Trendy, cool, artistic, stylish… the OLV 55 boutique hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico checks off all the boxes for an elevated adults-only stay near Condado Beach.
Located a block and a half from the waves and overlooking the lagoon, this intimate hotel is a romantic place to stay with a dramatic wow factor, amplified by the red and orange sunsets over the lagoon in the evenings if you have a room with a balcony.
I’m guessing the owners didn’t have a Google search consultant around during their naming meetings since the official name is O:LV. That isn’t exactly easy to remember and if you type it into your browser box your computer thinks it’s code. “O:LV Fifty Five” is spelled out on the site (no hyphen, sorry punctuation sticklers) but Expedia lists it as OLV. The URL is olvhotel.com. Got it?
You could remember “Olive hotel” but there are two of these, a block from each other, so go here to check the other one out. That one is spelled O:live on the company site.
The owners clearly put their time into getting visuals right instead instead of the online search potential. The plastic vines cascading down the outside wall are better than bare concrete I suppose, but there’s no feeling of cheapness once you step into the cool lobby and start looking around at the various pieces of art assembled there. Among the crystal chandeliers, velvet sofa, and black & white patterned marble tile are various sculptures and eclectic objects that make you want to wander around and take it all in.
Rooms and Suites at O:LV Fifty Five
The rooms at this San Juan boutique hotel just might be the most stylish in the city. They incorporate some retro touches to harken back to last century, with some liberal uses of brass and black to up the elegance factor. Add in some interesting lighting fixtures and richly veined marble and these feel like bedrooms in a mansion.
The 24 rooms are divided into six categories and apart from the top two suite categories, they’re all roughly the same size. The lowest category doesn’t have any windows though, so though it may be ideal for afternoon risers, others may want to pay up a little more to get some natural light in the room.
You go up the scale depending on whether there’s a view and you have a balcony. The ones that do have a balcony all face the lagoon, but it’s an interesting view since the city is on the other side, sunset is off to the right, and you get to see what people are doing out on the water. You can sit and have a coffee and watch people paddleboarding or kayaking, then come back at the end of the day to see people having a private dinner on their floating platform with a table and chairs.
The two top suites are larger, with more furniture. The “Infinity Suite Beyond” with a balcony is like a junior suite with a full living room set and is about a third larger than the other rooms. The Gallery Suite with balcony is the largest and is the best for those sharing, with two queen beds. For some of the balcony rooms, you can get to it from the sleeping quarters or the bathroom.
Amenities are high-end all the way: a Nespresso coffee machine, Frette linens, a well-stocked minibar, and L’Occitane toiletries in baths with two sinks. There’s turndown service in the evening where they lay out your bathrobes that say “Happy Place” on the back.
That’s one of the decorative touches delivered with a wink. I loved how they designated the room numbers here: each is shown with that number corresponding to a stuck clock — so 5:06 for room 506.
The only negative I ran into in the room is that no adjustment I made to the glowing thermostat on the wall made my room cooler and I had to leave the balcony door open to cool things off. After bringing it up twice and having maintenance come, they told me that the wall thermostat displaying the temperature doesn’t actually do anything and, “Don’t you have a remote?” No I did not, so once we got that cleared up and they delivered one, the crisp A/C did a great job.
O:LV Rooftop Pool and Bar
The real money shots of O:LV Hotel are various spots on the roof where there’s a unique pool on one level, a whirlpool up a few sets of stairs above, and the lounging spaces all around where you can take in the view.
If lying there with a bathing suit on drinking a piña colada (invented in Puerto Rico) isn’t enough to make you feel like you’re living the rich life, then come back to the bar just inside in the evening where the DJ booth is inside a Rolls-Royce. I’m a bit stumped as to how they delivered that up to the 6th floor.
You have to remember your credit card or some cash though because when you order a drink or something to eat, you can’t charge it to your room. Apparently the systems aren’t connected. It’s a lovely place to lounge though and guests here have no shortage of places to pose for their social media shots.
Raya Restaurant in Condado
You can also find a bar on the lobby level off to the side of Raya Restaurant, which is open for dinner every day except Monday beginning at five.
I didn’t time that right and wasn’t able to try it out, but the menu of Asian fusion cuisine with a few local touches definitely looks mouth-watering. It’s another rich-feeling space as well, especially at night with soft lighting on the soft velvet furniture.
You can order from room service at other hours though and I got my best breakfast of my week in San Juan here, some delicious lemon berry pancakes, tropical fruit, and Puerto Rican coffee.
Staying at O:LV 55
It’s only a five-minute walk to the sand and sea from this Condado Beach area hotel and a short ride to other beaches and places of interest like the historic center. Or step right outside for activities on the lagoon. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and convenience stores within a 10-minute walk.
Rates at this adults-only San Juan boutique hotel start at $250 in low season for the no-window room, but that’s before close to 30% you have to add on for taxes and a “property fee.” The top suites can easily top $1,000 in the high season after those additions. Valet parking is another $20 per night.
Review and photos by Hotel Scoop editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted at O:LV for purposes of review.