Hilton Worldwide officially reopened the Caribe Hilton, located in the capital San Juan, in mid-June, following a $150m renovation. The 652-room hotel had been shuttered since February 2018 after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Maria.
“The hotel community, and particularly Hilton, could have just rushed their reopenings for the sake of the bottom line. But they didn’t do that,” Brad Dean, CEO of the destination marketing organisation Discover Puerto Rico explained. “They took to great detail to make sure they didn’t just reopen but that they came back well positioned and really enhanced their properties and brands within the market. And two properties in particular, the Caribe Hilton and El San Juan, are great examples of this.”
The first Hilton property outside the continental US, the Caribe Hilton opened back in 1949. “The Caribe Hilton is really part of the DNA of the Hilton brand, and it’s technically where, on the international side, everything started,” the property’s general manager, Pablo Torres stated. “It’s such an emblematic hotel. So it was very important for us to bring it back not only as soon as possible but also stronger than ever.”
The Caribe Hilton’s guestrooms have been refurbished, as have the majority of its public spaces and food and beverage venues. Alongside this, other updates include new fitness, spa and tennis facilities and 65,000 sq ft of revamped meetings and events space.
Meanwhile, the El San Juan Hotel, which opened in 1958 on San Juan’s Isla Verde Beach underwent a $65m renovation and celebrated its grand reopening last December.
“El San Juan Hotel is known for its very unique historic ambience, and it’s clear that they took a lot of time to make sure they brought that property back properly, carefully restoring features like its famous mahogany ceiling,” Dean added.