International B&B list.

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Hotel founder Sylvia de Marco set out to create an inviting oasis of beauty. In 2013, her dreams were realized when she opened the intimate, highly-Instagrammable Dreamcatcher in Ocean Park, located in what’s considered San Juan’s last remaining beach neighborhood, where “buildings are under 30 feet tall, vehicles are restricted, and guests can follow a hand-drawn map to beaches and local businesses all within walking distance.”

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The Dreamcatcher is located in the pristine neighborhood of Ocean Park, only two blocks from the beach. We were blessed to call this space home for three days, giving us the chance to sample the locally-sourced cuisine and get a feel for Ocean Park, outside of the busier, touristy Old Town. Being this close to the ocean, you can easily guess where we began our exploring!

After an overnight flight from Vancouver into Toronto Pearson, we continue on to San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport for a late afternoon arrival on the island.

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By this time, we’re more than ready to relax and change into tropical-weather clothes. Inside our Dreamcatcher Suite, we’re given a hand-drawn map by Sylvia, containing some recommendations for the vibrant neighborhood we’ve decided to call home ahead of our Viking Ocean Cruise through the West Indies.

As the hotel’s name suggests, there are dreamcatchers everywhere, symbols of protection from bad dreams.

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Rooms here can be booked either with shared or private bathroom. Ours has an indoor hammock and two outdoor sit hammocks on our outdoor living space that includes a rainfall shower and toilet.

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All rooms have A/C, cotton sheets, bath and beach towels. Each room is equipped with a hairdryer and an iron. Most of their rooms have a private terrace, desk space and a safe box. Guests have access to a communal kitchen with their own shelf space in the fridge. None of the rooms have TVs.

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Free Wi-Fi is included throughout the property and every room is decorated with a dreamcatcher to protect your sleep and entice sweet dreams.

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The team restores vintage furniture and artwork so that no two rooms are decorated alike. Even the room keys are handcrafted from old cutlery.

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We slept like kings in the super comfy bed. Maybe it was that dreamcatcher, or us simply catching up on our sleep from the red-eye flight, but falling asleep at night with the chorus of coquí frogs chirping in the garden was a special experience that neither of us will soon forget.

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Breakfast and brunch are locally-sourced and veggie-forward, prepared by a few staff chefs that rotate during the week. They cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free lifestyles and make every effort towards a low-carbon footprint.

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[A vegan muffin and fresh fruit off the breakfast menu]

During our stay, one of our delicious breakfasts featured a vegan platter with eggplant, zucchini and squash baked with rosemary, served with beet and avocado hummus, pumpkin hash and Creole mixed beans.

On Friday evenings, they offer four-course vegan dinners in collaboration with local chefs.

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On the hotel’s main level is a tucked-away spot stowing beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, foam coolers and other beach essentials for guests to borrow. Near the front desk is a community sunscreen basket so you can leave yours behind or use some when here (those San Juan rays can be mighty strong).

Dreamcatcher offers beach yoga classes, in-room massages plus El Yunque Rain Forest and stand-up paddleboard tours (at a 10% discount for guests).

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In the Hood

The hotel is located a quiet, gated community in a residential seaside neighbourhood. You enter the community by car after sunset (inform the security guard that you’re staying at the hotel). If you’re heading out on foot, one gate closes at 6 pm, but there’s another gate one street down open at night.

Rent a bike and check out the neighbourhood’s beaches or popular Loíza and McLeary Streets. Within walking distance we found several restaurants, cozy cafés, fresh fruit stands, a yoga studio, a farmer’s market, grocery stores, boutiques, surf shops, hair and beauty salons and the best spot for Spanish pastries in town, Kasalta.

Located in San Juan's Ocean Park district
[Piso Viejo Bar on Calle Loíza, Ocean Park]

Ocean Park is a safe beach neighborhood, only 10 minutes by foot from the touristy area of Condado. Old San Juan is a 10-minute car ride as is the airport. Staying in Ocean Park, you will enjoy more of a local flair than the typical tourist experience.

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The Dreamcatcher is located at 2009 Calle Espana in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Our stay was partially comped, partially paid for via an extended media rate. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

Booking Ubers around San Juan was a breeze thanks to our friends at AlwaysOnline Wireless, a global 4G LTE network with coverage in over 90 countries. They’re contract-free and work with any unlocked phone, tablet or hotspot.

We signed up for their 3 GB plan and had excellent reception all the way through our stay. Visit AOW online for all their international talk, text and data plans, per hour, day or megabyte.

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