Puerto Rico is bouncing back in a big way this year.
Hotel re-openings, debuts and innovative F&B options are just the beginning, according to Alma Pedrosa, acting president and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico. “Our destination hosted our first major convention for 2018, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Marketplace, from this past January. We feel proud of our people, our offerings and our determination.”
Around 120 hotels (endorsed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company) out of 150, or around 12,500 hotel rooms out of 15,000, are now open for business.
Here are five additional updates that planners should have on their radar.
The 96-room Serafina Beach Hotel is on track to be this year’s first new hotel opening in Puerto Rico when it debuts in March. Its bohemian charm integrates playful lanterns and aqua colors matched by earthy woods, and rooms will feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water. Its aMare restaurant will offer traditional Italian seafood, with Puerto Rican ingredients—ideal for groups looking for private dining on the terrace. The property’s 2,295-sf Mediterranean Ballroom will also feature oceanfront views.
Re-opening in March after a brief closure, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort will debut a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, including a refreshed lobby lounge and new F&B outlets, including Caicu Rum Bar, which features rare private reserve batches of rum alongside local cuisines such as mofongo bites and ceviche.
In October, El San Juan Hotel will reopen a little more than a year since closing due to impact from Hurricane Maria. The 388-room property is undergoing a restoration that is on par with last year’s $65 million renovation, reviving the property’s Old-World charm in a modern way. The art and craftsmanship of the original property will still be prevalent, with hand-carved mahogany covering the lobby ceilings and vaulted arch over the registration area.
Looking for interactive dining experiences? Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino recently introduced an intimate Chef’s Table for groups up to 20. The experience is executed in a private room hidden in the kitchen, where Executive Chef Jannette Berrios will prepare a multi-sensory, five-course meal of French-Latin dishes that use local ingredients. Attendees will learn all about the behind-the-scenes process of ingredient sourcing, food prep and presentation.
Aloft San Juan Convention Center
The Aloft brand will bring its first hotel to The District San Juan, the city’s multimillion-dollar entertainment project, in 2019. The 175-room property will attract a new generation of attendees with its modern, cutting-edge design and a variety of open spaces to simply check email or gather for impromptu meetings. Also on the docket: Aloft Ponce is set to debut as the brand’s second hotel on the island.