I have a group of 6 friends looking to plan a trip in the next few months. We are looking to stay for 5-6 nights in a beautiful place that we can all afford. I'm not sure if a hotel or renting a condo would be a better way to go? And whichever you recommend, what are the best places?
I'd rent a condo or a villa. A hotel will be more expensive. The area near the airport called Isla Verde is nice. You'll find good restaurants there. It's very touristy though but you can walk from the beach to different restaurants and shopping. You can drive to Old San Juan and other areas.
About 30-40 minutes east there's a town called Humacao that has an area with a lot of villas and condos near the beach. This area is known by puertorricans as "Palmas" short for Palmas del Mar the name of the resort.
Rio Grande (Puerto Rico) is another town that has a lot of options to rent. You can always do day trips to different towns and see the rainforest, old san juan,etc.
You can use Airbnb.com to find a place to stay.
Hope this helps!
Mentioned in this answer:
Renting a Condo. Go to clasificadosonline.com and search vacation rentals.