Mermaids are having a moment. Between the seashell house on Airbnb, beauty bloggers painting iridescent scales on their cheekbones, and hair stylists painting strands rainbow hues to match the sea, the thirst to don a tail is real. Now you can take the fantasy one step further by dining in a conch shell. Yes, a shell.
Perla Restaurant is housed in a giant shell replica at La Concha Resort, a historic hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Famed for its mid-century architecture, the giant seashell was built in 1958 by architect Mario Salvatori, and is considered an engineering marvel as it appears to float on the glassy surface of the hotel’s infinity pool. In true mermaid fashion, the restaurant serves upscale seafood, and from what we've heard, it's as memorable as the domed mollusk itself.
Reviews rave about the flaky sea bass and the romantic atmosphere, all pulled together with epic ocean views. Other highlights include Caribbean lobster and swordfish steak, as well as a surf and turf dish that will set you back $85 USD. The price is worth the novelty of dining inside a seashell alone, which is lit by eight artichoke-shaped lamps blown from Murano glass. Another cool feature is that the undulating sides of the shell are actually open to allow light from inside to reflect off the pool and create watery patterns around the restaurant. Matching the upscale design is a legendary wine list too, with over 4,000 bottles from 1,000 labels. Looks like we'll be wining and dining like a mermaid.