Wednesday, August 10, 2022

San Juan Marriott: Condado’s ‘Urban Resort’

By on July 19, 2019

Concocts Modern, Tropical Design with $20 Million Investment

Editor’s note: The following was first published in the July 11-17, 2019, issue of Caribbean Business.

With 123 recently renovated rooms and another 400 in the process of being transformed, as well as an ample culinary and musical offer, the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is prepared for the high tourism season, demonstrating the spirit of an island that is undaunted by adversity.

Having dedicated most of 2018 to serving the aid groups that came to the island after the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the opportunity was taken to modernize the rooms, eliminating carpets and creating a more tropical and modern environment for guests.

The new design showcases wood-look tile floors for a sleeker, more contemporary appearance, along with clean-line furniture and walk-in showers, giving each room a more spacious feel. Brilliant design accents include picturesque private balconies with chic seating, allowing guests to comfortably soak up breathtaking panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean. Vibrantly colored decorations blend harmoniously with gray-shaded walls and draperies, while abundant natural light brings the whole setting to life amid an amazing backdrop of fantastic tropical views.

The idea is to offer both local and foreign tourists an “urban resort,” where typical Puerto Rican dining can be had without having to leave the hotel. Even the names and themes of the restaurants were changed.

Gastronomy’s role

Patrons can now enjoy top-notch Puerto Rican coffee or delicious sweet rolls at La Panadería; or lechón a la varita (spit-roasted pork) accompanied by cocktails prepared with local rum on Fridays, during the “Guavate & Rum Experience.”

“We are betting a lot on the culinary side; people travel a lot not only to stay in a good destination or a good hotel, but also to have a good culinary experience,” explained Joaquín Cruz, a Puerto Rican who is in charge of sales & marketing at San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Cruz has been working in different markets with the chain for 14 years.

On Saturdays, the San Juan Marriott offers a reasonably priced steak and seafood buffet in its renovated Gingambô restaurant, which has a spectacular view of the ocean and live music at night. For wine lovers, Gingambô has a cellar with varied labels from several world regions, all classified at 90 points or higher in Wine Spectator magazine, to the delight of its customers.

For those who prefer to dance al ritmo latino, the Marriott has the Red Coral Lounge, famous for its cocktails and live entertainment every weekend. For local residents, the hotel has a $199 per night promotion for rooms for up to four people, which runs until Sept. 31.

On July 25, the resort will hold its Farewell Summer Party with a tasty BBQ Bash, and a beer on the house. The noon to 5 p.m. event includes a pool pass as well.

Broader reception

Cruz was enthusiastic that the renovation of the remaining 404 rooms in the hotel’s main tower begins in September.

The chain manages 13 hotels on the island and is preparing to open in December two Aloft hotels, one in the Puerto Rico Convention Center’s District Live! entertainment complex, with a $125 million investment, and another on Santiago de los Caballeros Avenue in Ponce, with an investment of $13 million.

Aloft Hotels is a division of Marriott International. The construction of the Aloft in Ponce represents the first large-scale hotel project in the southern coast city in the past 25 years. At the end of 2018, the chain also reopened the Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel in Dorado, with a $49 million investment, and the St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort & Golf Club in Río Grande with an investment of $60 million.

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