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Good food in or near El Conquistador in Fajarda, PR?

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I'm taking my daughter for a weekend of badly needed (she got a divorce!) r & r to the El Con, primarily to make use of the Godlen Door spa. I know there are many restaurants on the property but can anyone rate them? Is it worth renting a car and driving to San Juan to try some of the places recommended on this site like Marmalade or Chayote or Pikayo? Are there any good restaurants outside of the resort but near enough to get to without a lot of trouble? Any advice would be appreciated.

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  1. Just returned from a trip to San Juan and have been posting superlatives about Marmalade on a few other threads, so I'll keep this short: YES, it would be well worth your while to trek into San Juan for a meal at this restaurant. I would say the same for the chef's other, more casual restaurant, Jam Bar, which is in Condado.

    Re: renting a car -- if you do this online, you're likely to get a better rate than reserving in person. (We figured this out and made the reservation from our cell phone, getting a car at half the rate, while standing at the Enterprise desk at our hotel.) It's a fairly easy drive to Old San Juan or Condado from Fajardo but I'd advise staying away from rush hour. Have a great trip!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: spyturtle008

      Thanks, Spyturtle, just what I needed. I've already booked my car and I'm making my restaurant reservation now.

      1. re: lldirect

        Excellent! If you get a chance to talk to Peter, the chef, do so -- he's extremely gracious. Do the tasting menu! Also, look into reserving a tour at the Las Cabezas nature reserve in Fajardo -- they have a limited amount of people they allow into the reserve each day, so you have to book a spot in advance, but it's really beautful. The bioluminescent bay tours (via kayak) in the lagoon there are incredible as well.

        1. re: spyturtle008

          Just caught up on the postings, so again, thanks. I did make a reservation at Marmalade and we'll try to talk to Peter. I eat everything but my daughter is kosher, so she won't eat meat or shellfish but she will eat fish and anything vegetarian. So I'll call ahead and see if he can prepare two separate tasting menus. We're excited. I'll let you know how it goes. Also glad to know about things to do if Fajardo in case we get tired of spa pampering. Do you know any places to eat in Fajardo? Or do you know anything about the restaurants at the El Con resort?

          1. re: lldirect

            No, we stayed in San Juan and did all of our eating either at our resort, or in Condado or Old San Juan. I believe the chef / owner of Perla (at La Concha in Condado) has a restaurant at El Conquistador -- we had an off-menu tasting at Perla that knocked our socks off, so it may be worth looking into. The only things we did in Fajardo were the reserve tour and kayaking at Las Cabezas. We drove by lots of little seafood restaurants, but perhaps others would be better able to speak to any favorites.

            1. re: spyturtle008

              We'll check to see if there's a Perla connection at the hotel. I'll report if we find anything interesting in the area. I'm excited about Marmalade and hope it meets up to all the praise. Thanks again for all your help.